Utah State senior quarterback Chuckie Keeton was named Preseason MW Offensive Player of the Year, while Fresno State senior safety Derron Smith was selected MW Defensive Player of the Year. New Mexico junior return specialist Carlos Wiggins garnered Preseason MW Special Teams Player of the Year honors.
Keeton, a senior from Houston, Texas played in just six games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the first quarter against BYU on Oct. 4, 2013. Prior to his injury, Keeton had completed 136-of-196 passes for 1,388 yards (231.3 ypg) with 18 touchdowns and just two interceptions, while rushing for another 241 yards on 55 carries (4.4 yards per carry) and two more scores. Overall, that completion percentage of 69.4 percent broke his own single-season school record set in 2012, while his 18 touchdown passes rank tied for ninth all-time in school history.
Smith, a 2012 and 2013 All-MW first-team honoree, leads all returning players in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 14 career interceptions. The 2013 MW Preseason Defensive Player of the Year led the Conference and was second in the nation with seven interceptions. Smith tied for second on the team with 87 tackles. He also recorded four sacks and eight tackles for loss. He was named the Defensive MVP of the inaugural MW Championship Game, thanks to his six tackle, one sack, one interception and one pass breakup performance as Fresno State topped Utah State 24-17.
The 2013 FBS leader in kick return yardage, Wiggins finished last season with a MW-best 29.6 yards per return. His three kickoff returns for touchdowns tied the league's single-season record. Wiggins, the 2013 MW Special Teams Player of the Year, returned two kickoffs 100 yards, equaling the MW mark set by Hawai'i's Mike Edwards in 2012. In limited time at running back, Wiggins gained 237 yards on just 13 carries and scored twice. He was the only player in the nation to have a 100-yard rushing game, a rushing touchdown, a touchdown reception and multiple kickoff returns for touchdowns.
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.