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Nevada Football: A school-record 15 players earn All-Mountain West honors

Nevada v UNLV Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The Mountain West announced the All-Mountain West teams Tuesday.

The Nevada Wolf Pack placed a school-record 15 players on the All-Mountain West team — including 10 on the first-and second-teams. Four made the first-team which tied a program record set in 2012.

The group is highlighted by quarterback Carson Strong, who won the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year award. Let’s time into the record-breaking list of each 2020 Pack player who made the All-Conference teams:

First team:

As I mentioned above, the core is highlighted by Carson Strong. In eight games, he completed 69.4 percent of his passes for 2,587 yards, 22 touchdowns against four interceptions. He led the Mountain West in passing yards, completions (227), completion percentage and passing touchdowns, while placing second in passing yards per game (323.4 ypg) and passing efficiency rating (155.6). He ranked in the Top-25 nationally in each of those categories and is a big reason why Nevada’s passing offense ranks No. 10 in the FBS.

Strong recorded five 300-yard and a pair 400-yard performances, including a career-high 420 passing yards in the season-opener versus Wyoming. Against Fresno State, he became the ninth quarterback in program history (first since Colin Kaepernick in 2010) to throw five touchdowns in a single game.

Doubs and Turner were his two favorite targets.

Doubs emerged as one of the top receivers in the conference, tallying conference-bests in receptions (53), receiving yards (960) and receiving touchdowns (9). His 120 yards per game also placed atop the conference and sixth in the country. Doubs recorded five 100-yard games and one 200-yard game (211 against UNLV). He had five games with a touchdown, including two three-touchdown performances versus New Mexico and Utah State.

The 6-foot-2 target emerged as one of the most explosive threats in the nation. Doubs recorded eight catches of 40-plus yards; seven of 50-plus and two of 60-plus. The deep-ball threat caught five 50-yard touchdowns, including two 60-yard scores. His season-long came on a 65-yarder versus UNLV.

Turner, who converted from a wideout to a tight end in the offseason, provided a complimentary No. 2 target for Doubs and emerged as Strong’s favorite touchdown threat in the red zone. Listed at 6-foot-6, Turner caught six touchdowns inside the red zone and five from the 5-yard-line or closer.

On the year, he caught 44 catches for 545 yards and seven touchdowns. He finished second in the conference in touchdowns, third in receptions and fourth in touchdowns.

Talton succeeded an impressive freshman campaign with a strong sophomore season — earning All-Mountain West honors for the second consecutive season. Talton, a former walk-on, went 15-for-17 on field goals and 26-for-27 extra points. His season-long came from 49 yards away against Fresno State. He finished 12-for-13 from inside 40 yards and 3-for-4 from 40-plus yards away.


Second Team:

Taua earned All-Mountain West Honors for the the third consecutive season — he earned Freshman of the Year honors in 2018 and was an Honorable Mention honoree last year. He registered 94 carries for 573 yards and three rushing touchdowns, adding 25 catches for 137 yards in seven games. Taua’s 573 yards are the second-most in the conference, while his 81.9 yards per game and 6.1 yards per carry ranks fifth.

Frost, who played right tackle, was the most dominant force on the Pack’s offensive line this year. The 6-foot-5, 310-pound force led the team in pancake blocks and knock-down blocks, surrendering just two sacks.

Hammond was the Pack’s best edge rusher. the former walk on led the team in tackles-for-loss — ninth most in the Mountain west. He was second in sacks with four and totaled 32 tackles on the year, the most among any Pack defensive lineman.

Despite suffering an ankle injury in the sixth game of the year, Peterson, a defensive tackle, earned All-Mountain West second-team honors a year after getting selected to the first team last year. He finished with 27 total tackles and led the team in sacks (4.5), but trailed Hammond in tackles-for-loss (7.0).

Hall, along with Peterson and Hammond, was a key contributor on the front seven as the MIKE linebacker. The team captain led the team in total tackles with 56, including 6.5 tackles-for-loss with a sack. His 56 tackles ranked among the Top-15 in the Mountain West.

Doubs also received All-Conference honors in the special teams department. He averaged 10.0 yards per punt — second-most in the conference — on 10 total punt returns. His 100 total punt return yards is the third-most in the conference. Doubs lead the Mountain West in all purpose yards this year with 1,056 — 107 more than the next-highest member (947 - Calvin Turner, Hawai’i).


Honorable Mention:

Gardner was thrusted in the left tackle spot just weeks before the season after the retirement of senior Miles Beach. He started all eight games, protecting Strong’s blindside. Ledbetter, who had just two starts heading into the season, also anchored the left side of The Union at left guard while Orsini was the center.

Robins and Williams were the Pack’s two best members of the secondary.

Williams trailed Hall for the team’s lead in tackles with 53, but totaled two of the team’s four interceptions on the year. Robins, the team’s top corner, finished T-2 in the Mountain West in pass breakups (5) and third in total passes defended (6) — along with 25 total tackles. His one reception came in the fourth quarter of the season-opener versus Wyoming. Robins also recorded one fumble recovery this season.

Diaz averaged 47.7 yards per punt in six games, with 11 of his 21 travelled 50 or more yards. His 3.5 punts per game just missed the NCAA’s requirement (3.6 per game) to rank statistically. His yards per punt would’ve ranked second in the FBS. Diaz finished fourth in the conference in punts landing inside-the-20 (11).


