Rams earn 4 preseason all-MW nods
July 24, 2012
By Stuart Buchanan
Athletic Media Relations
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Colorado State’s junior running back Chris Nwoke, junior offensive lineman Weston Richburg, junior linebacker Shaquil Barrett and senior punter Pete Kontodiakos have been named to the 2012 Preseason all-Mountain West Team, the conference announced Tuesday at the Mountain West Football Media Days at The Cosmopolitan.
Tuesday’s announcement is the latest in a long list of preseason honors accumulated by Richburg and Kontodiakos. Earlier this month, Richburg appeared on the watch lists for the Outland Trophy, Rimington Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award.
Richburg, a 6-foot-4, 297-pound product of Bushland, Texas, earned second-team all-MW honors last season. He hasn’t missed a start in his two-year collegiate career.
Kontodiakos, who earlier this month found his name on the Ray Guy Award watch list, is coming off his best season at CSU. He averaged 38.7 net yards per punt and also recorded a 43.6 gross average which was in the top 20 in the nation. He also blasted 20 of his 57 punts for 50 or more yards, while pinning opponents inside their own 20 on 13 occasions.
He became only the fourth punter in CSU history to earn back-to-back all-MW honors.
Nwoke, a 6-foot, 213-pound running back who can hurt his opponent with his speed and power, rushed for 1,130 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. These numbers earned him second-team all-MW honors.
Barrett, transferred to Colorado State and was immediately eligible after Nebraska-Omaha disbanded its football program. He quickly adapted to the program and ended the 2011 season as the Rams leading tackler with 99, including 2½ sacks and scoring two defensive touchdowns.
The four Rams named to the all-conference squad is tied for the second most representatives from one team only behind Boise State, who had five. San Diego State and Nevada also had four players earn preseason all-MW honors.
The media voters also predict the Rams to finish eighth this season in a new-look conference, which added Fresno State, Hawai’i and Nevada.
In addition to Nwoke, Richburg, Barrett and Kontodiakos, several CSU players appear on various preseason honor lists.
Preseason All-Mountain West
LB Shaquil Barrett (first-team: Athlon, Blue Ribbon, MW media, Phil Steele; second-team: Lindy’s)
OL Joe Caprioglio (fourth-team: Phil Steele)
KR Lee Clubb (fourth-team: Phil Steele)
DL John Froland (first-team: Athlon, Phil Steele)
TE Crockett Gillmore (second-team: Athlon, Lindy’s, Phil Steele)
OL Jordan Gragert (second-team: Phil Steele)
P Pete Kontodiakos (first-team: Athlon, Blue Ribbon, Lindy’s, MW media, Phil Steele)
RB Chris Nwoke (first-team: Athlon, Blue Ribbon, Lindy’s, MW media, Phil Steele)
OL Weston Richburg (first-team: Athlon, Blue Ribbon, Lindy’s, MW media, Phil Steele)
LB James Skelton (second-team: Athlon, Phil Steele)
PR Momo Thomas (third-team: Athlon, Phil Steele)
Rams in contention for national awards
CFPA Punter Award: Pete Kontodiakos
CFPA Running Back Award: Chris Nwoke
CFPA Tight End Award: Crockett Gillmore
John Mackey Award (top tight end): Crockett Gillmore
Outland Trophy (best interior lineman): Weston Richburg
Ray Guy Award (top punter): Pete Kontodiakos
Rimington Trophy (most outstanding center): Weston Richburg
Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman or linebacker): Weston Richburg