San Jose State, Wyoming, Hawaii and New Mexico had as many preseason All-Mountain West football honorees as Boise State on the team released Tuesday morning.
The Broncos honored were senior center Mason Hampton, junior defensive tackle David Moa and junior cornerback Tyler Horton. Junior quarterback Brett Rypien, the two-time defending postseason All-Mountain West selection, and senior wide receiver Cedrick Wilson (1,129 yards and 11 TDs) were left off.
Wyoming junior quarterback Josh Allen was selected the preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Wyoming junior safety Andrew Wingard was Defensive Player of the Year. Allen, potentially the No. 1 pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, had 3,203 passing yards last season (28 TDs to 15 INTs) and added 523 rushing yards and second more scores. Wingard had 131 tackles and two interceptions.
“He definitely deserves that, he’s a great player, and we both should have good years and I’m looking forward to that,” Rypien said of Allen. “... I’m not going to have to be worrying about him. I’ve going to be worrying about his friend Wingard.”
San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny was Special Teams Player of the Year in addition to being an all-conference pick on offense. Penny, who has five kickoff return touchdowns in his career, said despite being the No. 1 running back, he is open to continuing his special teams prowess.
“I plan to do it ... whatever the coaches want, I’m going to agree with it, I’m a team guy,” Penny said. “As of right now, I’m still on kickoff return, I’m not taking it off. I want to do it against everybody.”
San Diego State, which led the Mountain West in scoring defense, rushing defense and intercepted 11 more passes than any other team, did not have a preseason all-conference selection on that side of the ball.
“As surprised as some people are, I kind of wasn’t,” defensive back Kameron Kelly said. “Every year, we don’t get as much recognition as we feel we deserve. We just take it with a grain of salt, the chip on our shoulder gets a little bit bigger every year, it just makes us grind harder.”
Rypien took his snub in stride, and said Wilson will, too. Colorado State’s Michael Gallup, who had 1,272 yards last season, joined UNLV’s Devonte Boyd on the preseason all-conference team at wide receiver. Boyd played in 10 games last season, making 45 catches for 746 yards and four touchdowns.
“I was a little bit surprised, but Ced kind of has the same demeanor as I do, he doesn’t pay a whole lot of attention to that stuff,” Rypien said. “He keeps his head down, stays working and he lets his play do that talking.”
MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE
Quarterback: Josh Allen, Wyoming, Jr.
Running back: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State, Sr.; Tyrone Owens, New Mexico, Jr.
Wide receiver: Michael Gallup, Colorado State, Sr.; Devonte Boyd, UNLV, Sr.
Tight end: David Wells, San Diego State, Sr.
Offensive line: Jake Bennett, Colorado State, Sr.; Austin Corbett, Nevada, Sr.; Dejon Allen, Hawaii, Sr.; Aaron Jenkins, New Mexico, Jr.; Mason Hampton, Boise State, Sr.
Defensive line: David Moa, Boise State, Jr.; Malik Reed, Nevada, Jr.; Garrett Hughes, New Mexico, Sr.; Mike Hughes, UNLV, Sr.
Linebacker: Jahlani Tavai, Hawaii, Jr.; Logan Wilson, Wyoming, So.; Frank Ginda, San Jose State, Jr.
Defensive back: Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, Jr.; Andre Chachere, San Jose State, Sr.; Tyler Horton, Boise State, Jr.; Trayvon Henderson, Hawaii, Sr.
Punter: Michael Carrizosa, San Jose State, Sr.
Kicker: John Baron II, San Diego State, Jr.
Returner: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State, Sr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Josh Allen, Wyoming, Jr.
Defensive Player of the Year: Andrew Wingard, Wyoming, Jr.
Special Teams Player of the Year: Rashaad Penny, San Diego State, Sr.