In a year where everything has gone the Vandals way, it makes sense that they would collect the most end-of-the-year honors since rejoining the Big Sky Conference in 2018.
The conference announced its end-of-the-year awards Wednesday, and it included 15 Idaho players, highlighted by quarterback Gevani McCoy earning the freshman of the year award.
McCoy was named one of the finalists for the Jerry Rice Award, which goes to the best freshman in the Football Championship Subdivision, earlier this week. Him winning the top Big Sky freshman honor wasn’t a surprise.
His stats back it up, as McCoy has thrown a conference-best 25 touchdown passes along with 2,376 passing yards.
Junior receiver Jermaine Jackson earned first-team honors as a receiver and a punt returner.
As a returner, he leads the Big Sky with an average of 14.4 yards per return with a touchdown, one of six players in the conference to achieve that feat this season.
As far as receiving goes, Jackson has been electric. He’s third in the conference with 939 yards receiving on just 60 receptions. He’s first in yards per catch at 19.1.
Sophomore receiver Hayden Hatten also notched first-team honors.
He has had a career year, notching exactly 1,000 yards receiving, making him the first UI receiver since Jeff Cotton in 2019 to accomplish that feat. Hatten also broke Idaho’s single-season touchdown reception record when he caught his 15th score Saturday against Idaho State.
Six Vandals earned second-team nods, with star linebackers Paul Moala and Fa’avae Fa’avae highlighting the group.
Fa’avae, a transfer from Washington State, leads the team with 99 tackles, adding two forced fumbles and two sacks. Moala, the Notre Dame transfer, is fourth on the team with 55 tackles and added four interceptions, a forced fumble and two sacks.
Marcus Harris and Juliano Falaniko also earned second-team honors on defense.
On offense, freshman running back Anthony Woods was named to the second team.
For a guy that wasn’t looked at as the starter coming in, he sure put up the numbers. Woods has a team-high 814 rushing yards and two scores, averaging 5.7 yards per carry with two 100-yard games.
Kicker Ricardo Chavez earned a second-team spot, as he is second in the Big Sky in field-goal percentage, making 15-of-19 (78.9 percent) and nailing all 42 of his extra points.
Tommy and Sean McCormick, along with senior offensive lineman Logan Floyd, were third-team picks.
Sean McCormick, Tommy’s brother, earned his spot as a special teamer. He’s been UI’s player of the week in that specialty four times and has collected eight tackles.
Tommy McCormick, a defensive back, has a team-high five turnovers and is third with 56 tackles.
Floyd has helped anchor a rushing attack that has tallied more than 1,900 yards this season.
Three more Vandals — senior offensive lineman Beau St. John, freshman offensive lineman Ayden Knapik and senior defensive end Leo Tamba — were honorable mention selections.
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QB — Miles Hastings, UC Davis. RB — Cameron Skattebo, Sacramento State; Ulonzo Gilliam Jr., UC Davis. FB — Derryk Snell, Montana State. WR — Hayden Hatten, Idaho; Pierre Williams, Sacramento State; Jermaine Jackson, Idaho. TE — Marshel Martin, Sacramento State. OL — Nick Amoah, UC Davis; Noah Atagi, Weber State; Tyson Pauling, Portland State; Jackson Slater, Sacramento State; Brandon Weldon, Sacramento State; Hunter Mayginnes, Montana.
DT — Sebastian Valdez, Montana State; Alex Gubner, Montana. DE — Brody Grebe, Montana State; Zach Kennedy, UC Davis. OLB — Marte Mapu, Sacramento State; Patrick O’Connell, Montana. ILB — Armon Bailey, Sacramento State; Callahan O’Reilly, Montana State; Winston Reid, Weber State. DB — Eddie Heckard, Weber State; Justin Ford, Montana; Robby Hauck, Montana; Maxwell Anderson, Weber State; Rex Connors, UC Davis.
K — Kyle Sentkowski, Sacramento State. P — Patrick Rohrbach, Montana. KR — Abraham Williams, Weber State. PR — Jackson. ST — Lan Larison, UC Davis. All-purpose — Asher O’Hara, Sacramento State.
