Thamel: Utah State’s Losses Continue, Leading-Tackler Enters Transfer Portal

Mar 14, 2023, 3:18 PM | Updated: 3:19 pm
AJ Vongphachanh - Utah State Aggies...
(Photo courtesy of Utah State Athletics)
(Photo courtesy of Utah State Athletics)

LOGAN, Utah – According to reports, Utah State three-year starting linebacker AJ Vongphachanh has entered his name in the NCAA transfer portal.

ESPN college football reporter Pete Thamel first reported the news on Tuesday, March 14.

Another in a long line of losses for head coach Blake Anderson’s team, Vongphachanh’s departure is impactful in multiple ways. Utah State’s leading tackler with 101 stops in 2022 had started every game the past two seasons and 33 of 37 in his Aggie career.

RELATED: Utah State Football Finalizes 2023 Signing Class

About AJ Vongphachanh

Listed at 6’2 and 230 pounds, Vongphachanh joined the Aggie program in 2019 as a three-star recruit out of Chiawana High School in Pasco, Washington. As a senior, he recorded 113 tackles, including eight sacks. He scored nine total touchdowns, including one pick-six while leading the Riverhawks to an 8-3 record.

RELATED: 60 in 60: #43 Utah State’s AJ Vongphachanh (Linebacker)

Vongphachanh earned all-conference accolades in his final three seasons at Chiawana HS.

As a freshman, he started his first career against Fresno State on November 9, 2019. Tallied 17 tackles and earned academic all-Mountain West honors as a freshman.

Vongphachanh started five of six games during the 2020 season, finishing with a team-high 50 tackles, including three sacks and 3.5 tackles for a loss. Was seventh in the Mountain West, averaging 8.3 takedowns per game. He recorded a career-high 17 tackles against Nevada on November 5.

RELATED: Mountain West Releases Utah State’s 2023 Football Schedule

Vongphachanh started all 14 games in 2021, finishing sixth on the team with 55 tackles, including two sacks and seven tackles for a loss. He recovered the first fumble of his career against Oregon State in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl. Vongphachanh earned academic all-Mountain West honors for the third time off the field.

He enters the transfer portal after a career year in 2022. Starting all 13 games for the Aggies, the talented linebacker tallied a team-high 101 tackles with two sacks and 10.5 tackles for a loss. He finished with double-digit tackles in four games, including a season-high 13 stops against Air Force in October. He finished his senior season ninth in the MW and 83rd in the country with 7.8 tackles per game.

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Thamel: Utah State’s Losses Continue, Leading-Tackler Enters Transfer Portal