San Jose State Football: Viliami Fehoko Is MWwire's 2022 Defensive Player Of The Year

San Jose State Football: Viliami Fehoko Is MWwire's 2022 Defensive Player Of The Year

Mountain West Football

San Jose State Football: Viliami Fehoko Is MWwire's 2022 Defensive Player Of The Year

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San Jose State Football: Viliami Fehoko is MWwire’s 2022 Defensive Player of the Year


The Spartans defensive end outpaced his star peer on the other end of the line to earn our staff’s vote as Mountain West football’s top defender.


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A nightmare for quarterbacks.

Mountain West Wire’s 2022 postseason honors:

All-Conference Teams | Offensive Player of the Year | Defensive Player of the Year | Special Teams Player of the YearFreshman of the Year | Newcomer of the Year | Breakout Player of the Year | Coach of the Year | Coordinator of the Year

It doesn’t happen very often that a defense has one player claim a preseason player of the year nod while another ends the season as the postseason choice, but that’s just how good San Jose State’s Viliami Fehoko was in 2022. That’s why he is our selection as Mountain West football’s best defensive standout from this fall.

Fehoko hasn’t exactly flown under the radar for a while now, as he came into the year with back-to-back seasons of double-digit tackles for loss, but it certainly looked like it when his peer on the Spartans defensive line, Cade Hall, earned the conference media’s PotY honor this past summer. All he did after that was go out and dominate once more, posting 65 total tackles to go along with a conference-high 17.5 TFLs, nine sacks, and two forced fumbles.

If that wasn’t enough, Fehoko also ended the regular season as the ranked third among FBS edge defenders with a Pro Football Focus grade of 90.6. One way or another, there’s no question now he’ll go down as one of the program’s all-time greats.

Notable runners-up:

David Perales, DE, Fresno State (29 points)

Perhaps no one in the conference did more for his team’s pass rush in 2022 than Perales did for the Bulldogs. He collected a Mountain West-best 10.5 sacks and finished third in the conference with 15 tackles for loss while also forcing two fumbles.

Austin Ajiake, LB, UNLV (27 points)

The Rebels’ do-it-all linebacker had another outstanding season this fall, leading the Mountain West with 133 total tackles while doing a little bit of everything else, too: 11 tackles for loss, four sacks, two interceptions, and one recovered fumble.

Also received votes: 14 points — Bentlee Sanders, S, Nevada | 11 points — Mohamed Kamara, DE, Colorado State | 7 points — Michael Shawcroft, LB, San Diego State | 6 points — Cade Hall, DE, San Jose State; Dom Peterson, DT, Nevada; Adam Plant Jr., DE, UNLV | 4 points — Jerrick Reed II, S, New Mexico; Jonah Tavai, DE, San Diego State | 3 points — Camby Goff, S, Air Force; DeVonne Harris, DE, Wyoming; Ezekiel Noa, LB, Boise State

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