Two Utah State football players named to Preseason All-Mountain West Team

Utah State place kicker Dominik Eberle (62) in the second half during the Arizona Bowl NCAA college football game against New Mexico State, Friday, Dec. 29, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. New Mexico State defeated Utah State 26-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

LAS VEGAS, Nev. — Utah State football had two players named to the 2018 Preseason All-Mountain West team, it was announced Tuesday at the league’s annual Media Summit held at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

 

Junior placekicker Dominik Eberle and junior tight end Dax Raymond were the two Aggies recognized.

 

The preseason all-conference team, as selected by members of the media, features 17 student-athletes who were all-Mountain West selections in 2017, including eight first-team honorees. The 25-member squad is comprised of 11 seniors, six juniors and eight sophomores.

 

Eberle, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder from Nuremberg, Germany (Redondo Union (Calif.) HS), earned third-team All-America honors from Phil Steele’s Magazine and honorable mention All-America honors from SB Nation last season as he served as the team’s placekicker in all 13 games as a sophomore. He was also named a finalist for the Lou Groza Award, which is given annually to the top placekicker in college football, and garnered first-team all-MW honors as he finished the season scoring a team-best 101 points as he was a perfect 47-of-47 on extra points and 18-of-24 (.750) on field goals.

 

During the 2017 season, he set a single-game school record for points scored by a kicker with 19 at San José State as he was 4-for-4 (23, 52, 20, 27) on field goals and 7-for-7 on extra points. Those 19 points scored are the second-most by a kicker in MW history and the most by a non-senior. Additionally, he kicked off 73 times for 4,405 yards (60.3 ypk) with 38 touchbacks during the year.

 

Eberle is also a preseason second-team All-American and first-team All-Mountain West selection by Athlon Sports.

 

Raymond, a 6-5, 245-pounder from Provo, Utah (Timpview HS), earned third-team all-MW honors from Phil Steele’s Magazine and honorable mention all-MW honors from the league’s coaches last year after starting 12 games at tight end and catching 41 passes for 456 yards and one touchdown. He finished the 2017 season ranked second among all tight ends in the conference in both receptions and receiving yards, and second on the team in both categories, as well. Of his 41 receptions, 28 resulted in a first down, with seven of those catches being on third down. He also finished the season catching at least one pass in all 12 games he played in, including multiple receptions in 10 contests and had a streak of five or more receptions in four-straight games. He also led the Aggies in receptions five times during the year, including a career-high six catches against Colorado State.

 

Raymond is also a preseason first-team selection by Athlon Sports, along with being named to the John Mackay Award Watch List.

 

Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien was named Preseason MW Offensive Player of the Year, while Wyoming senior safety Andrew Wingard was named Preseason MW Defensive Player of the Year and New Mexico sophomore return man Avery Williams was selected as Preseason MW Special Teams Player of the Year.

 

Utah State, which returns 18 starters (O-9, D-9) and 48 letterwinners (O-19, D-27, S-2) from last year’s NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl team, will open the 2018 season on Friday, Aug. 31, at Michigan State and begins its home season the following weekend against New Mexico State on Saturday, Sept. 8. Mountain West play begins for USU two weekends later as it hosts Air Force on Saturday, Sept. 22.

 

For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.

 

Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.

 

2018 Mountain West Football Preseason All-Conference Team

Offense

QB       Brett Rypien, Sr., Boise State

WR      KeeSean Johnson, Sr., Fresno State

WR      McLane Mannix, So., Nevada

RB       Alexander Mattison, Jr., Boise State

RB       Lexington Thomas, Sr., UNLV

OL       Ezra Cleveland, So., Boise State

OL       John Molchon, Jr., Boise State

OL       Aron Jenkins, Sr., New Mexico

OL       Keith Ismael, So., San Diego State

OL       Tyler Roemer, So., San Diego State

TE        Dax Raymond, Jr., Utah State

 

Defense

DL       David Moa, Sr., Boise State

DL       Curtis Weaver, So., Boise State

DL       Youhanna  Ghaifan, Jr., Wyoming

DL       Carl Granderson, Sr., Wyoming

LB       Jeffrey Allison, Jr., Fresno State

LB       Jahlani Tavai, Sr., Hawaii

LB       Malik Reed, Sr., Nevada

DB       Tyler Horton, Sr., Boise State

DB       Tariq Thompson, So., San Diego State

DB       Dameon Barber, Sr., Nevada

DB       Andrew Wingard, Sr., Wyoming

 

Specialists

P          Ryan Stonehouse, So., Colorado State

PK       Dominik Eberle, Jr., Utah State

Ret.      Avery Williams, So., Boise State

 

Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Brett Rypien, Sr., QB, Boise State

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Andrew Wingard, Sr., DB, Wyoming

Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Avery Williams, So., KR/PR, Boise State

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