Pack nets 9 on all-league team
Nine Nevada football players were named to the 2014 All-Mountain West teams that were announced by the conference on Tuesday.
Senior defensive end Brock Hekking earned All-Mountain West for the third straight season as he was one of five players named to the second team. He was joined on the second team by junior Ian Seau, who was fourth in the MW in sacks per game. Senior center Matt Galas also earned second-team accolades and was joined on the offensive side by sophomore tight end Jarred Gipson. Sophomore punter Alex Boy, who leads the MW in punting, rounded out Nevada’s contingent on the second team.
Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson was named the Offensive Player of the Year, Utah State linebacker Zach Vigil was tabbed the Defensive POY, UNLV wide receiver Devonte Boyd is the Freshman of the Year, Air Force senior kicker/punter Will Conant the Special Teams POY and CSU’s Jim McElwain the Coach of the Year.
Nevada senior quarterback Cody Fajardo headed a group of four Nevada players who received honorable mention from the league. He was joined by senior linebacker Jonathan McNeal, senior cornerback Charles Garrett and junior defensive lineman Rykeem Yates.
Boise State’s Grant Hedrick was the second team quarterback.
The teams were voted on by the league’s head coaches and a selection of media members who cover the league. This season marks the first time in Nevada’s three years in the 12-team Mountain West that it did not receive a first-team selection.
Nevada finished 7-5 in the regular season with a 4-4 mark in conference play. The Wolf Pack, which reclaimed the Fremont Cannon with a resounding 49-27 win over UNLV last week, is awaiting word on its bowl destination, which will mark the ninth bowl trip in 10 seasons for the team.
Hekking and Seau anchored a front that led Nevada’s defensive attack in 2014 as the duo combined for 16.5 tackles for loss and 12 sacks on the year. They were joined on the front by Yates, who led the team with 10.5 tackles for loss in just nine games played this season.
Galas led a young offensive line that got better as the season wore on, culminating in a 408-yard rushing attack featuring three 100-yard rushers in the win over UNLV.
Gipson was fourth on the team in receptions and finished the regular season tied for the team lead in touchdown catches with four.
Boy led the Mountain West and was 10th in the nation in punting with a 44.5-yard average. He booted 16 punts (of 54 total) for 50 yards or more and placed 15 inside the 20-yard line. His long on the year was 62 yards and he had four punts of 60 yards or longer on the season.
Fajardo spearheaded the Wolf Pack’s turnaround in 2014, recording three 300-yard passing games and five 100-yard rushing games while accounting for 31 touchdowns on the year. Along the way, he broke the MW record for 100-yard rushing games by a quarterback and became just the second player in history to run for 3,000 yards and pass for 9,000 yards in a career (the other is Nevada’s Colin Kaepernick).
McNeal led the team in tackles and was ninth in the conference with 93 stops on the year. He forced two fumbles and led the league with three fumble recoveries.
Garrett had 55 tackles on the year and led the team with 10 pass breakups, which ranked fifth in the Mountain West.