Austin Stephens named to Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List

LOGAN, Utah – Utah State junior center Austin Stephens was selected to the 2015 Dave Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List, it was announced Wednesday morning by the Rimington Trophy committee.

The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the Most Outstanding Center in NCAA Division I-A college football. The fall watch list includes 63 student-athletes, three of which come from the Mountain West in Stephens, Fresno State senior Bo Bonnheim and Boise State redshirt senior Marcus Henry.

Stephens is also joined by two other players from the Beehive State on the watch list in Utah senior Siaosi Aiono and BYU sophomore Tejan Koroma.

The native of West Des Moines, Iowa, is also a 2015 Preseason Phil Steele second-team all-Mountain West and Athlon Sports second-team all-Mountain West selection. Stephens was on the Rimington Trophy Spring Watch List, as well.

Along with 2014 Rimington Trophy finalist Jack Allen of Michigan State, this year’s watch list features 17 other returning centers previously included. As the season progresses, the committee will continue to watch all 63 players and will announce its finalists on Dec.7, 2015. The winner will then be recognized at the Rimington Trophy Presentation at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Neb., on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016.

Stephens was an all-MW honorable mention selection and a Phil Steele third-team all-MW honoree in 2014 as the Aggies went 10-4 and captured their third consecutive bowl victory with a 21-6 win over UTEP in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

Stephens started all 14 games for Utah State as a sophomore and had an overall performance grade of 85 percent for the season. He graded out at 86 percent in effort, including nine games over 80 percent. The 6-foot-3, 305-pounder also graded out at 92 percent in assignment, including 11 games over 90 percent, and 75 percent in technique, which included four games over 80 percent.

During the 2014 campaign, Stephens recorded 50.0 knockdowns, including a season-high nine against both BYU (Oct. 3) and UNLV (Oct. 25). His best overall game was against the Rebels, when he graded out at 93 percent, including 97 percent in assignment, 94 percent in effort and 87 percent in technique.

Over the last three years, Utah State is one of just four Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) schools to win at least 30 games and three bowl games, joining Clemson, Michigan State and Oregon. Furthermore, USU has played in four-straight bowl games, winning each of its last three, both of which are school records.

Utah State will open the 2015 season on Thursday, Sept. 3, at home against Southern Utah and will begin Mountain West play on Saturday, Oct. 3, at home against Colorado State.

For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

About the Rimington Trophy

Since its inception, the Rimington Trophy has raised over $2.6 million for the cystic fibrosis community. The award is overseen by the Boomer Esiason Foundation, which is committed to finding a cure for cystic fibrosis and has raised nearly $115 million for CF research.

Dave Rimington, the award’s namesake, was a consensus first-team All-America center at the University of Nebraska in 1981 and 1982, during which time he became the John Outland Trophy’s only double winner as the nation’s finest college interior lineman.

For more on the Rimington Trophy and a list of past recipients, visit www.rimingtontrophy.com.

About the NCFAA

The Rimington Trophy is a member of the National College Football Awards Association (NCFAA), which encompasses the most prestigious awards in college football. The 21 awards boast 679 years of tradition-selection excellence. Visit www.NCFAA.org to learn more about its story.

-USU-

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