Utah State Football Position Preview: Linebackers

Jul 20, 2019, 5:21 PM

Utah State linebacker David Woodward (9) flies into action against a San Jose State ballcarrier dur...

Utah State linebacker David Woodward (9) flies into action against a San Jose State ballcarrier during USU's 62-24 victory over the Spartans on Nov. 10 at Maverik Stadium in Logan. (Jeff Hunter, Utah State Athletics)

(Jeff Hunter, Utah State Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – The Utah State Aggies lost a lot from their 11-win team last season, but one position group that is returning a lot of talent is the linebacker unit.

Junior David Woodward had a breakout season as a sophomore last year with 134 tackles, 5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss and 5 pass deflections, while being named first team All-Mountain West. In 2017, Woodward recorded 29 tackles, 3 for loss and 4 pass deflections in 10 games.

He is sure to have another great season and will likely lead the team in tackles again. Opposing offenses will need to watch for Woodward this season and know where he is at on the field.

Other Names To Watch

Woodward isn’t the only Aggie that is expected to create havoc on offenses, he will have the help from senior outside linebacker Tipa Galeai, who has versatility by playing both linebacker and defensive end positions. He recorded 64 tackles, 10.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 5 pass deflections, 3 forced fumbles, 2 interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown against BYU.

The TCU transfer will have a great season and makes Utah State’s defense very dangerous.

Junior Kevin Meitzenheimer had a good spring camp for the Aggies and is hoping to follow up with a even better regular season for Gary Andersen. Last season, Meitzenheimer recorded 13 tackles, two for a loss and one interception.

Maika Magalei is a player who should receive game reps during his redshirt sophomore season. He has good size at 6’1, 230 pounds for the linebacker position and is a really good pass rusher. The Lakewood, Washington native played in four games last season before using his redshirt. He started 13 games as a freshman in 2017 and had 16 tackles, 2.5 sacks, a fumble recovery and one touchdown.

Junior Justus Te’i played four games last year before using his redshirt. In those four games, he recorded 14 tackles, including 2.5 for loss. As a sophomore in 2017, he had 37 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

How They Stack Up Against The Rest

The Aggies linebacker group is top-25 in the entire country and the highest rated core in the Mountain West Conference. The best unit on the Aggies schedule is LSU, which is ranked No. 3.

San Diego State, BYU and Wyoming are the only other groups that are ranked in the top 60 in the country.

  • Utah State Aggies Scoreboard

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  • Utah State Aggies Standings

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Utah State Football Position Preview: Linebackers