Four Pack players make all-WAC first team
RENO – Four University of Nevada football players – senior defensive tackle Chris Barry, senior offensive tackle Harvey Dahl, junior wide receiver Nichiren Flowers and freshman linebacker JeremyEngstrom – received all-Western Athletic Conference honors.
Dahl won first-team honors for the second straight year, and Flowers, who caught 91 passes for 1,126 yards and six scores, also was a first-team pick.
Barry, who had 9 1/2 tackles behind the line, including four sacks, was first-team defensive selection. He was a second-team pick as a junior.
Engstrom, who won the starting job from fellow freshman Nick Fuhr early in the season, led the Wolf Pack in tackles with 97. He had eight stops behind the line, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.
As expected, Louisiana Tech’s Ryan Moats was named the Offensive Player of the Year. Moats, who gained a school-record 1,744 on the ground this season, scored 19 times. He also produced five games with more than 200 yards rushing. One of those was against Nevada in the season-opener on Labor Day.
Senior linebacker Robert Rodriguez of UTEP was named the Defensive Player of the Year. Rodriguez averaged 9.7 tackles per game and had 15 tackles behind the line, including three sacks. He also forced four fumbles.
Boise State coach Dan Hawkins, who guided the Broncos to their first undefeated season (11-0) and a No. 8 BCS ranking was named the Coach of the Year. Hawkins won out over UTEP’s Mike Price, who guided the Miners to a Houston Bowl bid in his first season at the helm.
Fresno State’s Ryan Wendell and UTEP free safety Quintin Demps were named the co-Freshmen of the Year.
Wendell started the last seven games of the year on the offensive line, and helped Fresno record four straight blowout victories in November. Demps intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles, intercepted a pass and had 51 tackles.
Hawai’i wide receiver Chad Owens, Dahl, Tulsa tight end Garrett Mills, UTEP running back Howard Jackson, Boise State linebacker Andy Avalos and Fresno State defensive back James Sanders were repeat first-team selections.