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Wyoming football's Valladay, Muma named to player of the year watch lists
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UW FOOTBALL

Wyoming football's Valladay, Muma named to player of the year watch lists

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University of Wyoming juniors Xazavian Valladay and Chad Muma were both named to national player of the year award watch lists on Monday.

Valladay, a 6-foot, 198-pound running back, is on the Maxwell Award Preseason Watch List, an award which is presented annually to the most outstanding player in college football. Muma (6-3, 242), the Cowboys’ starting middle linebacker, was named to the Chuck Bednarik Award Preseason Watch List, an award which goes to the nation’s outstanding defensive player.

Valladay was a first-team All-Mountain West selection last year despite missing the final game of the pandemic-shortened season with an injury. Valladay rushed for a team-high 550 yards last season, including a 163-yard performance against Hawaii and a 147-yard effort at Colorado State.

In 2019, Valladay led the MW with 1,265 rushing yards (105.4 yards per game) and earned All-MW honors.

Muma 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.

He had a career-high 17 tackles at Colorado State and finished with 10 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss and three sacks in a victory at UNLV.

Both players will represent UW at the conference’s media days in Las Vegas this week. The Cowboys open the 2021-22 campaign at home against Montana State on Sept. 4.

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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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