Moore headlines 2010 DraftNasty Preseason All-WAC squad
August 25th, 2010 By Corey Chavous
The DraftNasty 2010 Preseason All-WAC Team is led by none other than Boise State QB Kellen Moore (#11 pictured), a first-team all conference selection a year ago after tossing 39 touchdown passes. This year he will be challenged by a host of other signal callers to keep his crown. Idaho’s Nathan Enderle has NFL scouts extremely excited about his size and deep ball accuracy. Meanwhile, Nevada’s multi-purpose threat Colin Kaepernick may have the best field speed of any offensive player in the conference.
Offensive Player of the Year: Colin Kaepernick QB Nevada
#11 Kellen Moore JR Boise State
Moore has the best touch and anticipation of pass patterns in college football. What he lacks in arm strength, he makes up for with unique timing. The most impressive part of Moore’s game is his deft play action ability, consistently fooling the defense on a regular basis.
#10 Colin Kaepernick SR Nevada
Although he has an elongated delivery, Kaepernick has a cannon for an arm. He also has 4.4 speed, but is likely faster on game day with his galloping strides. He may very well be the best football player in the conference and could very well end up getting looks at both QB and WR at the NFL level.
#10 Nathan Enderle SR Idaho
There’s a lot to like about a 6’5” 230 lb quarterback with deep ball accuracy and legit steam on his intermediate passes. What’s not to like as much is his footwork, which needs to improve substantially over the course of the next year. Enderle took better care of the ball in ’09 after tossing 17 interceptions in 2008.
#12 Diondre Borel SR Utah State
Aside from the fact that he doesn’t make mistakes, the silky smooth senior signal-caller is like a magician when it comes to his escapability. Don’t for a minute be fooled, Borel is one of the better athletes in the entire western region of the country, regardless of position.
#34 Vai Taua SR Nevada
Tua is thickly built in the lower body with above average power, but what’s perhaps most impressive is the fact that he also returns punts, impressive for a running back. His injuries have been an issue, albeit a tolerable one.
#6 Robert Turbin JR Utah State
Exciting prospect who runs with an attitude and displays the vision to find the creases in a defense. Being paired with multi-dimensional QB Borel only helps his cause on Saturday afternoons.
#25 Alex Green SR Hawai’i
Be careful before you dismiss Green as a top-flight prospect because he lacks eye-popping numbers. He is a poor man’s version of former Oregon State star RB Stephen Jackson, and not only can he break tackles with force, he has better agility than you’d think at first glance. Green has the size (225 lbs) and vision to continue to develop as a pass blocker as well, where he currently gets an average grade.
#20 Seth Smith SR New Mexico State
Smith gets votes just because he’s the best pass protection back I’ve graded in the conference. He plays with a base at 198 pounds and displays enough toughness to even block defensive ends. What’s more impressive is his unique quality to run through arm tackles and fall forward on contact.
#27 Jeremy Avery SR Boise State
Smurf sized dynamo has electric feet and is effective at running between the tackles. On top of that, he can catch the football effortlessly out of the backfield and is competent in the screen game.
#74 Joe Bernardi SR Fresno State
Bernardi leads the best offensive line group in the conference with tremendous pad level and agility. He communicates pre-snap reads and his vision stands out on tape.
#62 Mike Grady JR New Mexico State
Besides not giving up a sack, Grady helped pave the way for RB Seth Smith’s 1,000 yard season. He has good size and contains experience at a number of line positions (C, OT).
#60 Lon Roberts SR Louisiana Tech
If the vote was based on experience in the trenches, Roberts would be a unanimous selection as our first team center. The senior anchor has notched 37 consecutive starts entering the 2010 season.
#69 Andrew Jackson SR Fresno State
Jackson should contend for All-American honors this season and he could very well be the most athletic guard I’ve seen thus far. In any conference. There isn’t much he can’t do mobility wise, but he could use added bulk in the lower body to generate more explosion at the point of attack.
#73 Nate Potter SR Boise State
Potter manned the left tackle position for the Broncos in 2010, and he did it to the tune of 1st Team All-WAC honors. His technique is the strongest part of his game and he has above average footwork to go along with it.
#72 Sioeli Fakaleta SR New Mexico State
Massive specimen and drives his legs with decent pad level once connected on an opponent. I’m just sure that he has a consistent feel of how to pass off defenders on play action passes or defensive line stunts. His technique can be shoddy on occasion.
