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Mountain West top 50: Nevada RB James Butler comes in at No. 12

Running back is deep in the Mountain West and James Butler could surprise.

Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016 version of the Mountain West Connection top 50 football players countdown is here and the 12th player is Nevada running back James Butler.

The Mountain West is deep at running back and Butler was one of the 11 to rush for over 1,000 yards to end up with 1,345 yards and 10 touchdowns. Those numbers are very impressive but they were fifth in the conference.

A lot of the attention goes to Wyoming's Brian Hill and his multiple 200-plus yard games, Boise State's Jeremy McNichols who rushed for 20 touchdowns and then the workhorse Donnel Pumphrey who led the league in rushing yards.

To get into that group, Butler might need 1,500 total yards and 15 touchdowns, and he might be able to get to those numbers.

Here are the staff picks and composite rankings.

Composite Jeremy Mauss Duane Grasmick Daniel Arbino Matthew Kenerly Brandon Blake erwinism Josh Fredlund DontWarriorBoutIt Terrance Dickens
1
2
3
4
5 James Butler, NEV, RB
6
7 James Butler, NEV, RB
8 Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Dakota Cox, UNM, LB
9 Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Dakota Cox, UNM, LB
10 James Butler, NEV, RB Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada James Butler, NEV, RB
11 Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT Fred Zerblis, CSU, G
12 James Butler, NEV, RB Teriyon Gipson, UNM, RB Andrew Wingard, WYO, DB Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Teriyon Gipson, UNM, RB
13 Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Joe Martarano, BSU, LB Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Austin Stephens, USU, OL Ben Weaver, BSU, LB James Butler, NEV, RB James Butler, NEV, RB Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Joe Martarano, BSU, LB
14 Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada Kent Myers, USU, QB Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Andrew Wingard, WYO, DB Tanner Gentry, WYO, WR Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada
15 Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB Tanner Vallejo, BSU, LB Kenny Potter, SJSU, QB Austin Stephens, USU, OL Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB
16 Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada NIck Stevens, CSU, QB Nik D'Avanso, UNM, DE Fred Zerblis, CSU, G Fred Zerblis, CSU, G Austin Stephens, USU, OL Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE
17 Andrew Wingard, WYO, DB Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR Kenny Potter, SJSU, QB DJ Dunn, Jr, AFA, LB Andrew Wingard, WYO, DB Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR
18 Kent Myers, USU, QB Kenny Potter, SJSU, QB Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Kent Myers, USU, QB Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Fred Zerblis, CSU, G NIck Stevens, CSU, QB
19 Austin Stephens, USU, OL Roland Ladipo, CB, AFA Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Dakota Cox, UNM, LB Jalen Robinette, AFA, WR Austin Stephens, USU, OL Roland Ladipo, CB, AFA
20 Joe Martarano, BSU, LB Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Jake Roh, BSU, TE Chase Roullier, WYO, OL Nik D'Avanso, UNM, DE Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB Joe Martarano, BSU, LB Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE
21 Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB Austin Stephens, USU, OL Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB NIck Stevens, CSU, QB Tanner Vallejo, BSU, LB
Kent Myers, USU, QB Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB Austin Stephens, USU, OL
22 Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Jake Roh, BSU, TE Maurice McKnight, SJSU, DB Joe Martarano, BSU, LB Kenny Potter, SJSU, QB Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Jake Roh, BSU, TE
23 Fred Zerblis, CSU, G Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Tanner Vallejo, BSU, LB Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB James Butler, NEV, RB Jake Roh, BSU, TE Austin Stephens, USU, OL Kent Myers, USU, QB Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB
24 Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Malik Smith, SDSU, DB Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Roland Ladipo, AFA, CB NIck Stevens, CSU, QB Roland Ladipo, CB, AFA Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL
25 Tanner Vallejo, BSU, LB Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Chase Roullier, WYO, OL Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada Andre Chachere, SJSU, CB Austin Corbett, NEV, OL Ricky Ali'ifua, USU, DT Tanner Vallejo, BSU, LB Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB
26 NIck Stevens, CSU, QB Andrew Wingard, WYO, DB Jalen Robinette, AFA, WR Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Ben Weaver, BSU, LB Roland Ladipo, CB, AFA Billy Freeman, SJSU, TE Jake Simonich, USU, T Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR Andrew Wingard, WYO, DB
27 Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR Kendall Keys, UNLV, WR James Butler, NEV, RB Jalen Robinette, AFA, WR Jake Simonich, USU, T Fred Zerblis, CSU, G Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Jake Roh, BSU, TE Kendall Keys, UNLV, WR
28 Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB Fred Zerblis, CSU, G Timothy McVey, AFA, RB Chase Roullier, WYO, OL Chase Roullier, WYO, OL Nik D'Avanzo, UNM, DE Austin Corbett, NEV, OL Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB
29 Roland Ladipo, CB, AFA Devante Mays, USU, RB Kent Myers, USU, QB Tanner Gentry, WYO, WR Devin Centers, USU, FS Devin Centers, USU, FS Ricky Ali'ifua, USU, DT Nik D'Avanzo, UNM, DE Jalen Robinette, AFA, WR Devante Mays, USU, RB
30 Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Kent Myers, USU, QB Joe Martarano, BSU, LB Roland Ladipo, AFA, CB Austin Corbett, NEV, OL Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Salesa Faraimo, DT, NEV Chase Roullier, WYO, OL Kent Myers, USU, QB
31 Jake Roh, BSU, TE Fred Zerblis, CSU, G Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB Jake Roh, BSU, TE Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada Will Kreitler, C, UNLV Tyler Winston, SJSU, WR Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB Fred Zerblis, CSU, G
32 Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR Jake Simonich, USU, T Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Alex Barrett, SDSU, DL Kent Myers, USU, QB Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR Jake Simonich, USU, T
33 Nik D'Avanzo, UNM, DE Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT Kevin Davis Jr., CSU, LB Kenny Potter, SJSU, QB Izzy Matthews, CSU, RB Gabe Perez, DE, Boise State Jermaine Kelly, SJSU, LB Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT
34 Chase Roullier, WYO, OL Tyler Winston, SJSU, WR Jalen Davis, USU, DB

