There are many ways to measure the strength of a team or conference. During this week, we’ve tried to capture that from as many angles as possible. Today’s post is a simple list of who we view as the top ten players in the Mountain West Conference. Yes, it’s hard to compare different positions and sides of the ball, but it’s also hard not to make a top 10 list of best players when running blogs.
Without further ado, here are the top ten players in the Mountain West heading into 2023, voted on by the MWCConnection team of writers.
1) WR Tory Horton (Colorado State)
- 2022 stats: 71 receptions, 1131 receiving yards, 15.9 ypc, 8 TDs
2) LB Easton Gibbs (Wyoming)
- 2022 stats: 111 tackles (58 solo), 8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass defended
3) QB Taylen Green (Boise State)
- 2022 stats: 2042 passing yards, 61.3%, 14 passing TDs, 7.5 ypa, 588 rushing yards, 7.3 ypa, 10 rushing TDs.
4) DB Cam Lockridge (Fresno State)
- 2022 stats: 39 tackles (26 solo), 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 5 INTs, 9 PD
5) LB DJ Schramm (Boise State)
- 2022 stats: 107 tackles (53 solo), 11.5 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
6) RB George Holani (Boise State)
- 2022 stats: 1059 rushing yards, 5.3 ypa, 22 receptions for 153 yards, 13 total TDs
7) EDGE Mohamed Kamara (Colorado State)
- 2022 stats: 44 tackles (24 solo), 16 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles
8) DB Jack Howell (Colorado State)
- 2022 stats: 108 tackles (42 solo), 3 tackles for loss, .5 sacks, 3 INTs, 1 FF
9) QB Chevan Cordeiro (San Jose State)
- 2022 stats: 2885 passing yards, 60.8% 20 TDs, 7.5 ypa, 215 rushing yards, 8 rushing TDs
10) DB Tre Taylor (Air Force)
- 2022 stats: 69 tackles (41 solo), 4.5 tackles for loss, 1 solo, 2 INTs
- Boise State: 3
- Colorado State: 3
- Air Force: 1
- Fresno State: 1
- San Jose State: 1
- Wyoming: 1
- 20 total players received votes. Those who did not crack the top 10 were: Cody Moon, Payton Zdroik, DeVonne Harris, Levelle Bailey, Cam Stone, Ashton Jeanty, Ricky White, Jacob Gardner, Tylan Hines, and Cade Beresford.
- There are four players on the offensive side of the ball, which means the other six players play defense. Position-wise, there is 2 quarterback, 1 running back, 1 wide receiver, 1 edge player, 2 linebackers, and 3 defensive backs.
- 4 players from the December list are on this preseason list. 6 were drafted by the NFL or otherwise ended their eligibility.
- There was really no consensus player this year. Although vote totals showed there was a clear top three, there was still a lot of range within the voting.
- There was a huge divide between players two and three, three and four, seven and eight (and also eleven and twelve).
- Because our 11th-ranked player just missed the list, we will highlight him here. Cody Moon’s 2022 stats (from New Mexico): 105 tackles (42 solo), 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, 1 forced fumble
- Boise State and Colorado State led the way with three players each. Could this be a sign of good things to come for the Broncos and Rams in 2023?
- The biggest jump in the rankings was Taylen Green, who went from unranked to 3rd. Although, Cam Lockridge (4th), DJ Schramm (5th), and Mohamed Komara (6th) made big jumps as well. Easton Gibbs also went from 7th to 2nd and Tory Horton went from 8th to 1st, so lots of players made big jumps.
- On the flip side, George Holani fell from 3rd to 6th.
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 Thursday, August 3rd: We start our team preview series.