Dec. 2, 2014
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The Boise State football team placed 12 student-athletes on All-Mountain West Teams Tuesday, including four named to the first team. Redshirt junior running back Jay Ajayi, redshirt junior center Marcus Henry, sophomore STUD end Kamalei Correa and redshirt junior safety Darian Thompson each garnered first-team all-league accolades.
Ajayi has been named to the first team in each of the last two seasons.
Redshirt senior quarterback Grant Hedrick, redshirt junior left tackle Rees Odhiambo, sophomore linebacker Tanner Vallejo and junior cornerback Donte Deayon were named All-MW Second Team.
Redshirt senior kicker Dan Goodale, redshirt senior defensive end Beau Martin, redshirt freshman tight end Jake Roh and junior wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes earned honorable mention all-league honors.
A Doak Walker Semifinalist this season, Ajayi has rushed 303 times for 1,619 yards and 24 touchdowns. The marks rank second, fifth and tied for second nationally, respectively. Ajayi's 28 total touchdowns and per-game scoring average (14.0) each also rank second nationally. His 134.9 yards rushing per game ranks seventh nationally, and his all-purpose average of 179.58 yards per game is the nation's third-best mark.
Ajayi, the only three-time Mountain West Offensive Player of the Week this season (Sept. 8, Sept. 21, Dec. 1) and one of just two players to earn the honor more than once (San Diego State's Donnel Pumphrey and Colorado State's Dee Hart each claimed the honor twice), posted a pair of 200-yards-or-more performances as well as nine efforts of at least 100 yards, including seven in a row to end the regular season. In the conference's most decisive game of the season, Boise State's 50-19 win over Utah State that clinched the Mountain Division Saturday night, Ajayi excelled under pressure by rushing for a career-best 229 yards and five touchdowns, including a season-long 62-yard scoring dash.
Henry, who started each of the Broncos' 12 regular-season games, is the leader of an offensive line unit that has paved the way for the nation's ninth-ranked scoring offense (40.8). The Broncos also rank eighth nationally in total offense (512.1), 18th nationally in passing offense (288.5) and 26th nationally in rushing offense (223.6). Henry and the Bronco line have been at the forefront of the team's rushing attack, opening holes for Ajayi's career-best campaign.
Thompson continued his national rise amongst defensive backs in 2014, picking off a career-best seven passes and being the Broncos top tackler in the secondary with 56 (40 solo). His seven interceptions share the Mountain West lead and, along with his rate of 0.64 interceptions per game, ranks tied for third in the country. Thompson helped the Broncos cruise to the Mountain Division title over the final weeks or the regular season, picking off a pass in each of the final two wins, highlighted by a 36-yard return for a touchdown Nov. 22 at Wyoming.
Correa's breakout 2014 season has vaulted him into the conversation of the best defensive linemen in the conference. The Honolulu native leads the Mountain West with 9.5 sacks and is second with 16.5 tackles-for-loss, with a pair of forced fumbles (tied for third in the conference) also to his credit. Correa has also demonstrated his playmaking ability on special teams this season, adding a blocked punt to his ledger Nov. 8 against New Mexico.
Hedrick earned the first All-MW nod of his career following a regular season in which he ranked second in the conference in total offense (3,714 yards, 309.5 yards per game), passing yardage (3,232 yards, 269.3 yards per game) and passing efficiency (158.7). Those figures also ranked in the national top 20, coming in at 12th, 19th and ninth, respectively. The Independence, Ore. native accounted for 30 touchdowns in 2014, utilizing his arm (22 passing touchdowns), feet (six rushing) and hands (two receiving), while being Boise State's No. 2 rusher with 482 yards.
Odhiambo, despite missing four games from late September to early October, returned to bolster the Bronco offensive line at left tackle. Protecting Hedrick's blind side and blocking for all-league back Jay Ajayi, Odhiambo was part of a line that ranked 18th nationally in passing offense (288.5) and 26th nationally in rushing offense (223.6). The Mansfield, Texas native has made himself a key cog in the nation's No. 8 offense (512.1 yards per game) and ninth-ranked scoring offense (40.8).
Vallejo, at linebacker, has been all over the field for the Broncos and a nuisance for opposing offenses throughout 2014. The sophomore is Boise State's leading tackler with 73, including a team-high 43 solo tackles, and ranks second on the team and seventh in the Mountain West with 12.0 tackles-for-loss. He has made 1.5 sacks and leads the Broncos with three fumble recoveries, including one that he returned 31 yards for a touchdown in Sept. 13's 38-21 win at Connecticut.
Boise State's second honoree from the secondary, Deayon ranked second on the team with four interceptions in addition to ranking ninth among all Broncos with 36 tackles. Deayon's four picks are tied for fourth-most in the Mountain West and his 0.40 interceptions per game ranks tied for 26th in the country. He showed off his knack for electrifying plays by scoring a pair of touchdowns this season, the first a 50-yard interception return at Connecticut (Sept. 13) and the second a 75-yard punt return at Wyoming (Nov. 22). He was also the only Mountain West player this season to earn weekly honors in two different categories, claiming the defensive honor Oct. 20 then picking up the special teams award Nov. 24.
First among the quartet of Bronco honorable mentions is wide receiver Shane Williams-Rhodes, the team's leader with 68 receptions in 2014. Williams-Rhodes also leads the Broncos with seven touchdown catches, a figure that is tied for second among all MW receivers. His 585 receiving yards rank second on the team and in the season opener against Ole Miss (Aug. 28), Williams-Rhodes set a career best with 14 catches, a figure that also tied for the third-highest single-game total in school history.
Roh made his collegiate debut in 2014 as a redshirt freshman and helped reinvigorate the tight end position. The Scottsdale native is fourth on the team with 31 catches, fifth on the team with 377 receiving yards and has caught a pair of touchdowns. Roh's proven himself a playmaker in the Bronco passing attack, averaging 31.4 yards per catch, and in Saturday's division-clinching win over Utah State hauling in four passes for 75 yards.
Kicker Dan Goodale leads the nation with 60 touchbacks and on the year has made 75.0 percent of his field-goal attempts (15-for-20). Before missing an attempt Nov. 22 at Wyoming, Goodale has made a season-high nine straight attempts.
Another member of the Boise State front four on defense, end Beau Martin has been a big piece of the Bronco rush. Martin ranks second on the team in sacks (4.5) and third in tackles-for-loss (11.0), the latter figure also ninth-best among Mountain West defenders. He has also shown his versatility on defense by breaking up a pair of passes, forcing a fumble and blocking a kick, which came on a field-goal attempt Nov. 8 at New Mexico.
No. 23 Boise State (10-2, 7-1 MW), the Mountain Division champion, hosts West Division winner Fresno State (6-6, 5-3 MW) this Saturday night (Dec. 6) at Albertsons Stadium in the Sports Authority Mountain West Football Championship. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. MT on CBS.