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Armani Rogers named Mountain West’s Freshman of the Year

RB Lexington Thomas, DL Mike Hughes Jr. also honored

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Tom R. Smedes / Assocaited Press

UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers runs against UNR in the first half of an NCAA college football game in Reno. Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017.

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The UNLV football team’s top offensive players were honored today by the Mountain West.

Quarterback Armani Rogers was named the league’s Freshman of the Year, capping a rookie campaign in which he established a UNLV quarterback record with 780 rushing yards. Rogers was the only freshman nationally to surpass 700 yards on the ground and average 140 passing yards, finishing with 14 total touchdowns — eight rushing; six passing.

Rogers in the eighth major award winner from UNLV in the league’s 18-year history, becoming the first Freshman of the Year since Devonte Boyd in 2014.

UNLV running back Lexington Thomas, who rushed for 1,336 yards and 17 touchdowns, was named first-team all-Mountain West. Thomas’ 6.3 yards per carry ranks 17th nationally.

He rushed for more than 100 yards in five UNLV games and had multiple touchdowns in six contests.

Defensively, senior lineman Mike Hughes Jr. was a second-team all-Mountain West selection. Hughes, who started his final 36 UNLV games, finished 2017 with 53 tackles and a team-best seven tackles for loss.

Offensive linemen Kyle Saxelid and Nathan Jacobson received honorable mention.

UNLV’s other Freshman of the Year honorees were Ryan Wolfe (2006) and Dominique Dorsey (2001). When the Rebels were in the Western Athletic Conference, linebacker James Sunia (1998) and Jon Denton (1996) were also Freshman of the Year.

San Diego State running back Rashad Penny, who led the nation in rushing with 2,026 yards, became the first player in league history to win multiple positions awards. He was picked for both the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 702-990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21

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