If championships are won in the trenches, the Boise State football team enters 2019 on solid ground.
Defensive lineman Curtis Weaver was named the Mountain West preseason Defensive Player of the Year on Tuesday in conjunction with the annual media days event.
Three of the Broncos’ other four first-team all-conference picks also are linemen: offensive tackle Ezra Cleveland, offensive guard John Molchon and defensive tackle David Moa. The other pick was wide receiver John Hightower.
Weaver and Cleveland are juniors who will draw intense attention as potential early entrants in the NFL Draft. Both were All-Mountain West first-teamers last year.
Weaver finished second in the conference with 9.5 sacks and third with 15 tackles for loss last season. He’s tied for sixth in school history with 20.5 career sacks in just two seasons. He is the first Bronco to receive the Mountain West’s preseason honor on defense.
“The dude deserves it,” senior safety Kekoa Nawahine said. “He works hard and he’s a beast.”
Molchon also was a first-team selection last season.
Moa and Hightower are interesting picks because neither was a factor at the end of last season. Moa redshirted with an injury and will be a sixth-year senior this fall but was an All-Mountain West first-teamer in 2016 and second-teamer in 2017. Hightower was electric in many of his 10 games but was hobbled by injuries late in the season and left home from the bowl trip because of academics. He had 31 catches for 504 yards and six touchdowns, and eight carries for 163 yards and two touchdowns, but nearly all of that production occurred before Halloween.
2019 MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
QB Jordan Love** Jr. Utah State
WR John Hightower Sr. Boise State
WR Cedric Byrd II Sr. Hawaii
RB Juwan Washington Sr. San Diego State
RB Toa Taua So. Nevada
OL Ezra Cleveland* Jr. Boise State
OL John Molchon* Sr. Boise State
OL Jake Nelson Sr. Nevada
OL Keith Ismael* Jr. San Diego State
OL Justin Polu Sr. UNLV
TE Jared Rice** Sr. Fresno State
DL Jordan Jackson** Jr. Air Force
DL David Moa Sr. Boise State
DL Curtis Weaver* Jr. Boise State
DL Tipa Galeai** Sr. Utah State
LB Mykal Walker* Sr. Fresno State
LB Kyahva Tezino* Sr. San Diego State
LB David Woodward ** Jr. Utah State
DB Jeremy Fejedelem Sr. Air Force
DB Juju Hughes** Sr. Fresno State
DB Tariq Thompson** Jr. San Diego State
DB DJ Williams So. Utah State
P Ryan Stonehouse* Jr. Colorado State
PK Cooper Rothe* Sr. Wyoming
KR/PR Savon Scarver* Jr. Utah State
Offensive Player of the Year: Jordan Love, Jr., QB, Utah State
Defensive Player of the Year: Curtis Weaver, Jr., DL, Boise State
Special Teams Player of the Year: Cooper Rothe, Sr., PK, Wyoming
* - member of the 2018 All-Mountain West first team
** - member of the 2018 All-Mountain West second team