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Five Lobos Earn HM All-MW Honors

by Frank Mercogliano

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Five Lobos; Tavian Combs, Jerrick Reed II, Kyle Stapley, Joey Noble and Luke Wysong were all named Honorable Mention All-Mountain West as the league’s postseason awards were announced after a vote by the league’s coaches.

The honors are the second for Noble, Stapley and Reed while Combs and Wysong were honored for a third time.

While no Lobo made the first or second team, a case can certainly be made that Noble should have been somewhere among the eight defensive linemen on the first and second teams.  Noble recorded 18.5 tackles for loss which is 10th all-time at UNM and tied for second in the Mountain West.  The 18.5 TFLs also is tied for fourth in the country in the FBS.  His 72 tackles were the most for any defensive linemen in the Mountain West as Noble led a defense that showed tremendous statistical improvement, ranking 49th in total defense at 363.1 yards allowed per game, better than the 447.1 yards allowed in 2020 (101st) and nearly a 122-yard improvement from the 485.7 allowed in 2019 (129th).

Two UNM defensive backs were honored in Reed and Combs.  Reed, who was a First Team pick in 2020 after leading the Mountain West in interceptions, led the team in tackles with 89 and in pass breakups with seven.  He also recorded double-digit tackles three times including a high-water mark of 14 against Air Force and 13 against Colorado State.  He picked off a pass against New Mexico State and had two breakups against both UNLV and UTEP.  For Combs, who is a true sophomore but has three years remaining, he recorded 81 tackles, second on the team, and he currently ranks among the top 15 among all active FBS players in career tackles per game.  A starter in every game but one over his two years, Combs had 40 solo stops mong his 81, and he had a season-best 12 tackles against Houston Baptist.  He recorded two interceptions, including one at Texas A&M, and he recorded a forced fumble against Houston Baptist that led to a clinching field goal.

On offense, Kyle Stapley earned his second honor.  UNM’s senior leader in terms of games played, Stapley finished his career as a starter in all 43 games that he played, including the first 40 at center.  He also started games at right guard and left guard.  Stapley played on 654 plays on the season and he finished his career with 2,821 career snaps.  He recorded a 980 pass blocking efficiency rating according to Pro Football Focus, and in 269 pass blocking attempts, he allowed just one sack on the season.  He was just one of two Mountain West linemen to record 100 snaps at all three interior line positions.

Wysong was one of just two freshmen to be named to Honorable Mention squad, joining Kekaula Kaniho of Boise State.  Wysong was the league’s top freshman in terms of receptions, receiving yards, receiving yards per game, all-purpose yardage, punt returns and kickoff returns, and despite being a receiver, he was second among all freshmen behind his own teammate Aaron Dumas.  He returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown against Colorado State and averaged 11.0 yards per punt return, leading a punt return unit to 21st in the country, despite having seven true freshmen starting on that unit for most of the season.  He is the first true freshman to lead UNM in all-purpose yardage since 2011.

New Mexico kicks off the 2022 season by hosting Maine on September 3, and UNM also hosts UTEP on September 17.  The Lobos will host San Diego State, Fresno State, Wyoming and Boise State in Mountain West action in 2022.  To keep up with all things with Lobo Football, make sure you follow the socials on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Offensive Player of the Year – Carson Strong, Jr., QB, Nevada

