Mountain West Lands Three on CBSSports.com All-America Teams
Dec. 4, 2012
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Three Mountain West football student-athletes were among those honored when CBSSports.com announced its 2012 All-America teams. Fresno State defensive back Phillip Thomas earned first-team accolades, while Hawai`i kick returner Mike Edwards and Nevada running back Stefphon Jefferson were third-team selections.
The MW has had multiple players named All-Americans by CBSSports.com in each of the last five years, including at least three honorees in 2010, 2011 and 2012.
Thomas, a native of Bakersfield, Calif., finished the regular season as the national leader in interceptions with eight, which was the most by a Bulldog in 27 years and set a new Mountain West single-season record. The senior returned three interceptions for touchdowns and his nine total take-aways (eight picks, one fumble recovery) are both tied for the FBS lead. Thomas' three pick-sixes have set a new school record, tied the Mountain West single-season record and is one off the NCAA record. Additionally, his four forced fumbles are tied for the seventh-most in the nation. Thomas led the Bulldogs this year with 82 tackles and his 12.0 tackles for a loss were the second-most in the MW. Thomas, who became the 15th Bulldog in program history to be named a first-team All-American when he was named to the AFCA list last week, is one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, which honors the top defensive back in college football.
Edwards, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, led the country in kickoff return yardage with 1,215 and ranked sixth nationally with a 30.4 average. The junior was one of only four players nationally with at least three kickoff returns for touchdown. His three scores established new Mountain West and UH single-season records, as well as a new career mark for the Warriors and ties TCU's Greg McCoy (2008-11) for the most in a career by a MW player. Edwards is the only player in Conference history to record two 100-yard kick returns in a single season, and his 1,214 total kick return yards is a new MW single-season record.
Jefferson, a product of Visalia, Calif., ranks second on the NCAA's rushing chart this year with 141.9 yards per game. He has compiled 1,703 yards on the ground this season and needs just nine yards to establish a new Conference record for most rushing yards in a single-season. The junior, who ranks second in MW history with 341 rushing attempts and 22 rushing touchdowns in 2012, was the first nationally to reach the 1000-yard mark, accomplishing the feat in Week 7 to become the Wolf Pack's fastest back to reach the 1,000-yard mark and surpassing the previous school record of eight games, set by Vai Taua in 2010.