MISSOULA — Montana and Montana State both had a quartet of players named Hero Sports preseason All-Americans, tied for the most among Big Sky teams along with Weber State.
UM senior linebacker Jace Lewis was the lone first-team selection among the Treasure State teams. The Townsend native is wearing the No. 37 legacy jersey and has already been named to the Buck Buchanan Award watch list, an award given to the top FCS defensive player.
Second-team honorees from UM are senior wide receiver Sammy Akem, who's on the Walter Payton Award watch list for top FCS offensive player, and junior defensive back Robby Hauck. MSU's second-team picks are defensive lineman Amandre Williams and linebacker Troy Andersen, a Dillon native who's making his much-anticipated return from surgery and is on the Buck Buchanan Award watch list.
The Cats placed two players on the third team: running back Isaiah Ifanse and offensive lineman Lewis Kidd. The Grizzlies' lone third-team selection is return specialist Malik Flowers.
In total, 23 Big Sky players made the three teams. UC Davis was the only Big Sky team with multiple first-team selections: tight end McCallan Castles and punter Daniel Whelan.
Other league players on the first team are Eastern Washington quarterback Eric Barriere, Southern Utah offensive lineman Braxton Jones, Idaho linebacker Tre Walker and Portland State defensive back Anthon Adams.
The four selections for four-time defending Big Sky champ Weber State are second teamers Clay Moss (fullback), Ty Whitworth (offensive line) and Conner Mortensen (linebacker) and third teamer Jared Schiess (defensive line).