Fresh off the Mountain West media days, the roundtable is back for another week. Continuing with the team-focused themes as we get closer to the start of training camp, the question of the week is: who is the best player on each team entering the 2021 season?
Zach: For Boise State the answer is easy, Khalil Shakir. Shakir is more than just a number one wide receiver. He can line up in the backfield and will likely be the primary returner now that Avery Williams is off to the NFL. Receivers rarely win player of the year honors, but if there was ever a guy that could pull it off, Shakir could do it.
NittanyFalcon: For Air Force, I’ll go with Demonte Meeks. He’s the leader of the defense, and I expect him to come back from his turnback hungry to reassert himself after being overlooked in the preseason award cycle because of his absence last year. In 2019 he came up with 98 tackles, including 9 TFL and 4 sacks, and he was named to the Lott Trophy Award watch list before the season got delayed. This year - mostly crickets from all the pundits.
Graham_Gibson: The best player for Utah State is Shaq Bond. He is a leader on the defense and is reliable. His experience is key because it helps younger guys to develop and prepare themselves to step up. Bond had 47 tackles last season and will be looking to do better in what should be a more normal college football season.
Mike: I’ll take a few to include some more teams.
Colorado State: I like Dante Wright a lot but I’m going to stick with the obvious choice here and go with Trey McBride. He has been the top tight end in the conference for two years now and with the attrition the Rams have faced the past two years, he is now the best player on the team. He is a complete tight end who should be a lock as an NFL draft pick next spring. While he will be breaking in a new quarterback and defenses may key in on him, McBride should still be as reliable as they come.
Wyoming: This one seems clear cut to me; it’s Xazavian Valladay. There isn’t too much flashy about his game but he produces time and time again. Valladay runs, runs, and runs some more. He produces big numbers by the end of the season and makes the offense go. He’s the heart and soul of his team and their best player.