HENDERSON, Nev. – Utah State’s Jordan Love has been named the Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and a total of five Aggies were named to the 2019 preseason all-conference team, it was announced Tuesday at the league’s annual Media Days held at Green Valley Ranch.
The only other time Utah State has had a player named the Mountain West Preseason Offensive Player of the Year was when Chuckie Keeton was voted as such prior to the 2014 season, while Kyler Fackrell was voted the MW’s Preseason Defensive Player of the Year prior to the 2015 campaign.
Other Aggies joining Love on this year’s preseason all-MW team include senior defensive end Tipa Galeai, senior cornerback DJ Williams, junior kickoff returner Savon Scarver and junior linebacker David Woodward.
Utah State’s five players named to the 25-member Mountain West preseason team are tied with Boise State for the most in the league. San Diego State had four players recognized, followed by Fresno State (3), Air Force (2), Nevada (2), Colorado State (1), Hawai’i (1), UNLV (1) and Wyoming (1).
The five Aggies named to the preseason all-MW team are Utah State’s most since joining the league prior to the 2013 season and bettering its four selections in both 2014 and 2016.
Love, a 6-foot-4, 220-pounder from Bakersfield, Calif. (Liberty HS), earned second-team all-Mountain West honors in 2018 as he set five school records with 32 touchdown passes, 3,567 passing yards, seven 300-yard passing games, 234 points responsible for and being named the Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week five times. Love also tied the single-season school record with a pair of 400-yard passing games. Furthermore, Love tied the single-game school record for touchdown passes with five against both UNLV and San José State, becoming just the fifth quarterback in school history to accomplish the feat.
Heading into his junior campaign, Love is 396-of-652 (.607) passing for 5,198 yards and 40 touchdowns with just 12 interceptions during his career, and ranks fourth all-time in school history in touchdown passes, tied for fourth in completion percentage, and 10th all-time in passing yards, completions and total offense (5,426).
Along with being named the MW Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, Love has also been named to the Davey O’Brien and Maxwell Award Watch Lists, which is given annually to the nation’s best quarterback and offensive player of the year, respectively, and is a preseason first-team all-MW selection by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s Magazine. Love was also one of 35 quarterbacks invited to participate in the 2019 Manning Passing Academy this summer.
Galeai, a 6-5, 230-pounder from Euless, Texas (Trinity HS/TCU), earned second-team all-Mountain West honors in 2018 as he played in all 13 games and made 12 starts. He finished his redshirt junior season fifth on the team with 64 tackles (30-solo, 34-assist), while leading the team in both sacks (10.5) and tackles for loss (14.0). In fact, his 10.5 sacks are the most by an Aggie since 2005, while his 14.0 tackles for loss are the most by an Aggie since 2015. He also led the team with three forced fumbles and seven quarterback hurries, while adding two interceptions, three pass breakups and one blocked kick during the year.
Along with being named to the preseason all-MW team, Galeai has also been named to the Bednarik Award Watch List, which is presented annually to the defensive player of the year, and is a preseason first-team all-MW selection by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s Magazine.
Scarver, a 5-11, 190-pound junior from Las Vegas, Nev. (Centennial HS), was named just the third consensus All-American in school history as a returner/all-purpose player and just the 16th in Mountain West history last season as he earned first-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation (WCFF), Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and Phil Steele’s Magazine, and second-team All-America honors from the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) as he returned 22 kickoffs for 742 yards (33.7 ypr) and two touchdowns.
Scarver’s 742 return yards on kickoffs are the most by an Aggie since 2011, while his kickoff return average of 33.7 yards ranks second all-time in school history. In 2018, Scarver led the nation in kickoff returns (33.7 ypr) and tied for second in the nation with his two kickoff returns for touchdowns (0.15 pg). In fact, his two kickoff returns for touchdowns (100 yards vs. New Mexico State, 99 yards vs. Wyoming) are the second-most in a single-season in school history, and he is one of just two players in school history to have multiple kickoff returns for touchdowns in a single-season. Scarver was also named the winner of the 2018 Johnny “The Jet” Award as the nation’s top return specialist.
Heading into his junior campaign, Scarver has three career kickoff returns for touchdowns, which ranks second all-time in school history, while his career kickoff return average of 28.5 yards is the third-best in school history as he has returned 48 kickoffs for 1,367 yards in his career.
Along with being named to the preseason all-MW team, Scarver has also been named a preseason first-team All-American by Phil Steele’s Magazine and a preseason second-team All-American by both Athlon Sports and The Sporting News, along with garnering preseason first-team all-MW accolades by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s Magazine as a kick returner.
