EDIT: We are re-running our five posts from Kickoff Week, which originally debuted in July. We are running all posts as they originally were, regardless of changes due to players opting-out, transferring, or declaring for the NFL draft.
Welcome to Kickoff Week here at MWCConnection! The official all-MWC team was already released last week due to MWC Media Days being postponed, but we are getting involved in the fun by releasing our own pre-season content anyway.
Members of our team submitted their list of votes and we took the top vote-getters at each position to form our two teams. Since offensive formations are so different, we put 2 RBs and 2 WRs on the team, plus a FLEX, which can either a RB or WR. Defensively, we just use a traditional 4-3 for its positions. For special teams, we have a kicker, a punter, and a returner. For reference, here was our post-season 2019 team from December.
Disclaimer: There are a lot of great players in the conference and only so many spots. Arguments can be made for many guys to be mentioned or to be on a higher team. There will always be snubs. Always. The goal is that every player on this list is deserving, even if not every deserving player ended up making the list.
With that being said, here is the 2020 Mountain West Connection All-MWC Preseason First and Second Teams:
- Hank Bachmeier (Boise State)
- George Holani (Boise State)
- Xazavian Valladay (Wyoming)
- Warren Jackson (Colorado State)
- Khalil Shakir (Boise State)
- Tre Walker (San Jose State)
- Trey McBride (Colorado State)
- Nolan Laufenberg (Air Force)
- Ilm Manning (Hawaii)
- Parker Ferguson (Air Force)
- Keegan Cryder (Wyoming)
- John Ojukwu (Boise State)
- Dom Peterson (Nevada)
- Solomon Byrd (Wyoming)
- Cameron Thomas (San Diego State)
- Scale Igiehon (Boise State)
- Justin Rice (Fresno State)
- Riley Whimpey (Boise State)
- Demonte Meeks (Air Force)
- Tariq Thompson (San Diego State)
- Jalen Walker (Boise State)
- Darren Hall (San Diego State)
- Kekaula Kaniho (Boise State)
- Brandon Talton (Nevada)
- Ryan Stonehouse (Colorado State)
- Savon Scarver (Utah State)
- Patrick O’Brien (Colorado State)
- Charles Williams (UNLV)
- Ronnie Rivers (Fresno State)
- Bailey Gaither (San Jose State)
- Dante Wright (Colorado State)
- Elijah Cooks (Nevada)
- Marcus Williams (New Mexico)
- Solo Vaipulu (Hawaii)
- Syrus Tuitele (Fresno State)
- Jake Stetz (Boise State)
- Teton Slates (New Mexico)
- Nate Brown (Nevada)
- Kevin Atkins (Fresno State)
- Jordan Jackson (Air Force)
- Keshawn Banks (San Diego State)
- Manny Jones (Colorado State)
- Demitri Washington (Boise State)
- Kyle Harmon (San Jose State)
- Kevin Meitzenheimer (Utah State)
- Dwayne Johnson Jr. (San Diego State)
- Shaq Bong (Utah State)
- Cortez Davis (Hawaii)
- Avery Williams (Boise State)
- Matt Araiza (San Diego State)
- Tyson Dyer (New Mexico)
- Avery Williams (Boise State)
Breakdown by team (1st team in parenthesis):
- Boise State: 12 (8)
- Colorado State: 6 (3)
- San Diego State: 6 (3)
- Air Force: 4 (3)
- Nevada: 4 (2)
- Fresno State: 4 (1)
- Wyoming: 3 (3)
- Hawaii: 3 (1)
- San Jose State: 3 (1)
- Utah State: 3 (1)
- New Mexico: 3 (0)
- UNLV: 1 (0)
- There were 11 unanimous selections: Warren Jackson, Khalil Shakir, Trey McBride, Nolan Laufenberg, Ilm Manning, Dom Peterson, Solomon Byrd, Justin Rice, Tariq Thompson, Brandon Talton, Ryan Stonehouse
- Hank Bachmeier had one more vote than Donald Hammond III, who was poised to be the second team QB before the change in his cadet status.
- Boise State had the most total players on the two teams by a wide margin. They also produced the most first-team players without a close second. The next five teams (Colorado State, San Diego State, Air Force, Nevada, and Fresno State) all had plenty of names on these lists, pointing to the talent in the conference being a bit more spread out heading into the season.
- Boise State had the biggest increase (8 to 12) from our December list. Utah State and Wyoming (3 less each) had the largest decreases in all-MWC players.
- For the second year in a row, the Cowboys only had players appear on the first team list.
- The divide between the first and second team players in terms of votes was pretty clear. In addition to quarterback, the only other positions with little separation between the last first time member and first second team player were offensive line and linebacker.
- There were a few tough battles for second-team spots. Specifically, offensive line, defensive line and linebacker both had more players receiving votes than spots available, and arguments could have been made for others to appear on our lists. It’s only fair to acknowledge Logan Harris (Wyoming), Kyle Stapley (New Mexico), and Taaga Tuulima (Hawaii) on the offensive line, defensive lineman Cade Hall (San Jose State), and linebacker Lawson Hall (Nevada).
There it is. So let’s hear it. Who did we snub? Who did we put on here that shouldn’t be? Let’s hear your feedback in the comments section.
Coming tomorrow: Our picks for Mountain West Conference awards.