Las Vegas Sun

September 29, 2023

Wolfe earns historic MWC honor to cap UNLV career

Hawley, Beauchamp and Murphy also earn all-league mention

UNLV vs. New Mexico

Greg Sorber / Associated Press

UNLV’s Ryan Wolfe scores a touchdown against New Mexico on Oct. 24, 2009, in Albuquerque, N.M. UNLV won 34-17.

Saturday's 28-24 come-from-behind victory over San Diego State wasn't the last bit of good news for the 2009 UNLV football team.

The Mountain West Conference unveiled its postseason honors on Tuesday, and Rebels senior wideout Ryan Wolfe became just the third UNLV football player and sixth Mountain West Conference player in history to earn first team all-league mention three times in a career.

Wolfe was first team in 2006 and 2008, and joins two-time All-American safety Jamaal Brimmer (2002-04 in the MWC) and two-time All-American punter and quarterback Randall Cunningham (1982-84 in the PCAA) in that category.

The Santa Clarita, Calif., native's UNLV career was cut a game short when he suffered a broken foot while returning punts in practice during the Rebels bye week on Nov. 18. Despite the setback, he finished 12th in college football history with 283 receptions, which is the most in both UNLV and MWC history. He led UNLV this season in receptions (74) and yards (760).

Three other members of Sanford's squad were given honorable mention recognition from the league.

On the offensive line, senior guard Joe Hawley (no sacks allowed) and junior left tackle Matt Muphy (one sack allowed) made the league's list. Murphy will be part of a line which could potentially return four of five starters in 2010 under the new regime. The Rebels tied 24th out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision squads in sacks allowed, surrendering only 15 in 12 games.

The lone member of the defense to get honorable mention was senior linebacker/defensive end Jason Beauchamp, who led the team in tackles (95), tackles for loss (12) and sacks (6.5).

The 25-member first team was dominated by league champion TCU, who at 12-0 is likely headed for a BCS bowl. Nine of the 25 spots were occupied by the Horned Frogs, while the league's 'Big Three' — TCU, BYU and Utah — combined to take up 19 of them. TCU landed six on the second team, and also took four of the league's top five honors.

Junior quarterback Andy Dalton was named Offensive Player of the Year, senior defensive end Jerry Hughes was named Defensive Player of the Year, junior receiver Jeremy Kerley was the Special Teams Player of the Year and Gary Patterson was honored as Coach of the Year. Wyoming quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, who led the Cowboys to a 6-6 record and postseason berth under first-year coach Dave Christensen, is the league's Freshman of the Year.

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