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Three Wyoming Cowboys named to Athlon Preseason All-Mountain West first team

Three Wyoming Cowboys named to Athlon Preseason All-Mountain West first team

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Chad Muma

Wyoming linebacker Chad Muma lines up for a play during the Cowboys' game against Colorado State last season at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins, Colo.

Wyoming juniors Keegan Cryder, Chad Muma and Xazavian Valladay were selected to the Athlon Preseason All-Mountain West football team this week.

The 6-foot-4, 309-pound Cryder was a first-team All-MW selection last year at center for the Cowboys, who were 2-4 in last year’s pandemic-shortened season. Cryder, a 2018 freshman All-American by the Football Writers Association of American and a second-team all-conference player in 2019, has started 31 games for UW the past three years.

Muma (6-3, 242) excelled in his first season as UW’s starting middle linebacker, leading the Cowboys with 72 tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks in earning first-team All-MW honors.

Valladay (6-0, 198) was also a first-team all-conference selection last year, rushing for a team-best 550 yards despite missing the last game with an injury. In 2019, Valladay led the MW with 1,265 rushing yards (105.4 yards per game) and earned All-MW honors.

The Cowboys also placed four players — cornerback C.J. Coldon, safety Esaias Gandy, offensive guard Logan Harris and freshman kick John Hoyland — on the magazine’s second team. Defensive ends Solomon Byrd and Garrett Crall were third-team selections and nose tackle was UW’s lone representative on the fourth team.

Wyoming opens the 2021 season on Sept. 4 when it hosts Montana State at War Memorial Stadium.


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Sports editor

Jack Nowlin returned to the Star-Tribune in 2007 after eight years covering Michigan State University athletics. A Wyoming native, and a graduate of Jeffrey City High School and the University of Wyoming, Jack serves as the Star-Tribune’s sports editor.

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