Three Broncos named to preseason All-Conference team

Posted at 10:06 AM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 20:55:49-04

Boise State quarterback Brett Rypien, wide receiver Thomas Sperbeck and kicker Tyler Rausa  have all been named to the Mountain West All-Conference Preseason Team.

Rypien will look to pick up where he left off in 2015.  He was named MW Freshman of the Year after throwing for more than 3,300 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Sperbeck rewrote the record books for the Broncos last year, setting a new record for receiving yards in a season and in a single game.  The receiver says last year's experience with Rypien will pay dividends this fall.

"For our chemistry, with the game reps he took last year, he did a great job with that and even moving into spring and summer we have taken a lot of reps together now so confidence is definitely building," Sperbeck said.

Rausa is also coming off a record-setting year.  He scored 134 points in 2015 a new record for Mountain West kickers.  His 25 made field goals are also a new Boise State record.

Rypien, Sperbeck and Rausa were also first team 2015 All-Mountain West selections.

No Broncos appear on the defensive preseason team.
Linebacker Ben Weaver says he's not concerned by that fact and is ready to take the field under new defensive coordinator Andy Avalos.

"He already had a lot of input, he's a genius when it comes to football and we're excited already from what we've done already in spring and summer of what we're going to be running this upcoming year and different schemes that we're going to be doing with different players," said Weaver.

Also notable in his absence is Boise State running back Jeremy McNichols who scored 20 touchdowns last season.  San Diego State's Donnel Pumphrey and Wyoming's Brian Hill filled the running back spots on the team.  Sperbeck says even though McNichols isn't on the preseason list, he deserves recognition.

"He definitely deserves some notice, you know, works his butt off, it shows on the field.  We couldn't have done what we did last season, with the success we had, without him, so yeah, I think he deserves some recognition," said Sperbeck.

All three preseason Player of the Year awards were won by players from San Diego State.  It's the first time in six years a single team has swept those individual awards in the preseason.

Pumphrey was named preseason Offensive Player of the Year, cornerback Damontae Kazee took home the Defensive Player of the Year and kick returner Rashaad Penny was picked as Special Teams Player of the Year.  All three won those same awards at the end of the 2015 season. 

San Diego State was also the unanimous pick to win the West Divison.