2019 Mountain West Football Top 52 Players: #3, Utah State LB David Woodward
Utah State’s linebacker performed like an All-American in 2018 and lands near the top of our list of the Mountain West’s best this fall.
The biggest star on a defense full of them.
Advanced analytics have given fans a greater appreciation of college football but, in some cases, there are players who dominate by both the traditional measures and the new ones. In the Mountain West, no one stood out more in that regard than Utah State linebacker David Woodward, who comes in at #3 on our countdown of the conference’s top athletes.
Woodward had an extremely impactful year for a defense that allowed just five yards per play, leading the conference with 134 tackles while also collecting 12.5 tackles for loss, five sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. It was a dominant enough performance that Woodward was the only player from the Mountain West to make Pro Football Focus’s postseason All-American first team in 2018 (Boise State’s Ezra Cleveland was the only other player to even merit an honorable mention) and be mentioned in their preseason countdown of the nation’s 50 best players back for 2019.
It may be heady territory to suggest that another season like the one he just had would make him the next Bobby Wagner, but it’s also worth noting that Woodward is still just a junior, as well. If nothing else, he’s easily one of the biggest reasons why Utah State will remain in the mix for the conference crown this fall.