Nine Mountain West Football Players Named To National Watch Lists
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – A total of nine Mountain West football student-athletes were named to the three different national watch lists on Monday and Tuesday.
Boise State senior wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes and San Jose State senior running back Tyler Ervin appear on the Paul Hornung Award list. The Paul Hornung Award is presented to the most versatile player in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS).
The Bednarik Award, which honors the defensive player of the year, saw a pair of players from Boise State and Utah State included. Junior defensive end Kamalei Correa and senior safety Darian Thompson made the list for the Broncos, as did a pair of Aggie linebackers, senior Kyler Fackrell and junior Nick Vigil. Correa, Thompson and Vigil were all first-team All-MW selections in 2014. Thompson registered seven interceptions last season and enters the 2015 campaign tied for the second-highest career total in MW history at 14 with former Fresno State safety Derron Smith. Fackrell, named second-team All-MW in 2013, suffered a season-ending knee injury in the second quarter of the Aggies' 2014 season opener at Tennessee.
Three additional MW student-athletes, Colorado State junior wide receiver Rashard Higgins, San Diego State junior running back Donnel Pumphrey and Utah State senior Chuckie Keeton, appeared on the Maxwell Award watch list, which is awarded to the player of the year. Higgins, a 2014 consensus All-American and first-team All-MW honoree, led the nation in receiving yards (1,750), receiving yards per game (145.8) and touchdowns (17). Pumphrey, named 2014 first-team All-MW, led the Conference and was fourth in the nation in rushing yards with 1,867, while his 20 rushing TD’s were good for ninth-best in the FBS. Keeton, who has played just nine games the past two years, was granted a sixth season of eligibility by the NCAA after re-injuring his right knee in the fourth game of the 2014 campaign.