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College Football Awards: Sports Illustrated names six Mountain West players to 2014 All-America team

One first team selection and five honorable mentions.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated released its 2014 All-America team yesterday, and six Mountain West players found their names on the roster: Colorado State wide receiver Rashard Higgins, Boise State running back Jay Ajayi, San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey, Utah State linebacker Zach Vigil, Air Force kicker Will Conant and San Jose State running back/wide receiver Tyler Ervin (selected for "All-purpose").

The MW's six All-America selections was tied for the best among Group of Five conference with Conference USA.

Higgins joined Alabama's Amari Cooper as the two first-team wide receiver selections. Higgins also made the USA Today All-America first team. He was one of two Group of Five players selected to Sports Illustrated's first team. University of Alabama at Birmingham kicker returner J.J. Nelson was the other Group of Five player. Higgins led the country with 149.1 receiving yards per game and 17 touchdowns. He also had nine games with at least 100 receiving yards.

Ajayi made USA Today's All-America second team last week. Ajayi ranked fourth in the country with 1,689 rushing yards, and he ranked second in the country behind Tevin Coleman with 25 rushing touchdowns. He also ranked ninth in the country with 129.9 rushing yards per game.

Pumphrey didn't make USA Today's All-America team, causing one of our writers to question his absence on the list. Pumphrey led the MW and ranked third in the country with 1,755 rushing yards, and he tied for eighth in the country with 19 rushing touchdowns. He also ranked fourth in the country with 146.3 rushing yards per game.

Like Ajayi, Vigil was named to USA Today's All-America second team. Vigil ranked ninth in the country with 11.2 tackles per game. He finished the regular season with nine sacks.

Conant, like Pumphrey, didn't made USA Today's list. Conant ranked fourth in the country with a 90 percent field goal success rate (18/20). He was successful on three of four attempts from 40 or more yards, including two 50-yarders.

Ervin did a little bit of everything for the Spartans this season. He led the team with 888 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns. He also caught 29 passes for 306 yards and a touchdown. He flashed his skills on special teams, too, averaging 11.6 yards per return and scoring a touchdown as the team's punt returner. He also averaged 19 yards per kickoff return.