Nov. 16, 2017
BOISE, Idaho - Boise State had five student-athletes voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-District 7 Football Team Thursday, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced.
Junior quarterback Brett Rypien, redshirt senior center Mason Hampton, redshirt sophomore offensive lineman John Molchon, redshirt sophomore nose tackle Matt Locher, and sophomore safety Kekoa Nawahine were each recognized for their excellence both on the field and in the classroom. To be eligible for the CoSIDA honor, nominees must possess a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 3.30, hold at least sophomore standing, and have spent at least one full academic year at their current institution.
All five Broncos now move on to the national ballot, seeking a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Football Team, which is scheduled to be announced Dec. 14.
For Hampton, Thursday's announcement marks the second-straight year in which he has been named to the all-district team. Last year, he became the first Bronco football student-athlete since Nate Potter (2011) to be voted to the Academic All-America First Team, and, should he be voted to the All-America team for the second year in a row, he would become just the second Boise State student-athlete to achieve the feat (Abbey Elsberry, cross country, 2003-04). Already this year, Hampton, owner of a 3.97 grade-point average while majoring in accountancy, has been named a finalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, and to the National Football Foundation's 2017 Scholar-Athlete Class, for which he earned a postgraduate scholarship worth $18,000.
On the field, Hampton has been the lynchpin of the Bronco offensive line, responsible for getting running back Alexander Mattison to the verge of his first-career 1,000-yard season, which would mark the ninth-straight year in which Boise State had produced a 1,000-yard rusher.
Rypien leads a quartet of Broncos to earn their first inclusions onto the all-district team. The Bronco signal-caller, owner of a 3.59 grade-point average while working towards his major in general business, has been at the forefront of the Boise State offense's recent run, completing 65.5 percent of his passes (76-for-116) for 973 yards and nine touchdowns over the last four games. For the year, Rypien has thrown for 1,631 yards and 11 touchdowns while completing 63.3 percent of his passes.
Locher has become a key contributor on the defensive line for the Broncos this season, making nine tackles including a sack and 3.0 tackles-for-loss. One of his top performances of the season came in Boise State's 31-14 win at No. 19/18 San Diego State on Oct. 14, as he made three tackles, including one for loss. In the classroom, Locher is majoring in finance and owns a grade-point average of 3.98.
Molchon has appeared in all 10 games for the Broncos this season, making nine starts on the offensive line. Also majoring in finance, Molchon owns a grade-point average of 3.83, while on the field he teams with Hampton and the rest of the Bronco front five that not only has Mattison on the verge of 1,000 rushing yards, but is the nucleus of the Mountain West's top-scoring offense (33.9 points per game).
Nawahine has enjoyed a breakout season in 2017, leading the Bronco defense with three interceptions while currently ranking second on the team with 71 tackles (45 solo). The Meridian, Idaho, native has demonstrated a nose for the ball, as in addition to his three picks (and 64 return yards off of those), he has also recovered a fumble, which he returned for 14 yards. In the classroom, Nawahine owns a 385 GPA while his major is undeclared.
Boise State (8-2, 6-0 MW) hosts Air Force this Saturday at 8:15 p.m. on ESPN2. A Bronco victory, or a Fresno State victory over Wyoming earlier in the day, would clinch for Boise State a spot in the Mountain West Championship Game.