LOGAN, Utah – A total of 14 Utah State football players earned preseason all-Western Athletic Conference honors from Phil Steele’s 2011 College Football Preview, announced Tuesday. The national publication hits newsstands on June 7. USU had four on the first-team list, three on the second-team, five on the third-team and two on the fourth-team, broken down by seven on defense, six on offense and one on special teams. Senior linebacker Bobby Wagner, senior offensive lineman Philip Gapelu, junior running back Robert Turbin and junior kick returner Kerwynn Williams were all named to the first-team list. Aggies tabbed to the second-team included defensive lineman Quinn Garner, senior tight end Kellen Bartlett and junior wide receiver Stanley Morrison. Senior defensive lineman Levi Koskan, senior linebacker Kyle Gallagher, senior offensive lineman Funaki Asisi, junior cornerback Dontel Watkins and sophomore offensive center Tyler Larsen were named to the third-team, while senior safety Walter McClenton and junior transfer linebacker Bojay Filimoeatu were on the fourth-team list. The publication also announced its preseason WAC rankings, picking the Aggies to finish seventh, the lowest of four preseason conference rankings released so far. Lindy’s and the Sporting News have tabbed USU fifth while Athlon Sports has Utah State sixth. Phil Steele’s College Football Preview is the nation’s most informative preseason football magazine and has always provided a preseason All-American team as well as preseason all-conference teams. For more information or to obtain a copy of each of the all-conference teams, please visit PhilSteele.com. Utah State will return 46 letterwinners (28 offense, 17 defense, one special teams), including 16 starters (nine offense, six defense, one special teams), from last season’s 4-8 overall mark, and 2-6 in WAC play, in head coach Gary Andersen’s second season at the helm of the Aggie program. USU opens the 2011 season on Saturday, Sept. 3 at defending national champion Auburn. The Aggies will tangle with the Tigers for the first time ever and be USU’s first Southeastern Conference opponent since Arkansas in 2006. Utah State’s home opener is on Saturday, Sept. 10 at 6 p.m. (MT), taking on in-state foe Weber State, marking the first time that USU and WSU have squared off since 2001, and Utah State leads the all-time series, 11-1. The Aggie-Wildcat match-up will have special meaning for Andersen, who will be facing his mentor, Weber State head coach Ron McBride. Andersen played for McBride at Utah in 1985-86. For USU football ticket information, contact the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum, or by phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305. Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on facebook at Utah State University Athletics. -USU-
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