Air Force Hawaii Football

Air Force defensive lineman Mosese Fifita holds up the football, celebrating recovering a fumble by Hawaii, on Oct. 19 in Honolulu.

The Mountain West will release its all-conference teams on Wednesday. The Gazette's Brent Briggeman was among those asked to participate. Here's his ballot.

First, a few explanations (particularly as they pertain to Air Force):

- Air Force’s Donald Hammond III was not on the ballot, but would have gained strong consideration from me both at quarterback and offensive player of the year. I generally respect Air Force’s approach of limiting its nominations, making those they submit carry more weight. But I think that was a misfire. I would expect Hammond to be the preseason first-team quarterback and possibly the preseason offensive player of the year in 2020.

- Timothy Jackson over Kade Remsberg? Remsberg, the speedy junior tailback, leads Air Force in rushing yards, but I opted for the sophomore fullback because of the extra demands of the position and his team-high (among players with 25 carries) yards-per-carry of 6.1 yards that all came on runs between the tackles.

- Air Force’s Scott Hattok was an easy pick to me as a first-team offensive line selection. I put Connor Vikupitz up there as well, given his level of play even as the Falcons needed him to switch midseason from center to guard. Nolan Laufenberg would have been every bit as justified as either on the first team, but three from one team seemed too big of a stretch.

- Looking back now, including only one Nevada player (on the second team, no less) probably wasn’t enough for a team that went 7-5, 4-4. Kicker Brandon Talton and defensive back Daniel Brown both appeared on different drafts of my ballot but not the one that was submitted. Talton may well have been the Story of the Year.

- Troy Calhoun was option 1B when it came to Coach of the Year. Ultimately, the job Bryan Harsin did to run the table in the league, despite the team’s situation at quarterback, earned him the vote. Wouldn't be surprised if Hawaii's Nick Rolovich wins it, but I'd have him third simply because of the experience his team brought back plus the overall lack of strength in the West Division. If there were an Assistant Coach of the Year, it goes to Air Force offensive coordinator Mike Thiessen.

OFFENSE

Quarterback

First team: Cole McDonald, Hawaii

Second team: Josh Love, San Jose State

Running back

First team: Charles Williams, UNLV; George Holani, Boise State

Second team: Timothy Jackson, Air Force; Xazavian Valladay, Wyoming

Wide receiver

First team: John Hightower, Boise State; Warren Jackson, Colorado State; Geraud Sanders, Air Force

Second team: Cedric Byrd II, Hawaii; Tre Walker, San Jose State; Siaosi Mariner, Utah State

Tight end

First team: Trey McBride, Colorado State

Second team: Marcus Williams, New Mexico

Offensive line

First team: Keith Ismael, San Diego State; Scott Hattok, Air Force; Ezra Cleveland, Boise State; Connor Vikupitz, Air Force; Keegan Cryder, Wyoming

Second team: Nolan Laufenberg, Air Force; Kyle Stapley, New Mexico; Julio Garcia, UNLV; Jack Snyder, San Jose State; Daishawn Dixon, San Diego State

DEFENSE

Defensive line

First team: Curtis Weaver, Boise State; Mosese Fifita, Air Force; Cameron Thomas, San Diego State; Sonatane Lui, Boise State

Second team: Dom Peterson, Nevada; David Moa, Boise State; Jordan Jackson, Air Force; Ellison Hubbard, Colorado State

Linebacker

First team: Logan Wilson, Wyoming; Justin Rice, Fresno State; Kyahva Tezino, San Diego State; Demonte Meeks, Air Force

Second team: Riley Whimpey, Boise State; Ethan Aguayo, San Jose State; Kyle Johnson, Air Force; David Woodward, Utah State

Defensive back

First team: Luq Barcoo, San Diego State; Zane Lewis, Air Force; Darren Hall, San Diego State; Jericho Flowers, UNLV

Second team: Cameron Haney, Utah State; Tyler Hall, Wyoming, Alijah Halliburton, Wyoming; Jamal Hicks, Colorado State

SPECIAL TEAMS

Placekicker

First team: Dominik Eberle, Utah State

Second team: Jake Koehnke, Air Force

Punter

First team: Ryan Stonehouse, Colorado State

Second team: Tyson Dyer, New Mexico

Punt returner

First team: Avery Williams, Boise State

Second team: Austin Conway, Wyoming

Kickoff returner

First team: Savon Scarver, Utah State

Second team: Anthony Hawkins, Colorado State

AWARDS

Offensive Player of the Year

Cole McDonald, Hawaii

Defensive Player of the Year

Curtis Weaver, Boise State

Special Teams Player of the Year

Avery Wiliams, Boise State

Freshman of the Year

George Holani, Boise State

Coach of the Year

Bryan Harsin, Boise State

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