The Mountain West football regular season is over and it is now award season for the conference. This year the league was a bit odd and especially in the Mountain Division where Wyoming was projected to finish last but yet they won the division and are hosting the Mountain West title game this weekend against San Diego State.
Running back is the most loaded position in this conference with likely multiple future NFL running backs in the league so it is no surprise that the conference player of the year came from that position as San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey won the award for the second straight year.
Not only did Pumphrey win the offensive player of the year award but the defensive player of the year once against was Aztecs defensive back Damontae Kazee and Rashaad Penny was special teams player of the year.
That is quite the accomplishment and without doing the research, but it is possible that this is the first time ever this has happened in any conference, and not just the Mountain West.
As for back-to-back offensive player of the year winner the list is three other players in addition to Pumphrey. Derek Carr (Fresno State QB) Andy Dalton (TCU QB) and Bradlee Van Pelt (Colorado State QB)
Coach of the year was appropriately handed out to Wyoming’s Craig Bohl who led the Cowboys to a division title after being projected to finish last in the Mountain Division. The Cowboys also earned freshman of the year in linebacker Logan Wilson.
The big controversy — maybe more so if one is affiliated to Boise State — is that Jeremy McNichols was named second-team running back behind Wyoming’s Brian Hill and Pumphrey.
The Idaho Statesman's Dave Southorn makes an argument for McNichols to be a first-team player, and possibly even offensive player of the year.
As I pointed out, in six games against common foes (CSU, USU, Wyoming, UNLV, SJSU, Hawaii), McNichols had 1,009 yards. Pumphrey 740.— Dave Southorn (@IDS_BroncoBeat) November 29, 2016
SDSU played two teams with winning records, Pumphrey had 129 yards combined. BSU played six, McNichols averaged 126.3 ypg. But whatevs.— Dave Southorn (@IDS_BroncoBeat) November 29, 2016
It is almost splitting hairs between the best backs, but if you look at yards from scrimmage it is not all that close, and this also brings in Nevada’s James Butler into the conversation for the best running back in the Mountain West. If you go by the numbers it seems clear that McNichols should at the very least be a first-team pick.
One great story out of this all-conference list goes to Utah State defensive tackle Travis Seefeldt who earned second team honors. Seefeldt sat out the 2015 season after being in a car accident in June of 2015 and the injuries sustained forced him to not play at all that year. A great comeback story by a very good football player.
Here is the complete list:
|2016 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE|
|QB||Brett Rypien*||So.||Boise State|
|WR||Thomas Sperbeck*||Sr.||Boise State|
|WR||Michael Gallup||Jr.||Colorado State|
|RB||Donnel Pumphrey**||Sr.||San Diego State|
|OL||Travis Averill||Sr.||Boise State|
|OL||Mario Yakoo||Sr.||Boise State|
|OL||Fred Zerblis||Sr.||Colorado State|
|OL||Nico Siragusa*||Sr.||San Diego State|
|PK||John Baron II||So.||San Diego State|
|PR/KR||Rashaad Penny*||Jr.||San Diego State|
|2016 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE|
|DL||Ryan Watson||Sr.||Air Force|
|DL||Sam McCaskill||Sr.||Boise State|
|DL||David Moa||So.||Boise State|
|DL||Alex Barrett*||Sr.||San Diego State|
|LB||Calvin Munson*||Sr.||San Diego State|
|DB||Andre Chachere||Jr.||San José State|
|DB||Weston Steelhammer**||Sr.||Air Force|
|DB||Damontae Kazee*||Sr.||San Diego State|
|P||Hayden Hunt||Sr.||Colorado State|
|*--Two-Time First-Team Selection|
|**--Three-Time First-Team Selection|
|2016 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE|
|WR||Jalen Robinette||Sr.||Air Force|
|RB||Jeremy McNichols*||Jr.||Boise State|
|RB||Teriyon Gipson||Sr.||New Mexico|
|TE||David Wells||Jr.||San Diego State|
|OL||Jake Bennett||Jr.||Colorado State|
|OL||Reno Henderson||Sr.||New Mexico|
|OL||Daniel Brunskill||Sr.||San Diego State|
|PK||Luke Strebel||Sr.||Air Force|
|2016 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE|
|DL||Nik D'Avanzo||Sr.||New Mexico|
|DL||Garrett Hughes||Jr.||New Mexico|
|DL||Travis Seefeldt||Sr.||Utah State|
|LB||Ben Weaver||Sr.||Boise State|
|LB||Kevin Davis||Sr.||Colorado State|
|LB||Jeff Camilli||Sr.||Fresno State|
|DB||Brodie Hicks||Sr.||Air Force|
|DB||Chanceller James||Sr.||Boise State|
|DB||Jonathan Moxey||Sr.||Boise State|
|DB||Malik Smith||Sr.||San Diego State|
|P||Sean Wale||Sr.||Boise State|
|*--Two-Time Second-Team Selection
**--Three-Time Second-Team Selection
|OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR|
|Donnel Pumphrey, Sr., RB, San Diego State|
|DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR|
|Damontae Kazee, Sr., DB, San Diego State|
|SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR|
|Rashaad Penny, Jr., KR/PR, San Diego State|
|FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR|
|Logan Wilson, Fr., LB, Wyoming|
|COACH OF THE YEAR|
|Craig Bohl, Wyoming|