#72 Isaac Leatiota SR San Jose State
He really packs a punch and moves defenders off the line of scrimmage. He’s at his best as a man on man blocker, and would struggle to cut off defenders in zone run schemes. The former California signee could be primed for a big year.
#62 John Bender SR Nevada
While he would seem to have the length and mass to project to the right tackle position (6’8” 325), his balance probably wouldn’t allow the move. He leans and wears on defenders with his mass over the course of games.
#74 Rob McGill SR Louisiana Tech
McGill’s size (6’6” 305) is a definite advantage, and he often uses it to wall defenders up the field by the action. He occasionally narrows his base when threatened by speed, something that he can correct in 2010.
#60 Kenny Wiggins SR Fresno State
The Bulldog veteran combines a good veteran presence with solid technique. He has a good sense of timing on showing deeper pass sets before cutting linemen on three step drops, a key part of the team’s passing game.
#70 Bryce Harris JR Fresno State
He is one of the more natural knee benders in the conference, and his slide-n-mirror tenacity works well in coordination with fellow line mates.
#52 Spencer Johnson SR Utah State
He has the necessary length to become an effective tackle, but he sometimes lacks the footwork to survive on the outside. He’s always ready to punch, but needs to work on not shortening the corner for defensive ends.
One to Watch:
#75 Dwayne Barton SR New Mexico State
While he’s extremely undersized, Barton is one of the more agile exterior linemen on the West Coast. Barton’s 270 pound frame makes him susceptible to bull rushes because of inconsistent hand placement and an inability to sit in the chair versus power.
#85 Virgil Green SR Nevada
Green is surprisingly nimble for a 240 pounder and sports a basketball type build. He’s used a lot to cross block across the formation on counter type running schemes. His best football may be yet to come.
#88 Daniel Hardy SR Idaho
Hardy is an emotional player who has proven to be able to make the acrobatic catch in traffic. He’s far from a finished product as a blocker, but excels at being a tough matchup for smaller defenders in the pass game. Not many tight ends average nearly 18 yards a reception.
#80 Kyle Efaw SR Boise State
While he may not be quite as dynamic from a stretch the field standpoint as the other two tight ends, he does have very soft hands. He will make the tough catch in traffic and is the best blocker of the trio.
#4 Titus Young SR Boise State
He has similar acceleration and size make up to DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles. He can roll the speed cuts and is electric after the catch. No matter what conference Young played in, he would be a speed mismatch for most defenders. Frail build has been relatively durable for the most part and he combines body control with long limbs.
#1 Greg Salas SR Hawai’i
Salas has the size, strength and toughness you’d like in a number one receiver for either the collegiate or pro game. The problem? He’s rarely, if ever, used outside, and the team regularly employs him as the #3 slot receiver in most of their packages.
#11 Stanley Morrison SR Utah State
Jitterbug will be a terror once again to handle this season and he’s electric with the ball in his hands. His NFL potential may be limited, but his speed, quickness and ball skills could land him looks in the CFL or Arena Leagues.
#2 Maurice Shaw SR Idaho
Not only is he a legitimate deep threat on the gridiron at 208 pounds, Shaw gets it done in track & field for the school as well. The indoor 60 meter hurdles competitor has a unique ability to track the ball down the field.
#2 Austin Pettis SR Boise State
Pettis negates pedestrian speed with outstanding ball skills and efficiency in the Red Zone. When relied upon, Pettis’ combination of hand/eye coordination and size present a difficult matchup. Nagging injuries plagued him late in the 2009 season.
#7 Devon Wylie SR Fresno State
Wylie finally will get his chance to shine after spending time in a crowded receiving corps the last two seasons. While he’s a bit of a smurf at only 5’8 1/2”, he uses his 4.3 speed to get on top of defensive backs in a hurry.
WAC Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Shiloh Keo S/PR Idaho
Defensive Ends/3-4 OLBs
#55 Dontay Moch DE/OLB Nevada
There’s no way that Moch will be a defensive end at the next level, although he should be able to put his hand on the ground on 3rd Downs from time to time. He could possibly be one of the fastest players at the NFL Combine next spring, but he doesn’t consistently play to his timed speed.
#43 Chris Carter DE/OLB Fresno State
His ability to get up the field and bend is really fascinating, and his performance versus Wisconsin’s Gabe Carimi last fall caught my eye. He made his case, but he can’t project as an every down end at only 6’2” 230 pounds. After having been beaten on as an every down defensive end, his transition to the 3-4 OLB spot will be seamless.
