Rashard “Hollywood” Higgins, CSU’s last consensus-All American since 1994, was the only Colorado State player on the Mountain West first-team all-conference squad, which was announced Monday.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Nick Stevens, guard Fred Zerblis, outside linebacker Cory James and punter Hayden Hunt were selected to the second team.
Higgins, who was one of three finalists last season for the Biletnikoff Award, has seen a substantial drop in his numbers this season, catching 66 passes for 933 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games this year. His best game on Nov. 14 against UNLV, where he reeled in seven catches for 102 yards and three touchdowns. Higgins, a junior from Mesquite, Texas, was joined by Boise State’s Thomas Sperbeck as the two wide receivers on the the 13-member team.
No other Colorado State players made the first-team offensive or defensive teams, though the Rams were prominent on the second-team roster, placing four players on the squad. Tackle Sam Carlson, tight end Kivon Cartwright, linebacker Kevin Davis and safety Trent Matthews were given honorable mention honors.
Stevens, a Murrieta, California native, has completed 189 of 305 passes this season for 2,369 yards, while throwing 21 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He spent much of the early part of the season splitting time with redshirt freshman Coleman Key, but won the job outright after the Boise State game.
James spent much of the season at middle linebacker, a position he was moved into during fall camp, has racked up 65 tackles, including 10 for loss, as well as two quarterback sacks.
Zerblis has helped block for an offense that ranks third in the Mountain West with 417.0 yards per game, and is among the nation’s leaders for tackles for loss allowed (4.58 per game; 12th), sacks allowed (1.17 per game; 15th) and third-down conversions (45.0 percent, 23rd).
Hunt, one of three finalists for the Ray Guy Award, ranks second in the FBS in net average (42.4), while his gross average (46.3) ranks fourth. Among finalists, Hunt has the highest percentage of punts inside the 20 (46.0) and fewest touchbacks (2.0).
Carlson, who is in his second season starting on the line, recently accepted an invitation to play in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. A year after missing all but one game due to injury, Cartwright has 18 receptions for 279 yards and two scores. Davis leads all Rams with 95 tackles and 14.0 tackles for loss – 10th and fifth in the MW, respectively – in addition to an interception and fumble recovery for a touchdown. Matthews is CSU’s third-leading tackler (79) and has forced four takeaways, including three in a win at Wyoming.
Collegian Senior Sports Reporter Keegan Pope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @ByKeeganPope.