Defensive Player of the Year – Cameron Thomas, Jr., DL, San Diego State

Special Teams Player of the Year – Matt Araiza, Jr., P/PK, San Diego State

Freshman of the Year – Cameron Friel, QB, UNLV

Coach of the Year – Brady Hoke, San Diego State




Pos.       Player                                 Cl.          Team

QB          Carson Strong                   Jr.           Nevada

WR         Khalil Shakir                       Sr.          Boise State

WR         Romeo Doubs                   Sr.          Nevada

WR         Deven Thompkins            Sr.          Utah State

RB          Brad Roberts                     Jr.           Air Force

RB          Charles Williams               Sr.          UNLV

TE           Trey McBride                     Sr.          Colorado State

OL          Hawk Wimmer                  Sr.          Air Force

OL          John Ojukwu                      Sr.          Boise State

OL          Alex Akingbulu                  Sr.          Fresno State

OL          William Dunkle                 Jr.           San Diego State

OL          Zachary Thomas               Sr.          San Diego State

PK           Jonah Dalmas                    So.         Boise State

KR          Jordan Byrd                       Sr.          San Diego State


Pos.       Player                                 Cl.          Team

DL          Scott Patchan                    Sr.          Colorado State

DL          Tristan Nichols                  Sr.          Nevada

DL          Cameron Thomas             Jr.           San Diego State

DL          Viliami Fehoko                  Jr.           San José State

LB           Darius Muasau                  Jr.           Hawai‘i

LB           Caden McDonald              Sr.          San Diego State

LB           Kyle Harmon                      Sr.          San José State

LB           Chad Muma                       Sr.          Wyoming

DB          Evan Williams                    Jr.           Fresno State

DB          Khoury Bethley                 Sr.          Hawai‘i

DB          Patrick McMorris              Jr.           San Diego State

DB          Trenton Thompson          Sr.          San Diego State

P             Matt Araiza                        Jr.           San Diego State

PR          Romeo Doubs                   Sr.          Nevada




Pos.       Player                                 Cl.          Team

QB          Jake Haener                       Sr.          Fresno State

WR         Jalen Cropper                    Jr.           Fresno State

WR         Calvin Turner                     Sr.          Hawai‘i

WR         Isaiah Neyor                      So.         Wyoming

RB          Greg Bell                            Sr.          San Diego State

RB          Xazavian Valladay            Sr.          Wyoming

TE           Cole Turner                        Sr.          Nevada

OL          Ben Dooley                        So.         Boise State

OL          Jake Stetz                           Sr.          Boise State

OL          Aaron Frost                        Sr.          Nevada

OL          Jack Snyder                        Sr.          San José State

OL          Keegan Cryder                  Sr.          Wyoming

PK           Matt Araiza                        Jr.           San Diego State

KR          Savon Scarver                   Sr.          Utah State


Pos.       Player                                 Cl.          Team

DL          Jordan Jackson                 Sr.          Air Force

DL          Scott Matlock                    Jr.           Boise State

DL          David Perales                    Sr.          Fresno State

DL          Keshawn Banks                 Sr.          San Diego State

LB           Vince Sanford                    Jr.           Air Force

LB           Daiyan Henley                   Sr.          Nevada

LB           Jacoby Windmon              Jr.           UNLV

LB           Justin Rice                          Sr.          Utah State

DB          JL Skinner Jr.                      Boise State

DB          Cortez Davis                      Sr.          Hawai‘i

DB          Tayler Hawkins                 Sr.          San Diego State

DB          C.J. Coldon                         Jr.           Wyoming

P             Ryan Stonehouse             Sr.          Colorado State

PR          Stefan Cobbs                     Jr.           Boise State



Air Force: Tre Bugg III, DB; Brandon Lewis, WR; Corvan Taylor, DB.

Boise State: Octavius Evans, WR; Tyreque Jones, DB; Kekaula Kaniho, DB; Ezekiel Noa, LB; Riley Whimpey, LB.

Colorado State: Cayden Camper, PK; Cam’Ron Carter, LB; Dequan Jackson, LB; Cam Reddy, OL; Barry Wesley, OL.

Fresno State: Kevin Atkins, DL; Levelle Bailey, LB; Josh Kelly, WR; Arron Mosby, DL; Ronnie Rivers, RB.

Hawai‘i: Jonah Laulu, DL; Kohl Levao, OL; Ilm Manning, OL; Nick Mardner, WR; Micah Vanterpool, OL.

Nevada: Jamaal Bell, KR; Gray Davis, OL; Jacob Gardner, OL; Lawson Hall, LB; Sam Hammond, DL; Jermaine Ledbetter, OL; Jordan Lee, DB; Tyler Orsini, OL; Dom Peterson, DL.

New Mexico: Tavian Combs, DB; Joey Noble, DL; Jerrick Reed, DB; Kyle Stapley, OL; Luke Wysong, PR.

San Diego State:  Alama Uluave, OL; Michael Shawcroft, LB; Jonah Tavai, DL.

San José State: Derek Deese Jr., TE; Cade Hall, DL; Will Hart, P; Tre Jenkins, DB; Jay Lenard, DB; Alii Matau, LB; Nehemiah Shelton, DB; Tyler Stevens, OL.

UNLV:  Austin Ajiake, LB; Daniel Gutierrez, PK.

Utah State: Shaq Bond, DB; Alfred Edwards, OL; Nick Heninger, DL; Jordan Nathan, PR; Quazzel White, OL; Derek Wright, WR.

Wyoming: Garrett Crall, DL; Cole Godbout, DL; Logan Harris, OL.