The All-WAC Preseason Football Team

We have covered each of the WAC teams in depth during the 45-Day Countdown. Here are the players that stand out in the conference.

Since we previewed all of the Western Athletic Conference football teams this summer, you can't do that without choosing an All-WAC team; that's half the fun! 

 

Preseason All-WAC Football Team

 

 

QB—Kellen Moore, Junior Boise State

RB—Vai Taua, Senior, Nevada

RB—Doug Martin, Junior, Boise State

OL—Andrew Jackson, Senior, Fresno State

OL—Will Lawrence , Senior, Boise State

OL—Rob McGill, Senior, Louisiana Tech

OL—Kenny Wiggins, Senior, Fresno State

OL—John Bender, Senior, Nevada

TE—Virgil Green, Senior, Nevada

TE—Kyle Efaw, Junior, Boise State

WR— Austin Pettis, Senior, Boise State

WR—Greg Salas, Senior, Hawai'i

 

DE—Ryan Winterswyk, Senior, Boise State

DL—Dontay Moch, Senior, Nevada

DL—Billy Winn, Junior, Boise State

DL—Chris Carter, Senior, Fresno State

DL—Matt Broha, Junior, Louisiana Tech

LB—Winston Venable, Boise State

LB—Ben Jacobs, Senior, Fresno State

LB—James-Michael Johnson, Junior, Nevada State

DB—Davon House, Senior, New Mexico State

DB—Duke Ihenacho, Senior, San Jose State

DB—Brandyn Thompson, Senior, Boise State

DB—Jeron Johnson, Senior, Boise State

DB— Shiloh Keo, Senior, Idaho

DB—Mana Silva, Senior, Hawai'i

 

PK—Kevin Goessling, Junior, Fresno State

P—Peter Caldwell, Senior, Utah State

PR—Phillip Livas, Senior, Louisiana Tech

KR—Titus Young, Senior, Boise State

 

 

Offense:

OL—John Bender, Senior, Nevada

Big bad John Bender (6-8, 325, Sr.) anchors the line at the strongside guard.  Bender presents an immovable wall in the middle of the Nevada line and is a postseason honors candidate.  He is an excellent pulling guard that can move.  Bender (who is from Cochrane , Alberta , 10 miles to the west of Calgary ) was drafted by the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League in May with the 17th overall selection.  

OL—Kenny Wiggins, Senior, Fresno State

Tackle Kenny Wiggins (6-7, 310, Sr.) was a second-team All-WAC player.  Wiggins is tall and relentless in flattening his man on the line of scrimmage.  He exhibits great footwork and agility and is a reliable pass blocker.  

OL—Andrew Jackson, Senior, Fresno State

Andrew Jackson (6-5, 295, Sr.) was an All-WAC performer at right guard.  He was a key reason why running back Ryan Matthews was so successful (leading the nation in rushing).  Jackson moves well, knows his assignment, and performs at a high level.  Jackson earned Academic All-American honors last year and is on the preseason Outland Trophy Watch list.  

OL—Rob McGill, Senior, Louisiana Tech

Rob McGill (6-6, 310, Sr.) was a Second-Team All-WAC selection for the second consecutive season last year.  McGill has the muscle to create holes and is steady in the passing game as well. He anchors the Louisiana Tech offensive line.  

OL—Will Lawrence , Senior, Boise State

Lawrence is big and nasty, having been a converted defensive lineman.  Will is dependable in opening up holes and stays with his block. He moves well and is a mauler up front for the Bronco running game.  

QB—Kellen Moore, Junior, Boise State  

Moore, a coach's son, has great football knowledge and instincts and is an avid film room junkie.  He has good form and pocket presence and is able to alter his throws to complete passes.  Moore throws a nice deep ball and has always shown tremendous poise.  Plus, he has the intangibles--leadership, football smarts, intelligence, pure athletic ability that you cannot measure.  And, he is a winner.  

RB—Vai Taua, Senior, Nevada

Vai Taua ran for 1,345 yards on just 172 carries (7.8 average) with 10 trips to the end zone despite missing three games with injury.  Taua (5-10, 220, Sr.) is explosive to the hole and has surprising speed.  The star back had 10 games of over 100 yards rushing.  Look for him to be used out of the backfield as a receiver more this fall.  

RB—Doug Martin, Junior, Boise State

Martin doesn't mess around--he runs north and south and doesn't care who is in his way. He gets the tough inside yards with strong legs that are always moving. Named as the Bronco starter this week, Martin is poised for a breakout season.   

TE—Virgil Green, Senior, Nevada

Tight end Virgil Green (6-5, 240) is a great fit for the Pistol.  The senior-to-be earned second-team All-WAC honors after catching 23 passes for 260 yards and five touchdowns.  Plus, he is a dead-on blocker, both for the running game and for other receivers.  

TE—Kyle Efaw, Junior, Boise State

Efaw shows great instincts in getting open and has good communication with Moore —the two seem to know what each other is going to do next.  He has great hands and ability to pick up yards after the catch.  

WR—Greg Salas, Senior, Hawai'i

This year, Hawai'i features All-Conference selection Greg Salas (106 catches last year for 1,590 yards and eight touchdowns).  Salas is a big target (6-2, 200, Sr.) who is deadly after the catch. He exploded for 16 catches and 196 receiving yards against New Mexico State last year.