Offensive player of the year — Skattebo.
Defensive player of the year — Mapu.
Newcomer of the year — Sean Chambers, QB, Montana State.
Freshman of the year — Gevani McCoy, QB, Idaho.
Coaches of the year — Troy Taylor, Sacramento State; Brent Vigen, Montana State.
QB — Tommy Mellott, Montana State. RB — Elijah Dotson, Northern Colorado; Anthony Woods, Idaho. WR — Xavier Guillory, Idaho State; Ty MacPherson, Weber State; Beau Kelly, Portland State. TE — McCallan Castles, UC Davis. OL — Nathan Mejia, Sacramento State; Rush Reimer, Montana State; Connor Pettek, UC Davis; Jordan Lutui, Weber State; Troy Stiefel, Sacramento State; Jordan Ford, UC Davis.
DT — Jett Stanley, Sacramento State; Kalisi Moli, Weber State. DE — Cosmas Kwete, Northern Arizona; Juliano Falaniko, Idaho. OLB — Ty Okada, Montana State; Paul Moala, Idaho. ILB — Fa’avae Fa’avae, Idaho; Elijah Anderson-Taylor, Northern Colorado. DB — Caleb Nelson, Sacramento State; Desmond Williams, Weber State; Morgan Vest, Northern Arizona; Devon King, UC Davis; Marcus Harris, Idaho.
K — Ricardo Chavez, Idaho. P — Nick Kokich, Eastern Washington; KR — Malik Flowers, Montana. PR — Haze Hadley, Weber State; ST — Tyler Flink, Montana. All-purpose — Chambers.
QB — McCoy; Jake Dunniway, Sacramento State. RB — Dontae McMillan, Weber State; Marcus Fulcher, Sacramento State. WR — Coleman Owen, Northern Arizona; Efton Chism III, Eastern Washington; Willie Patterson, Montana State; Freddie Roberson, Eastern Washington. TE — Josh Cuevas, Cal Poly. OL — Ethan Atagi, Weber State; Logan Floyd, Idaho; AJ Forbes, Montana; PJ Poutasi, Northern Arizona; JT Reed, Montana State; Brady Odom, Northern Colorado.
DT — EJ Ane, Portland State; Chubba Ma’ae, UC Davis. DE — Killian Rosko, Sacramento State; Eloi Kwete, Northern Arizona. OLB — David Meyer, Cal Poly. ILB — Teddye Buchanan, UC Davis; Charles Ike, Idaho State. DB — Tommy McCormick, Idaho; Marlon Jones Jr., Eastern Washington; Xavier Bell, Portland State; Jehiel Budgett, UC Davis; Jordan Knapke, Northern Colorado.
K — Isaiah Gomez, UC Davis. P — Cal McGough, Sacramento State. KR — Marqui Johnson, Montana State. PR — Marcus Fulcher, Sacramento State. ST — Sean McCormick, Idaho. All-purpose — Junior Bergen, Montana.
QB — Gunner Talkington, Eastern Washington; Dylan McCaffrey, Northern Colorado. RB — Damon Bankston, Weber State. WR — Chris Coleman, Cal Poly; Mitch Roberts, Montana; Hendrix Johnson, Northern Arizona; Mataio Talalemotu, Portland State. TE — Cole Grossman, Montana; Justin Malone, Weber State; Anthony Rodriguez, Portland State. OL — Wyatt Hansen, Eastern Washington; Justus Perkins, Montana State; Beau St. John, Idaho; Ayden Knapik, Idaho.
DE — Joshua Jerome, Eastern Washington; Elijah Ponder, Cal Poly; Leo Tamba, Idaho; VJ Malo, Portland State; Mitchell Johnson, Eastern Washington. ILB — Levi Janacaro, Montana; Marcus Welnel, Montana; Nolan Askelson, Montana State. DB — Kamden Garrett, Weber State.
K — Blake Glessner, Montana State. P — Devin Bale, Northern Colorado. KR — Larison; Dotson. PR — Dotson. ST — Kurt Gallup, Northern Colorado. All-purpose — Dotson; Draycen Hall, Northern Arizona; Emmanuel Daigbe, Portland State.