6 USU football players sign free agent contracts with NFL teams, Chuckie Keeton and Jordan Nielsen invited to rookie mini-camps

Utah State quarterback Chuckie Keeton runs against San Jose State during the first half of an NCAA college football game Friday, Sept. 27, 2013, in San Jose, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

<strong>Hunter Sharp signs free agent contract with Philadelphia</strong>

Utah State’s all-Mountain West wide receiver, Hunter Sharp, has signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles it was announced Saturday.

Sharp becomes the third Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick).

Sharp will join 15 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Fackrell, Vigil, safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Sharp, a 6-foot, 200-pound wide receiver from Palmdale, Calif. (Highland HS/Antelope Valley JC), played in 25 career games at Utah State making 22 starts, and finished his career ranking ninth all-time in school history with 137 receptions, ninth all-time with 16 career touchdown receptions and 14th all-time with 1,770 receiving yards. In all, Sharp is one of just 19 players in school history with 100 career receptions and one of 33 players with 1,000 career receiving yards.

Sharp, who concluded his senior season by setting a Utah State bowl record with his 11 receptions against Akron in the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl for 89 yards, had six career 100-yard receiving games and four career double-digit reception games, which included a career-high 13 catches against Air Force this past season. In all, Sharp caught at least one pass in 23 straight games to conclude his career.

As a senior during the 2015 season, Sharp earned second-team all-Mountain West honors and finished the season ranking first in the conference and 28th in the nation in receiving touchdowns with nine (0.8 pg), second in the MW and 19th in the nation in receptions with 71 (6.5 pg), third in the MW and 41st in the nation in receiving yards (76.3 ypg), eighth in the MW and 85th in the nation in all-purpose yards (106.5 pg), and 11th in the MW in scoring (5.5 ppg), while also tying for second in the MW and tying for 11th in the nation in kickoff return touchdowns with one (0.09 pg).

During the 2015 season, Sharp caught a team-leading 71 passes for a team-best 835 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns, to go along with two 100-yard receiving games as he had a career-high 193 yards against Air Force (11/14) and 100 yards against BYU (11/28). He also returned seven kickoffs for 248 yards (35.4 ypr) during the season and one touchdown on a 96-yard return against Nevada (11/21). Sharp also had 10 punt returns for 64 yards (6.4 ypr) on the year and carried the ball eight times for 20 yards (2.5 ypc).

Overall, Sharp’s 71 receptions during his senior season rank seventh all-time in school history, while his nine touchdown catches are tied for the ninth-most in school history in a single season, and his 66 receptions in 2014 rank tied for 10th all-time.

In his first season at Utah State in 2014, Sharp earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as he ranked tied for second in the conference and tied for 54th in the nation in receiving touchdowns with seven (0.50 pg), fourth in the MW and 66th in the nation in receiving yards with 939 (67.1 pg), and eighth in the MW and 84th in the nation with 66 receptions (4.7 pg).

Sharp also had four-straight 100-yard receiving games during his junior campaign, which were the most by an Aggie since 2001, and led the nation with four touchdown receptions of at least 70 yards (81, 72, 75, 70). He also set the single-game school record for yards per reception (34.6) as he caught five passes for 173 yards at No. 18 BYU.

David Moala signs free agent contract with Denver

Utah State’s all-Mountain West nose guard, David Moala, has signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos it was announced Saturday.

Moala becomes the fourth Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick), while wide receiver Hunter Sharp signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Moala will join 16 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Fackrell, Sharp, Vigil, along with safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Moala, who was a two-time academic all-Mountain West honoree at Utah State, played in 21 games during his two-year career, including starting all 11 games he played in as a senior. He finished his career with 58 tackles, which included 5.0 sacks and 14.0 tackles for loss, while adding two forced fumbles, two pass breakups and two blocked kicks.

Moala, a 6-foot-2, 300-pound nose guard from Inglewood, Calif. (Junipero Serra HS/Cerritos CC), earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors following his senior season in 2015 as he ranked tied for first in the conference and tied for seventh in the nation in blocked kicks with two (0.18 pg) to lead the team, and tied for fifth in the MW in forced fumbles with two (0.18 pg), which tied for the team lead. He also ranked first on the team with 4.5 sacks and seventh on the team and second among defensive linemen with 50 tackles, while also ranking third on the team with his 12.5 tackles for loss, to go along with two pass breakups. Moala also saw time on the offensive side of the ball as a senior as he rushed one time and scored on a 1-yard touchdown at Washington.

During his first year at Utah State in 2014, Moala played in 10 games and finished the season with eight tackles, which included 0.5 sacks and 1.5 tackles for loss.

<strong>Marwin Evans signs free agent contract with Seattle</strong>

Utah State strong safety, Marwin Evans, has signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks it was announced Saturday.

