111421-s-afa-csu 01.JPG

Air Force running back Brad Roberts waltzes into the end zone for a touchdown in the third quarter of the Colorado State-Air Force football game at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins Nov. 13, 2021. 

LAS VEGAS • The preseason accolades continued to roll in Thursday for an Air Force football team unaccustomed to such honors.

Three Falcons — offensive lineman Isaac Cochran, running back Brad Roberts and linebacker Vince Sanford — were named first-team preseason All-Mountain West.

The three first-teamers tie for the most for Air Force since they had four in 2011, and Roberts was the first offensive skill-position player to earn the honor since Jared Tew before the 2010 season.

Since the creation of the Mountain West in 1999, Air Force has been shut out of the preseason all-conference team seven times and had five other years with just one selection.

“A lot of times, Air Force is ruled out on some of the things,” said Roberts, who was a first-team Mountain West selection following a 2021 season that saw him lead the conference with 1,352 rushing yards. “I think we have a really tough and gritty team, and it shows that we’re starting to get recognized.”

Cochran joins Nolan Laufenberg and Parker Ferguson — both now in the NFL — as the only Falcons offensive linemen to earn the preseason honor since 2011.

Sanford appears on the team after making 17 tackles for loss that accounted for 118 yards last season in a breakout junior campaign.

This comes a day after Air Force — 10-3 a year ago — was picked second in the Mountain West Mountain Division, matching its top preseason selection since the conference was formed.

Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors went to Jake Haener, Fresno State’s senior quarterback. San Diego State senior defensive back Patrick McMorris and San Jose State senior defensive lineman Cade Hall shared the Preseason Co-Defensive Player of the Year award and Aztecs senior punt/kick returner Jordan Byrd was tabbed as Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year.

San Diego State led the conference with eight first-team selections, followed by Fresno State with five. Boise State had four.

Colorado State’s lone representative was redshirt freshman tight end Tanner Arkin.


Preseason All-Mountain West Team

Offense

QB Jake Haener, sr., Fresno State

WR Jalen Cropper, sr., Fresno State

WR Jesse Matthews, sr., San Diego State

RB Brad Roberts, sr., Air Force

RB Jordan Mims, sr., Fresno State

OL Isaac Cochran, sr., Air Force

OL John Ojukwu, sr., Boise State

OL Dontae Bull, sr., Fresno State

OL Aaron Frost, sr., Nevada

OL Alama Uluave, sr., San Diego State

TE Tanner Arkin, RS-Fr., Colorado State

Defense

DL Scott Matlock, sr., Boise State

DL Keshawn Banks, sr., San Diego State

DL Jonah Tavai, sr., San Diego State

DL Viliami Fehoko, sr., San Jose State

DL Cade Hall, sr., San Jose State

LB Vince Sanford, sr., Air Force

LB Caden McDonald, sr., San Diego State

LB Kyle Harmon, sr., San Jose State

DB JL Skinner, sr., Boise State

DB Evan Williams, sr., Fresno State

DB Jerrick Reed II, sr., New Mexico

DB Patrick McMorris, sr., San Diego State

Special Teams

P Aaron Rodriguez, jr., New Mexico

PK Jonah Dalmas, jr., Boise State

PR Jordan Byrd, sr., San Diego State

KR Jordan Byrd, sr., San Diego State

Offensive Player of the Year: Jake Haener, sr., QB, Fresno State

Defensive Player of the Year: Patrick McMorris, sr., DB, San Diego State and Cade Hall, sr., DL, San Jose State

Special Teams Player of the Year: Jordan Byrd, sr., PR/KR, San Diego State

Sign Up for Pikes Peak 5

Game analysis and insights from The Gazette sports staff including columns by Woody Paige and Paul Klee.

Success! Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter.

Load comments