Athlon’s preseason All-MW football teams feature 11 Aggies | Sports

In the first of what will eventually be many preseason all-conference lists, Athlon Sports released its four preseason All-Mountain West teams. Utah State had 12 selections among 11 players.

The 12 selections were tied for sixth-most among all schools. Boise State led the way with 21, followed by Colorado State and UNLV (both 17), Fresno State (15), Wyoming (13), Hawaii and Utah State (both 12), San Diego State (10), San Jose State (8), Nevada and New Mexico (both seven) and Air Force (five).

Utah State’s top two returning players, wide receiver Jalen Royals and safety Ike Larsen, were both named First Team. Fairly easy choices given both were awarded All-MW First Team at the end of last year by the conference.

The next three Aggies to make it were on Athlon’s Second Team All-MW — cornerback Avante Dickerson, running back Rahsul Faison and defensive end Blaine Spires. The trio were all key players for Utah State last season and the top returners at their respective positions. Dickerson tied for second in passes deflected on the team last year (six), Faison’s 736 rushing yards are the most of any returner and his 6.2 yards per attempt was sixth overall in the conference, and Spires’ 6.0 sacks are the highest of any returning player for USU.

Three more USU players made the Third Team. Micah Davis earned two distinctions on this team as both a wide receiver and punt returner. Tight end Broc Lane and punter Stephan Kotsanlee were also picked.

The fourth and final team also featured three Aggies. Center Falepula Alo and defensive back Jaiden Francois were both picked as two returning starters for USU. Defensive tackle Gabriel Iniguez, a transfer, also received a nod and is the only 2024 transfer for Utah State to be on one of the teams.

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