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Air Force snubbed as Mountain West football awards are announced; Colorado State gets 4 first-team picks

November 29, 2017 Updated: November 29, 2017 at 5:34 pm
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Offensive lineman Alex Norton (left) and linebacker Grant Ross were the lone Air Force representatives on the All-Mountain West football team. Norton was a second-team selection, while Ross received honorable mention.

Air Force’s disappointing season was reflected in the Mountain West awards that were announced Wednesday.

Offensive lineman Alex Norton was a second-team selection and linebacker Grant Ross earned honorable mention recognition. Those were the only awards given to Falcons players following a 5-7 season that included a 4-4 mark in conference play.

Every other team in the conference had at least one first-team selection and each team had at least four players named in some capacity on the all-conference team except Air Force, which with four wins tied for sixth in the 12-team conference.

By comparison, last year Air Force placed two players on the first team, three on the second team and had four receive honorable mention after the team went 5-3 in conference action.

The conference, in a vote The Gazette participated in, named San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny as its Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year. Top defensive honors went to Boise State’s Leighton Vander Esch. Coach of the Year was Fresno State’s Jeff Tedford, and UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers was Freshman of the Year.

Colorado State placed four on the first-team offense, with quarterback Nick Stevens, receiver Michael Gallup and offensive linemen Jake Bennett and Zack Golditch honored. The Rams also had a second-team pick and five received honorable mention.

Again, to put this in perspective for Air Force, remember that it finished just one game behind the Rams in the league standings and won the head-to-head matchup in Fort Collins.

Mountain Division champion Boise State had six first-team selections, while West Division winner Fresno State was represented on the first team only by linebacker Jeffrey Allison.

Projected first-round draft pick Josh Allen earned only honorable mention recognition for his work as Wyoming’s quarterback this season.



Offensive Player of the Year
Rashaad Penny, Sr., RB, San Diego State


Defensive Player of the Year

Leighton Vander Esch, Jr., LB, Boise State


Special Teams Player of the Year

Rashaad Penny, Sr., KR/PR, San Diego State


Freshman of the Year

Armani Rogers, QB, UNLV


Coach of the Year

Jeff Tedford, Fresno State


2017 All-Mountain West Football First Team



Pos.      Player                           Cl.        Team

QB        Nick Stevens                 Sr.        Colorado State

WR       Cedrick Wilson              Sr.        Boise State

WR       Michael Gallup*            Sr.        Colorado State

RB        Rashaad Penny              Sr.        San Diego State

RB        Lexington Thomas         Jr.        UNLV

TE        Jake Roh                       Sr.        Boise State

OL        Mason Hampton            Sr.        Boise State

OL        Jake Bennett                 Sr.        Colorado State

OL        Zack Golditch                Sr.        Colorado State

OL        Dejon Allen                   Sr.        Hawaii

OL        Austin Corbett               Sr.        Nevada

PK        Dominik Eberle             So.       Utah State

PR/KR  Rashaad Penny**          Sr.        San Diego State



Pos.      Player                           Cl.        Team

DL        Curtis Weaver               Fr.        Boise State

DL        Malik Reed                   Jr.        Nevada

DL        Youhanna Ghaifan         So.       Wyoming

DL        Carl Granderson            Jr.        Wyoming

LB        Leighton Vander Esch    Jr.        Boise State

LB        Jeffrey Allison               So.       Fresno State

LB        Frank Ginda                  Jr.        San José State

DB        Tyler Horton                  Jr.        Boise State

DB        Kameron Kelly              Sr.        San Diego State

DB        Jalen Davis                   Sr.        Utah State

DB        Andrew Wingard*          Jr.        Wyoming

P          Corey Bojorquez            Sr.        New Mexico



*--Two-Time First-Team Selection

**--Three-Time First-Team Selection


2017 All-Mountain West Football Second Team



Pos.      Player                           Cl.        Team

QB        Brett Rypien                  Jr.        Boise State

WR       KeeSean Johnson          Jr.        Fresno State                     

WR       Wyatt Demps                 Sr.        Nevada                            

RB        Dalyn Dawkins              Sr.        Colorado State                  

RB        Diocemy Saint Juste      Sr.        Hawaii

TE        David Wells*                 Sr.        San Diego State

OL        Alex Norton                   Sr.        Air Force

OL        Archie Lewis                 Sr.        Boise State

OL        Aaron Mitchell              Sr.        Fresno State

OL        Keith Ismael                 Fr.        San Diego State

OL        Tyler Roemer                Fr.        San Diego State

PK        Jimmy Camacho            Sr.        Fresno State

PR/KR  Avery Williams              Fr.        Boise State



Pos.      Player                           Cl.        Team

DL        Jabril Frazier                 Jr.        Boise State

DL        David Moa                    Jr.        Boise State                       

DL        Tobenna Okeke             Sr.        Fresno State

DL        Mike Hughes, Jr.           Sr.        UNLV

LB        Jahlani Tavai                 Jr.        Hawaii

LB        Ronley Lakalaka            Jr.        San Diego State

LB        Logan Wilson                So.       Wyoming

DB        Kekoa Nawahine           So.       Boise State

DB        Dameon Baber              Jr.        Nevada

DB        Tariq Thompson            Fr.        San Diego State

DB        Rico Gafford                 Sr.        Wyoming                          

P          Michael Carrizosa          Sr.        San José State


*--Two-Time Second-Team Selection


2017 Honorable Mention

Air Force: Grant Ross, Sr., LB.

Boise State: Ezra Cleveland, Fr., OL; Haden Hoggarth, Jr., PK; Alexander Mattison, So., RB; Tyson Maeva, So, LB; Durrant Miles, Jr., DL; John Molchon, So., OL; DeAndre Pierce, So., DB.

Colorado State: Evan Colorito, Sr., LB; Dalton Fackrell, Sr., TE; Trae Moxley, Sr., OL; Ryan Stonehouse, Fr., P; Josh Watson, Jr., LB.

Fresno State: Mike Bell So., DB; Jaron Bryant, So., DB; Christian Cronk, Jr., OL; Malik Forrester, Sr., DL; George Helmuth, Jr., LB; Juju Hughes, So., DB; Marcus McMaryion, Jr., QB; Netane Muti, Fr., OL;  David Patterson, Sr., OL; Micah St. Andrew, Jr., OL; Robert Stanley, Sr., DL.

Hawaii: Meffy Koloamatangi, Sr., DL; Viane Moala, So., DL.

Nevada: Ty Gangi, Jr., QB; Sean Krepsz, Jr., OL; Austin Paulhus, Sr., LB; Asauni Rufus, Jr., DB.

New Mexico: Blaise Fountain, Sr., OL; Garrett Hughes, Sr., DL; Aaron Jenkins, Jr., OL; Jake Rothschiller, Sr., DB.

San Diego State: Parker Baldwin, Jr., DB; Mikah Holder, Sr., WR.

San José State: Bryce Crawford, Jr., PK; Chris Gonzalez, Sr., OL.

UNLV: Nathan Jacobson, Jr., OL; Kyle Saxelid, Sr., OL.

Utah State: Roman Andrus, Jr., OL; Quin Ficklin, Jr., OL; Dallin Leavitt, Sr., DB; Dax Raymond, So., TE.

Wyoming: Josh Allen, Sr., QB; Tyler Hall, So., RS.


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