Mountain West Football Media Reveals 2022 Preseason Players of the Year
The conference media makes its picks for offensive, defensive, and special teams players of the year.
Little controversy here.
After previously revealing their preseason predictions for Mountain West football’s division winners and all-conference team, the Mountain West media also announced its choices for the preseason players of the year.
Fresno State quarterback Jake Haener, San Jose State defensive end Cade Hall, San Diego State safety Patrick McMorris and San Diego State return specialist Jordan Byrd were named as offensive, co-defensive, and special teams players of the year, respectively.
Haener helped spur a resurgence at Fresno State last year by completing 67.1% of his 490 pass attempts for 4,096 yards (second-most in the Mountain West and ninth among all FBS quarterbacks) and 33 touchdowns with an interception rate of 1.8%. According to Pro Football Focus, he put up a passing grade of 80.2, as well, the fourth-best figure in the conference.
Hall’s selection may be construed as something of a surprise, but it marks the second straight year that the media voters have tabbed the Spartans defender for this individual honor. Though he didn’t quite hit the same heights last year that he did in 2020, he was nonetheless a disruptive and productive player, finishing the season with 40 tackles, four sacks, six tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles.
McMorris, meanwhile, is perhaps less a controversial selection after a breakout campaign last fall. He had 90 total tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, four interceptions, and nine passes defended, cementing himself as the best overall player in one of the conference’s best overall units.
Byrd, meanwhile, finally gets his moment in the sun after playing like one of the conference’s most reliable specialists for the past few years. In his career, he’s averaged 25 yards per kick return but bettered that in 2021, going for 27.3 yards per return on 22 kicks and scoring a touchdown for the second year in a row.
— Mountain West (@MountainWest) July 21, 2022