Evans becomes the fifth Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick), while wide receiver Hunter Sharp signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles and nose guard David Moala signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos.

Evans will join 17 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Fackrell, Moala, Sharp and Vigil, along with safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Evans played in 27 games during his two-year career, including starting all 13 games he played in as a senior. He finished his career with 83 tackles, which included 2.0 sacks and 10.0 tackles for loss, while adding three forced fumbles, five pass breakups and one interception.

Evans, a 6-foot, 210-pound safety from Milwaukee, Wis. (Oak Creek HS/Highland CC), finished his senior season fourth on the team and 36th in the Mountain West with 73 tackles (5.6 pg). He was also fifth on the team with 10.0 tackles for loss and seventh with 2.0 sacks, while tying for first on the team with two forced fumbles and ranking third with five pass breakups. During his senior season, Evans had one interception that he returned 90 yards for a touchdown against No. 21 Boise State. In all, he had two double-digit tackle games during the season with 11 against Nevada and a career-high 14 stops against BYU, and recorded five-plus tackles seven times during the season.

During his first year at Utah State in 2014, Evans played in 14 games and recorded 10 tackles, to go along with one forced fumble.

<strong>Devonte Robinson signs free agent contract with Green Bay</strong>

Utah State wide receiver, Devonte Robinson, has signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers it was announced Saturday.

Robinson becomes the sixth Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick), while wide receiver Hunter Sharp signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, nose guard David Moala signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos, and safety Marwin Evans signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks.

Robinson will join 18 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Evans, Fackrell, Moala, Sharp and Vigil, along with safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Robinson played in 26 games during his two-year career, including starting 13 games. He finished his career with 44 receptions for 552 yards (12.5 ypr) with four touchdowns, to go along with nine rushes for 54 yards (6.0 ypc) with one touchdown.

Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver from Delray Beach, Fla. (Village Academy HS/Dodge City CC), finished his senior season with 20 receptions for 326 yards (16.3 ypr) and two touchdowns, as he ranked second on the team in receiving yards, fourth in receiving touchdowns and fifth in receptions, while his 16.3 yards per reception average led the team. Robinson’s best game of the season was at Utah as he tied his career high with six receptions for a career-best 119 yards, including a career-long 51-yard catch. He also had four catches for 80 yards, including a 44-yard touchdown at Fresno State, to go along with a 44-yard touchdown reception at Air Force.

As a junior, Robinson finished the year ranking fourth on the team with 24 receptions for 226 yards (9.4 ypr), and ranked tied for third on the team with two receiving touchdowns. He also rushed for 56 yards on five carries (11.2 ypc) with one touchdown on a career-long 59-yard run against New Mexico. He also had a season-high six receptions for a season-best 98 yards with a season-high two touchdowns in USU’s 35-20 win at No. 18 BYU.

<strong>Torrey Green signs free agent contract with Atlanta</strong>

Utah State linebacker, Torrey Green, has signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons it was announced Saturday.

Green becomes the seventh Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick), while wide receiver Hunter Sharp signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, nose guard David Moala signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos, safety Marwin Evans signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks, and wide receiver Devonte Robinson signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers.

Green will join 19 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Evans, Fackrell, Moala, Robinson, Sharp and Vigil, along with safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Green played in 32 games during his four-year career, including starting 10 games. He finished his career with 90 tackles, which included 7.0 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss, while adding two interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup.

Green, a 6-foot-2, 235-pound linebacker from Rubidoux, Calif. (Rubidoux HS), finished his senior season with 48 tackles to rank eighth on the team. He also ranked second on the team with 4.0 sacks and was fourth with his 11.5 tackles for loss, to go along with two quarterback hurries, one pass breakup, and one interception that he returned for nine yards against No. 21 Boise State. His best game of the season was at Washington as he recorded seven tackles, which included a career-high 3.0 tackles for loss, to go along with a career-high-tying 1.0 sacks. He also had a career-high eight tackles against Nevada and had five-plus tackles in five games during the season.

As a junior, Green had 35 tackles, which included 3.0 sacks and 8.0 tackles for loss to rank fourth on the team. He also had three quarterback hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one interception. During the year, he recorded a season-high six tackles against both Wake Forest and at No. 25 Boise State, as he added a then-career-high 1.0 sacks and a then-career-best 2.5 tackles for loss against the Demon Deacons.

<strong>LT Filiaga signs free agent contract with Philadelphia</strong>

Utah State linebacker, LT Filiaga, has signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles it was announced Saturday.

Filiaga becomes the eighth Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick), while wide receiver Hunter Sharp signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, nose guard David Moala signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos, safety Marwin Evans signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks, wide receiver Devonte Robinson signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers, and linebacker Torrey Green signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons.

