Mountain West announces 2015 football All-Conference teams and individual honors

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The Mountain West announced its 2015 All-Conference football teams and individual award winners today as selected by the 12 head coaches and select media panel. San Diego State junior running back Donnel Pumphrey was chosen as the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, while Aztecs’ junior defensive back Demontae Kazee was named MW Defensive Player of the Year. San Diego State sophomore return specialist Rashaad Penny earned the MW Special Teams Player of the Year award, while Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien was honored as the MW Freshman of the Year. Rocky Long of San Diego State was selected as the MW Coach of the Year.

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>Offensive Player of the Year – Donnel Pumphrey, Junior, RB, San Diego State</strong></span>

<ul><li>First San Diego State player to earn the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year award.</li><li>Just the fifth running back overall, and first since 2007 (Chad Hall, Air Force) to be named MW Offensive Player of the Year.</li><li>Led the Aztecs to a perfect 8-0 mark in league play and the West Division title.</li><li>Surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the second consecutive season.</li><li>Finished the regular season ranked second in the Mountain West in rushing touchdowns (16) and all-purpose yards (1,797), third in total rushing yards (1,464) and rushing yards per game (122.0).</li><li>Ranks 11th nationally in rushing yards, 12th in all-purpose yards per game (149.75) and 13th in rushing touchdowns.</li><li>Is the only player in the MW, and one of four in FBS, to lead his team in rushing yards and receptions.</li><li>Has registered nine, 100-yard rushing games in 2015, including in a MW record eight consecutive contests.</li><li>Recorded a rushing touchdown in 10-of-12 regular-season games.</li><li>Posted a season-high 181 yards on the ground versus Utah State on Oct. 23.</li><li>Scored a season-best three touchdowns at Hawai‘i on Oct. 10.</li><li>Was named MW Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 12 and Nov. 2.</li></ul>

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>Defensive Player of the Year – Demontae Kazee, Junior, DB, San Diego State</strong></span>

<ul><li>Second San Diego State player, and third Aztec overall (LB Kirk Morrison won in 2003 and 2004) to earn MW Defensive Player of the Year accolades.</li><li>Sixth defensive back overall to earn the award, and just the second in the last nine seasons.</li><li>Led the Conference with seven interceptions.</li><li>Sits second in the MW and fifth nationally in interceptions per game (0.6).</li><li>Ranks third in the league with 1.17 passes defended per game.</li><li>Finished the regular season with 66 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.</li><li>Had three interceptions in the season opener against San Diego on Sept. 5, the second most in a game in SDSU history and the most in FBS this year.</li><li>Had a career-high 11 tackles (10 solo) versus South Alabama on Sept. 19.</li><li>Made seven tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown at Colorado State on Oct. 31.</li><li>Named MW Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 2.</li></ul>

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>Special Teams Player of the Year – Rashaad Penny, Sophomore, Return Specialist, San Diego State</strong></span>

<ul><li>First San Diego State student-athlete to be named Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year.</li><li>Sixth return specialist in the last seven years to win the honor.</li><li>Led the Conference in kickoff returns for touchdowns with two and kickoff return yards per game with 32.5.</li><li>Is just the seventh player in league history to record multiple kickoff-return touchdowns in a single season.</li><li>Finished the regular season second in the nation in kickoff return yards per game and fifth in kickoff return touchdowns.</li><li>In the first game of the season on Sept. 5 against San Diego, he took the opening kickoff of the second half against 97 yards for his first career touchdown.</li><li>Returned two kicks for 137 yards (68.5 avg.), including a 100-yard touchdown (fourth 100-yard KR score in SDSU history) at Penn State on Sept. 26.</li><li>Named MW Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 28.</li></ul>

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>Freshman of the Year – Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State</strong></span>

<ul><li>Fourth quarterback overall, and first since 2011, to garner MW Freshman of the Year honors.</li><li>First Bronco to collect MW Freshman of the Year accolades.</li><li>The first freshman quarterback in league history to be named first team All-Conference.</li><li>Topped the Conference in six offensive categories, including passing yards (2,973), passing yards per game (297.3), pass attempts (389), pass completions (243), total offense (2,913) and total offensive plays 428.</li><li>Concluded the regular season third in the league passing touchdowns (17) and completion percentage (62.5).</li><li>Ranked ninth in FBS in completions per game (21.4) and 16th in passing yards per game (297.6).</li><li>Owns two of the nation’s top-20 single-game passing totals in 2015: 506 yards vs. New Mexico on Nov. 14 (sixth-best FBS total this season) and 469 yards at UNLV on Oct. 31 (18th-highest FBS total this season).</li><li>Holds the MW single-season freshman record for passing yards with 2,973.</li><li>Set the Mountain West single-game record for pass attempts with 75 versus New Mexico on Nov. 14.</li><li>Registered MW single-game records by a freshman with 40 completions and 503 passing yards against the Lobos on Nov. 14.</li><li>Topped the League with four, 300-plus passing contests.</li><li>Threw for three touchdowns in three different games.</li></ul>

