Phil Steele Magazine has announced its All-Mountain West team and the Nevada Wolf Pack football squad is well represented on the list.
Those earning first team honors include senior offensive tackle Austin Corbett and junior defensive end Malik Reed. On the special teams first team, long snapper Wes Farnsworth was selected. A duo of Wolf Pack receivers picked up second team honors in senior Wyatt Demps and true freshman McLane Mannix. They were joined on the defensive side by senior linebacker Austin Paulhus and junior defensive back Dameon Baber. The Wolf Pack honorees were rounded out by junior quarterback Ty Gangi and junior defensive Asauni Rufus picking up third team selections.
Corbett, who was named as a captain across multiple weeks and served as a rock on the offensive line, picks up yet another honor this year. After being named to multiple watch lists to start the season, including being named a semifinalist for the Burlsworth Trophy, Corbett earned first team All-Mountain West honors from the coaches following the regular season. Corbett began his career at Nevada as a walk on before earning a scholarship his sophomore year and a starting spot as a member of The Union.
Reed also earned first team honors from the Mountain West coaches, capping off a stellar junior year. The junior tallied 10 tackles for loss, including eight sacks as he tore up the backfield this year. Reed was also a turnover menace, forcing a total of four fumbles in 2017. He recorded 49 tackles on the season.
Always reliable, Farnsworth has served as the Wolf Pack’s long snapper for three years now. He helped placekicker Spencer Pettit to eight field goals and 40 PATs on the year.
Mannix had almost as good a rookie campaign as you can have. The freshman racked up 778 total yards, the third most of any freshman in the entire country this season. He recorded six touchdowns on the year on 57 catches. Mannix was also known for his big plays, cutting through defenses both on his routes and after the catch. Of the 12 games Mannix played in this season, he saw at least one play of 40 plus yards in half of them.
Demps capped his career off with his best season, also earning second team honors from the Mountain West coaches. The senior recorded 908 yards on 67 catches for a big-play-type average of 13.5 yards per catch. He also tallied 11 touchdowns on the year and set a new career long after hauling in an 82 yard reception at San Diego State. His 11 scores were the fifth most of any player in the conference and 50th in the NCAA.
Paulhus proved to be a menace to opposing offenses at the middle linebacker spot. He had a knack for getting into the backfield, recording 14.5 tackles for loss in 2017, a number that put him at the top of the conference and one of the best in the country for much of the season. He recorded 112 total tackles on the year, including 4.5 sacks.
Baber made history in 2017 against San José State. Against the Spartans, Baber recorded two pick sixes and a returned a blocked punt for a touchdown, becoming just the third player in the history of the NCAA to record three scores via return. One of those pick sixes went end zone to end zone, setting a program record that can never be broken. The junior recorded 94 tackles on the year.
After being named the starting quarterback to kick off conference play, junior Ty Gangi found his stride. He racked up 2,746 passing yards in 2017 while throwing for 25 touchdowns. Showing off his versatility, Gangi also rushed for 180 yards and four scores.
Prior to his season-ending injury at Boise State, Rufus tallied 75 tackles, including 5.5 in the backfield. Proving he can blitz when needed, Rufus also record 1.5 sacks on the year. He forced three fumbles in 2017 and returned two.
The Wolf Pack capped of the 2017 campaign on a high note with a big win over rival UNLV. For information on tickets for the 2018 season, fans can call the ticket office at 348-PACK.
(University of Nevada, Reno)