Filiaga will join 20 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Evans, Fackrell, Green, Moala, Robinson, Sharp and Vigil, along with safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Filiaga played in 23 games during his two-year career, including 22 starts. He finished his Utah State career with 139 tackles, which included 1.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss, while adding four pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Filiaga, a 5-foot-11, 245-pound linebacker from South Jordan, Utah (Bingham HS/Utah), finished his senior season third on the team and 31st in the Mountain West with 78 tackles (6.0 pg), while adding 2.5 tackles for loss, one forced fumble and one pass breakup. He had two double-digit tackle games during the season, and six or more stops in nine games, as he recorded a career-high 12 stops at Utah and had 10 tackles against Colorado State.

As a junior, Filiaga finished the season tied for sixth on the team with 61 tackles, which included 1.0 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss, while adding four quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. He recorded a season-high 10 tackles in his first career start against Idaho State, and was named a College Football Performance Awards honorable mention National Linebacker of the Week following his performance at Arkansas State as he tied his season-high with 10 tackles, which included 1.0 tackles for loss, while adding a career-best two fumble recoveries and one pass breakup. He also had 10 tackles against Air Force, to go along with a career-high two pass breakups, and added nine tackles and a career-high 1.5 tackles for loss against UNLV.

<strong>Chuckie Keeton invited to Houtson Texans Rookie Mini-Camp</strong>

Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton, who is the second-winningest quarterback in school history with 20 career victories, has been invited to the Houston Texans Rookie Mini-Camp, it was announced Saturday.

For his career, which included 38 games played and 35 starts, Keeton ranks first all-time in school history in both touchdown passes (62) and total offense (8,808 yards), second all-time in completions (672), attempts (1,068) and passing yards (7,393), tied for second in completion percentage (.629), tied for 11th in rushing touchdowns (16), and 14th in rushing yards (1,415), which are the most by an Aggie quarterback ever. Keeton also holds the school record for lowest interception percentage (0.022), as he threw just 24 picks, and is tied for the school-record for touchdown passes in a game with five, a feat he accomplished a school-record-best three times. Keeton also recorded seven career 300-yard passing games, which ranks fourth all-time in USU history.

Keeton becomes the ninth Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick), while wide receiver Hunter Sharp signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, nose guard David Moala signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos, safety Marwin Evans signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks, wide receiver Devonte Robinson signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers, linebacker Torrey Green signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons, and linebacker LT Filiaga signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Keeton will join 21 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Evans, Fackrell, Filiaga, Green, Moala, Robinson, Sharp and Vigil, along with safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Keeton, a 6-2, 210-pound quarterback from Houston, Texas (Cypress Creek HS) completed 104-of-199 passes (.523) for 1,006 yards with four touchdowns as a redshirt senior in 2015, while rushing for 181 yards on 50 carries with one score.

As a senior in 2014, Keeton played just two-and-a-half games and was 51-of-92 passing (.554) for 426 yards (142.0 ypg) with two touchdowns, while rushing for 81 yards on 20 carries (4.1 ypc) with one touchdown, before missing the rest of the season due to injury.

Entering his junior season in 2013, Keeton was one of 30 players named to the first edition of the 2013 Heismanpundit/CBSSports.com Heisman Trophy Watch List, but played in just six games before suffering a season-ending knee injury. Prior to his injury, Keeton had completed 136-of-196 passes (.694) for 1,388 yards (231.3 ypg) with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while rushing for another 241 yards on 55 carries (402. ypg/4.4 ypc) with two more scores. Overall, that completion percentage of 69.4 broke his own single-season school record set in 2012, while his 18 touchdown passes rank tied for ninth all-time in school history.

Through his first five games of the 2013 season, Keeton ranked second in the nation with 17 touchdown passes, while also ranking first in the Mountain West and second in the nation in points responsible for (22.8 pg), second in the conference and 22nd in the nation in passing efficiency (161.6), third in the MW and eighth in the nation in completions (26.4), third in the MW and 11th in the nation in completion percentage (.710), third in the MW and 18th in the nation in total offense (317.2 ypg), and fourth in the MW and 25th in the nation in passing (272.4 ypg). Keeton also tied his own school record with five touchdown passes in a game twice during his junior year, doing so in a 52-20 win at Air Force and again in a 70-6 home win against Weber State.

As a sophomore in 2012, Keeton earned first-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors after ranking 17th nationally in total offense (307.1 ypg), 18th in passing efficiency (154.7) and 29th in passing (259.5 ypg).

During the 2012 season, Keeton set single-season school records for touchdown passes (27), passing yards (3,373), completions (275), completion percentage (.676) and total offense (3,992 yards), while tying the then-single-game record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 121 at Louisiana Tech.

