Tuesday, July 28, 2015 | 8:30 a.m.
UNLV was picked to finish last in its division while sophomore receiver Devonte Boyd was the lone Rebel on the preseason All-Mountain West team, it was announced this morning at the league’s media days at the Cosmopolitan.
The Rebels received only 38 points, about half of fifth-place Hawaii’s 70 and the lowest of any team, regardless of division. UNLV has been picked last in the league four previous times in Mountain West history, and three of those times, that’s where the Rebels finished.
Boise State and San Diego State were the runaway favorites to win the Mountain and West divisions, respectively. The Broncos received 28 of 30 first-place votes, while the Aztecs hauled in 27. For Boise, it’s the fifth straight year they’ve been picked to win either their division or the entire conference, while this is the first time in league history that San Diego State has been pegged at the top.
Boyd, a Basic High grad, set UNLV freshman records with 65 catches and 980 receiving yards last season, marks that ranked near the top 10 in UNLV’s all-time single-season categories as well.
The preseason Offensive Player of the Year is another receiver, Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins, while the Defensive Player of the Year is Utah State senior linebacker Kyler Fackrell. San Diego State kicker Donny Hageman was named the Special Teams Player of the Year.
Here’s a look at the full preseason predicted order of finish and all-conference team:
Predicted order of finish
Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Taylor Bern and Case Keefer ask Ray Brewer to explain why he's all in on the Tony Sanchez era for UNLV football, and what that will look like both in year one and down the road.
1. Boise State (28) 177
2. Utah State (2) 150
3. Colorado State 108
4. Air Force 90
5. Wyoming 64
6. New Mexico 41
1. San Diego State (27) 177
2. Fresno State (3) 141
3. UNR 113
4. San Jose State 91
5. Hawaii 70
6. UNLV 38
ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST TEAM
QB — Chuckie Keeton, senior, Utah State
RB — Donnel Pumphrey, junior, San Diego State; Marteze Waller, senior, Fresno State
WR — Rashard Higgins, junior, Colorado State; Devonte Boyd, sophomore, UNLV
TE — Steven Walker, senior, Colorado State
OL — Marcus Henry, senior, Boise State; Alex Fifita, senior, Fresno State; Rees Odhiambo, senior, Boise State; Ben Clarke, Sr, Hawaii; Pearce Slater, Sr, San Diego State
DL — Kamalei Correa, junior, Boise State; Eddie Yarbrough, senior, Wyoming; Ian Seau, senior, UNR; Alex Hansen, Sr, Air Force
LB — Nick Vigil, junior, Utah State; Kyler Fackrell, senior, Utah State; Tanner Vallejo, junior, Boise State
DB — Weston Steelhammer, junior, Air Force; Darian Thompson, senior, Boise State; Damontae Kazee, junior, San Diego State; Donte Deayon, Sr, Boise State
K — Donny Hageman, senior, San Diego State
P — Alex Boy, junior, UNR
RS — Carlos Wiggins, Sr, New Mexico