Memphis quarterback Seth Henigan (5) scrambles to avoid being hit by Utah State defensive tackle Hale Motu’apuaka (8) during the second half of the First Responder Bowl NCAA college football game, Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Sam Hodde)

LOGAN — At No. 2 on the Cache Valley Media Group Top 25 Aggies of 2023 is veteran defensive tackle Hale Motu’apuaka. He’s among the longest-tenured players on the Utah State football team along with being one of the best.

Motu’apuaka joined the Aggies in 2018, appearing in two games as a true freshman that season, and since 2019 has been a regular in the defensive line rotation, rising up the depth chart until becoming the veteran and star of the team he is. He’s appeared in 46 games with 28 starts in his five seasons in Logan.

The 2022 season was Motu’apuaka’s best as he set career highs in tackles (35) and sacks (5.0) while tying his career-best in tackles for loss (8.0). Coming into this season he’s earned preseason accolades from Phil Steele (First Team All-Mountain West), Athlon Sports (Second Team All-Mountain West) and was named to the Polynesian Player of the Year Award watch list.

Cache Valley Media Group Top 25 Aggies (revealed so far)

  1. Broc Lane (TE)
  2. Xavion Steele (CB)
  3. Wyatt Bowles (OL)
  4. Micah Davis (WR)
  5. Levi Williams (QB)
  6. Simeon Harris (DB)
  7. Cole Motes (OL)
  8. Gavin Barthiel (LB)
  9. Poukesi Vakauta (DT)
  10. Josh Sterzer (TE)
  11. Max Alford (LB)
  12. Cian Slone (DE)
  13. Otto Tia (WR)
  14. Falepule Alo (OL)
  15. Colby Bowman (WR)
  16. Wade Meacham (OL)
  17. Michael Anyanwu (CB)
  18. Stephen Kotsanlee (P)
  19. Robert Briggs (RB)
  20. Anthony Switzer (S)
  21. MJ Tafisi (LB)
  22. Terrell Vaughn (WR)
  23. Cooper Legas (QB)
  24. Hale Motu’apuaka (DT)

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