Hawaii running back Tylan Hines (24) gets pulled down by Utah State safety Ike Larsen (19) and safety Luke Marion (17) during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022, in Honolulu. (AP Photo/Marco Garcia)
LOGAN – After a standout performance that helped spur Utah State to victory Saturday at Hawaii, redshirt freshman safety Ike Larsen was named not only Mountain West Freshman of the Week, but also the Defensive Player of the Week.
In Saturday’s game, Larsen recorded six tackles, five of which were solo, with one sack, two tackles for loss (a career high) and two interceptions (also a career-high). The latter of those two picks was returned by Larsen for a 36-yard touchdown that put Utah State up 41-24 with 4:33 left in the fourth quarter.
“Every week he gets better. He’s got a phenomenal career ahead of him. Love that he’s wearing our colors,” USU head coach Blake Anderson said of Larsen. “He always seems to be calm in the moment, when it’s most critical.”
Larsen now has four interceptions on the season which leads the team and is second in the Mountain West. Larsen also ranks 10th on the team in total tackles (32), is seventh in tackles for loss (3.0) and is tied for second in both sacks (2.0) and passes defended (2).
This is Larsen’s first time being named conference player of the week, but his second being named freshman of the week. He was given his previous honors after his performance in Utah State’s loss to Alabama on Sept. 3. In that game Larsen recorded a team-high seven tackles (three solo), intercepted a pass and blocked a punt.
Larsen has started the last two games for the Aggies at safety, and is the top-graded defender on the team by Pro Football Focus. By that same PFF grading system, Larsen is the fifth-best defender in the Mountain West.