COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West announced today its 2018 All-Conference football teams and individual award winners, as chosen by the 12 head coaches and a select media panel. Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien is being honored as the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, while Fresno State junior linebacker Jeff Allison has been named the MW Defensive Player of the Year. Wyoming junior placekicker Cooper Rothe is the MW Special Teams Player of the Year. Nevada running back Toa Taua has been selected as the MW Freshman of the Year and Matt Wells of Utah State is the MW Coach of the Year.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – BRETT RYPIEN, SENIOR, QB, BOISE STATE
- First Boise State player to earn MW Offensive Player of the Year honors since Kellen Moore in 2011.
- Becomes the 14th quarterback to win the award and first since Colorado State’s Garrett Grayson in 2014.
- Helped lead the Broncos to their second consecutive MW Football Championship Game and a 10-2 overall record (7-1 MW).
- Finished the regular season ranked top 10 nationally in passing touchdowns (8th; 29), passing yards (9th; 3,580) completion percentage (10th; 68.8%) and passing yards per game (10th; 298.3). Is the only MW signal-caller to rank in the Conference top 3 in every major passing category.
- Tied for the MW lead for 300-yard passing performances with seven.
- Named MW Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10.
- Orchestrated the Mountain West’s No. 2 passing attach, averaging 305.9 yards per game. The Broncos also rank second in total offense (468.7).
- Wuerffel Trophy Semifinalist, an award given annually to a player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement.
- Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award Top 10.
- Set Mountain West career records for total passing yards (13,456), completions (1,021) and 300-yard passing games (21).
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR – JEFF ALLISON, JUNIOR, LB, FRESNO STATE
- Is the second Fresno State player to earn the MW Defensive Player of the Year honor and first since Phillip Thomas in 2012.
- Helped lead the Bulldogs to their second consecutive MW Football Championship Game appearance and fourth overall.
- Finished the regular season ranked fourth in the Mountain West with 109 total tackles. This figure leads Fresno State.
- Ranks sixth in the Mountain West with 9.1 tackles per contest.
- Led a Fresno State defense that ranks second nationally, limiting opponents to just 13.5 points per game. The Bulldogs defensive unit also led the nation in red zone defense (59.1%), while leading the Mountain West in total defense (321.7) and turnover margin per game (+1.17).
- Recorded at least 10 tackles in five games this season, including a career-best 17 tackles at Nevada on Oct. 6.
- Also recorded 5.0 tackles for loss and two interceptions on the season.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR – COOPER ROTHE, JUNIOR, PLACEKICKER, WYOMING
- Becomes the first Wyoming player in MW history to garner Special Teams Player of the Year accolades.
- Is just the fourth place-kicker to earn the honor and the first since Air Force’s Will Conant in 2014.
- One of three national finalists for the 2018 Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation’s top collegiate placekicker.
- Held the nation’s longest streak of consecutive field goals made this season with 15 straight before his first miss of the season from 43 yards against San José State in the 10th game of the season.
- Leads the nation with a 94.1 field goal percentage (16-of-17) and ranks third in the MW (24 nationally) in field goals per game (1.33). Also, was a perfect 28-of-28 on point after attempts.
- Of the 16 field goals this season, five have come from 20-29 yards, six from 30-39 yards, four from 40-49 yards and one from 50+ yards.
- Made multiple field goals in five contests, including a 3-for-3 performance against nationally-ranked Utah State.
- Leads the Cowboys in scoring with 76 total points.
Freshman of the Year – TOA TAUA, Rb, NEVADA
- First Nevada player to earn an “of the year” honor since the Wolf Pack joined the league prior to the 2012 season.
- Becomes the eighth running back to be named Mountain West Freshman of the Year and first since San Diego State’s Ronnie Hillman in 2010.
- Led the Wolf Pack with 816 rushing yards and six touchdowns. The 816 rushing yards are 10th-most among freshmen running backs nationally.
- In the Mountain West, led all freshmen in total rushing yards (816) and rushing yards per game (68.0).
- Ranked fifth in the league in rushing yards per carry (5.23).
- Completed four passes for 93 yards on the season, including a 73-yard touchdown pass against Portland State on Aug. 31.
- Tied for fifth on the team with 20 receptions for 194 yards and a touchdown.
- Helped lead Nevada to a 7-5 regular-season record, its best record since 2014 (7-5).
Coach of the Year – MATT WELLS, UTAH state
- Selected as Mountain West Coach of the Year after leading Utah State to a 10-2 overall record, including 7-1 in Conference play.
- Led the Aggies to their first 10-win season since 2014 and a program record 10-game win streak.
- Guided one of the most prolific offenses in the nation, ranking top 20 nationally in scoring offense (3rd; 47.2), total offense (11th; 492.5) and passing offense (20th; 288.8).
- The Aggies were ranked as high as No. 21 in the College Football Playoff Rankings (Nov. 20) and No. 13 in the Associated Press Top 25 (Nov. 11).
- This is the second MW Coach of the Year honor for Wells (2013).
- Only two student-athletes were repeat MW First Team All-Conference selections from 2017 (Boise State DL Curtis Weaver and Wyoming defensive back Andrew Wingard).
- Wingard becomes the 16th player overall to be named to the all-conference first team in three consecutive seasons.
- Boise State has had at least one first team All-Conference offensive lineman in each of its eight seasons in the MW.
- Utah State head coach Matt Wells is the fifth coach to win MW Coach of the Year honors on multiple occasions.
