Rams land five on All-Mountain West Squad

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Rams saw their improvement rewarded today when seven players earned All-Mountain West honors, including five first teamers.

What a difference a year can make. After winning four games and garnering a single first team All-Mountain West award last season, the Rams scooped up more first teamers than any other school this season. Led by Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Shaq Barrett, Colorado State had five players with first team honors, including: OL Weston Richburg, RB Kapri Bibbs, TE Crockett Gillmore, and K Jared Roberts.

Shaq Barrett led the Rams defense with 12 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss on the season, good for third and fourth nationally. Barrett, who graduates this year, has come a long way during his college career. He started at Nebraska-Omaha before the school cut its football team after his freshman year and ended up wearing the Green and Gold. He has played in all 37 of his games during his three years at Colorado State, and started 32 of those. Barrett has garnered a lot of interest from NFL scouts, and is projected as high as fifth in some mock drafts.

Breakout star running back Kapri Bibbs also made the team in his first year facing Mountain West competition. Despite seeing limited action early in the season, Bibbs leads the country in rushing touchdowns at 28, and ranks 13th in rushing YPG. The sophomore transfer rewrote Colorado State record books while leading the Rams offense to a 31st ranked rushing attack in the country.

But Bibbs could not accomplish those feats without the work of his offensive line. Preseason Rimington Watch List center Weston Richburg led a senior laden offensive line that helped produce the only offense in the country with a 3000+ yard passer and 1500+ yard rusher. Richburg has started all 39 games he has participated in over his career and has gathered interest from NFL scouts, earning an invite to the annually Senior Bowl in January.

Senior Tight End Crockett Gillmore had a bounce back season after struggling in 2012, catching 43 passes for 533 yards and two touchdowns. His 533 receiving yards was enough for most in the Mountain West and sixth nationally. At 6' 6" and 255 pounds, Gillmore has the size of an NFL tight end to go along with his skill earning him an invite to the East-West Shrine Game.

Kicker Jared Roberts rounds out the Rams on the first team, and is the only one not graduating after the season. Roberts started his career as a walk-on, but was awarded a scholarship before the 2012 season started; and he has certainly warranted it. Roberts is the most accurate kicker in Colorado State history and was a semifinalist for the Groza award. Against Air Force, Roberts hit a 54 yard field goal, second longest in FBS this season.

The Rams also had two players on the second team in Junior tackle Tyler Sambrailo and Senior corner Shaq Bell. Quarterback Garret Grayson and receiver Rashard Higgins were the only questionable omissions. Grayson used his first full season as a starter to rack up more than 3300 yards with 21 touchdowns, but faced stiff competition for the All-MW team with David Fales and Derek Carr's production. Higgins was a candidate for Freshmen Player of the Year with 795 yards and six touchdowns, but was beat out by SJSU receiver Tyler Winston.

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