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>Coach of the Year – Rocky Long, San Diego State</strong></span>

<ul><li>Selected as MW Coach of the Year after leading San Diego State to a 9-3 overall record and a perfect 8-0 mark in Conference play. The 2015 season marks Long’s fifth season as the head coach at SDSU.</li><li>Becomes the first head coach in Conference history to earn the accolade three times after also receiving the honor in 2012 at SDSU and 2002 as the head coach at New Mexico.</li><li>Is the second Aztec coach to earn MW Coach of the Year accolades. Brady Hoke garnered the award in 2010.</li><li>Led SDSU to its first-ever perfect record at the Division I level in Conference play at 8-0.</li><li>San Diego State’s eight league wins are the most since TCU went 8-0 in 2010.</li><li>The Aztecs’ nine overall wins are the most for the program since the 2012 campaign.</li></ul>

<em><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Notables</span></em>

Five student-athletes were repeat MW first-team All-Conference selections from 2014. Wide receiver Rashard Higgins of Colorado State, Aztecs’ running back Donnel Pumphrey, Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil and defensive backs Weston Steelhammer and Darian Thompson of Air Force and Boise State, respectively.

Boise State’s Brett Rypien is the first freshman quarterback in league history to be named first team All-Conference.

The Broncos have had at least one first team All-Conference offensive lineman in each of their five season in the MW.

Rees Odhiambo (Air Force – Offensive Lineman), Alex Hansen (Air Force – Defensive Lineman), Ian Seau (Nevada – Defensive Lineman) and Damontae Kazee (San Diego State – Defensive Back) each garnered first team All-Conference honors after being named to the second team in 2014.

Kyler Fackrell and Nick Vigil of Utah State are the second linebacker tandem in as many years to be named to the first team for the Aggies.

Eddie Yarbrough of Wyoming earned second team All-Conference accolades as a defensive lineman after garnering first team honors in 2013 and 2014.

Devonte Boyd (UNLV – Wide Receiver), Donte Deayon (Boise State – Defensive Back) and J.J. Whittaker (San Diego State – Defensive Back) are each repeat honorees on the second team.

Second team selections Carlos Wiggins (New Mexico – KR/PR) and Ejiro Ederaine (Fresno State – LB) were both second team honorees in 2013.

Of the 50 MW first- and second-team selections, 21 were seniors, 19 were juniors, seven were sophomores and three were freshmen.

Brett Rypien (Boise State – Quarterback), Dameon Baber (Nevada – Defensive Back) and Andrew Wingard (Wyoming – Defensive Back) are the first trio of freshmen to earn All-Conference honors since 2010.

Five of the six “skill-position” players on the second team are sophomores – Nick Stevens (Colorado State – Quarterback), Devonte Boyd (UNLV – Wide Receiver), Jeremy McNichols (Boise State – Running Back), Brian Hill (Wyoming – Running Back) and Jake Roh (Boise State – Tight End).

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Offensive Player of the Year</span>

Donnel Pumphrey, Jr., RB, San Diego State

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Defensive Player of the Year</span>

Demontae Kazee, DB, San Diego State

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Special Teams Player of the Year</span>

Rashaad Penny, So., KR/PR, San Diego State

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Freshman of the Year</span>

Brett Rypien, Fr., QB, Boise State

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Coach of the Year</span>

Rocky Long, San Diego State

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>2015 All-Mountain West Football First-Team</strong></span>

