Utah State’s Justus Te’i named to Wuerffel Trophy watch list

Fresno State quarterback Jorge Reyna tries to elude Utah State defensive back Justus Te'i during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Fresno, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Gary Kazanjian)

LOGAN, Utah  Utah State senior defensive end Justus Te’i has been named to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List, it was announced Thursday by the National College Football Awards Association.

The Wuerffel Trophy, known as “College Football’s Premier Award for Community Service,” is presented each February in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Named after 1996 Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Danny Wuerffel from the University of Florida, the Wuerffel Trophy exists to honor college football players who serve others, celebrate their positive impact on society and inspire greater service in the world.

Te’i is one of seven Mountain West players named to the Wuerffel Trophy Watch List and one of 114 players from the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) nominated for the award.

Nominations for the Wuerffel Trophy are made by the respective universities’ sports information departments and will close on Oct. 15. A current list of nominees can be found at www.wuerffeltrophy.org beginning on Aug. 1. Semifinalists for the award will be announced on Nov. 3 and finalists will be announced on Nov. 23.

The formal announcement of the 2020 recipient will be made at the National Football Foundation’s festivities in New York City on Dec. 8. The presentation of the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy will occur at the 52nd All Sports Association Awards Banquet on Feb. 19, 2021, in Fort Walton Beach.

The honor is the second of the preseason for Te’i, who was named to the Phil Steele Magazine Preseason All-MW fourth team earlier this summer.

Te’i started all 13 games for the Aggies last season and ranked seventh on the team with 51 tackles, including 5.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss. He also had three pass breakups and one quarterback hurry, to go along with a team-best three fumble recoveries, which was tops in the MW and sixth in the nation.

For his career, Te’i has recorded 117 tackles, including 10.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks, in 41 games. He’s had five fumble recoveries, five pass breakups and two forced fumbles, both of which occurred in the red zone.

Off the field, Te’i, a sociology major, has twice earned academic all-MW honors. The 6-foot-3, 255-pound native of Oceanside, Calif., has also spent countless hours working with various groups/organizations in the community.

Utah State went 7-6 overall in 2019, including a 6-2 mark in the MW to finish third in the Mountain Division. It was just the 26th time in school history that USU has won at least seven games, while its six league wins are tied for the sixth-most in school history. USU also played in its 14th bowl game in school history in 2019, including its eighth in the past nine seasons.
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.

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