All-conference teams and individual awards for the Mountain West were released on Wednesday as voted by the conference’s 12 head coaches and select media, the conference announced. Utah State was represented on the All-Mountain West Football First-Team by sophomore K Dominik Eberle and senior CB Jalen Davis. OL Roman Andrus, OL Quin Ficklin, S Dallin Leavitt, and TE Dax Raymond also received honorable mention.
Eberle has led a remarkable campaign for the Aggies, as the product of Germany has delivered consistency to the kicking position by hitting on 16-18 field goals with a long of 52 yards versus San Jose State. Eberle has also connected on all 45 of his PAT attempts this season. On top of his MW honors, Eberle is also one of three finalists for the Lou Groza Award, given annually to the nation’s best kicker.
Davis, meanwhile, has put together a stellar senior season, and currently ranks among the nation’s best for total interceptions and passes defended. Davis also leads the nation outright with interceptions returned for touchdowns, returning three on the season. The senior from California has also garnered four sacks and one forced fumble this season. For his performance on the field, Davis was named to midseason All-American teams from the Associated Press, CBS Sports, and Sports Illustrated.
Andrus and Ficklin have been integral to what has been a greatly improved offensive line unit. The line has improved in both rush yards per attempt and sacks per game compared to last year’s campaign.
Raymond has been the Aggies’ second-leading receiver this year, hauling in 36 receptions for 414 yards and one touchdown. The sophomore has caught a pass in every game he has appeared in for USU this season.
Leavitt has enjoyed an incredible senior season this year, ranking third on the team with 75 total tackles, while also ranking second on the team with three interceptions.
In the running for MW Defensive Player of the Year award, Davis was beaten out by Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch. Vander Esch leads the Broncos with tackles this season with 113, rankings third in the conference. The junior has also totaled 5.5 tackles for loss, with three sacks and two interceptions.
San Diego State RB Rashaad Penny took home both the Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year awards. The senior has already totaled 2,027 rushing yards with 19 touchdowns, adding another three touchdowns via kickoff and punt returns. Penny was also recently named a finalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.
Fresno State head coach Jeff Tedford was awarded MW Coach of the Year. Tedford has led the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record in his first year as head coach. The 8-win improvement upon last season’s 1-11 finish is already the greatest single-season improvement in Fresno State history and stands as the largest improvement in wins total in all of FBS this year.
Boise State led the conference in total All-Conference selectees, selecting a combined 12 players to the first- and second-teams, plus another seven receiving honorable mention. San Diego State was second, with eight selectees and two honorable mentions. Fresno State, winners of the West division, sent five players and had 11 players receive honorable mention. The rest of the conference’s number of selectees are as follows, with honorable mention in parentheses: Colorado State, 5 (5); Wyoming, 5 (2); Nevada, 4 (4); Hawaii, 3 (2); Utah State, 2 (4); UNLV, 2 (2); SJSU, 2 (2); New Mexico, 1 (4); Air Force, 1 (1).