Here’s a full list of the All-Conference teams (via the Mountain West):

2020 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

  • QB - Carson Strong, So. — Nevada
  • WR - Khalil Shakir, Jr. — Boise State
  • WR - Romeo Doubs, Jr.— Nevada
  • WR - Bailey Gaither, Sr. — San José State
  • RB - Ronnie Rivers, Sr. — Fresno State
  • RB - Xazavian Valladay*, Jr. — Wyoming
  • TE - Cole Turner, Jr. — Nevada
  • OL - Parker Ferguson, Sr. — Air Force
  • OL - Nolan Laufenberg*, Sr. — Air Force
  • OL - Kyle Spalding, Sr. — San Diego State
  • OL - Jack Snyder, Sr. — San José State
  • OL - Keegan Cryder, Jr. — Wyoming
  • PK - Brandon Talton, So. — Nevada
  • KR - Avery Williams, Sr. — Boise State

DEFENSE

  • DL - Scott Patchan, Sr. — Colorado State
  • DL - Cameron Thomas*, So. — San Diego State
  • DL - Cade Hall, Jr. — San José State
  • DL - Viliami Fehoko, So. — San José State
  • LB - Darius Muasau, So. — Hawai‘i
  • LB - Caden McDonald, Jr. — San Diego State
  • LB - Kyle Harmon, Jr. — San José State
  • LB - Chad Muma, Jr. — Wyoming
  • DB - Avery Williams, Sr. — Boise State
  • DB - Jerrick Reed, Jr. — New Mexico
  • DB - Darren Hall, Jr. — San Diego State
  • DB - Tariq Thompson, Sr. — San Diego State
  • P - Ryan Stonehouse**, Sr. — Colorado State
  • PR - Avery Williams*, Sr. — Boise State

*Two-Time First-Team Selection | **Three-Time First-Team Selection

2020 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND TEAM

OFFENSE

  • QB - Nick Starkel, Sr. — San José State
  • WR - Dante Wright, So. — Colorado State
  • WR - Calvin Turner, Sr. — Hawai‘i
  • WR - Tre Walker, Sr. — San José State
  • RB - Toa Taua, Jr. Nevada
  • RB - Greg Bell, Sr. — San Diego State
  • TE - Trey McBride, Jr. — Colorado State
  • OL - John Ojukwu, Jr. — Boise State
  • OL - Jake Stetz, Sr. — Boise State
  • OL - Syrus Tuitele, Sr. — Fresno State
  • OL - Aaron Frost, Jr. Nevada
  • OL - Zachary Thomas, Sr. — San Diego State
  • PK - John Hoyland, Fr. — Wyoming
  • KR - Jordan Byrd, Jr. — San Diego State

DEFENSE

  • DL - Shane Irwin, Jr. — Boise State
  • DL - David Perales, Jr. — Fresno State
  • DL - Dom Peterson, Jr. Nevada
  • DL - Sam Hammond, Sr. Nevada
  • LB - Riley Whimpey*, Sr. — Boise State
  • LB - Dequan Jackson, Jr. — Colorado State
  • LB - Lawson Hall, Sr. Nevada
  • LB - Brandon Shook, Sr. — New Mexico
  • DB - Kekaula Kaniho, Sr. — Boise State
  • DB - Jalen Walker*, Sr. — Boise State
  • DB - Cortez Davis, Sr. — Hawai‘i
  • DB - Tre Jenkins, So. — San José State
  • P - Tanner Kuljian, Sr. — San Diego State
  • PR - Romeo Doubs, Jr. Nevada

*Two-Time Second-Team Selection | ** Three-Time Second-Team Selection

2020 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST HONORABLE MENTION TEAM

  • Air Force: Kyle Krepsz, OL; Brad Roberts, RB; George Silvanic, DL
  • Boise State: John Bates, TE; Garrett Curran, OL; Jonah Dalmas, PK; Scott Matlock, DL; Ezekiel Noa, LB; CT Thomas, WR; Andrew Van Buren, RB
  • Colorado State: Elijah Johnson, OL; Manny Jones, DL; Toby McBride, DL; Thomas Pannunzio, KR; Cam Reddy, OL; Barry Wesley, OL; Dante Wright, PR
  • Fresno State: Kevin Atkins, DL; Levelle Bailey, LB; Jalen Cropper, WR; Jake Haener, QB; Kwami Jones, DL; Keric Wheatfall, WR; Evan Williams, DB
  • Hawai‘i: Chevan Cordeiro, QB; Quentin Frazier, DB; Jared Smart, WR; Blessman Ta’ala, DL
  • Nevada: Julian Diaz, P; Jacob Gardner, OL; Jermaine Ledbetter, OL; Tyler Orsini, OL; BerDale Robins, DB; Tyson Williams, DB
  • New Mexico: Bobby Cole, RB; Joey Noble, DL; Teton Saltes, OL; Kyle Stapley, OL
  • San Diego State: Matt Araiza, PK; Keshawn Banks, DL; Daniel Bellinger, TE; Tyler Hawkins, DB; Dwayne Johnson, Jr., DB; Jonah Tavai, DL; Evan Williams, DB
  • San José State: Derrick Deese, Jr., TE; Matt Mercurio, PK; Tre Webb, DB
  • UNLV: Jacoby Windmon, DL
  • Utah State: Demytrick Ali’ifua, OL; Shaq Bond, DB; Nick Heninger, DL; Stephen Kotsanlee, P; Marcus Moore, DL; Savon Scarver, KR; Karter Shaw, OL; AJ Vongphachanh, LB
  • Wyoming: Esaias Gandy, DB; Logan Harris, OL; Isaiah Neyor, WR