Mountain West Football: Post-Spring Practice Overall Rankings

Mountain West Football: Post-Spring Practice Overall Rankings

Air Force

Mountain West Football: Post-Spring Practice Overall Rankings

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6. Utah State

Sep 18, 2021; Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA; Utah State Aggies running back Calvin Tyler Jr. (4) runs the ball as Air Force Falcons nose tackle Kalawai’a Pescaia (98) defends in the first quarter at Falcon Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Position depth ranking: QB: 1 | RB: 9 | WR/TE: 6 | OL: 4 | DL: 6 | LB: 10 | CB/S: 11 | K/P: 2

What the ranking means: After last year? Probably nothing! The Aggies likely would’ve ranked right around here had we done this exercise last summer, then went out and proved why the only thing that matters is what happens on the field.

Why the ranking could be deceptive: As mentioned above, at this time last year, the defending Mountain West champions looked like a solid bet on paper to rebound, though maybe not as much as they did in reality. It isn’t inconceivable that this coaching staff could do it again despite the personnel turnover, especially on defense.

The biggest question heading into fall: The defense peaked at the right time last year, but with key players to replace at every level (Nick Heninger, Justin Rice, Shaq Bond, and more), who will step up to make the same kind of key plays that fueled the team’s championship run?

A reason for optimism: Even if the offense has a little bit of drop-off from last year, Connor Coles and Stephen Kotsanlee should give them a potentially crucial edge on special teams.

A name worth remembering: Anthony Switzer, LB

5. Wyoming

Sep 25, 2021; East Hartford, Connecticut, USA; Wyoming Cowboys running back Titus Swen (8) after scoring against the Connecticut Huskies during the second half at Rentschler Field at Pratt & Whitney Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Position depth ranking: QB: 9 | RB: 3 | WR/TE: 11 | OL: 6 | DL: 4 | LB: 7 | CB/S: 7 | K/P: 1

What the ranking means: The transfer portal defections were overblown. Maybe the annual results haven’t always been there, but this coaching staff knows what it’s doing.

Why the ranking could be deceptive: The defense could outperform its standing on paper. Most of the established talent is up front in players like Jordan Bertagnole and Cole Godbout, but the Pokes have multiple good options to slot in alongside Easton Gibbs at linebacker and the revamped secondary looked pretty good in live scrimmages this spring.

The biggest question heading into fall: Andrew Peasley earned a headstart in the competition to be QB1 this spring, but can he put the job away for good come fall?

A reason for optimism: Wyoming may not be inclined to change their offensive game plan too much, which makes for a useful reminder that Titus Swen actually outperformed Xazavian Valladay on a per-carry basis last season (5.95 YPC vs. 5.14).

A name worth remembering: Jakorey Hawkins, CB

4. Fresno State

Aug 28, 2021; Fresno, California, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs kicker Abraham Montano (48) interacts with fans before the start of the game against the Connecticut Huskies at Bulldog Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Position depth ranking: QB: 2 | RB: 7 | WR/TE: 1 | OL: 5 | DL: 5 | LB: 3 | CB/S: 3 | K/P: 10

What the ranking means: No one should be shocked that the Bulldogs are flush with offensive talent, but it might have been easy to overlook that the defense is in pretty good shape, too, despite some key departures.

Why the ranking could be deceptive: If you’re bullish on the ‘Dogs, then you probably believe the running backs, linebackers, and defensive backs are ranked too low.

The biggest question heading into fall: How will the Bulldogs pass rush remain potent with both Arron Mosby and Kevin Atkins now in the NFL?

A reason for optimism: Fresno State didn’t hit the transfer portal as hard as some of its Mountain West peers, but landing Cameron Lockridge from division rival Hawaii looks like a steal for a defense that needed to find someone to pair with Cale Sanders Jr.

A name worth remembering: Matt Lawson, DT

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