Wyoming Football Players Selected For Preseason Awards
Athlon Sports released its 2016 Preseason Mountain West All-Conference Teams on Thursday, and the Wyoming Cowboys had nine individuals recognized on Athlon's first, second, third and fourth All-MW teams. Senior offensive guard Chase Roullier, junior running back Brian Hill and sophomore free safety Andrew Wingard were all named to Athlon's First Team.
Two Cowboy seniors were selected to the Second Team. Those two seniors were wide receiver Tanner Gentry and kick returner D.J. May. Gentry earned two spots on the All-MW Second Team, having also been named as the Second Team punt returner.
Another sophomore, offensive tackle Zach Wallace, was selected to Athlon's Fourth Team.
Roullier will enter his senior season having started 28 of 34 career games. He has been a stalwart on the offensive line for the Cowboys the past three seasons. He earned Second Team All-Conference honors last season in voting by conference head coaches and media. Hill, who led the Mountain West Conference in rushing in 2015 averaging 135.9 rushing yards per game, is one of the leading returning running backs in the nation. He ranked No. 8 nationally in rushing a year ago, and was the only non-Power Five running back to be selected one of 11 semifinalists for the Doak Walker Award. As a sophomore, Hill set a new University of Wyoming single-season rushing record, with 1,631 yards.
Wingard, who started at free safety as a true freshman last season, led the Cowboys in total tackles, with 122, and he ranked No. 2 in the Mountain West and No. 12 in the NCAA in tackles, averaging 10.2 tackles per game. Wingard was one of only 29 freshman nationally to be named to the 2015 Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) Freshman All-America Team. Gentry earned a spot on last year's Biletnikoff Award Watch List at wide receiver. He was leading the Mountain West and ranked No. 12 in the nation in receiving yards (96.9 yards per game) prior to suffering a season-ending shoulder injury in Week 7 versus Nevada. He was also averaging an impressive 10.2 yards per punt return when he suffered his injury. Gentry returned to full health for 2016 Spring Football and looked very impressive throughout spring drills.
May averaged 26.2 yards per kick-off return in 2015, ranking him fourth in the MW and 24th nationally. He also started at the strong-side linebacker/nickel position for the Cowboys as a junior.
Wacha recorded 96 tackles his junior season, and he ranked No. 5 in the Mountain West and 44th in the nation in tackles (8.7 per game) in 2015. Among MW linebackers, he ranked fourth in tackles last season. The senior will anchor the Pokes defense in 2016 from his middle linebacker position.
As a true freshman a year ago, Granderson was very productive even though he played behind senior starters Eddie Yarbrough and Siaosi Hala'api'api. Granderson was third on the team in tackles for loss, with 6.0. He ranked second among Cowboy defensive linemen in tackles, with 36.
Offensive tackle Wallace was inserted into the starting lineup in the third game of his true freshman season and started the final 10 games of 2015. In the spring of 2016, the 6'7", 297-pound Wallace was moved from right tackle to left tackle where he will start as a sophomore.
The Wyoming Cowboys will kick off the 2016 season on Sept. 3 hosting Northern Ilinois.