Mountain West NCAA College Football
SDSU’s Tariq Thompson, a Mountain West pre-season honoree. Photo credit: goaztecs.com

Officials named four San Diego State football players to the Mountain West Preseason All-Conference Team, the league announced Wednesday.

The four selections play defense, and two graduated high school in San Diego County:

  • Junior Keshawn Banks (Rio Rancho, N.M./Rio Rancho High)
  • Junior Darren Hall (Pasadena/Rancho Cucamonga High)
  • Sophomore Cameron Thomas (Carlsbad/Carlsbad High)
  • Senior Tariq Thompson (San Diego/St. Augustine High)

Four of the eight starters return for an Aztec defense that led the conference and ranked second in FBS in scoring (12.7) and rushing (75.4).

San Diego State finished 10-3 in 2019, posting double digits in wins for the fourth time over the last five years. The Aztecs also won the New Mexico Bowl.

Media members who cover the conference vote for the all-conference team and in the preseason poll. They picked SDSU to win the West Division of the MW, garnering 19 of 21 first-place votes.

The last three times the Aztecs topped the list to win the West (2015-17) they won at least 10 games and captured two league titles (2015-16).

Thomas, who is on the preseason watch list for the Chuck Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year) and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (national defensive player of the year), totaled 49 tackles a year ago as a redshirt freshman. He also racked up numerous postseason awards, including freshman second-team All-America accolades from The Athletic and first-team all-MW honors.

Banks, meanwhile, had 43 tackles last year as a true sophomore, including a team-high 13.5 tackles, 4.5 sacks, a pass breakup and nine quarterback hurries. For his efforts, he was named a second-team all-MW selection.

This preseason Banks also has been named a preseason all-MW first-team pick by Athlon SportsPhil Steele Magazine and College Football News.

Thompson, who logged 55 tackles (44 solo) to go along with three tackles for loss, one sack and four interceptions, earned second-team all-MW accolades last year. He also appears on the watch lists for the Bednarik Award, along with the Jim Thorpe Award (best defensive back).

He made the preseason all-MW team for a third straight season, the first Aztec in league history to do so.

Hall had 49 tackles (34 solo) last year, as well as 3.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. He tied for the team-high with 16 pass breakups, a feat that also tied him for the most in the country. Hall also sits on the Jim Thorpe Award Watch List,

San Diego State’s four preseason all-MW selections tied for the second most in the league with Colorado State. Boise State led with eight selections.

– Staff reports