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Rick Scuteri, AP Photo

Locals in the NFL: 3 ex-Utah State defensive players make huge impact in Week 10

By Derrek Ballard,  |  Posted Nov 13th, 2017 @ 7:20pm


SALT LAKE CITY — Week 10 saw Utah State’s defensive talent take over games. Nevin Lawson forced a fumble and scored. Bobby Wagner moved up to second in total tackles, with 11 combined tackles. Marwin Evans recorded his first forced fumble in an unconventional way. Green Bay rookie running back Jamaal Williams was put into a starting role.

Nevin Lawson (Utah State):

The Detroit Lions have two standout Utah players in their secondary in Nevin Lawson and Miles Killebrew. This season, Killebrew has exploded into one of the premier safeties in the NFL. Lawson has flown under the radar with at least three tackles in every game this year. He changed that narrative on Sunday with the play of the game against Cleveland.

Late in the second quarter, tied at 10-10, the Browns had the ball at their own 30-yard line. Browns rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer completed a pass to Browns leading receiver Seth DeValve on the sideline. Lawson pried the ball free as he was falling to the ground, located the ball and recovered the fumble. Lawson hurried to his feet and ran 44 yards untouched to the end zone, giving the Lions their first lead of the game.

Lawson finished the game with three tackles, one forced fumble and one touchdown. If you enjoy watching standout local talent, just watch the Lions' secondary this year.

Bobby Wagner (Utah State):

Wagner jumped to second place in overall tackles in the Seattle Seahawks' win over the Arizona Cardinals Thursday night. Wagner had eight solo tackles and three assisted tackles for the game and again led the daunting Seahawks defense. Wagner has a total of 83 tackles so far through nine games. He only trails Washington inside linebacker Zach Brown, who has 96 combined tackles this year.

Both players have the same amount of solo tackles at 62. The difference is Brown has 34 assisted tackles to Wagner’s 21. With the injury of teammate Richard Sherman, Wagner will likely play a bigger role in pass protection, which should increase his tackle numbers.

Marwin Evans (Utah State):

Evans was involved with one of the strangest plays we will see in the NFL this year. He finished the game with two solo tackles and one forced fumble. It was a play in which Evans forced a fumble that has everyone scratching their heads. The Green Bay safety was chasing Chicago Bears running back Benny Cunningham, who broke the Packers' line and was on his way to the end zone. Cunningham reached the 5-yard line and leaped for the end zone pillion to score. Evans pushed Cunningham out of bounds as he was stretching the ball toward the goal line. Cunningham hit the pillion with the ball it seemed but was ruled out of bounds just short of the goal line.

The Bears challenged the ruling on the field. By rule, if the ball comes in contact with the pillion, the result is a touchdown. Upon the official video review, Cunningham lost control of the ball before it hit the pillion, causing a touchback and turning the ball over to the Packers. The little shove by Evans caused him to lose the ball and gave the second-year pro his first career forced fumble.

Jamaal Williams (BYU):

Williams is in his rookie year out of BYU and could be thrust into the featured running back position for the Green Bay Packers. During the Packers' win against the Chicago Bears, the Packers lost both starting running back Ty Montgomery and backup Aaron Jones to injury. Williams had only 11 carries for the season before the injuries and had only 32 yards of total offense in the last four games. Williams finished the game with 20 carries for 67 yards and one catch for 7 yards.

Williams will have his work cut out for him against the Baltimore Ravens in his first game as starter. The Ravens' rushing defense is ranked ninth, only allowing 120.9 yards on the ground per game.


    • Michael Davis, CB, Los Angeles Chargers, had one tackle against Jacksonville.
    • Kai Nacua, DB, Cleveland Browns, played against Detroit and recorded no stats.
    • Kyle Van Noy, LB, New England Patriots, had five tackles against Denver.


    • Miles Killebrew, S, Detroit Lions, had one tackle against Cleveland.
    • LeShaun Sims, CB, Tennessee Titans, two tackles against Cincinnati.


    • Devontae Booker, RB, Denver Broncos, had eight carries for 24 yards and one reception for 5 yards.
    • Kaelin Clay, WR, Carolina Panthers, plays Monday night against Miami.
    • Dominique Hatfield, CB, Los Angeles Rams, played in game against Houston and recorded no stats.
    • Star Lotulelei, DT, Carolina Panthers, plays Monday night against Miami.
    • Brice McCain, CB, Tennessee Titans, played in game against Cincinnati and recorded no stats.
    • Jared Norris, LB, Carolina Panthers, plays Monday night against Miami.
    • Nate Orchard, DE, Cleveland Browns, played in game against Detroit and recorded no stats.
    • Tenny Palepoi, DT, Los Angeles Chargers, had one tackle against Jacksonville.
    • Trevor Reilly, LB, New England Patriots, had three combined tackles against Denver.
    • Derrick Shelby, DE, Atlanta Falcons, had two combined tackles against Dallas.
    • Marcus Williams, S, New Orleans Saints, had one tackle against Buffalo.

Utah State

    • Marwin Evans, S, Green Bay Packers, had two tackles and one forced fumble against Chicago.
    • Kyler Fackrell, LB, Green Bay Packers, had two tackles against Chicago.
    • Nick Vigil, LB, Cincinnati Bengals, had three solo tackles and five assisted tackles against Tennessee.
    • Kerwynn Williams, RB, Arizona Cardinals, played in game against Seattle and recorded no stats.

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