“Bows Harding selected as All-MWC First Team Punter

SCOTT HARDING

The Mountain West announced its 2014 All-Conference football teams and individual award winners Tuesday and University of Hawai’i punter Scott Harding was selected to the first team and as a honorable mention punt returner.

The senior from Brisbane, Australia was the only Rainbow Warrior selected to either the first or second teams. Six others garnered honorable mention; offensive linemen Kody Afusia, Ben Clarke, and Sean Shigematsu; placekicker Tyler Hadden, defensive back Taz Stevenson; and defensive lineman Beau Yap.

The teams were selected by the 12 head coaches and select media panel.

Colorado State senior quarterback Garrett Grayson was chosen as the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Year, while Utah State senior linebacker Zach Vigil was named MW Defensive Player of the Year. Air Force senior kicker/punter Will Conant earned the MW Special Teams Player of the Year award, while UNLV wide receiver Devonte Boyd was honored as the MW Freshman of the Year. Jim McElwain of Colorado State was selected as the MW Coach of the Year.

Harding, a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award as the nation’s top punter, was also a nominee for the Paul Hornung Award as the nation’s most versatile player. He set a single-season school record with 86 punts with a 41.3 average and was among the nation’s leaders with 34 punts inside the 20, including 17 inside the 10. His unique punting style directly led to five turnovers while 85% of his punts were not returned.

As a punt returner, Harding averaged 8.8 yards per return while 10 of his 25 returns went for 10 yards or more. He tied the school’s single-game school record with seven returns (76 yards) against Northern Iowa, a game in which he was selected as the MW’s Special Teams Player of the Week.

Yap, a second-team all-MW pick last season, completed his UH career by recording 45 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and 4.5 sacks. The senior from Pearl City, O’ahu scored his first career touchdown, recovering a fumble against Northern Iowa and finished his career with 14 career sacks, which ranks 11th in school history.

Clarke, a junior from Littleton, Colo., is a three-time honorable mention all-MW selection. In his first season at the left tackle position, he allowed only two sacks and graded out with a team-best 88 percent. The highlight of his season occurred in UH’s season-opener against Washington in which he held the Huskies’ heralded defensive end Hau’oli Kekahi without a sack.

Afusia, a senior from Midway City, Calif., and Shigematsu, a senior from Kapa’a, Kaua’i, each closed out their careers having their best seasons. Afusia split time between center and left guard while Shigematsu started all 13 games at right tackle.

Hadden, a senior from Whittier, Calif., converted a career-best 18 field goals and was a perfect 28-for-28 in PAT attempts. At one point in the season, he made nine straight field goal attempts, including four at Colorado. Nearly half of his kickoffs went for touchbacks.

In his only season at UH, Stevenson led the Rainbow Warriors with 88 tackles (69 solo). He also recorded one quarterback hurry and one forced fumble.

2014 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE
Pos. Player Cl. Team
QB Garrett Grayson Sr. Colorado State
WR Josh Harper Sr. Fresno State
WR Rashard Higgins So. Colorado State
RB Jay Ajayi* Jr. Boise State
RB Donnel Pumphrey So. San Diego State
TE Steven Walker Jr. Colorado State
OL Michael Husar, Jr. Sr. Air Force
OL Marcus Henry Jr. Boise State
OL Ty Sambrailo Sr. Colorado State
OL LaMar Bratton Sr. New Mexico
OL Kevin Whimpey Jr. Utah State
PK Will Conant Sr. Air Force
PR/KR JoJo Natson Jr. Utah State

2014 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE
Pos. Player Cl. Team
DL Kamalei Correa So. Boise State
DL Tyeler Davison* Jr. Fresno State
DL B.J. Larsen Sr. Utah State
DL Eddie Yarbrough* Jr. Wyoming
LB Dakota Cox So. New Mexico
LB Nick Vigil So. Utah State
LB Zach Vigil Sr. Utah State
DB Weston Steelhammer So. Air Force
DB Darian Thompson Jr. Boise State
DB Derron Smith** Sr. Fresno State
DB Frankie Sutera Sr. Utah State
P Scott Harding Sr. Hawai‘i

