Where’s Wyoming? No Cowboys make All-Mountain West squads
LAS VEGAS, Nev., -- The 2022 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team was announced today at the league’s annual media days, being held at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas. The team, as selected by members of the media, features 14 student-athletes who were first or second team All-MW selections in 2021.
The 27-member squad is comprised of 24 seniors, two juniors and one redshirt-freshman.
Fresno State senior quarterback Jake Haener is the Preseason MW Offensive Player of the Year, while San José State senior defensive lineman Cade Hall shares Preseason MW Defensive Player of the Year accolades with San Diego State defensive back Patrick McMorris.
San Diego State punt and kickoff returner Jordan Byrd garnered Preseason MW Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
Haener, who was a Davey O’Brien Award semifinalist last season, is coming off a career year in which he threw for 4,096 yards, just the seventh MW signal-caller all-time to throw for at least 4,000 yards in a season, and 33 touchdowns.
Nationally, the native of Danville, California, finished in the top 10 in passing yards per game (315.1; 8th), completions per game (25.3; 9th) and passing yards (4,096; 9th). Haener is the first Bulldog to earn preseason offensive player of the year distinction since Derek Carr in 2012 and 2013.
Hall, who is the first back-to-back MW Preseason Defensive Player of the Year honoree since Wyoming’s Andrew Wingard in 2017-18, tallied 40 tackles, including six tackles for loss and four sacks in 2021.
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The native of Morgan Hill, California, who is a four-year starter on the San José State defensive line, shared preseason honors with McMorris. The Aztec safety finished 2021 ranked top-25 nationally in interceptions (4; T-14th), passes defended (13; T-20th) and pass breakups (11; T-23rd). McMorris is the first Aztec to earn preseason defensive player of the year honors since Damontae Kazee in 2016 and third all-time (Leon McFadden; 2012).
Byrd is the third Aztec to be named MW Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year, joining Rashaad Penny (2016, ’17) and Donny Hageman (2015). The native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a two-time All-MW kick returner. He averaged 27.3 yards per kick return in 2021, and 7.1 yards per punt return. Byrd led the Conference in punt returns (27, 4th nationally), combined kick return yards (794, 6th nationally), kick return average (27.3, 15th nationally), punt return yards (193, 18th nationally) and punt return average (7.1, 30th nationally). He tied for first in kick return touchdowns (1, T-13th nationally).
2022 MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
QB Jake Haener** Sr. Fresno State
WR Jalen Cropper** Sr. Fresno State
WR Jesse Matthews Sr. San Diego State
RB Jordan Mims Sr. Fresno State
OL Isaac Cochran Sr. Air Force
OL John Ojukwu* Sr. Boise State
OL Dontae Bull Sr. Fresno State
OL Aaron Frost** Sr. Nevada
OL Alama Uluave Sr. San Diego State
TE Tanner Arkin RS-Fr. Colorado State
DL Scott Matlock Sr. Boise State
DL Keshawn Banks** Sr. San Diego State
DL Jonah Tavai Sr. San Diego State
DL Viliami Fehoko* Sr. San José State
DL Cade Hall Sr. San José State
LB Vince Sanford** Sr. Air Force
LB Caden McDonald* Sr. San Diego State
LB Kyle Harmon* Sr. San José State
DB JL Skinner** Sr. Boise State
DB Evan Williams* Sr. Fresno State
DB Jerrick Reed II Sr. New Mexico
DB Patrick McMorris* Sr. San Diego State
P Aaron Rodriguez Jr. New Mexico
PK Jonah Dalmas* Jr. Boise State
PR Jordan Byrd Sr. San Diego State
KR Jordan Byrd* Sr. San Diego State
Offensive Player of the Year: Jake Haener, Sr., QB, Fresno State
Co-Defensive Player of the Year: Patrick McMorris, Sr., DB, San Diego State and Cade Hall, Sr., DL, San José State
Special Teams Player of the Year: Jordan Byrd, Sr., PR/KR, San Diego State
* - member of the 2021 All-Mountain West first team
** - member of the 2021 All-Mountain West second team
* Mountain West Conference press release
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