Utah State sophomore linebacker David Woodward was named a first-team All-American by Pro Football Focus (PFF), it was announced Monday morning.
Woodward was one of two players from the Mountain West honored by PFF as Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland earned honorable mention honors at offensive tackle. Additionally, Utah’s Matt Gay earned second-team honors at kicker.
The 6-foot-2, 235-pound Woodward started all 11 games he played in for the Aggies this season, ranking first in the Mountain West and 10th in the nation with 124 tackles (11.3 pg). He is also fifth in the conference in tackles for loss with 12.5 (1.1 pg), sixth in forced fumbles with two (0.18 pg) and ninth in sacks with 5.0.
On the season, Woodward leads the team in tackles, tackles for loss and forced fumbles while ranking second in sacks, to go along with one interception. Overall, he has recorded seven double-digit tackle outings this year, including a career-high 20 stops at Colorado State, which are the most tackles by an Aggie since 2015.
Woodward was one of a school-record 18 Aggies to earn all-Mountain West honors this season as he was a second-team recipient.
Woodward and the Aggies will face North Texas in the 13th annual Gildan New Mexico Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 15, at noon, at Dreamstyle Stadium in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The game will be televised live on ESPN.
For Utah State, this will be its second appearance in the New Mexico Bowl as it posted a 21-6 win against UTEP in 2014. Only New Mexico and Colorado State have made more appearances in the Albuquerque-based bowl than USU.
Utah State and North Texas will be meeting for the eighth time in series history as USU holds a 4-3 advantage. USU posted a 4-1 record against UNT when both teams were members of the Big West Conference from 1996-2000, and USU went 0-2 against the Mean Green when both programs were members of the Sun Belt Conference from 2003-04.
For Utah State, this will be its seventh bowl game in the past eight seasons and its 13th in program history as the Aggies are 4-8 all-time in bowl games.
All-time, this will be Utah State's 13th bowl appearance in program history as it played in the 1946 Raisin Bowl, the 1947 Grape Bowl, the 1960 Sun Bowl, the 1961 Gotham Bowl, the 1993 Las Vegas Bowl, the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl, the 2011 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2012 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the 2013 San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl, the 2014 Gildan New Mexico Bowl, the 2015 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl and the 2017 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl.
Utah State, which is ranked No. 23 in this week’s Amway Coaches poll, finished the regular season at 10-2, including a 7-1 mark in the Mountain Division of the MW to tie for first.
Tickets for the 2018 New Mexico Bowl are on sale now and available by contacting the USU Ticket Office at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or (435) 797-0305. Tickets can also be purchased online.