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The MWC 2018 All-Recruit Team

If all the talent entering the conference was on the same team...

NCAA Football: Boise State at Wyoming Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

The 2018 class is in the books and a plethora of talent is coming in to the Mountain West conference for next season. Each team’s class will be looked at in greater detail over the course of the month, but for this week, we will be taking a look at the top players in entering the conference from the 2018 recruiting class. In this post, our team has taken the best of the best and created the 2018 All MWC Recruit Team.


  • Riley Smith (Boise State)
  • With all the talent coming in to the MWC this year in recruiting, it’s a bit surprising that there aren’t many big-time quarterbacks in this class. Smith is talented no doubt, with a high upside and a cannon for an arm. After that, it’s a pick ‘em.

Running back

  • Andrew VanBuren (Boise State), Toa Taua (Nevada)
  • Two RBs were listed due to the talent coming in at the position, arguably the second deepest position in this class. VanBuren is clearly the best RB in this class, listed as a 4-star by 247, and he has the numbers and film to back it up. Taua is also a fast-rising name who looks terrific on film and was a coup for Nevada. Aztec commit Zidane Thomas was also considered and could easily be listed here as well.

Wide Receiver

  • JR Justice (SDSU), Khalil Shakir (Boise State), Nikko Hall (CSU), Stefan Cobbs, Jammal Houston (CSU, though has not signed)
  • Admittedly cheated here rather than make impossible decisions. Five players were listed here because all five deserve it. WR is easily the deepest position in the class this year. Any of these five can make a huge impact for their respective teams as soon as next fall. All are massive gets who held multiple P5 offers. Expect all to be 3-4 years contributors. For the Broncos and Rams to each get two from this group puts the rest of the conference on notice.

Tight End

  • Tyneil Hopper (Boise State) Nic McTear (SDSU)
  • Nic McTear of SDSU was in this spot before Hopper surprised everyone with a signing day announcement. Thus, McTear deserves a quick shout-out. He’s a huge, TE. who will be utilized with his blocking abilities and should add a nice new layer as a go-to target close to the end-zone. Hopper is the complete package as a competent blocker and receiver. BSU relies heavily on TEs in their offense with shift and motions, blocking and a running a variety of routes. They have a great one coming in.

Offensive Line

  • Max Barth (SJSU), Kavesz Sherard (CSU), Anthony Pardue (SJSU), Kekaniokoa Gonzalez (Boise State), Solo Vaipulu (Hawaii)
  • Another talented group that had a few more in the discussion to be included here. Barth and Sherard fielded P5 offers, while Gonzales is regarded as one of the top interior OL recruits who would’ve been even more sought after if he was a few inches taller. Solo is one of the best gets for Hawaii, as he and Pardue figure to the future anchors for their respective schools.

Defensive Tackle

Scale Igiehon (BSU), Devin Phillips (CSU), Blessman Taala (Hawaii)

  • It was a tough choice between the Ram’s Phillips and Hawaii’s Taaia, so both found their way on here. Both of them held PAC12 offers and both have the potential to play right away and be multi-year forces due to their size and ability. Igiehon is a great athlete for his size and mirrors everything said about the other two, only a bit better all around.

Defensive End

  • Kukea Emmsley (Boise State), Jonah Kahahawai-Welch (Hawaii)
  • Emmsley is definitely the more polished DE out of the two, with a nice speed/strength combo. However, Kahahawai-Welch has perhaps one of the highest upsides of anyone on this list. There’s no reason he can’t develop into an. all-conference type of player.


  • Isaak Togia (SJSU), Brandon Hawkins (Boise State) Isaiah Johnson (Fresno State)
  • Another tough position to chose, Togia was the easiest as he is polished enough to look like he could step to a college game tomorrow. Hawkins and Johnson each flash loads of potential and have nice all-around games which will only keep developing.


  • Chris Mitchell (Boise State), Tyric LeBeauf (Boise State)
  • This was yet again a close battle between LeBeauf and Nick Martin-Morman (CSU). LeBeauf being from high school powerhouse Long Beach Poly, along with his size while maintaining his athleticism game him the edge here. Very few teams in the MWC have one long athletic corner, let alone two. As discussed yesterday, Mitchell is one of the elite players coming into the conference.


  • Josiah Bradley (Nevada), Tywan Francis (CSU)
  • Bradley may be over-shadowed a bit by other players listed, but is a great talent in his own right. He is best suited to be a free safety covering lots of ground on the field and talented enough to be a multi-year all-MWC type of player. Francis gives the Rams another solid potential plug-in-play recruit who is quite the athlete at the position. He is all over the field on tape, play high coverage, man coverage, and in the box to stop the runner, displaying skills at each assignment.

All MWC JUCO Recruit Team:

QB Max Gilliam (UNLV)

RB Darwin Thompson (Utah State)

WR John Hightower (Boise State), Cedric Byrd (Hawaii)

TE Jeffrey Jones Jr (New Mexico)

OL Moses Landis (Nevada), Korey Mariboho (SJSU) Tre Bland (New Mexico), Jarred Sylvester (New Mexico), Kyler Hack (Utah State), Nick Abbs (Fresno State)

DT Moa Heimuli (UNLV), Tristan Nichols (Nevada)

DE Trent Sellers (New Mexico), Derek Thomas (Hawaii)

LB Alexander Vainikolo (New Mexico),

CB Nathaniel Vaughn (Nevada), Jalen Nelson (SJSU)

S DJ Williams (Utah State), Myles Plummer (UNLV)

Special Teams: P Tyson Dyer (New Mexico)

Team Totals: (HS players listed only)

Boise State: 11

Colorado State: 4

San Jose State: 3

Hawaii: 3

San Diego State: 2

Nevada: 2

Fresno State: 1

Your turn: Who do you agree with? Who got snubbed? Talk about it in the comments section.

Follow @Mike_SBN for all MWC recruiting news and updates. Jeremy Rodrigues also contributed extensively to this article.