Leon McFadden Named MW Preseason Defensive POY

July 24, 2012

LAS VEGAS - San Diego State defensive back Leon McFadden has been selected as the Mountain West Preseason Defensive Player of the Year, the league announced today. McFadden was joined on the preseason all-conference team by tight end Gavin Escobar and wide receiver Colin Lockett.

Additionally, the Aztecs were picked to finish fifth in the Mountain West with 173 points in the 2012 preseason poll, which is voted on by media representatives who cover the conference. The fifth-place projection is SDSU's second highest in the last eight years. Last season San Diego State was selected fourth and finished fourth. It marked the sixth time in the last seven years that the Aztecs finished at or higher than their projected finish. SDSU also picked up one of the 30 first-place votes, a first in its 14-year history of the MW.

Boise State was picked to win the league with 296 points, including 27 first-place votes. Only 74 points separated the second-place team (Nevada, 244 points) and the sixth-place team (Air Force, 170 points). Fresno State was third with 231 points and two first-place votes, while Wyoming (213 points) and SDSU (173 points) rounded out the top five at fourth and fifth, respectively.

McFadden became the first San Diego State player to be named a preseason player of the year (offense, defense or special teams). McFadden, who is looking to become the fifth Aztec in program history to earn first-team all-conference honors in three consecutive years, is on the preseason watch list for the Nagurski Award (top defensive player) and the Thorpe Award (top defensive back). He's also the third player in the last 11 years (also Kirk Morrison and Lynell Hamilton) to be named to the preseason all-conference team for a second time. The Inglewood, Calif., native led the league in passes defended (17) last year, while recording 46 tackles (35 solo), two interceptions and a sack.

Escobar, who is on the preseason watch list for the Lombardi Award (top lineman) and the Mackey Award (top tight end), had 51 catches a year ago for 780 yards and seven touchdowns. His 60.00 receiving yards per game in 2011 were the third most in the nation among tight ends. The Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., native was an honorable mention All-American last year by Sports Illustrated after earning freshman All-America accolades by Sporting News in 2010.

A member of the Biletnikoff Award Watch List (most outstanding wide receiver), Lockett led SDSU in receiving last year with 970 yards. Lockett, who also had 58 catches and eight touchdowns, averaged 74.6 receiving yards per game, which ranked fourth in the conference. Lockett also tallied 678 yards on special teams in 2011, including a 94-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the season-opener against Cal Poly.

Media day coverage continues through Wednesday from Las Vegas. Watch full coverage of MW Media Day on GoAztecs.com and get the latest news via Twitter at http://twitter.com/GoAztecs.

2012 Mountain West Preseason Poll
1. Boise State (27 first-place votes) - 296
2. Nevada - 244
3. Fresno State (2) - 231
4. Wyoming - 213
5. San Diego State (1) - 173
6. Air Force - 170
7. Hawai'i - 116
8. Colorado State - 111
9. UNLV - 63
10. New Mexico - 33

2012 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team
QB Derek Carr, Jr., Fresno State
WR Matt Miller, So., Boise State
WR Colin Lockett, Jr., San Diego State
RB Robbie Rouse, Sr., Fresno State
RB Chris Nwoke, Jr., Colorado State
OL Chris Barker, Sr., Nevada
OL Joe Kellogg, Sr., Boise State
OL Weston Richburg, Jr., Colorado State
OL Nick Carlson, Sr., Wyoming
OL Jeff Nady, Sr., Nevada
TE Gavin Escobar, Jr., San Diego State

DL Mike Purcell, Jr., Wyoming
DL Mike Atkinson, Sr., Boise State
DL Paipai Falemalu, Sr., Hawai'i
DL Jack Reynoso, Jr., Nevada
LB Travis Brown, Sr., Fresno State
LB Shaquil Barrett, Jr., Colorado State
LB Alex Means, Sr., Air Force
DB Leon McFadden, Sr., San Diego State
DB Duke Williams, Sr., Nevada
DB Luke Ruff, Sr., Wyoming
DB Jamar Taylor, Sr., Boise State

P Pete Kontodiakos, Sr., Colorado State
PK Parker Herrington, Sr., Air Force
RET Mitch Burroughs, Sr., Boise State

Offensive Player of the Year
Derek Carr, Jr., QB, Fresno State

Defensive Player of the Year
Leon McFadden, Sr., DB, San Diego State

Special Teams Player of the Year
Mitch Burroughs, Sr., RET, Boise State