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Colorado State center Jake Bennett and wide receiver Michael Gallup were each selected to the 2017 Preseason All-Mountain West Football Team on Tuesday morning, by a vote of Mountain West media members. The announcement was made exclusively on Facebook Live from the Mountain West Media Summit at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.
CSU was picked to finish second in the Mountain Division behind Boise State. The Rams received six first-place votes. Boise State totaled 161 points in the poll, followed by CSU (135), Wyoming (114, one first-place vote), Air Force (82), New Mexico (68) and Utah State (28). Two-time defending league champion San Diego State was unanimously predicted to take the West Division with 168 points, followed by Hawai’i (135), UNLV (105), Nevada (79), San Jose State (54) and Fresno State (47).
“You want to be at a place where expectations are high, but the poll I’m most interested in is the one at the end of the season, the final standings,” CSU Head Coach Mike Bobo stated. “Our expectations as a program will always be higher than those placed on us by others, and it’s our responsibility collectively as a program, and individually, to earn the right every day to represent Colorado State University.”
Bennett was named Second Team All-Mountain West by the league’s media and coaches last season, and also landed on Phil Steele’s All-MW second team after starting all 13 games at center. The Lakewood, Colo., native helped anchor an offensive line that allowed just 1.0 sacks per game in 2016, ranking eighth in the NCAA. CSU’s offense also ranked 12th in the country in passing efficiency, 31st in rushing offense, 28th in scoring offense and 30th in total offense.
Gallup was impressive in 2016, his first season of football at the Division I level. He earned first-team All-Mountain West honors after recording 76 catches for 1,272 yards and 14 touchdowns, with his touchdown total ranking eighth in the NCAA and second in a single season in CSU history. His receiving yardage total was 14th in the nation and tied for the league lead. Gallup’s productivity continued to rise as the season wore on, including scoring a touchdown in each of his final games while averaging 128 yards per game over that stretch. The Monroe, Ga., native was recently named preseason Fourth-Team All-American by Athlon Sports, as well as a preseason First-Team All-MW selection. He was also listed as one of the top 10 wide receivers in college football by Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.
Gallup was recently selected to the 2017 Biletnikoff Award watch list by The Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc.