Utah State football notes Tyler Larsen, Nevin Lawson relishing All-American nods
Logan • He had seen his name on the preseason list for a while, but that wasn't the one he really wanted to be on.
For his whole football career, Tyler Larsen wanted to be an All-American. He wanted to be judged on his season, not the player he was expected to be.
And to finally achieve that, to see his name among USA Today's top football players in the country, is all the more gratifying.
"A whole lot of the guys I work with - coaches, players - they all pushed me to be the best I can be," Larsen said. "Now that I'm on the All-American list, I can say thank you now."
The senior center talked a bit about honors on Wednesday, which range from Rimington Trophy finalist to first-team all conference for the third straight year. Larsen was a second team on USA Today's list, one of two players on Utah State to do so.
The other, Nevin Lawson, was honored by College Sports Madness on its third team All America. Lawson had four interceptions and 13 pass breakups to go with 53 tackles on the year.
"When I compete, I compete against everybody," Lawson said, relishing his honors. "I want to be considered as one of the best corners in the nation. I feel like it's still not over."
Both are looking for a shot at the NFL, and will be displaying their talents at the East-West Shrine game on Jan. 18 in Tampa Bay, Fla. Larsen accepted an invitation earlier this month, while the school announced Lawson would be playing in the game on Tuesday afternoon.
Younger players take more reps
Bowl-bound teams get to wind up their years with more practices. In Logan, it hasn't been just about readying for Northern Illinois.
Utah State has dedicated several practices to developing its younger core. On Tuesday, veterans and starters shed their pads a little early while underclassmen took more reps. The final half hour of practice included individual drill work and one-on-one match-ups between Aggies that will be seeing more time on the field in the next year or two.
Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando said getting extra reps with younger players is one of the best bowl bonuses.
"All the stuff we're calling in practice, it's what we're going to to be doing in spring ball," he said. "Learn from it, understand it. We've got talent, it just needs to be developed. But anytime you get extra practices, it's a huge advantage for a program."
LB Keylon Hollis dismissed
Utah State announced Tuesday afternoon that it had dismissed junior linebacker Keylon Hollis from the program for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
The Aggies signed the Texas native in February after he had been the defensive player of the year in his conference at Bakersfield College. Hollis never cracked the regular rotation this season in the linebacking corps, getting his most action against Weber State. He finished his Aggie career with nine tackles in nine games.
Kyle Goonkgoon@sltrib.comTwitter: @kylegoon