All-Big Sky awards and all-conference teams


FARMINGTON, Utah (November 26, 2019) – With a record four first-round byes in the NCAA Division I Championships on deck and a wealth of players ranked amongst the best in the nation, the 2019 Big Sky Football All-Conference Teams were announced by the league office on Tuesday.

Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award, has earned the league’s Offensive Player of the Year honor. It is the first time since 2000 and the third time overall that a Hornet has received the award.

Thomson guided Sacramento State to a share of the Big Sky title and an FCS Playoff berth – the first in school history. The dual-threat quarterback completed 244 of 397 passes for 2,910 passing yards. He completed 25 touchdown passes and averaged 264.5 yards per game. The junior also rushed for 532 yards – second-most on the team – and the led the Hornets with 10 rushing touchdowns.

Montana’s Dante Olson was named the league’s co-defensive player of the year honoree. The senior linebacker leads the FCS in tackles with 151, while his average of 12.6 tackles per game ranks second. The Buck Buchanan Award finalist has 9.5 tackles for a loss of 37 yards and is an instrumental part of a Griz defense that has held opponents to an average of 135.1 rushing yards per game. Olson is the first Grizzly since 2014 to take home top defensive honors. 

Sharing co-defensive honors is Wildcat defensive end, Jonah Williams. He helped lead Weber State to a share of its third straight league title and is a key member of a Wildcat team that ranks in the top 10 in the FCS in rush defense. He has 48 tackles on the season, including 9.0 tackles for a loss of 64 yards. A senior for Weber State, he’s collected 6.5 sacks for a loss of 59 yards. The senior is the second Wildcat in three years to earn defensive MVP honors, as he’s tallied five quarterback hurries and three pass breakups to go along with two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble this season

Montana sophomore running back Marcus Knight/ by Jason Bacaj

Running back Marcus Knight was named the Big Sky Newcomer of the Year, after accounting for 930 rushing yards in his first season at Montana. He’s averaging 77.5 yards per game and leads the Big Sky with 20 rushing touchdowns. Knight has a season-best 148 rushing yards and exploded for six multi-touchdown games in 2019. The newcomer also registered 239 receiving yards and one receiving touchdown. His rushing and receiving yards have him at a total of 1,169 all-purpose yards for the regular season. It’s the second straight year a Griz player has won the newcomer of the year award.

Freshman of the Year honors went to Aggie linebacker Nick Eaton. A finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, he has been a breath of fresh air for UC Davis in 2019. Eaton registered 56 tackles and 12.0 tackles for a loss of 55 yards through 12 games. He leads the Big Sky with five forced fumbles, in addition to one fumble recovery for a 78-yard touchdown. He’s also accounted for six pass breakups and three quarterback hurries on the season. Eaton is the first Aggie to earn rookie of the year honors.

Southern Utah offensive lineman Zach Larsen is the lone three-time All-First Team honoree on the all-conference list.

Weber State running back Josh Davis, Sac State running back Elijah Dotson, Portland State tight end Charlie Taumoepeau, Sacramento State defensive end George Obinna, Montana State outside linebacker Troy Andersen, Northern Arizona defensive back Khalil Dorsey, Weber State’s Williams and Montana’s Olson are all two-time first-team honorees. Andersen is the first player to earn First Team All-Big Sky honors on both offense and defense in the two-platoon era.

Larsen and Montana’s Jerry Louie-McGee were both unanimous First Team offensive honorees, while Olson was the lone unanimous selection on defense.

Co-conference champion Sacramento State led the way with seven players on the first team, followed by Weber State and Montana State with five each.

All 13 teams in the league had at least one player selected to one of the three teams. Weber State’s 14 all-conference selections led the league.

The Big Sky All-Conference team and individual award winners were selected by all 13 head football coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players. The conference’s Coach of the Year award will be announced on Wednesday.

2019 Big Sky Football All-Conference

Offensive Player of the Year: Kevin Thomson, QB, Sacramento State

Co-Defensive Players of the Year: Dante Olson, LB, Montana; Jonah Williams, DE, Weber State