Williams, a 5-9, 180-pounder from Smyrna, Tenn. (Smyrna, Tenn./Independence CC), earned honorable mention all-Mountain West honors as a junior as he started all 13 games in his first season at Utah State. He finished the 2018 campaign with 42 tackles (33-solo, 9-assist), which included 1.0 sacks and 3.0 tackles for loss, while adding 11 pass breakups, four interceptions, one forced fumble and one quarterback hurry. For the season, he led the team with 15 passes defended, which included a team-best 11 pass breakups, while his four interceptions tied for the team lead.
Williams has also been named preseason first-team all-MW by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s Magazine and to the Paycom Jim Thorpe Award Watch list, which is given annually to the nation’s best defensive back.
Woodward, a 6-2, 230-pound junior linebacker from Olympia, Wash. (Olympia HS), earned first-team All-America honors from Pro Football Focus (PFF) and third-team All-America honors from The Associated Press (AP) as a sophomore in 2018, as he started all 13 games and finished the season with 134 tackles (52-solo, 82-assist), which included 5.0 sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss, to go along with two forced fumbles, two interceptions, three pass breakups and four quarterback hurries. He was also named the PFF Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year as he ranked first in the MW and 11th in the nation with 134 tackles (11.2 pg).
Following his sophomore season, Woodward graded out as the top linebacker in the nation, according to PFF, at 91.6 percent as he ranked fourth among linebackers with a 92.4 grade against the run and fourth in coverage at 90.5 and only missed two tackles all season.
Along with being named to the preseason all-MW team, Woodward has also been named a preseason third-team All-American by Athlon Sports, a preseason fourth-team All-American by Phil Steele’s Magazine and first-team all-MW by both Athlon Sports and Phil Steele’s Magazine, along with being named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, which is awarded annually to college football’s Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year, and to the Bednark Award Watch List, which is presented annually to the defensive player of the year. Woodward has also been named to the Butkus Award Watch List, which honors the nation’s best linebacker.
Boise State junior defensive lineman Curtis Weaver was named the Mountain West Preseason Defensive Player of the Year and Wyoming senior placekicker Cooper Rothe was selected as MW Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year.
Utah State returns nine starters (O-2, D-7) as part of 32 letterwinners (O-13, D-17, S-2), including two All-Americans and eight players that earned various all-Mountain West honors, from last year’s team that ended the season ranked 21st in the final Amway Coaches poll and 22nd in the final AP poll as it tied the school record for wins and best record with an 11-2 mark following the Aggies’ 52-13 win against North Texas in the New Mexico Bowl.
Utah State will open the 2019 season on Friday, Aug. 30, on the ACC Network at Wake Forest at 6 p.m. (MT) and begin its home season the following weekend against Stony Brook on Saturday, Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Mountain West play begins for USU two weekends later at San Diego State on Saturday, Sept. 21, in a game that will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network and begin at 8:30 p.m. (MT).
For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the “Buy Tickets” tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
2019 Mountain West Football Preseason All-Conference Team
QB Jordan Love, Jr., Utah State
WR John Hightower, Sr., Boise State
WR Cedric Byrd II, Sr., Hawai’i
RB Juwan Washington, Sr., San Diego State
RB Toa Taua, So., Nevada
OL Ezra Cleveland, Jr., Boise State
OL John Molchon, Sr., Boise State
OL Jake Nelson, Sr., Nevada
OL Keith Ismael, Jr., San Diego State
OL Justin Polu, Sr., UNLV
TE Jared Rice, Sr., Fresno State
DL Jordan Jackson, Jr., Air Force
DL David Moa, Sr., Boise State
DL Curtis Weaver, Jr., Boise State
DL Tipa Galeai, Sr., Utah State
LB Mykal Walker, Sr., Fresno State
LB Kyahva Tezino, Sr., San Diego State
LB David Woodward, Jr., Utah State
DB Jeremy Fejedelem, Sr., Air Force
DB Juju Hughes, Sr., Fresno State
DB Tariq Thompson, Jr., San Diego State
DB DJ Williams, Sr., Utah State
P Ryan Stonehouse, Jr., Colorado State
PK Cooper Rothe, Sr., Wyoming
Ret. Savon Scarver, Jr., Utah State
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Jordan Love, Jr., QB, Utah State
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Curtis Weaver, Jr., DL, Boise State
Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Cooper Rothe, Sr., PK, Wyoming