#98 Ryan Winterswyk SR Boise State
His motor is what gets mentioned, but to us, we feel his hand usage and strength rank as the most definitive positives in his favor. He doesn’t have elite length, but is athletic enough to project to the five technique spot in a 3-4 scheme. At the very least, he will get looks at left defensive end.
#48 Pierre Fils JR New Mexico State
Another defensive end that will likely swing to the 3-4 OLB spot, he has the size (6’3” 234 pounds) to also get looks as the Sam LB in a 4-3 defensive scheme. He occasionally will wow you on film with his explosive burst and acceleration, particularly when closing from the backside. With that said, he can be handled one on one and needs to improve his pass rush repertoire.
Others of Note:
#48 Aaron Lavarais SR Idaho
Not the most naturally gifted end, he is a player that grows on you with increased exposure. He times snap counts well and plays both end spots during games.
#52 Donte Savage JR New Mexico State
His stop-n-start fundamentals and footwork versus misdirection unveil his physical ability. In order to maximize his talent, his secondary pass rush moves must develop in 2010.
#90 Billy Winn JR Boise State
A true disruptor, Winn’s name more than ranks as a synonym for his energetic style of play. Winn recorded 12.5 tackles for loss in 2009.
#50 Cornell Banks SR Fresno State
Perhaps the most sturdy at the nose of all the interior linemen, Banks is often seen at the shaded one technique spot, where he will run his feet to hold his ground. His balance is an area of further investigation as is the use of his hands to control gaps.
#93 Chris Lewis SR Fresno State
If we’re going to continue our theme of undersized defensive tackles, why not include the athletic Lewis, most likely to project to an end spot at the next level. He hasn’t been highly productive, but that’s more due to where he’s had to align in the team’s front four.
#99 Johah Sataraka SR Idaho
He’s been somewhat of a late bloomer, but began to blossom some last year as a decent pass rusher. We feel he’s best suited as a three technique, with a possible look or two as a 3-4 defensive end.
Take a look at:
#90 Mason Hitt SR Louisiana Tech
Hitt makes up with less than spectacular size with the quickness to penetrate gaps. His family lineage extends to LSU, where his brother Lyle started as an offensive guard.
#44 Adrian Cole JR Louisiana Tech
Cole shoots gaps with a sense of timing and pops out as having an explosive quick burst to the point of attack. If you don’t believe me, ask former Hawai'i QB Greg Alexander. Cole effectively ended his season with one of the most violent hits of the 2009 season.
#52 James Micheal-Johnson JR Nevada
At 240 pounds, Michael-Johnson has the body control to elude blockers to get to the ball and make plays. He is in line for another impact season after garnering 11.5 tackles for loss in 2009.
#9 Bobby Wagner JR Utah State
The Aggies’ most explosive defender in its front seven, Wagner can’t make mistakes because he’s very undersized. His agility at 230 pounds is well above average, as is his range to make plays.
#34 JoJo Dickson SR Idaho
While he can be extremely slow to recognize the action at times, Dickson has proven time and again that he will fight off blocks on his trek to the football. His play speed and pursuit angles yield big results at the proper times.
#54 Ben Jacobs SR Fresno State
Jacobs is not very quick as a linebacker, but his attitude and leadership spring to fruition on video. He can stack and shed, but his characteristics lend themselves more to the Sam LB spot at the next level. He could also get looks as an undersized 30 front inside linebacker. Especially since he doesn’t play behind a line filled with huge bodies and constantly has to get off blocks.
#36 Aaron Tevis JR Boise State
Tevis’ range and ability to read the eyes of the QB makes him a natural fit on our team at the weakside linebacker spot. He recorded three interceptions last fall and sports a relatively solid football IQ.
#10 Shiloh Keo SR Idaho
He’s one of the best all-around football players that we’ve graded thus far, but he’s more than just a safety. Clearly the emotional leader of the football team, his injury history needs to be further evaluated, as do some team disciplinary issues. Good prospect with loads of upside.
#43 Mana Silva SR Hawai’i
Silva fits the mold of the other two safeties on our first team. The Oregon State transfer combines size (6’1” 220) with a pretty good gate (stride length) when chasing the ball. His play range is only enhanced by his ball skills (Silva recorded three straight games with interceptions at one point last season).
#20 Lorne Bell SR Fresno State
Until I saw Bell play, I was fully ready to say that Keo was hands down the best safety in the conference. That no longer may be the case. Without a doubt, Bell’s willingness to throw his body around and flash in an instant on film catches your eye. He is one of the most competitive players I’ve seen on tape at the safety spot.