- After winning the 2018 MW Freshman of the Year honor, Toa Taua (Nevada – Running Back) is the first major award winner from Nevada.
- KeeSean Johnson (Fresno State – Wide Receiver) and Tariq Thompson (San Diego State – Defensive Back) are repeat honorees on the second team.
- Saturday’s MW Championship Game between Fresno State and Boise State will feature 11 first-team selections and seven second-team honorees.
Offensive Player of the Year
Brett Rypien, Sr., QB, Boise State
Defensive Player of the Year
Jeff Allison, Jr., LB, Fresno State
Special Teams Player of the Year
Cooper Rothe, Jr., PK, Wyoming
Freshman of the Year
Toa Taua, RB, Nevada
Coach of the Year
Matt Wells, Utah State
2018 All-Mountain West Football First-Team
Pos. Player Cl. Team
QB Brett Rypien** Sr. Boise State
WR Preston Williams Jr. Colorado State
WR John Ursua Jr. Hawai‘i
RB Alexander Mattison Jr. Boise State
RB Nico Evans Sr. Wyoming
TE Josh Oliver Sr. San José State
OL Ezra Cleveland So. Boise State
OL John Molchon Jr. Boise State
OL Christian Cronk Sr. Fresno State
OL Keith Ismael So. San Diego State
OL Quin Ficklin Sr. Utah State
PK Cooper Rothe Jr. Wyoming
PR/KR Savon Scarver So. Utah State
Pos. Player Cl. Team
DL Jabril Frazier Sr. Boise State
DL Curtis Weaver* So. Boise State
DL Mykal Walker Jr. Fresno State
DL Korey Rush Sr. Nevada
LB Jeff Allison* Jr. Fresno State
LB Malik Reed* Sr. Nevada
LB Kyahva Tezino Jr. San Diego State
DB Tyler Horton* Sr. Boise State
DB Tank Kelly Sr. Fresno State
DB Dakari Monroe Sr. San José State
DB Andrew Wingard** Sr. Wyoming
P Ryan Stonehouse So. Colorado State
*Two-Time First-Team Selection | **Three-Time First-Team Selection
2018 All-Mountain West Football Second-Team
Pos. Player Cl. Team
QB Jordan Love So. Utah State
WR Sean Modster Sr. Boise State
WR KeeSean Johnson* Sr. Fresno State
RB Lexington Thomas Sr. UNLV
RB Darwin Thompson Jr. Utah State
TE Jared Rice Jr. Fresno State
OL Griffin Landrum Sr. Air Force
OL Micah St. Andrew Sr. Fresno State
OL Aaron Jenkins Sr. New Mexico
OL Ryan Pope Sr. San Diego State
OL Roman Andrus Sr. Utah State
PK John Baron II Sr. San Diego State
PR/KR Marcus Hayes Fr. New Mexico
Pos. Player Cl. Team
DL Jordan Jackson So. Air Force
DL Kaimana Padello Jr. Hawai‘i
DL Bryson Bridges Sr. San José State
DL Carl Granderson Sr. Wyoming
LB Josh Watson Sr. Colorado State
LB Tipa Galeai Jr. Utah State
LB David Woodward So. Utah State
DB Mike Bell Jr. Fresno State
DB Juju Hughes Jr. Fresno State
DB Tariq Thompson* So. San Diego State
DB Jontrell Rocquemore Sr. Utah State
P Blake Cusick Jr. Fresno State
*Two-Time Second-Team Selection
2018 Honorable Mention
Air Force: Jeremy Fejedelem, Jr., DB.
Boise State: Durrant Miles, Sr., DL; Kekoa Nawahine, Jr., DB; Avery Williams, So, RS/DB.
Colorado State: None
Fresno State: Jaron Bryant, Jr., DB; Jasad Haynes, Jr, DL; George Helmuth, Sr., LB; Marcus McMaryion, Sr., QB.
Hawai‘i: Zeno Choi, Sr., DL; Rojesterman Farris II, Jr.; DB; Cole McDonald, So., QB; Jahlani Tavai, Sr., LB;
Solo Vaipulu, Fr., OL.
Nevada: Dameon Baber, Sr., DB; Daniel Brown, Jr., DB; Quinton Conaway, Jr., P; Sean Krepsz, Sr., OL;
McLane Mannix, So., WR; Jake Nelson, Jr., OL Asauni Rufus, Sr., DB.
New Mexico: Aaron Blackwell, Jr., DL; Tyson Dyer, So., P; Marcus Hayes, Fr., DB.
San Diego State: Parker Baldwin, Sr., DB; Noble Hall, Sr., DL; Brandon Heicklen, Jr., P; Kahale Warring, Jr., TE;
Juwan Washington, Jr., RB.
San José State: Ethan Aguayo, Jr., LB; Thai Cottrell, Sr., RS; Bryce Crawford, Sr., P; Boogie Roberts, Sr., DL.
UNLV: Nathan Jacobson, Sr., OL; Roger Mann, Sr., DL; Justin Polu, Jr., OL.
Utah State: Adewale Adeoye, Sr., DL; Rob Castaneda, Sr., OL; Dominik Eberle, Jr., PK; Gaje Ferguson, Sr., DB;
Fua Leilua, Jr., DL; Dax Raymond, Jr., TE; Christopher Unga, Jr., DL; DJ Williams, Jr., DB. Ron’Quavion Tarver, Sr., WR
Sean Taylor, Sr., OL.
Wyoming: Tyler Hall, Jr., DB; Logan Wilson, Jr., LB.