Rogers, Thomas & Hughes Lead UNLV Football Honors|
Nov. 29, 2017
FULL MW 2017 AWARDS LIST
LAS VEGAS (UNLVRebels.com) - UNLV quarterback Armani Rogers was named 2017 Mountain West Freshman of the Year while running back Lexington Thomas was voted first team all-league to lead the Rebel contingent of honorees as the conference announced its annual postseason awards Wednesday.
Rogers (Los Angeles,CA/Hamilton HS) is the sixth Rebel to be named a conference freshman of the year and fourth since the Mountain West formed in 1999. Rogers' teammate, senior receiver Devonte Boyd, was the most recent winner in 2014.
Rogers, who missed some time with an injury, started nine of 12 games this season and broke the program's records for both rushing yards in a season by a freshman and rushing yards in a season by a quarterback with 780. He also shattered the school record for rushing yards in a game by a quarterback with 193 in a victory at New Mexico, after which he was named MW Offensive Player of the Week. For the season he ran for eight touchdowns and passed for six more, completing 99 of 189 attempts for 1,471 yards and five interceptions. Rogers also helped set the record for longest offensive play in Rebel history when he found Boyd for a 94-yard touchdown in a victory at Idaho. Rogers, who is currently one of just five FBS quarterbacks with more than 775 rushing yards and averaging at least 140 yards passing per game, joins Jon Denton (1996 as part of the WAC) as the only UNLV quarterbacks to be named a league freshman of the year.
Thomas (Houston, TX/Benjamin Davis HS) is the third UNLV running back to be named First Team All-MW, joining Dominique Dorsey in 2004 and Jeremi Rudolph in 2000. The junior turned in the fourth-highest rushing total in school history with 1,336 yards on 211 carries for a gaudy per-rush average of 6.3 yards, which ranks 17th in the nation. "Lightning" also struck often in the end zone this season, scoring at least one touchdown in 10 of 12 games (two or more six times) and finishing with 17 rushing TDs, which is currently sixth in the nation and ties for second on the school's single-season list. He posted six scoring runs 55 yards or longer this fall and his five 100-yard games gave him 12 in his career, which is third all-time.
Senior defensive lineman Mike Hughes Jr., (Las Vegas/Palo Verde HS), who was honorable mention in 2016, was named Second Team All-MW this time around after ending his career with 36 consecutive starts at the tackle spot. The team captain finished seventh on the squad with a career-high 53 tackles in the middle, including a Rebel-best 7.0 tackles for loss. He had two quarterback sacks and blocked an extra-point attempt. Hughes is the first UNLV defensive lineman to be voted either first or second team all-conference since the late Jeremy Geathers in 2006 and the first defensive tackle from the program to be so honored since Tiger Townes was second team All-Big West in 1993.
Two Rebels, both offensive linemen, earned 2017 Honorable Mention All-MW: senior left tackle Kyle Saxelid (Elk Grove, CA/Cosumnes HS) earned his first nod while junior right tackle Nathan Jacobson (Snohomish, WA/Snohomish HS) also was honorable mention last season. The two helped pave the way for the 10th 1,000-yard rusher in school history and produced a ground game that currently ranks 19th in the nation at 240.2 yards per outing.
UNLV CONFERENCE FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2017 -- Armani Rogers, QB (MW)
2014 -- Devonte Boyd, WR (MW) 2006 -- Ryan Wolfe, WR (MW) 2001 -- Dominique Dorsey, RB (MW) 1998 -- James Sunia, LB (WAC -- Pacific Division) 1996 -- Jon Denton, QB (WAC -- Mountain Division)