If you ask Devonte Boyd who’s the best wide receiver in college football, he’ll tell you it’s him. The UNLV junior is projected to at least be one of the best wideouts in the Mountain West this season.
Boyd was named preseason first team All-MW by Phil Steele’s and Athlon to lead a group of 10 Rebels honored by the preview publications.
A Basic High School graduate, Boyd had 54 receptions for 904 yards and seven touchdowns last season en route to earning second team All-MW honors. He was named the conference Freshman of the Year and a Freshman All-America in 2014 after setting school freshman records for catches (65) and receiving yards (980).
Joining Boyd on Phil Steele’s first team was Rebels senior linebacker Tau Lotulelei, a product of Hawaii’s Maui High School who also was on Athlon’s third team. Lotulelei earned honorable mention all-league honors last season after leading UNLV in tackles for loss (11½) and recording three sacks.
Senior center Will Kreitler, junior defensive lineman Mike Hughes Jr. and senior linebacker Ryan McAleenan also were honored by both publications.
Kreitler, an honorable mention all-league selection last season after transferring from Arizona’s Scottsdale Community College, was named second team by Phil Steele’s and third team by Athlon. Hughes, a Palo Verde High product, was named second team by Phil Steele’s and fourth team by Athlon. McAleenan, who led the team in tackles (85) last season after transferring from California’s College of the Canyons, was named third team by Phil Steele’s and fourth team by Athlon.
Other Rebels honored were junior wideout Kendal Keys (Phil Steele’s third team), senior kicker Nicolai Bornand (Athlon’s third team), junior quarterback Johnny Stanton (Phil Steele’s fourth team), junior tackle Kyle Saxelid (Athlon’s fourth team) and senior defensive back Torry McTyer (Athlon’s fourth team).
NOTE — In a recent ranking of MW football coaches, Campus Insiders ranked UNLV coach Tony Sanchez fifth of 12, one spot ahead of UNR’s Brian Polian. Boise State’s Bryan Harsin was the top-ranked coach, followed by Air Force’s Troy Calhoun, Colorado State’s Mike Bobo and Utah State’s Matt Wells.
Contact reporter Todd Dewey at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0354. Follow him on Twitter: @tdewey33
UNLV PLAYERS — PHIL STEELE’S 2016 PRESEASON ALL-MW
(1st Team) Devonte Boyd, WR
(1st Team) Tau Lotulelei, LB
(2nd Team) Will Kreitler, C
(2nd Team) Mike Hughes Jr., DL
(3rd Team) Kendal Keys, WR
(3rd Team) Ryan McAleenan, LB
(4th Team) Johnny Stanton, QB
UNLV PLAYERS — ATHLON 2016 PRESEASON ALL-MW
(1st Team) Devonte Boyd, WR
(3rd Team) Tau Lotulelei, LB
(3rd Team) Will Kreitler, C
(3rd Team) Nicolai Bornand, PK
(4th Team) Kyle Saxelid, OL
(4th Team) Mike Hughes Jr., DL
(4th Team) Ryan McAleenan, LB
(4th Team) Torry McTyer, DB