OGDEN, Utah – Montana State senior linebacker Mac Bignell earned first-team honors and freshman dual threat Troy Andersen is Freshman of the Year in the Big Sky Conference.
The all-conference teams and individual award winners were selected by the 13 league head coaches and released by the league office Tuesday.
Andersen capped his true freshman season by rushing for 64 yards and two touchdowns in Montana State's 31-23 home win over Montana last Saturday.
He gained 515 yards on the season, most among Big Sky Conference freshmen, and rushed for five touchdowns. He also caught seven passes for 45 yards and a touchdown.
Andersen transitioned to linebacker at mid-season. He finished with nine tackles, and also started regularly on MSU's coverage and return units on kick teams.
Andersen is a national finalist for the Jerry Rice Award, which is presented annually to the nation's top freshman. He is the second Bobcat to win the Big Sky's freshman of the year honor in as many seasons; quarterback Chris Murray won the award in 2016.
Bignell, an outside linebacker, had 93 total tackles as a senior for MSU, with 14.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 quarterback sacks.
Senior offensive tackle Dylan Mahoney earned second-team honors on offense and sophomore punter Jered Padmos received similar honors on defense. Senior safety Bryson McCabe was picked to the third team.
Receiving honorable mention are receiver Mitch Herbert and tackles Zach Wright and Tucker Yates.
UC Davis junior wide receiver Keelan Doss was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player. Doss, a candidate for the Walter Payton Award, finished the regular season as the top wide receiver in the nation among all Division I FBS and FCS players in receiving yards (1,499), receiving yards per game (136.3) and receptions per game (10.5).
Weber State senior cornerback Taron Johnson was voted as the Defensive Most Valuable Player. Johnson, the only unanimous selection to the defensive first team, helped lead the Wildcats to a share of the Big Sky title in his final season. He finished the regular season with 30 tackles, 3.0 tackles-for-loss, 2.0 sacks, 10 passes defended, and three interceptions for a total of 59 yards.