Mountain West Football: Six Players Named To Rimington Trophy Watch List
A half-dozen centers from the Mountain West were named among the nation’s best at the position.
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The Mountain West football season is getting underway a little later than anyone might have anticipated, but watch list season appears to be in its last stretch with the release of the Rimington Trophy watch list. Given annually to the nation’s best center, there are six players from the conference in the initial running.
The list is headlined by Wyoming’s Keegan Cryder, the lone member of the six to be named to the conference media’s all-Mountain West team, as a second-team choice, last December. He earned freshman all-American honors back in 2018 and played over 800 snaps last fall for the Cowboys, claiming responsibility for just one penalty and one sack in that workload.
New Mexico’s Kyle Stapley, meanwhile, is the only member back on the Rimington watchlist from the 2019 iteration. Like Cryder, Stapley played over 800 snaps in his junior campaign and spearheaded a revival of the Lobos’ running game, which finished slightly above the national average by Line Yards Per Carry, Power Success Rate, and Stuff Rate.
Hawaii’s Taaga Tuulima emerged as his team’s choice for offensive MVP after a season in which he was the only FBS player to record over 700 pass-blocking snaps and zero sacks. San Jose State’s Kyle Hoppe started all 12 games for the surprising Spartans in 2019 and was instrumental in Josh Love absorbing a sack rate of just 2.8%, the second-best figure in the country last fall.
Colorado State’s Cam Reddy is the lone newcomer among the bunch, having transferred to Fort Collins from Boston College back in January. Lastly, Fresno State’s Matt Smith had perhaps an underappreciated impact on the Bulldogs offense during his time in the starting lineup: In the eight games he started before missing the rest of the season with an injury, the team averaged 6.31 yards per play. Without Smith, that figure fell to 5.45 YPP.
Last year’s Rimington Trophy winner was Wisconsin’s Tyler Biadasz.