2021 All-Mountain West Football Awards

2021 All-Mountain West Football Awards

Air Force

2021 All-Mountain West Football Awards

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2021 All-Mountain West Football Awards


Media and coaches voted on awards


Contact/Follow @JeremyMauss & @MWCwire

Award season is here

The Mountain West coaches and select media (hint: not use) voted for football awards this year and there were choices that were mad and that is a nice way to put it.

The offensive player of the year went to quarterback Carson Strong out of Nevada and he did have an amazing year. Yet, it is showing more and more that this award goes to a quarterback more often than not. This was the 17th time in league history the most outstanding offensive player went to a quarterback since the league was starting playing football in 1999.

The award likely should have gone to Utah State wide receiver Deven Thompkins who by far and away was the most productive pass catcher in the league. He led the league in total yards (1,543) and yards per game (128.6). He also had the best yards per catch average among receivers with 50 or more catches. His yards per game and the season also led the nation. Thompkins also had nine touchdowns which was the third most.

Perhaps even Colorado State tight end Trey McBride could have been named the best offensive player if his touchdowns were more than two. He led the league in receptions with 90 and receptions per game, plus he was second in receiving yards with 1,121.

If this was a year to go to a non-quarterback this seemed like a good time to do so. It is just lazy to assume the best quarterback is the best player no matter what.

There is no doubt that Strong had a great year. His 70.0% competition percentage was the highest since Boise State’s Grant Hedrick completed 70.8% in 2014. The 36 touchdowns tied Cole McCondald of Hawaii from 2016.

Again, great numbers but winning the award as a receiver is very tough. Former Ram wideout Rashard Higgins couldn’t even get the award and his year is arguably the best ever in Mountain West history with 1,750 yards and 17 touchdowns back in 2014. That year it went to his quarterback Garret Grayson.

The only wide receiver to win the awards wasn’t even technically a wide receiver. It was Air Force’s Chad Hall in 2007 who did have 50 catches for 524 yards and a score, but it was his rushing abilities with 1,478 yards and 15 touchdowns as to why he won the award.

Strong is also the fifth player to win the award in back-to-back years.

  • Bradlee Van Pelt, QB, Colorado State (2002-03)
  • Andy Dalton, QB, TCU (2009-10)
  • Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State (2012-13)
  • Donnel Pumphrey, RB, SDSU (2015-16)

Then there is the coach of the year that went to Brady Hoke of San Diego State. There is zero doubt that Hoke had an amazing year leading the Aztecs to a conference championship game with an 11-1 record and a top 20 ranking.

That is usually worthy enough for a coach of the year by having a team perform so well. The Aztecs did overachieve compared to preseason results.

However, Utah State’s Blake Anderson crushed any and all expectations. The Aggies were projected to finish fifth in the Mountain Division and the team literally quit last year and didn’t play its final game against Colorado State while finishing with a single win. To turn that around to go 9-3 seems like the better coaching job.

That is what makes coach of the year such a hard thing to vote on. Do you go with a good team being really good or team that was projected to be bad but ends up being good? Both are great jobs in coaching but they are different and well a team that is really bad and turns it around seems like a better coaching job.

Offensive Player of the Year Carson Strong, Jr., QB, Nevada
Defensive Player of the Year Cameron Thomas, Jr., DL, San Diego State
Special Teams Player of the Year – Matt Araiza, Jr., P/PK, San Diego State
Freshman of the Year Cameron Friel, QB, UNLV
Coach of the Year Brady Hoke, San Diego State

2021 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM
OFFENSE

QB – Carson Strong, Jr., Nevada
WR – Khalil Shakir, Sr., Boise State
WR – Romeo Doubs, Sr., Nevada
WR – Deven Thompkins, Sr., Utah State
RB – Brad Roberts, Jr., Air Force
RB – Charles Williams, Sr., UNLV
TE – Trey McBride, Sr., Colorado State
OL – Hawk Wimmer, Sr., Air Force
OL – John Ojukwu, Sr., Boise State
OL – Alex Akingbulu, Sr., Fresno State
OL – William Dunkle, Jr., San Diego State
OL – Zachary Thomas, Sr., San Diego State
PK – Jonah Dalmas, So., Boise State
KR – Jordan Byrd, Sr., San Diego State

