UTAH STATE AGGIES

ChatGPT Ranks Best Utah State Football Players of All-Time

Apr 25, 2023, 2:08 PM | Updated: 2:10 pm

Merlin Olsen - Los Angeles Rams...

Merlin Olsen #74 of the Los Angeles Rams is blocked by an Atlanta Falcons guard in a early circa 1970's NFL football game at Atlanta Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia. Olsen played for the Rams from 1962-76. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Despite a tumultuous team history, the Utah State football program has produced several NFL All-Pros and contributors at the game’s highest level.

With spring practice out of the way, Utah State won’t take the field as a team until they begin preparing for the 2023 season-opener at the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Without any Aggie football for the summer, KSL Sports turned to the artificial intelligence model ChatGPT for its top ten Utah State football players since the program began play in 1892.

Leaning heavily toward 1990s USU football to the present, a pair of local legends topped the list.

RELATED: 2023 Utah State Aggies Football Schedule

Utah State Football Top-10

Merlin Olsen – Defensive tackle (1959-61)

Olsen was a three-time All-American at Utah State before being selected with the second overall pick in the 1962 NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. Following his playing career, Olsen was elected to the College & Pro Football Hall’s of Fame.

In 1961, Olsen was awarded the Outland Trophy, given annually to college football’s most outstanding interior lineman. He led the nation’s best rush defense as Utah State limited opponents to 50.8 rushing yards per game, still a Utah State program record.

The Aggies lost 20-13 to New Mexico State in the 1960 Sun Bowl. Olsen’s USU team lost again in the 1961 Gotham Bowl, falling 24-9 to Baylor University.

Phil Olsen – Defensive end (1967-69)

Brother of Merlin Olsen, Phil played for Utah State from 1967 to 1969 and was a two-time All-American. A consensus first-team All-American in 1969, Olsen was named team captain, team MVP, and Utah State athlete of the year as a senior.

Following his Aggie career, Olsen was selected in the first round (fourth overall) by the Boston Patriots in 1970. He would play seven years in the NFL.

Olsen is a member of the Utah Sports Hall of Fame (1985) and USU’s All-Century Football Team.

Bill Munson – Quarterback (1961-63)

Before becoming a 1964 first-round pick (seventh overall) of the Los Angeles Rams, Munson led USU to an 8-2 record as a senior, breaking several school passing records along the way.

Munson was named Utah State’s athlete of the year in 1963-64 after completing 120-of-201 passes (59.2 percent) 1,699 yards, 12 touchdowns, and just three interceptions. He went on to appear in 107 games across 16 NFL seasons with five teams.

Anthony Calvillo – Quarterback (1992-93)

As a senior in 1993, Calvillo earned second-team All-Big West Conference recognition while leading the Aggies to the first conference championship since 1979. Calvillo threw for a then-school record 3,260 yards with six 300-yard passing games.

Calvillo was named the MVP of 1993’s Las Vegas Bowl after throwing for 286 yards and three touchdowns in the Aggies’ 42-33 win over Ball State. It was the first bowl win in program history.

After leaving Logan Calvillo became one of the most decorated quarterbacks in Canadian Football history throughout a 20-year playing career. He led the Montreal Alouettes to three Grey Cup Championships. He was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player three times (2003, 2008, 2009).

Eric Hipple – Quarterback (1976-79)

Hipple spent four seasons in Logan and played in 44 total games. As a junior and senior, Hipple led the Aggies to its only back-to-back conference championships in school history.

The Detroit Lions selected Hipple in the fourth round (85th overall) in the 1980 NFL draft. He spent ten seasons with Detroit, throwing 55 career touchdown passes.

Hipple is a member of USU’s All-Century team and was inducted into the Utah State Hall of Fame in 2012.

Bobby Wagner – Linebacker (2008-2011)

Bobby Wagner is one of the most decorated USU football players in program history. In four seasons, Wagner started 46 of 48 games and tied a school record with 446 career tackles. He finished his Aggie career with 4.5 sacks, 29.5 tackles for a loss, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries, and one forced fumble. Wagner reached double-digit stops in a game 23 times during his USU tenure.

The Seattle Seahawks selected Wagner in the second round (47th overall) in the 2012 NFL draft.

In his 11-year NFL career, Wagner has recorded 1,523 total tackles, 900 solo tackles, 29.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries, 13 interceptions, 65 pass breakups, and a touchdown in 168 career NFL games. He has been named to the All-Pro first team six times and three times to the second team.

Wagner was elected to the Utah State Hall of Fame in 2021.

RELATED: Bobby Wagner Returning To Seattle Seahawks After Year In Los Angeles

Chuckie Keeton – Quarterback (2011-15)

Keeton burst onto the scene as a true freshman against defending National Champion Auburn in the 2011 season opener. Despite eventually losing to the Tigers, Keeton went on to make nine starts in his freshman season.

As a sophomore, Keeton started all 13 games for USU, completing 275 of 407 passes for 3,373 yards, 27 touchdowns, and nine interceptions. His performance earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2012.

Injuries plagued Keeton for the remainder of his career as he would make a combined 16 starts over the next three seasons. Keeton coached with Utah State last season before joining the Marshall Thundering Herd.

Robert Turbin – Running Back (2008-11)

One of just two players to earn Offensive Player of the Year recognition as an Aggie, Turbin’s 1,517 yards (6.1 yards per carry) and school-record 19 touchdowns as a junior in 2011 still stands as one of the best statistical seasons in program history.

Turbin ended his USU career with 3,315 rushing yards and tied a school record with 40 rushing touchdowns. He is one of five Aggies with multiple 1,000-yard rushing seasons and one of five to surpass 3,000 career rushing yards. His 51 career touchdowns are a program record. In 2011, Turbin helped lead the Aggies to the first winning season since 1997.

Turbin was elected to the Utah State Hall of Fame in 2022.

Kevin Curtis – Wide Receiver (2001-02)

Curtis came to Utah State as a walk-on before the 2001 season after transferring from Snow College. He ended up as a two-time first-team all-Independent pick for the Aggies in his two years with the school.

As a junior, Curtis led the country with 9.1 receptions per game. He set single-season school records for receptions (100), receiving yards (1,531), and most 100-yard receiving games (nine), all while scoring ten touchdowns. He finished the season third in the nation with 139.2 receiving yards per game. In 2002, Curtis again led his team in catches (74), receiving yards (1,258), and receiving touchdowns (nine). His 1,258 yards remains the fourth-highest total in school history.

Curtis was picked in the third round of the 2003 NFL draft by St Louis. He spent nine years in the NFL with five different teams.

Curtis was elected to the Utah State Hall of Fame in 2015.

Kyler Fackrell – Linebacker (2011-15)

A 40-game starter with Utah State, Fackrell signed with the Aggies after they were the only Division-1 scholarship offer he received out of high school.

After red-shirting as a true freshman in 2011, Fackrell started 28 straight games before a knee injury in the first game of his junior year forced him to miss the rest of the season.

Fackrell is one of 15 players in school history to earn either first-or-second team all-conference recognition three times.

He has played for five NFL teams since Green Bay tabbed him with their third-round selection (88th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft.

KSL Sports coverage of Utah State University Athletics can be found here. 

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ChatGPT Ranks Best Utah State Football Players of All-Time