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>OFFENSE</span>

Pos. Player Cl. Team

QB Brett Rypien Fr. Boise State

WR Thomas Sperbeck Jr. Boise State

WR Rashard Higgins* Jr. Colorado State

RB Donnel Pumphrey* Jr. San Diego State

RB Tyler Ervin Sr. San José State

TE Billy Freeman Jr. San José State

OL Sevrin Remmo Sr. Air Force

OL Marcus Henry Sr. Boise State

OL Rees Odhiambo Sr. Boise State

OL Nico Siragusa Jr. San Diego State

OL Pearce Slater Sr. San Diego State

PK Tyler Rausa Jr. Boise State

PR/KR Rashaad Penny So. San Diego State

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>DEFENSE</span>

Pos. Player Cl. Team

DL Alex Hansen Sr. Air Force

DL Kennedy Tulimasealii Jr. Hawai‘i

DL Ian Seau Sr. Nevada

DL Alex Barrett Jr. San Diego State

LB Calvin Munson Jr. San Diego State

LB Kyler Fackrell Sr. Utah State

LB Nick Vigil* Jr. Utah State

DB Roland Ladipo Jr. Air Force

DB Weston Steelhammer* Jr. Air Force

DB Darian Thompson* Sr. Boise State

DB Damontae Kazee Jr. San Diego State

P Michael Carrizosa So. San José State

*–Two-Time First-Team Selection

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>2015 All-Mountain West Football Second-Team</strong></span>

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>OFFENSE</span>

Pos. Player Cl. Team

QB Nick Stevens So. Colorado State

WR Devonte Boyd* So. UNLV

WR Hunter Sharp Sr. Utah State

RB Jeremy McNichols So. Boise State

RB Brian Hill So. Wyoming

TE Jake Roh So. Boise State

OL A.J. Ruechel Sr. Air Force

OL Fred Zerblis Jr. Colorado State

OL Alex Fifita Sr. Fresno State

OL Wes Schweitzer Sr. San José State

OL Chase Roullier Jr. Wyoming

PK Brent Zuzo Jr. Nevada

PR/KR Carlos Wiggins Sr. New Mexico

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>DEFENSE</span>

Pos. Player Cl. Team

DL Kamalei Correa Jr. Boise State

DL Cory James Sr. Colorado State

DL Lenny Jones Sr. Nevada

DL Eddie Yarbrough Sr. Wyoming

LB Ejiro Ederaine* Sr. Fresno State

LB Jake Fely* Sr. San Diego State

LB Christian Tago Jr. San José State

DB Donte Deayon** Sr. Boise State

DB Dameon Baber Fr. Nevada

DB J.J. Whittaker* Sr. San Diego State

DB Andrew Wingard Fr. Wyoming

P Hayden Hunt Jr. Colorado State

*–Two-Time Second-Team Selection

**–Three-Time Second-Team Selection

<strong>2015 Honorable Mention</strong>

Air Force: Jacobi Owens, Jr., RB; Jalen Robinette, Jr., WR.

Boise State: Tyler Horn, Sr., DL; Tanner Vallejo, Jr., LB; Mario Yakoo, Jr., OL.

Colorado State: Sam Carlson, Sr., OL; Kivon Cartwright, Sr., TE; Kevin Davis, Jr., LB; Trent Matthews, Sr., DB.

Fresno State: Claudell Louis, Sr., DL.

Hawai‘i: Dejon Allen, So., OL; Ben Clarke, Sr., OL; Julian Gener, Sr., LB; Nick Nelson, So., DB; Rigoberto Sanchez, Jr., P.

Nevada: James Butler, So., RB; Austin Corbett, So., OL; Jarred Gipson, Jr., TE.

New Mexico: Dakota Cox, Jr., LB; Nik D’Avanzo, Jr., DL; Eden Mahina, Sr., OL.

San Diego State: Daniel Brunskill, Jr., TE; Donny Hageman, Sr., PK; Christian Heyward, Sr., DL; Jon Sanchez, Sr., DL; Malik Smith, So., DB.

San José State: Jeremiah Kolone, So., OL; Maurice McKnight, So., DB; Kenny Potter, Jr., QB; Jimmy Pruitt, Sr., DB; Nate Velichko, So., OL; Cleveland Wallace, Jr., DB.

UNLV: Will Kreitler, Jr., OL; Tau Lotulelei, Jr., LB.

Utah State: Austin Albrecht, Jr., OL; Jalen Davis, So., DB; David Moala, Sr., DL; Tyshon Mosley, So., OL; Kent Myers, So., QB; Jordan Nielsen, Sr., DL; Andrew Rodriguez, Jr., KR/PR; Jake Simonich, So, OL; Austin Stephens, So., OL.

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Posted in USU