Thomas garners all-MWC honors; Rebels picked third in West

Senior running back Lexington Thomas, who needs 1,250 yards to become UNLV’s all-time rusher leader, was the lone Rebel picked the 25-man 2018 preseason All-Mountain West Team announced Tuesday morning at the league’s annual Media Summit at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas.

The Rebels, who open their season on Sept. 1 against USC at the Coliseum, were picked to finish third in the West Division in the media poll behind Fresno State and San Diego State and just ahead of in-state rival Nevada. UNLV, which finished 5-7 overall and 4-4 in Mountain West play, hosts UTEP on Sept. 8 in its home opener at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Thomas rushed for 1,336 yards – the fourth highest single season total in school history — and 17 touchdowns last season as a junior. He scored at least one TD in 10 of UNLV’s 12 games and powered a UNLV rushing attack that finished 18th in the nation in rushing with an average of 240.2 yards per game.

Boise State offensive lineman John Molchon, who prepped at Faith Lutheran and also starred for the Vegas Elite basketball program, also was selected to the preseason All-Mountain West Team.

Boise State senior quarterback Brett Rypien was named the Offensive Player of the Year while Wyoming senior defensive back Andrew Wingard earned his second consecutive preseason Defensive Player of the Year honor. Boise State sophomore Avery Williams was picked Special Teams Player of the Year.

2018 PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
Mountain Division
Rank. Team (first-place votes) – Points

1. Boise State (22) – 132
2. Wyoming – 95
3. Colorado State – 82
4. Utah State – 78
5. Air Force – 52
6. New Mexico – 23

West Division
1. Fresno State (16) – 126
2. San Diego State (6) – 116
3. UNLV – 78
4. Nevada – 72
5. Hawaii – 45
6. San José State – 25

2018 MOUNTAIN WEST PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
OFFENSE

QB — Brett Rypien**, Sr., Boise State
WR — KeeSean Johnson**, Sr., Fresno State
WR — McLane Mannix, So., Nevada
RB — Alexander Mattison, Jr., Boise State
RB – LEXINGTON THOMAS*, SR., UNLV
OL — Ezra Cleveland, So., Boise State
OL — John Molchon, Jr., Boise State
OL — Aaron Jenkins, Sr., New Mexico
OL — Keith Ismael**, So., San Diego State
OL — Tyler Roemer**, So., San Diego State
TE — Dax Raymond, Jr., Utah State
DEFENSE
DL — David Moa**, Sr., Boise State
DL — Curtis Weaver*, So., Boise State
DL — Youhanna Ghaifan*, Jr., Wyoming
DL — Carl Granderson*, Sr., Wyoming
LB — Jeffrey Allison*, Jr. , Fresno State
LB — Jahlani Tavai**, Sr., Hawaii
LB — Malik Reed, Sr., Nevada
DB — Tyler Horton*, Sr., Boise State
DB — Dameon Baber**, Sr., Nevada
DB — Tariq Thompson**, So., San Diego State
DB — Andrew Wingard *, Sr., Wyoming
SPECIAISTS
P — Ryan Stonehouse, So., Colorado State
PK — Dominik Eberle*, Jr., Utah State
KR/PR — Avery Williams**, So., Boise State

Offensive Player of the Year: Brett Rypien, Sr., QB, Boise State
Defensive Player of the Year: Andrew Wingard, Sr., DB, Wyoming
Special Teams Player of the Year: Avery Williams, So., KR/PR, Boise State
* – member of the 2017 All-Mountain West first team
** – member of the 2017 All-Mountain West second team

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