*–Two-Time First-Team Selection
**–Three-Time First-Team Selection

2014 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE
Pos. Player Cl. Team
QB Grant Hedrick Sr. Boise State
WR Tyler Winston So. San José State
WR Devonte Boyd Fr. UNLV
RB Marteze Waller Jr. Fresno State
RB Dee Hart Jr. Colorado State
TE Jarred Gipson So. Nevada
OL Rees Odhiambo Jr. Boise State
OL Cody Wichmann Sr. Fresno State
OL Matt Galas Sr. Nevada
OL Terry Poole Sr. San Diego State
OL Brett Boyko Sr. UNLV
PK Nick Diaz So. Utah State
PR/KR Lloyd Mills So. San Diego State

2014 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE
Pos. Player Cl. Team
DL Alex Hansen Jr. Air Force
DL Travis Raciti Sr. San José State
DL Brock Hekking Sr. Nevada
DL Ian Seau Jr. Nevada
LB Jordan Pierce Sr. Air Force
LB Tanner Vallejo So. Boise State
LB Aaron Davis Sr. Colorado State
DB Donte Deayon Jr. Boise State
DB Damontae Kazee So. San Diego State
DB J.J. Whittaker Sr. San Diego State
DB Cleveland Wallace III So. San José State
P Alex Boy So. Nevada

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Garrett Grayson, Sr., QB, Colorado State

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Zach Vigil, LB, Utah State

SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Will Conant, Sr., K/P, Air Force

FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR
Devonte Boyd, Fr., WR, UNLV

COACH OF THE YEAR
Jim McElwain, Colorado State

2014 HONORABLE MENTION
Air Force: Will Conant, Sr., P; Jacobi Owens, So., RB; Jalen Robinette, So., WR; Andrew Ruechel, Jr., OL.
Boise State: Dan Goodale, Sr., PK; Beau Martin, Sr., DL; Jake Roh, Fr., TE; Shane Williams-Rhodes, Jr., WR.
Colorado State: Bernard Blake, Sr., DB; Hayden Hunt, So., P; Cory James, Jr., LB; Joe Kawulok, Jr., DE; Trent Matthews, Jr., DB; Max Morgan, Sr., LB; Kevin Pierre-Louis, Jr., DB; Jared Roberts, Sr., PK; Fred Zerblis, So., OL.
Fresno State: Alex Fifita, Jr., OL; Donavon Lewis, Sr., LB; Chad Olsen, Fr., TE.
Hawai‘i: Kody Afusia, Sr., OL; Ben Clarke, Jr., OL; Tyler Hadden, Sr., PK; Scott Harding, Sr., PR; Sean Shigematsu, Sr., OL; Taz Stevenson, Sr., DB; Beau Yap, Sr., DL.
Nevada: Cody Fajardo, Sr., QB; Charles Garrett, Sr., DB; Jonathan McNeal, Sr., LB; Rykeem Yates, Jr., DL.
New Mexico: David Guthrie, Sr., DB; Jhurell Pressley, Jr., RB; Jamal Price, Sr., OL.
San Diego State: Alex Barrett, So, DL; Josh Gavert, Sr., LB; Darrell Greene, Jr., OL; Calvin Munson, So., LB; Malik Smith, So., DB.
San José State: David Peterson, Gr., OL; Jimmy Pruitt, Jr., DB; Christian Tago, So., LB.
UNLV: Devante Davis, Sr., WR; Peni Vea, Jr., DB; Robert Waterman, Sr., OL.
Utah State: Jaron Bentrude, Sr., P; Devin Centers, So., DB; JoJo Natson, Jr., WR; Elvis Kamana-Matagi, Sr., DL; Jordan Nielsen, Jr., DL; Hunter Sharp, Jr., WR; Jake Simonich, So, OL; Austin Stephens, So., OL; Brian Suite, Sr., DB.
Wyoming: Chase Roullier, So., OL.

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