Nov. 30, 2010
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. --- Five members of the University of New Mexico football team earned All-Mountain West Conference honors Tuesday. The MWC announced its annual football awards, as voted on by the league coaches and selected media members. Sophomore tight end Lucas Reed earned first team honors. Junior linebacker Carmen Messina was named second team All-MWC, after leading the league in tackles. Junior kicker James Aho, senior tackle Byron Bell and junior safety Bubba Forrest were named honorable mention All-MWC.
TCU claimed the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year. Andy Dalton was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Year for the second straight time. Tank Carder was picked as the Defensive Player of the Year. TCU has claimed the last three awards for Defensive Player of the Year.
Reed (Tucson, Ariz.) is coming off his best season as a Lobo and earned his first all-MWC award. In 11 games, Reed had 33 catches for 459 yards. He finished the year with a team-high 13.9 yards per catch average and five touchdowns. Reed finished the season with two multi-touchdown games including a career performance against Wyoming. He had a career-high seven catches for 100 yards against the Cowboys.
Messina (Addison, Ill.) recorded 115 tackles and led the MWC for the second straight season. Messina earned his second all-MWC honor. Despite fighting an ankle injury all season, he finished the year on an eight-game streak with double-digit tackles. Messina had 6.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. He has recorded double-digit tackles in 18 games during his career. Messina finished the season ranked 26th nationally in tackles.
Aho (Roswell, N.M.) earned his first all-MWC honor. He made 8-of-9 field goals in limited opportunities. Aho was 22-of-22 on PATs and was extremely reliable throughout the year. He hit a career-long 51-yard field goal and the game-winner against Wyoming. Aho made his last seven attempts dating back to the Utah game. He finished the year ranked fourth all-time at New Mexico in field goals (39) and 11th in scoring (182).
Bell (Greenville, Texas) recorded over 100 knockdown blocks in his senior season. He graded out above 90 percent for the year and showed why he is one of the best left tackles in the country. Bell finished the year with 10 or more knockdowns in six games. He had a season-best grade out percentage (92) against New Mexico State.
Forrest (Carlsbad, N.M.) nabs his first all-conference award. He finished the year with a career-high 100 tackles. He was second on the team in stops and ranked second in the MWC. Forrest ranks 67th nationally in tackles. He finished the year with 4.5 tackles for loss and a team-high two interceptions.