It takes a special kind of player to catch the eye of the Walter Camp Football Foundation, the people behind the honor given annually to the nation’s most outstanding player. No surprise, then, that of the forty names on the watch list released today, the two names from the Mountain West are the ones you’d probably expect.
A day after being named to the Davey O’Brien Award list, Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien finds himself on the Walter Camp watch list as well. Rypien, of course, was the Mountain West freshman player of the year in 2015, and is just one of six sophomores on this list.
San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey, on the other hand, is the only senior running back to garner a nod. As the conference’s reigning offensive player of the year, he carries much of the Aztecs’ fortunes in 2016 on his shoulders, though it’s worth noting he’s just one of two running backs (the other being Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott) to have run for at least 1,600 yards in the last two seasons.
Chances are it’ll take a monster season and a New Year’s Day bowl berth for either Rypien or Pumphrey to win the award. Every Camp winner has come from a program currently aligned with the Power 5, including Alabama running back Derrick Henry, who took the trophy home last year.