Fans Mountain West Football Media Day is today. Follow along all day on Twitter as Frank Mercogliano and Matt Ensor of UNM Communications will be tweeting from @NewMexicoFB. Follow along and watch it all unfold.
LAS VEGAS, Nev. --- Carlos Wiggins and LaMar Bratton both earned preseason Mountain West honors as Wiggins was named the preseason Special Teams Player of the Year, and both he and Bratton were named to the Preseason All-Mountain West team. The teams, along with predicted order of finish, were released Tuesday morning to kickoff Mountain West Media Day in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Wiggins, who is the reigning Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year, picked up the preseason honor as well. It marks the second straight year that UNM had the preseason Special Teams Player of the Year, as Chase Clayton earned the honor in 2013.
Wiggins was also named to the Preseason All-Mountain West team, as was LaMar Bratton as one of five linemen on the squad. Both Wiggins and Bratton have been on numerous first team lists by publications such as Phil Steele, Athlon and Lindy’s. Both are on preseason watch lists. Bratton is on the Rimington Award Watch List for the nation’s best center, while Wiggins is on the Paul Hornung Award Watch List for best multi-purpose player, and for the College Football Performance Award for kickoff return trophy. Wiggins is the reigning winner of the CFPA kickoff return trophy as well.
Just a rising junior, Wiggins last year was named the Mountain West’s Special Teams Player of the Year after leading the nation with 1,303 kickoff return yards and three touchdowns. He made several All-American teams last year including SB Nation (second team), College Sports Madness (third team), Phil Steele (fourth team) and Sports Illustrated (honorable mention). He was one of two players nationally last year to have at least two touchdowns rushing, receiving and on kickoff returns.
Bratton has started all 37 games of his Lobo career, the last two seasons at left guard. Bratton started 12 games at center his freshman season in 2011, and he made a spot start at center in 2013 against Pittsburgh. Going up against first-round draft pick Aaron Donald, Bratton led the team with 13 knockdown blocks.
The Lobos were predicted by a 43-member media vote to finish fifth in the six-team Mountain Division. The Lobos picked up 56 points.
In the predicted order of finish, Boise State earned 20 first place votes and 183 points and were selected to win the Mountain Division with Utah State garnering 176 points and 12 first place votes. Colorado State was third with 135 points and the other first place vote, followed by Wyoming (90 points), UNM and Air Force (53).
Fresno State was the narrow selection in the West Division with 174 points and 15 first place votes. San Diego State picked up 15 first place votes as well and 172 overall points. Rounding out the west are Nevada (130 points, three first place votes), UNLV (95 votes), San Jose State (87 points) and Hawai’i (35 points).
|2014 Mountain West Predicted Order of Finish|
|Rk||Team (1st Place Votes)||Points|
|1||Boise State (20)||183|
|2||Utah State (12)||176|
|3||Colorado State (1)||135|
|Rk||Team (1st Place Votes)||Points|
|1||Fresno State (15)||174|
|2||San Diego State (15)||172|
|5||San Jose State||87|
2014 MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
QB Chuckie Keeton Sr. Utah State
WR Matt Miller Sr. Boise State
WR Devante Davis** Sr. UNLV
RB Jay Ajayi* Jr. Boise State
RB Donnel Pumphrey So. San Diego State
OL Ty Sambrailo** Sr. Colorado State
OL Cody Wichmann Sr. Fresno State
OL LaMar Bratton Sr. New Mexico
OL Brett Boyko** Sr. UNLV
OL Robert Waterman Sr. UNLV
TE Kivon Cartwright Sr. Colorado State
DL Tyeler Davison** Sr. Fresno State
DL Brock Hekking* Sr. Nevada
DL B.J. Larsen** Sr. Utah State
DL Eddie Yarbrough* Jr. Wyoming
LB Ejiro Ederaine** Jr. Fresno State
LB Kyler Fackrell** Jr. Utah State
LB Zach Vigil** Sr. Utah State
DB Donte Deayon** Jr. Boise State
DB Jeremy Ioane** Sr. Boise State
DB Derron Smith* Sr. Fresno State
DB J.J. Whittaker Sr. San Diego State
P Garrett Swanson Jr. Fresno State
PK Jared Roberts* Sr. Colorado State
Ret. Carlos Wiggins* Jr. New Mexico
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Chuckie Keeton, Sr., QB, Utah State
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Derron Smith, Sr., DB, Fresno State
Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Carlos Wiggins, Jr., KR, New Mexico
* - member of the 2013 All-Mountain West first team.
** - member of the 2013 All-Mountain West second team.