Quarterback: Derek Carr, Jr., Fresno State
Carr, named to the 2012 Davey O'Brien National Quarterback Award Watch List, ranked 15th in the nation in passing yards (3,544) last season, the most ever by a Fresno State sophomore.
Running back: Robbie Rouse, Sr., Fresno State; D.J. Harper, Sr., Boise State
Rouse, a Maxwell Award candidate, ranked seventh in the nation in rushing yards (1,549) last season, while Harper, who will be operating behind the best offensive line in the league, averaged nearly five yards per carry.
Wide receiver: Matt Miller, So., Boise State; Colin Lockett, Jr., San Diego State
As a freshman last season, Miller, a candidate for the Biletnikoff Award, averaged 4.77 receptions per game, the second-highest total in the league. Lockett, a former cornerback who was pressed into action on offense last season due to a rash of injuries at wide receiver, led the Aztecs in receptions (58), receiving yards (970) and touchdown catches (eight).
Tight end: Gavin Escobar, Jr., San Diego State
There are some quality tight ends in the MW, but Escobar gets the nod. A first-team All-MW selection as a sophomore, he had 51 catches for 781 yards and seven TDs in 2011.
Offensive line: Joe Kellogg, Sr., Boise State; Nick Carlson, Sr., Wyoming; Alec Johnson, Sr., San Diego State; Chris Barker, Sr., Nevada; Weston Richburg, Jr., Colorado State
Kellogg is a three-year starter on an offense that has ranked in the top five nationally in scoring each of the last three seasons. Carlson, Johnson and Richburg have all been named to the 2012 Rimington Trophy Watch List, while Barker is an Outland Trophy candidate.
Defensive line: Mike Atkinson, Sr., Boise State; Paipai Falemalu, Sr., Hawai‘i; Reggie Ellis, Sr., New Mexico; Mike Purcell, Sr., Wyoming
Atkinson was a major contributor to a Bronco defense that ranked 12th-nationally in scoring defense (18.69) last season, while Falemalu (50 tackles) tied for second on the team with 4.5 sacks. Twenty-five percent of Ellis' total tackles in 2011 were made in the backfield. Purcell is coming off a junior season in which he finished with 48 tackles, two sacks, two blocked kicks and a safety.
Linebacker: Shaquil Barrett, Jr., Colorado State; Jake Fely, So., San Diego State; Travis Brown, Sr., Fresno State
Barrett could be positioned for MW Defensive Player of the Year honors following a sophomore season in which he led the Rams with 99 tackles and scored a pair of defensive touchdowns. Fely forced a team-high three fumbles in starting all 13 games at middle linebacker last season as a redshirt freshman, while Brown enters his senior season as a Butkus Award candidate and two-time All-WAC selection.
Defensive back: Leon McFadden, Sr., San Diego State; Luke Ruff, Sr., Wyoming; Duke Williams, Sr., Nevada; Jamar Taylor, Sr., Boise State
A two-time All-MW selection named to the 2012 Jim Thorpe Award Watch List, McFadden led the league and ranked 12th nationally last season with 17 passes defended. Named to the 2012 Lott IMPACT Trophy Watch List, Ruff ranked sixth in the MW in tackles last season. Williams, a second-team All-WAC selection in 2011, ranked third on the team with 83 tackles. Taylor's six pass break-ups last season tied for the team high.
Placekicker: Parker Herrington, Jr., Air Force
Ranked first in the MW last season in field-goal percentage (83.3. percent, 15-of-18) and finished second among kickers with 90 points.
Punter: Pete Kontodiakos, Sr., Colorado State
A candidate for the 2012 Ray Guy Award, Kontodiakos ranked second in the MW and 20th nationally in 2011 with an average of 43.6 yards. He had 20 punts of at least 50 yards.
Return specialist: Mitch Burroughs, Sr., Boise State
Ranked eighth nationally and first in the MW as a junior with a punt return average of 13.3 yards.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Robbie Rouse, Fresno State
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Leon McFadden, San Diego State
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Mitch Burroughs, Boise State
PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH
1. Boise State
3. San Diego State
4. Fresno State
6. Air Force
7. Colorado State
10. New Mexico