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Cougars, Utes and Aggies well represented on Mountain West Conference’s 25th season team

The MWC has been around for a quarter century now and decided it was the right time to honor 60 of its best players.

SHARE Cougars, Utes and Aggies well represented on Mountain West Conference’s 25th season team
BYU’s Luke Staley gets knocked out of bounds by Utah State’s Donta’ Carter during a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in 2001.

BYU’s Luke Staley gets knocked out of bounds by Utah State’s Donta’ Carter during a game at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo on Oct. 5, 2001. Staley was among the BYU, Utah and Utah State players named to the MWC’s 25th season team.

Jason Olson, Deseret News

Twenty-five years.

The Mountain West Conference, founded in 1999, has officially been around a quarter of a century now, and during that time no shortage of standout football players have represented the conference on the national stage.

In commemoration of the nearly completed 25th season — the 2023 MW championship game will played Saturday in Las Vegas between UNLV and Boise State — the conference announced a 25th season team Thursday, which includes 25 offensive players, 25 defensive players and 10 special teams players from the league’s history. These players are believed to be the 60 best players who’ve suited up for Mountain West programs.

The teams were selected by a committee comprised of members from the 11 current full-time schools.

Fittingly, multiple BYU Cougars, Utah Utes and Utah State Aggies can be found on the 25th season team, in all three phases of the game, though only the Utes and Aggies have at least one player on offense, defense and special teams.

BYU is represented by tight end Dennis Pitta, running back Luke Staley and defensive lineman Brady Poppinga.

Fellow conference founder Utah, meanwhile, saw quarterback Alex Smith, offensive tackle Jordan Gross, defensive back Eric Weddle and kicker Louie Sakoda honored.

As for Utah State, the only in-state school still in the conference, quarterback Jordan Love, linebacker Zach Vigil and kick returner Savon Scarver were all named to the commemorative team.

The complete list of players on the MW’s 25th season team can be found below and includes numerous players that went on to have successful NFL careers or whom are still playing professionally.

Offense

Former BYU great Dennis Pitta recently completed the coursework for his degree, 20 years after first enrolling.

BYU tight end Dennis Pitta (32) runs for a big gain during game against Colorado State at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, Utah Saturday, Nov. 3, 2007.

August Miller, Deseret News

  • 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.

Defense

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Utah’s Eric Weddle left, and Casey Evans celebrate after Weddle recovered a fumble againsit Air Force Academy Sept. 22, 2005.

Tom Smart, Deseret News

  • 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

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Utah State Aggies wide receiver Savon Scarver (11) runs for the touchdown on a kickoff return against the Fresno State Bulldogs in Logan on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

  • 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.
Utah quarterback Alex Smith runs through the Pitt Panthers defense during the 2005 Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. on Jan. 1, 2005.

Utah quarterback Alex Smith runs through the Pitt Panthers defense during the 2005 Fiesta Bowl in Tempe, Ariz. on Jan. 1, 2005. Smith was among the players from Utah, BYU and Utah State named to the MWC’s 25th season team.

Tom Smart, Deseret News