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FIve Lobos Named to MW 25th Season Football Team

by Frank Mercogliano

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Five Lobos, Ryan Cook and DonTrell Moore on offense, Brian Urlacher on defense, and John Sullivan and Carlos Wiggins on special teams, were all named to the Mountain West’s 25th Season Football Team.  Only Boise State (8), San Diego State (8) and Colorado State (7) had more players honored than New Mexico.

The announcement is a part of a year-long celebration of the Mountain West’s 25th anniversary, one of the nation’s most respected and stable conferences.  During each Mountain West Championship in 2023-24, the Conference will recognize a 25th Season Team.

Ryan Cook was a rare three-time First Team All-Mountain West pick, earning the honor from 2003-05.  He played in the Senior Bowl and earned the outstanding offensive lineman award for 2005. Cook had an eight-year NFL career, starting with Minnesota.  He was drafted 51st overall as a second-round pick of the Vikings.  After five seasons with Minnesota (2006-10) he spent one with Miami (2011) and two with Dallas (2012-13), playing in 90 games over his career with 50 starts.  He graduated from Albuquerque’s Cibola High School.

DonTrell Moore was a dominant force from 2002-05, writing and rewriting records at UNM and with the Mountain West.  Moore is the only Lobo to rush for 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons, and his totals as a freshman, sophomore and senior as still class records.  He had a career-high 242 yards rushing against Colorado State in 2003, fourth-most at the time in Lobo history.  His single-season rushing totals rank second, third, ninth and 15th in single-season Lobo history.  He is UNM’s all-time record holder in career rushing yards (4,973), career attempts (1,028), career touchdowns (51), and single-season rushing (19) and overall touchdowns (21).

DonTrell is one of five Lobos to ever score five touchdowns in a game, scoring five against Wyoming in 2002.  His 126 points in 2003 is the Lobo single-season record, and his 356 points is UNM’s career record.  He is second all-time in all-purpose yardage at UNM with 5,947 yards and his 1,669 all-purpose yards in 2005 and his 1,599 yards in 2003 are the top two single-season marks in school history and his 5,830 all-purpose career yards is the all-time UNM record as well.

Brian Urlacher had a brilliant four-year career for the Lobos under Dennis Franchione and Rocky Long that ultimately led him into the NFF/College Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He mostly played the hybrid “Lobo” back, which was a cross between a linebacker and a free safety.  The Lovington, New Mexico, native played from 1996-99, earning All-America honors in both 1998 and 1999, including being named a Consensus First Team All-America in 1999 after one of the greatest seasons in Lobo history.

In 1999, Urlacher not only won Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year, but he was a three-way superstar, playing wide receiver and returning punts.  How good was he?  Urlacher led the team in tackles with 154, with forced fumbles with five, with recovered fumbles with three, with pass breakups with seven, and then he also led the team with seven touchdowns, 42 points and with a 15.8-yard average on punt returns.

Urlacher’s senior season saw him advance as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award for the top defensive back in college football, and he finished 12th in the Heisman Trophy balloting that year.  His final college game was in the 2000 Senior Bowl.

Overall, Urlacher’s 442 career tackles was good for fourth all-time at UNM, and his 11 forced fumbles are second.  He also was a three time WAC/Mountain West Player of the Week.  In 2013, Urlacher’s number 44 was retired, the fourth such honor to be given to a Lobo football player.

His brilliant collegiate career at UNM led to his selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, where he was the ninth overall selection, selected by the Chicago Bears.  He would go on to have a brilliant 13-year career in Chicago, starting 180 of 182 games and setting a franchise record with 1,353 tackles, including 153 in 2002, which is still a Bears single-season record.  He also recorded five touchdowns in his career along with 41.5 sacks, 22 interceptions and 12 forced fumbles.