 

Defense:

DL—Matt Broha, Junior, Louisiana Tech

Broha is quick to get into the backfield and a sure tackler.  He led the Bulldogs with four sacks last year and is quick off the end.   

DL—Chris Carter, Senior, Fresno State

Chris Carter (6-2, 230, Sr.) had five sacks last year but, as the leader of the defensive line, that total needs to double.  Carter has good speed and quickness, getting 13 tackles for loss last season.  

DL—Dontay Moch, Senior, Nevada

Dontay Moch (6-1, 245) is as fine a pass rusher as they've seen in Reno and he returns for his senior year.  Moch was WAC Defensive Player of the Year after recording 61 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss.  Originally a linebacker, Moch has been able to utilize his quickness and athleticism to terrorize opposing backfield.  

DL—Billy Winn, Junior, Boise State

Winn has great athletic ability and shows great quickness for a tackle, especially one that is 290 pounds.  He is a natural-born football player who has great instincts and drive.  Winn blossomed in 2009, becoming a consistent force in opponents' backfields.   

DL—Ryan Winterswyk, Senior, Boise State

Winterswyk has constantly improved in his career.  He shows relentless pursuit and became a monster in 2009.  Ryan is resilient; you can't ever count him out on a play because of his unstoppable motor.  He is explosive, ornery and disruptive.  Winterswyk studies film intently, works hard in the weight room and is a fast, physical presence on the field.  

LB—Adrien Cole, Junior, Louisiana Tech  

Cole became the leader of the defense last season making 93 tackles, four for loss, with two sacks from his middle linebacker position.  Cole received All-WAC honors for his performance.  Cole is a fierce hitter and moves well but could play on the strong side as well.  

LB—Winston Venable, Senior, Boise State

Although he is a hybrid "nickel back", playing both linebacker and defensive back, he deserves a place on the team somewhere.  Venable is in the perfect position because he plays both the run and pass well.  He follows his instincts to always be around the ball and is a sure tackler and fierce hitter.  He excels in coverage, getting the first score against Fresno State on an interception and a pick in the Fiesta Bowl to shut the door on #3 TCU.  

LB—Ben Jacobs, Senior, Fresno State

Linebacker Ben Jacobs (6-3, 225, Sr.) leads by example.  The WAC all-star has great range, size (6-3, 225), and playmaking ability. He is among the best linebackers in the country, making 106 tackles last year with 8 for loss, 3 forced fumbles, 3 recoveries and an interception.  Jacobs had 60 solo stops in 2009.  He has good speed, great instincts and an ability to get to the ball carrier.  

DB—Davon House, Senior, New Mexico State  

All-Western Athletic Conference cornerback Davon House (6-0, 190) is back. House led the WAC in passes defended and broke a school record for most interception return yards for a career. House had 68 tackles, three picks, 13 pass breakups and two touchdowns last season; he could be the best cover corner in the conference.  

DB—Duke Ihenacho, Senior, San Jose State

Duke Ihenacho (6-1, 210) will be counted on for senior leadership in the secondary from his strong safety position.  With 187 tackles, six interceptions and 16 pass breakups in 30 career starts, Ihenacho is a two-time All-Western Athletic Conference selection, and as reliable a tackler as they come.  He has great instincts and is a huge hitter who will play at the next level.   

DB—Jeron Johnson, Senior, Boise State

Johnson is one of the hardest hitters ever to play for the Broncos, but it is his instincts that direct him to the action and his sturdy, dependable play that makes him an easy choice for the all-conference team.  The impact of Johnson's hits no doubt are still felt by those which he laid the wood to.  

DB— Shiloh Keo, Senior, Idaho

Safety Shiloh Keo (5-11, 216) has started since his first year in Moscow and was recognized last season with All-WAC honors.  Keo finished second in the WAC in tackles with 113.  

DB—Mana Silva, Senior, Hawai'i

Silva (6-1, 220, Sr.) had a league-high six interceptions and was fourth on the defense with 74 tackles despite missing four games with an injury.  Silva, who started his career at Oregon State , is a sure tackler with great range and athleticism.

 

 

Special Teams:

PK—Kevin Goessling, Junior, Fresno State

Junior placekicker Kevin Goessling has been superb, hitting 15-of-22 field goals (including a 58-yarder) as a freshman and 15-16 last season.  Goessling was an easy choice for the WAC first team last year and could be a Lou Groza Award contender.  

P—Peter Caldwell, Senior, Utah State

Senior Peter Caldwell very well could handle both punting and placekicking this fall.  He managed both two years ago before concentrating solely on punting last year, leading the WAC at 42.2 yards per attempt.  He showed a knack for pinning opposing offenses with 27 punts landing inside the 20.   

PR—Phillip Livas, Senior, Louisiana Tech

Livas provides thrills in the return game, averaging 27 yards on kickoffs and 13.4 yards per punt return.  

KR—Titus Young, Senior, Boise State

Young has natural athletic ability and burning speed.  He is able to pick out holes and dart through them to leave defenders in the dust. 


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