Utah State's Bobby Wagner Selected in 2nd Round
Courtesy: Utah State
"It's a great feeling," Wagner said. "I'm excited to be on the Seahawks, and I can't wait to get up there and get to work. I'm also very glad to remain on the West Coast."
Wagner was at home with his family in Ontario, Calif., when he got the call from the Seahawks. One of the scouts made the call to Wagner, then handed the phone to Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll.
"We got the phone call right before the pick and I got to tell them and everybody screamed. When my name went on the screen, everybody screamed again," Wagner said.
Wagner becomes the highest drafted former Aggie football player since Rulon Jones was the No. 42 pick in the second round in 1980.
"It means a lot. It means all the hard work has paid off. It's been a long road to get where I'm at right now, so I'm grateful for the things I've gone through and learned from everything I've been through. It is a blessing and an honor. A special thank you to Coach Andersen, and big thank you to Coach Clune, for all the help that they did to get me to this point," said Wagner about USU head coach Gary Andersen and Aggie linebackers coach Kevin Clune.
Wagner's selection gives USU two top three rounds in the last two years, joining last year's selection of cornerback Curtis Marsh in the third round with the 90th overall selection. Overall, Wagner is the 11th former USU player chosen in the first two rounds, and is the 112th former Utah State player selected in the NFL Draft in the Aggies' history.
"The Utah State football family is extremely excited for Bobby," USU head coach Gary Andersen said. "He is a tremendous young man both and off the football field, and he is an extremely talented football player. We have known that for awhile now and it is nice to see him get the recognition from the NFL by being drafted so high. Bobby is very deserving of this, and I know he will have a highly successful career in the NFL."
Wagner was also the first Western Athletic Conference player drafted and the only WAC player selected in the first three rounds. The Aggie player was also the first player from a Utah school selected, and was joined in the top three rounds selection by Utah offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom, who was picked by Oakland with the final pick in the third round, concluding Friday's action.
Wagner, a native of Ontario, Calif. (Colony HS), was named the North's Most Outstanding Player of the 2012 Senior Bowl on Jan. 28, after he helped the North to a 23-13 win over the South at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Wagner snared an interception and lead the North with seven tackles, tying for game-high honors with Antonio Allen of the South team. One of Wagner's seven tackles was for a loss and he also had a pass break-up at the goal line in a similar play that he snared an interception in double overtime to seal USU's win at Idaho this season.
In 2011, Wagner led the WAC and ranked eighth in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) in tackles with 11.3 per game, ranking tied for third in the FBS in total tackles with 147 on the season. Wagner earned first-team all-WAC accolades for the third-straight season and was a strong candidate for the WAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2011. In the Aggies' 13 games this season, Wagner posted nine double-digit tackle outings, highlighted by a career-high 20 stops against Louisiana Tech on Oct. 22, while adding 18 stops against Colorado State on Sept. 24.
Wagner also led the USU defensive unit with 11.5 tackles for loss, adding four sacks and also led the Aggies with two interceptions, snaring one in the Wyoming game and the second sealed USU's wild double-overtime win at Idaho, ending the game with a pick at the goal line on Idaho's final possession. Wagner also had one fumble recovery on the season, which came in USU's bowl eligibility-clinching win over Nevada. It came on a 4th-and-1 play from the USU 12 with just over five minutes left, as Nevada was driving for the go-ahead score. Wolf Pack QB Tyler Lantrip ran an option play, and had the first down, but was stripped of the football and Wagner recovered the thwart the threat and send USU bowl bound. Wagner posted a total of 15 tackles in the Nevada game, including half a tackle for loss, earning WAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
With 147 tackles on the season, Wagner ascended both USU's and the WAC's Single-Season Tackles list, finishing at No. 5 on the Aggies' yearly list and No. 7 on the WAC's season list.
For his career, Wagner ended with 446 tackles as an Aggie, the most in the WAC since 1999 and tied for the USU record since 1979. Wagner is just the third Aggie since 1979 and the fourth WAC player since 1999 to reach the 400 tackle milestone.