Newcomer of the Year: Marcus Knight, RB, Montana

Freshman of the Year: Nick Eaton, LB, UC Davis

* – Unanimous All-First Team Selection

$ – Two-Time All-Big Sky First Team Selection

% – Three-Time All-Big Sky First Team Selection

QuarterbackKevin ThomsonJuniorSacramento State
Wide ReceiverSamori ToureJuniorMontana
Wide ReceiverJ.J. KoskiSeniorCal Poly
Wide ReceiverPierre WilliamsSophomoreSacramento State
Running BackJosh Davis$SophomoreWeber State
Running BackElijah Dotson$JuniorSacramento State
Offensive LineZach Larsen*%SeniorSouthern Utah
Offensive LineMitch BrottSeniorMontana State
Offensive LineWyatt MingSeniorSacramento State
Offensive LineSpencer BlackburnSeniorEastern Washington
Offensive LineChris SchlichtingSeniorEastern Washington
Offensive LineTy WhitworthJuniorWeber State
Offensive LineCole HabibSeniorNorthern Arizona
Tight EndCharlie Taumoepeau$SeniorPortland State
FullbackClay MossJuniorWeber State
All-PurposeTravis JonsenSeniorMontana State
KickerLuis AguilarJuniorNorthern Arizona
Punt ReturnerJerry Louie-McGee*SeniorMontana
Kick ReturnerNick RomanoFreshmanIdaho
TackleJared SchiessJuniorWeber State
TackleDariyn ChoatesSeniorSacramento State
EndGeorge Obinna$SeniorSacramento State
EndJonah Williams$SeniorWeber State
Outside LinebackerTroy Andersen$JuniorMontana State
Outside LinebackerChristian EllisJuniorIdaho
Inside LinebackerDante Olson*$SeniorMontana
Inside LinebackerJace LewisJuniorMontana
Inside LinebackerJosh HillSeniorMontana State
Defensive BackDaron BlandJuniorSacramento State
Defensive BackBrayden KonkolSeniorMontana State
Defensive BackDevon KingSophomoreUC Davis
Defensive BackKhalil Dorsey$SeniorNorthern Arizona
Defensive BackAnthony AdamsSophomorePortland State
PunterDJ ArnsonJuniorNorthern Arizona
Special TeamsEmmanuel DaigbeJuniorPortland State
QuarterbackCase CookusSeniorNorthern Arizona
Wide ReceiverJeff CottonSeniorIdaho
Wide ReceiverBrandon PorterSophomoreNorthern Arizona
Wide ReceiverSamuel AkemJuniorMontana
Running BackUlonzo GilliamSophomoreUC Davis
Running BackAntoine Custer Jr.SeniorEastern Washington
Offensive LineNick BiancoSeniorsSacramento State
Offensive LineConlan BeaverJuniorMontana
Offensive LineNoah JohnsonSeniorIdaho
Offensive LineCy SirmonSeniorMontana
Offensive LineLewis KiddJuniorMontana State
Offensive LineTyler WhisenhuntSeniorCal Poly
Offensive LineTristen TaylorSeniorEastern Washington
Tight EndMarshel MartinFreshmanSacramento State
Tight EndWes PreeceSeniorUC Davis
FullbackDuy Tran-SampsonSophomoreCal Poly
All-PurposeJoe LoganSeniorNorthern Arizona
KickerTrey TuttleJuniorWeber State
Punt ReturnerCutrell HaywoodSophomoreIdaho
Kick ReturnerWille FairmanSeniorNorthern Colorado
TackleDerek MarksSeniorMontana State
TackleJesse SimsSeniorMontana
EndBryce SterkSeniorMontana State
EndAdam RodriguezSeniorWeber State
Outside LinebackerMarcus BruceSeniorSacramento State
Outside LinebackerNick EatonFreshmanUC Davis
Outside LinebackerAuston TeschSeniorWeber State
Inside LinebackerMarcus HawkinsJuniorSacramento State
Inside LinebackerTre WalkerSophomoreIdaho
Defensive BackMichael WalkerSeniorNorthern Colorado
Defensive BackAdkin AguirreSeniorsIdaho State
Defensive BackEddie HeckardFreshmanWeber State
Defensive BackCaelan BarnesSeniorSacramento State
Defensive BackRobby HauckSophomoreMontana
PunterDoug LloydSeniorWeber State
QuarterbackEric BarriereJuniorEastern Washington
Wide ReceiverEmmanuel DaigbeJuniorPortland State
Wide ReceiverKevin KassisSeniorMontana State
Wide ReceiverAndrew BostonSophomoreEastern Washington
Running BackMarcus KnightSophomoreMontana
Running BackMilo HallSeniorNorthern Colorado
Running BackKevin SmithJuniorWeber State
Offensive LineDallen CollinsSeniorIdaho State
Offensive LineAngel VillanuevaSeniorMontana
Offensive LineKaleb LevaoSeniorEastern Washington
Offensive LineBraxton JonesSophomoreSouthern Utah
Offensive LineBen BosJuniorWeber State
Offensive LineGarrett StaufferSeniorPortland State
Offensive LineTaylor TuiasosopoJuniorMontana State
Tight EndJayce GilderSeniorEastern Washington
KickerCody WilliamsSophomorePortland State
Kick ReturnerJudd CockettJuniorSouthern Utah
TackleElijah ChambersJuniorSacramento State
TackleChase BensonJuniorMontana State
EndGeorge TarlasSophomoreWeber State
EndJim TownsendSeniorEastern Washington
Outside LinebackerAmandre WilliamsJuniorMontana State
Outside LinebackerLuke HollowaySeniorIdaho State
Inside LinebackerKody GravesSeniorIdaho State
Inside LinebackerMatt ShotwellJuniorCal Poly
Defensive BackLloyd HightowerSeniorIdaho
Defensive BackJosh SandrySeniorMontana
Defensive BackPreston SmithJuniorWeber State
Defensive BackDehonta HayesSeniorEastern Washington
Defensive BackCarlton JohnsonFreshmanSouthern Utah
PunterDaniel WhelanJuniorUC Davis

Honorable Mention

Quarterback: Dalton Sneed, Montana; Jake Maier, UC Davis; Mason Petrino, Idaho; Jacob Knipp, Northern Colorado.

Wide Receiver: Mitch Gueller, Idaho State; Tanner Conner, Idaho State; Lance Lawson, Southern Utah; Jayson Williams II, Eastern Washington; Khris Vaughn, UC Davis; Willie Fairman, Northern Colorado

Running Back: B.J. Perkinson, Sacramento State

Offensive Line: Jordan Ford, UC Davis

Kicker: Seth Harrison, Eastern Washington

Tackle: Bryce Rodgers, UC Davis; Dylan Ledbetter, Eastern Washington; Kenton Bartlett, Portland State; Anthony Del Toro, Portland State

End: Shawn Richard, Portland State; Josiah Erickson, Sacramento State; Myles Cecil, Cal Poly

Outside Linebacker: Alex Sims, Southern Utah

Inside Linebacker: Luke Nelson, Northern Colorado

Defensive Back: Kitu Humphrey, Cal Poly; Jerone Jackson, Northern Colorado; AJ Stanley, Southern Utah; Carter Nichols, Cal Poly

Punter: Jered Padmos, Montana State; Cade Coffey, Idaho

About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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