DEFENSE
DL – Scott Patchan, Sr., Colorado State
DL – Tristan Nichols, Sr., Nevada
DL – Cameron Thomas, Jr., San Diego State
DL – Viliami Fehoko, Jr., San José State
LB – Darius Muasau, Jr., Hawai‘i
LB – Caden McDonald, Sr., San Diego State
LB – Kyle Harmon, Sr., San José State
LB – Chad Muma, Sr., Wyoming
DB – Evan Williams, Jr., Fresno State
DB – Khoury Bethley, Sr., Hawai‘i
DB – Patrick McMorris, Jr., San Diego State
DB – Trenton Thompson, Sr., San Diego State
P – Matt Araiza, Jr., San Diego State
PR – Romeo Doubs, Sr., Nevada

2021 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM
OFFENSE

QB – Jake Haener, Sr., Fresno State
WR – Jalen Cropper, Jr., Fresno State
WR – Calvin Turner, Sr., Hawai‘i
WR – Isaiah Neyor, So., Wyoming
RB – Greg Bell, Sr., San Diego State
RB – Xazavian Valladay, Sr., Wyoming
TE – Cole Turner, Sr., Nevada
OL – Ben Dooley, So., Boise State
OL – Jake Stetz, Sr., Boise State
OL – Aaron Frost, Sr., Nevada
OL – Jack Snyder, Sr., San José State
OL – Keegan Cryder, Sr., Wyoming
PK – Matt Araiza, Jr., San Diego State
KR – Savon Scarver, Sr., Utah State

DEFENSE
DL – Jordan Jackson, Sr., Air Force
DL – Scott Matlock, Jr., Boise State
DL – David Perales, Sr., Fresno State
DL – Keshawn Banks, Sr., San Diego State
LB – Vince Sanford, Jr., Air Force
LB – Daiyan Henley, Sr., Nevada
LB – Jacoby Windmon, Jr., UNLV
LB – Justin Rice, Sr., Utah State
DB – JL Skinner, Jr., Boise State
DB – Cortez Davis, Sr., Hawai‘i
DB – Tayler Hawkins, Sr., San Diego State
DB – C.J. Coldon, Jr., Wyoming
P – Ryan Stonehouse, Sr., Colorado State
PR – Stefan Cobbs, Jr., Boise State

2021 HONORABLE MENTION
Air Force: Tre Bugg III, DB; Brandon Lewis, WR; Corvan Taylor, DB.
Boise State: Octavius Evans, WR; Tyreque Jones, DB; Kekaula Kaniho, DB; Ezekiel Noa, LB; Riley Whimpey, LB.
Colorado State: Cayden Camper, PK; Cam’Ron Carter, LB; Dequan Jackson, LB; Cam Reddy, OL; Barry Wesley, OL.
Fresno State: Kevin Atkins, DL; Levelle Bailey, LB; Josh Kelly, WR; Arron Mosby, DL; Ronnie Rivers, RB.
Hawai‘i: Jonah Laulu, DL; Kohl Levao, OL; Ilm Manning, OL; Nick Mardner, WR; Micah Vanterpool, OL.
Nevada: Jamaal Bell, KR; Gray Davis, OL; Jacob Gardner, OL; Lawson Hall, LB; Sam Hammond, DL; Jermaine Ledbetter, OL; Jordan Lee, DB; Tyler Orsini, OL; Dom Peterson, DL.
New Mexico: Tavian Combs, DB; Joey Noble, DL; Jerrick Reed, DB; Kyle Stapley, OL; Luke Wysong, PR.
San Diego State: Alama Uluave, OL; Michael Shawcroft, LB; Jonah Tavai, DL.
San José State: Derrick Deese Jr., TE; Cade Hall, DL; Will Hart, P; Tre Jenkins, DB; Jay Lenard, DB; Alii Matau, LB; Tyler Nevens, RB; Nehemiah Shelton, DB; Tyler Stevens, OL.
UNLV: Austin Ajiake, LB; Daniel Gutierrez, PK.
Utah State: Shaq Bond, DB; Alfred Edwards, OL; Nick Heninger, DL; Jordan Nathan, PR; Quazzel White, OL; Derek Wright, WR.
Wyoming: Garrett Crall, DL; Cole Godbout, DL; Logan Harris, OL.


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