Aztecs take honors in Mountain West, All-Americans
Ten Aztecs took conference honors in the recent Mountain West selections. San Diego State had five selections on offense and six on defense to lead all Mountain West Teams. Jordan Byrd had honors in both categories as the first-team punt returner and kick-off returner. Other honors on offense went to first-team center Alama Uluave, and WR Tyrell Shavers, TE Mark Redman and guard Cade Bennett on the second team. Redman is a junior, Bannett is a sophomore, and both are expected to return next season. On the defensive side of the ball, the Aztecs dominated with defensive lineman Jonah Tavai enjoying first-team honors as well as Pro Football Focus first team interior lineman honors. Others receiving first-team awards were LB Caden McDonald, a three-time all-conference recipient, DB Patrick McMorris, a two-time all-conference award winner, Jordan Byrd as punt returner, and punter Jack Browning. Browning also was selected as the conference special teams player of the year for his dual duty as punter and placekicker. He was also selected as 2nd team All-American by the PFF. 2nd-team linebacker Michael Shawcroft rounded out the Aztec selections.
The Aztecs led the conference with 11 selections, followed by Fresno State with 8, Boise State with 7 and Air Force and San Jose State both with 5. The offensive player of the year was quarterback Jake Haener from Fresno State. The defensive player of the year was Viliemi Fehoko from San Jose State. Freshman of the year was Boise State QB Taylen Green and coach of the year was Andy Avalos of Boise State. The Aztecs are next in action on Saturday December 24 in the EasyPost Hawai’i Bowl against Middle Tennessee State.