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UW's Xazavian Valladay, Keegan Cryder named to preseason all-Mountain West team

UW's Xazavian Valladay, Keegan Cryder named to preseason all-Mountain West team


LARAMIE — The Mountain West’s preseason all-conference team was announced Wednesday with two players from Wyoming making the cut.

Running back Xazavian Valladay and offensive lineman Keegan Cryder were named to the all-MW offense. The team, which consists of 28 total players, was voted on by media members who cover the league.

Boise State, which was picked by the media Tuesday to win the Mountain Division title this season, had the most selections of any team with eight, including defensive back and punt returner Avery Williams. Boise State linebacker Riley Whimpey, Colorado State receiver Warren Jackson and Fresno State linebacker Justin Rice were unanimous selections at their respective positions.

The league’s preseason picks for offensive, defensive and special teams players of the year will be announced Thursday.

Valladay, a junior, led the MW in rushing a season ago with 1,265 yards and six rushing touchdowns in his first season as the Cowboys’ primary ball carrier. The 6-foot, 196-pounder, a first-team all-conference selection last season, also led the league in all-purpose yardage (124.1 yards per game).

Cryder, a second-team all-league selection last season, is part of a UW offensive line that’s returning all five starters. The Cowboys’ center has started all 25 games the last two seasons and played 769 snaps last season as a sophomore, helping pave the way for the MW’s No. 2-ranked rushing offense (214.8 yards per game).

The all-conference nods are just the latest preseason accolades for both players. Valladay was recently named to the Doak Walker Award watch list while Cryder landed on the watch list for the Outland Trophy on Tuesday.

Follow UW athletics beat writer Davis Potter on Twitter at @DavisEPotter.


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College Sports Reporter

Davis Potter is the University of Wyoming athletics reporter. An Alabama native and 2011 Auburn University graduate, Potter joined the Star-Tribune in 2018 after five years covering Ole Miss and the Southeastern Conference. He lives in Laramie.

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