Lotulelei Leads UNLV All-MW Honorees With First Team Nod|
Nov. 29, 2016
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV senior linebacker Tau Lotulelei was named First Team All-Mountain West to lead the Rebel contingent of honorees as the conference announced its annual postseason awards Tuesday. You can view the full release here.
Lotulelei (Kiheki, HI/Maui HS) had a career-best season, leading the squad with 117 total tackles, which was the most by a Rebel since his older brother, John Lotulelei, logged 120 in 2012 before heading to the NFL. Tau is also the first Rebel to earn first team all-league since both John Lotulelei and PK Nolan Kohorst were named in 2012.
Lotulelei's 16.5 tackles-for-loss led the MW and his 9.8 tackles per game ranked 16th in the nation. He added 3.5 quarterback sacks, three pass breakups and 1 forced fumble on the year. The four-year letterman was named the league's defensive player of the week on October 19 after his forced fumble helped UNLV win at Hawai'i. Lotuelei, who earned Honorable Mention All-MW last season, finished his Rebel career ranked fifth in tackles with 318.
Five Rebels earned 2016 Honorable Mention All-MW, which gave the team more overall honorees, six, since 10 were cited after the 2013 bowl season.
Senior safety Troy Hawthorne (Glendale, AZ/Centennial HS), who came to the program as a quarterback before moving over to defense, ranked second on the team this fall with 107 total tackles (seventh in the MW and 36th in the nation) and led the MW and tied for fourth in the nation with five forced fumbles. He also led the squad with two fumble recoveries and added 5.5 TFL and three pass breakups.
Senior cornerback Torry McTyer (Los Angeles, CA/Cathedral HS) ranked second in the conference with 12 pass breakups and tied for 10th in the nation with 1.4 passes defended per game. He also ranked fifth in the league with three interceptions to go with 49 total tackles, which stood sixth on the team. McTyer was named MW Defensive Player of the Week on Nov. 14 after grabbing two picks against Wyoming.
Two members of the UNLV offensive line were included -- senior center and Rimington Trophy candidate Will Kreitler (Gilbert, AZ/Scottsdale CC) and sophomore right tackle Nathan Jacobson (Snohomish, WA/Snohomish HS). Neither allowed a quarterback sack this season while leading the UNLV rushing attack to 241.5 yards per game, which ranked 16th in the nation and was the program's highest average since 1979. A UNLV-record five different players turned in at least one 100-yard rushing game a total of nine times.
Junior defensive lineman Mike Hughes Jr., (Las Vegas/Palo Verde HS) rounded out the Rebel honorees as the starting tackle shined inside this fall at tackle, ranking seventh on the team with 37 total tackles, 3.5 TFL and two quarterback sacks.