Boise State football places four players on All-Mountain West first team

By Chadd Cripe
© 2013 Idaho Statesman

Boise State sophomore tailback Jay Ajayi, senior left tackle Charles Leno Jr., junior defensive end Demarcus Lawrence and senior defensive tackle Ricky Tjong-A-Tjoe were named to the All-Mountain West first team Tuesday.

Senior center Matt Paradis (a first-teamer last year), sophomore cornerback Donte Deayon and junior safety Jeremy Ioane made the second team.

Junior kicker Dan Goodale, junior wide receiver Matt Miller and sophomore wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes made honorable mention.

Boise State was shut out in the conference awards. Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr is the Offensive Player of the Year, Colorado State linebacker Shaquil Barrett is the Defensive Player of the Year, New Mexico kickoff returner Carlos Wiggins is the Special Teams Player of the Year, San Jose State wide receiver Tyler Winston is the Freshman of the Year and Utah State’s Matt Wells is the Coach of the Year.

Boise State had two significant candidates for year-end awards.

Lawrence led the Mountain West in sacks per game (10.5 total) and tackles for loss per game (19.5 total). Barrett led the league in both categories overall (12 sacks, 20.5 tackles for loss). The difference: The Rams played one more game than the Broncos and Lawrence was suspended for one game.

Freshman linebacker Ben Weaver led the Broncos with 86 tackles. He had 19 more than anyone else on the team despite missing a game with an injury. Winston finished with 58 catches for 858 yards and five touchdowns.

Carr was the expected winner on offense with his 48 touchdown passes. Wiggins was an easy choice on special teams with three kickoff returns for TDs. And Wells won for leading the Aggies to the Mountain Division title in their first year in the conference and his first year as a head coach despite losing quarterback Chuckie Keeton.

Notes on the Broncos’ honorees:

— Ajayi ranks third in the Mountain West with 110.7 rushing yards per game and second with 17 rushing touchdowns.

— Leno, who was a second-teamer last year, is a three-year starter at left tackle. He hasn’t missed a practice this year.

— Lawrence also is tied for second on the team in tackles with 67.

— Tjong-A-Tjoe is tied for fifth on the team with 50 tackles. He has four pass breakups, most on the team by a player who isn’t a cornerback.

— Paradis made the first team last year.

— Deayon is tied for fourth in the conference in passes defended with five interceptions and nine breakups.

— Ioane doesn’t have gaudy stats — 49 tackles — but is respected around the conference for his physical play.

— Miller is tied for seventh in the conference with 77 catches and fifth with 11 touchdown catches. He made nine TD catches in November.

— Williams-Rhodes is fourth in receptions (he also has 77, but played one fewer game). He also leads the Mountain West with a 14.6-yard average on punt returns.

— Goodale is tied for third with 12 field goals and leads the conference at 87.5 percent on field-goal attempts.

Coaches and select media members vote for the awards.

Here is the complete awards list.

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Chadd Cripe has spent the past 12 years as the Boise State football beat writer. You can follow him on Twitter @IDS_BroncoBeat.

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