Along with earning first-team all-league honors as a sophomore, Keeton was also named the WAC’s Offensive Player of the Week four times during the course of the season as he had at least two touchdown passes in 10 games and rushed for a touchdown in eight games, while throwing for at least 300 yards three times in the last five games of the season and five times overall.

In all, Keeton concluded his sophomore season completing 275-of-407 passes (.676) for 3,373 yards with 27 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran the ball 129 times for 619 yards (47.6 ypg) with eight touchdowns.

As a true freshman in 2011, Keeton was named the National Freshman of the Week by Rivals.com for his performance in the season opener and near major upset at defending national champion Auburn as he was 21-of-30 passing for 213 yards, and rushed for 33 yards on eight carries, including two touchdowns. Keeton finished his freshman season throwing for 1,200 yards in nine games on 106-of-174 passing (.609) with 11 touchdowns, while rushing for 293 yards and four touchdowns in 68 attempts. He also Earned WAC Offensive Player of the Week honors against Wyoming as he threw for a season-high 228 yards and tied a school record with five touchdowns passes.

<strong>Jordan Nielsen invited to Arizona Cardinals Rookie Mini-Camp</strong>

Utah State defensive end, Jordan Nielsen, has been invited to the Arizona Cardinals rookie mini-camp is was announced Sunday.

Overall, Nielsen was a three-time all-conference honoree at Utah State, along with earning academic all-conference honors four times.

Nielsen becomes the 10th Utah State football player from the 2015 team to move on to the NFL as linebacker Nick Vigil was drafted by Cincinnati Bengals in the third round round (87th pick) and linebacker Kyler Fackrell was drafted by Green Bay Packers in the third round (88th pick), while wide receiver Hunter Sharp signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, nose guard David Moala signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos, safety Marwin Evans signed a free agent contract with the Seattle Seahawks, wide receiver Devonte Robinson signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers, linebacker Torrey Green signed a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons, and linebacker LT Filiaga signed a free agent contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, while quarterback Chuckie Keeton was invited to the Houston Texans rookie mini-camp.

Nielsen will join 22 other former Aggies who are currently on NFL rosters, including Evans, Fackrell, Filiaga, Green, Keeton, Moala, Robinson, Sharp and Vigil, along with safety Maurice Alexander, who is with the Los Angeles Rams; defensive back Will Davis, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; defensive back Tay Glover-Wright, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; wide receiver Chuck Jacobs, who is with the Baltimore Ravens; offensive guard Tyler Larsen, who is with the Carolina Panthers; defensive back Nevin Lawson, who is with the Detroit Lions; long snapper Patrick Scales, who is with the Chicago Bears; offensive tackle Donald Penn, who is with the Oakland Raiders; tight end D.J. Tialavea, who is with the Atlanta Falcons; running back Robert Turbin, who is with the Indianapolis Colts; linebacker Zach Vigil, who is with the Miami Dolphins; linebacker Bobby Wagner, who is with the Seattle Seahawks; and running back Kerwynn Williams, who is with the Arizona Cardinals.

Nielsen, who began his Utah State career as a walk-on, played in a school-record 54 games during his four-year career, including making 28 starts. He finished his career with 178 tackles, which included 12.0 sacks and 22.5 tackles for loss, while adding four forced fumbles and four pass breakups.

Nielsen, a 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end from Lewiston, Utah (Sky View HS), earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors following his senior season as he finished the year with 55 tackles, which included 3.0 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss, to go along with two fumble recoveries and one pass breakup. Nielsen finished the season ranking tied for fourth in the MW in fumbles recovered with two (0.15 pg) and was fourth in tackles among defensive linemen in the league with 55 (4.2 pg). He also ranked tied for second on the team in fumbles recovered with two and was first among defensive linemen and fifth overall in tackles (55), including a career-high nine stops against San Diego State. Nielsen was also sixth on the team in tackles for loss (5.5) and tied for fourth in sacks (3.0), as he recorded at least two tackles in 12 of the 13 games he started during the season and had at least four stops in 10 of those 13 games.

As a junior, Nielsen earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors after finishing the season with 53 tackles, which included 2.5 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss, while adding five quarterback hurries, two pass breakups and one fumble recovery. During his junior season, Nielsen ranked first on the team among defensive linemen and eighth overall with his 53 tackles, while his 7.0 tackles for loss ranked fifth on the team.

During his sophomore season in 2013, Nielsen had 35 tackles, which included 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks.

As a redshirt freshman in 2012, Nielsen earned second-team all-Western Athletic Conference honors after ranking tied for third on the team and tied for ninth in the conference with 5.0 sacks (0.38 pg). He also ranked fifth on the team and 20th in the WAC with 6.5 tackles for loss (0.50), and finished the season tied for first on the team among defensive linemen with 35 tackles. He also led the team with two blocked kicks, while adding three quarterback hurries and one pass breakup.

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