Phil Steele Tabs Derron Smith as Preseason All-American

Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The Fresno State senior is the lone representative from the Mountain West in the famed prognosticator's annual reveal.

The last time we saw Fresno State's Derron Smith on a football field, he was doing everything he could to help the Bulldogs rally against a very strong USC team in Las Vegas.  While the team came up short, his efforts did not go unnoticed.

Earlier this morning, Phil Steele revealed his preseason All-American teams, and the senior safety is the only player from the Mountain West Conference to make the cut.  This stands in stark contrast to the 2013 edition, which featured three MWC athletes on the four-deep.  He was named to the third-team defense as part of a secondary which also includes Michigan State's Trae Waynes and Kurtis Drummond as well as Tulane's Lorenzo Doss.  The current national leader in career interceptions, Smith was an All-MWC selection last season who combined seven interceptions with six passes defensed, four sacks and eight tackles for loss.

As the recognition continues to grow, however, Smith will need to be at the top of his game to justify those honors when Fresno State visits the Coliseum for a rematch with the Trojans in the season opener on August 30.

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