Jerico Richardson, NEV, WR

Devante Mays, USU, RB Gabe Perez, DE, Boise State Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Tyler Winston, SJSU, WR
35 Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB Reno Henderson, UNM, OL Nik D'Avanzo, UNM, DE Jalen Robinette, AFA, WR Jalen Davis, USU, DB Nik D'Avanzo, UNM, DE Dalyn Dawkins, CSU, RB
36 Jalen Robinette, AFA, WR Nik D'Avanszo, UNM, DE Tyler Winston, SJSU, WR Jarred Gipson, Nev, TE Dalyn Dawkins, CSU, RB Ricky Ali'ifua, USU, DT Nik D'Avanzo, UNM, DE
37  Jake Simonich, USU, T Jerico Richardson, NEV, WR Teriyon Gipson, UNM, RB Ricky Ali'ifua, USU, DT Tau Lotulelei, UNLV, LB Izzy Matthews, RB, CSU Jamire Jordan, WR,FSU Jalen Davis, USU, DB Jake Simonich, USU, T Jerico Richardson, NEV, WR
38 Ricky Ali'ifua, USU, DT Mike Hughes, UNLV, LB Gabe Perez, BSU, DL Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Jermaine Kelly, SJSU, LB Devante Mays, USU, RB NIck Stevens, CSU, QB Mike Hughes, UNLV, LB
39 Tyler Winston, SJSU, WR* (Ineligible) Ricky Ali'ifua, USU, DT Jermaine Kelly, SJSU, DB Dylan Sumner-Gardner, BSU, S Asauni Rufus, Nev, SS Devante Mays, USU, RB Dalyn Dawkins, CSU, RB Devante Mays, USU, RB Ricky Ali'ifua, USU, DT
39 Devante Mays, USU, RB Tanner Vallejo, BSU, LB Jamire Jordan, FSU, WR Jamire Jordan, WR, FSU Jarred Gipson, Nev, TE Izzy Matthews, RB CSU Austin Corbett, NEV, OL
39 Teriyon Gipson, UNM, RB Dalyn Dawkins, CSU, RB Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB Tyler Rausa, K, Boise St Arthur Flores, SDSU, OL Travis Averill, Boise St, OG Ben Weaver, BSU, LB Reno Henderson, UNM, OL
42 Ben Weaver, BSU, LB Tanner Gentry, WYO, WR Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR Tyler Winston, SJSU, WR Tanner Gentry, WYO, WR Jonathan Moxey, BSU, CB Jacobi Owens, AFA, RB Tyler Winston, SJSU, WR Tanner Gentry, WYO, WR
43 Tanner Gentry, WYO, WR Johnny Stanton, UNLV, QB Jarred Gipson, NEV, TE Jake Simonich, USU, T Malik Smith, SDSU, FS Tanner Gentry, WYO, WR Dylan Sumner-Gardner, BSU, DB
44 Jalen Davis, USU, DB Malik Smith, SDSU, FS Asauni Rufus, NEV, DB Ben Weaver, BSU, LB Dylan Sumner-Gardner, BSU, S Travis Averill, G, Boise St Christian Chapman, SDSU, QB Jerico Richardson, NEV, WR Malik Smith, SDSU, FS
45 Jerico Richardson, NEV, WR DJ Dunn, AFA, LB Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT Teriyon Gipson, UNM, RB NIck Stevens, CSU, QB Mike Hughes, DT, UNLV Josh Lovingood, CSU, DT Kevin Davis Jr., CSU, LB
46 Dalyn Dawkins, CSU, RB Dylan Sumner-Gardner, BSU, DB Paul Harris, Hawaii, RB Dameon Baber, DB, Nevada Ben Weaver, BSU, LB Kevin Davis Jr., CSU, LB
47 Kenny Potter, SJSU, QB Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR DJ Dunn, LB, AFA Gabe Perez, BSU, DE Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR DJ Dunn, LB, AFA Jerico Richardson, NEV, WR Malik Smith, SDSU, DB Hasaan Henderson, NEV, WR
48  Kevin Davis Jr., CSU, LB D.J. May, WYO, LB Austin Stephens, USU, OL Marcus Kemp, UH, WR Jake Roh, BSU, TE Kwayde Miller, T, SDSU Malik Smith, SDSU, FS Dalyn Dawkins, CSU, RB
49 Malik Smith, DB, SDSU Jalen Davis, USU, DB Austin Corbett, NEV, OL Jesse Washington, AFA, DB Travis Seefeldt, USU, DT Marcus Kemp, UH, WR Josh Lovingood, CSU, DT
50 DJ May, WYO, LB Nico Siragusa, SDSU, OL Jake Simonich, USU, T Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR Rashaad Penny, SDSU, RB/KR/PR Michael Carrizosa, P, SJSU NIck Stevens, CSU, QB Dalyn Dawkins, CSU, RB Teriyon Gipson, UNM, RB Chase Roullier, WYO, OL