For the second-straight year and for just the fourth time in the last 39 seasons, a CSU Ram was not selected to an all-league first-team.
Tuesday’s announcement by the Mountain West Conference follows a disappointing 3-9 season by the Rams, prompting athletic director Paul Kowalczyk to fire Sonny Lubick more than two weeks ago after 15 seasons at the helm.
Prior to 2006, CSU averaged more than five first-team all-conference performers a year under Lubick since 1993.
Senior defensive end Jesse Nading and senior offensive lineman Nick Allotta were both selected to the second-team.
“I’d trade this for a bowl game any day of the week,” Nading said. “It’s fine, but I’d rather have more wins.”
The 6-foot-5, 258-pounder from Highlands Ranch amassed 56 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss and 3.5 sacks after starting all 12 games this year.
Nading played in 46 games for the Rams the past four seasons and said he will remember the relationships he built with his teammates, coaches and fans the most-along a 2005 victory over Utah in which the defense clinched the win with a four-play goal line stand along with the Rams’ win over Wyoming this year.
“Leaving the field with that (Bronze) Boot was a great feeling,” he said. “To give the Boot to coach Lubick was great.”
Allotta, a 6-foot3, 305-pounder from San Diego, started all 12 games this season as well, three at the center position and nine at guard.
“The recognition (Allotta) got was well deserved,” Nading said. “It’s been great playing with him.”
Junior line backer Jeff Horinek, junior running back Gartrell Johnson and seniors Jimmie Kaylor (punter), Damon Morton (wide receiver), Erik Sandie (defensive lineman) and Darryl Williams (corner back) were recognized by the conference with honorable mentions.
Air Force wing back Chad Hall and University of Nevada-Las Vegas linebacker Beau Bell were named as the conference offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.
First-year Air Force coach Troy Calhoun was name coach of the year, while Brigham Young running back Harvey Unga was named freshman of the year.