John Sullivan had one of the greatest kicking seasons in the history of college football, going from a walk-on to consensus 1st team All-America kicker in 2007, becoming a finalist for the Groza Award.  In 2007, he set school and conference records, and led the nation by making 29 field goals (in 35 attempts) in 12 games, leading the nation by making 2.42 FGs per game, the highest average in college football since 1984.

At one stretch he also made a school-record 18 consecutive field goals, and his 53-yard field goal in the 2007 New Mexico Bowl (doing so with a torn ACL) still stands as record for the bowl game and it’s still tied for the second-longest field goal in school history.

Carlos Wiggins was an offensive and special teams dynamo in his time at UNM.  The slot receiver actually ran the ball more times in his career (44) than he had receptions (36).  Wiggins rushed for 496 yards in his career with four touchdowns, and he gained 560 yards receiving, also with four touchdowns.  However, he was an all-conference performer as a kickoff return specialist, averaging 27.9 yards on 89 returns with five touchdowns.  He is the only player in the history of Lobo Football to record at least four career touchdowns in three different ways, rushing, receiving and kickoff returns. Wiggins’ five kickoff return touchdowns is a school record, and it was a Mountain West record at the conclusion of his career.  He also owns UNM records for kickoff return yards in a game, season and career, and his 47 returns in 2013 is also a school record.  Three of those returns went for touchdowns, which tied a single-season UNM record.  Of the nine 100-yard returns in school history, Wiggins had three of them.  He ranks fifth on the single-season all-purpose yardage list at UNM, and he is tenth in career all-purpose yardage at UNM.  His 2013 year earned him four All-America honors, including second team by SB Nation as he was the Mountain West’s Special Teams Player of the Year.


Brad Roberts, RB, Air Force

Jay Ajayi, RB, Boise State

Kellen Moore, QB, Boise State

Brett Rypien, QB, Boise State

Dennis Pitta, TE, BYU

Luke Staley, RB, BYU

Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State

Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State

Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

Bradlee Van Pelt, QB, Colorado State

Davante Adams, WR, Fresno State

Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State

Romeo Doubs, WR, Nevada

Carson Strong, QB, Nevada

Ryan Cook, OL, New Mexico

DonTrell Moore, RB, New Mexico

Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State

Donnel Pumphrey, RB, San Diego State

Andy Dalton, QB, TCU

Jake Kirkpatrick, C, TCU

Ryan Wolfe, WR, UNLV

Jordan Gross, OT, Utah

Alex Smith, QB, Utah

Jordan Love, QB, Utah State

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming



Weston Steelhammer, DB, Air Force

Demarcus Lawrence, DL, Boise State

Darian Thompson, DB, Boise State

Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State

Curtis Weaver, DL, Boise State

Brady Poppinga, DL, BYU

Shaquil Barrett, LB, Colorado State

Derron Smith, DB, Fresno State

Phillip Thomas, DB, Fresno State

Brian Urlacher, LB, New Mexico

Damontae Kazee, DB, San Diego State

Leon McFadden, DB, San Diego State

Kirk Morrison, LB, San Diego State

Cameron Thomas, DL, San Diego State

Viliami Fehoko, DL, San José State

Cade Hall, DL, San José State

Tank Carder, LB, TCU

Jerry Hughes, DE, TCU

Jamaal Brimmer, DB, UNLV

Kevin Thomas, DB, UNLV

Eric Weddle, DB, Utah

Zach Vigil, LB Utah State

Chad Muma, LB, Wyoming

Logan Wilson, LB, Wyoming

Andrew Wingard, DB, Wyoming


Special Teams

Avery Williams, KR/PR, Boise State

Ryan Stonehouse, P, Colorado State

Dexter Wynn, KR, Colorado State

John Sullivan, PK, New Mexico

Carlos Wiggins, KR, New Mexico

Matt Araiza, P, San Diego State

Rashaad Penny, KR, San Diego State

Jeremy Kerley, KR/PR, TCU

Louie Sakoda, PK/P, Utah

Savon Scarver, AP/KR, Utah State