#23 Jeron Johnson SR Boise State
In any other year, Johnson would be a lock for the top spots on the first team, and he may very well be there at the conclusion of 2010. The three guys ahead of him play a different type of game and he probably has as much instinct to bait QBs as any safety in the WAC. He doesn’t play the game with the same recklessness of the aforementioned.
#2 Duke Ihenacho SR San Jose State
Ihenacho can be a factor on goal line run blitzes, where he takes the right angles down the line of scrimmage to be a factor from the backside. He perhaps more than any other safety in the conference brings the hammer in his deep patrol zones. Physically imposing safety needs to make more game changing plays in 2010.
#19 Stephon Hatchett SR New Mexico State
It’s not hard to overlook Hatchett at just 5’8” 170 pounds, but he’s a terror when driving on routes in front of him. He has corner like feet and even plays some nickel vs. multiple receiver sets.
#4 Tank Calais SR Louisiana Tech
Calais has a football lineage throughout his family and will deliver a blow to make his presence felt in the middle of the field. He exhibits good field speed on routes extending to the sidelines. He doesn’t make a lot of plays as a blitzer, despite being used in this facet quite a bit.
#4 Devon ‘Take it To The” House SR New Mexico State
What doesn’t Mr. Do Everything have in his arsenal? Well, for one, he could stand to improve his ability to mirror routes when in a pedal, but he offsets that with smooth movements with his hips opened to the sidelines. His long arms and effortless movements give him a chance to get his hands on a number of balls, regardless of route concepts. We feel he is one of the elite cover guys in the country.
#13 Brandyn Thompson SR Boise State
Thompson is not the biggest corner in the world and has just OK recovery speed. It is no wonder that while he is capable of bursting out at you with ball skills, his coverage discipline is far from refined. He plays tall and will struggle to cleanly transition out of breaks. He is an instinctive corner who fits best in a zone type of scheme, and he must clean up his nosy approach to handle double moves by crafty pump-n-go quarterbacks and wide receivers. What he does have is tremendous ball skill awareness, which often can't be taught.
#28 Terry Carter JR Louisiana Tech
Carter didn’t even garner a huge amount of playing time in 2009, but it doesn’t matter to us. The WAC champion in the 100 Meters has yet to reach his potential, but when on the field, displays confidence as a corner.
#15 Josh Victorian SR Louisiana Tech
As he proved versus Boise State last year, you can’t get careless with the ball when throwing to his side of the field. He compensates for poor fundamentals with good instincts when reading the eyes of the quarterback. Victorian’s plant-n-drives display fluidity, but too often he gives up his position during a route.
#6 Doyle Miller SR Nevada
For those who watched the Micheal Floyd-Notre Dame or even Aldrick Robinson-SMU films, you may be asking, ‘Why mention this guy?’ Well, trust me, he’s not a lost cause, and when you have the framework in your mind to be a factor against the run, it helps in our book. He’s not stiff or mechanical, but his backpedal technique in bump-n-run is a soft statement, one that should improve this season. We like Miller’s short term memory and his willingness to compete.
Pair to Keep An Eye On: Utah State’s Corners
Utah State CBs #23 Curtis Marsh and #7 Chris Randle
The pair is asked to play some man coverage and they are forced to tackle within Bill Busch’s system. He has a background with defensive backs dating to his days at Nebraska. Marsh is a former RB who runs in the 4.4 range and generates a buzz because of his 6’0” 191 pound frame. Randle isn’t as fast, but may be a better corner. Stay tuned.
Special Teams Player of the Year:
Philip Livas WR/Ret Louisiana Tech
#4 Titus Young SR Boise State
Normally, frail or thinly built receivers stay out of harm’s way on special teams units, but that isn’t the case for Young. As he proved last season versus Idaho, he will take a ball at the back of the end zone eight yards deep and still attack a defense with ferocity with the ball in his hands. Great game speed.
#10 Shiloh Keo SR Idaho
His ball skills and aggression towards the football make him the best punt returner in the conference. Keo forces coverage units to get down the field and take their shots. He is a no-nonsense style of returner with a fearlessness that befits his demeanor on the field.
#6 Philip Livas WR/Ret Louisiana Tech
Last year’s numbers don’t tell the true story, due to the fact that he struggled through an assortment of injuries. He’s a bottle top of rocket fuel ready to explode when at peak form, with his ability to cut at top speed being tough to handle. He already has taken a punt or kickoff back to the house in every season of action while on campus.
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