BOZEMAN — Five Montana State football players have been named first-team All-Big Sky Conference, and 13 Bobcats in all were tabbed for league honors.
The Big Sky announced its all-conference teams and award winners for the 2019 season in a press release on Tuesday.
The teams and award winners were selected by the league's 13 head coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.
Left tackle Mitch Brott, linebackers Troy Andersen and Josh Hill and safety Brayden Konkol were selected for the first team, as was receiver/wildcat quarterback Travis Jonsen, who was chosen to the top squad at the all-purpose position.
Andersen is a first-team pick for the second consecutive season. Last year he was a unanimous choice at quarterback.
Guard Lewis Kidd was MSU’s lone selection to the second-team offense. End Bryce Sterk and tackle Derek Marks were picked for league’s second-team defense.
On the third-team offense are wide receiver Kevin Kassis and guard Taylor Tuiasosopo. Tackle Chase Benson and outside linebacker Amandre Williams were named to the third-team defense.
MSU punter Jared Padmos was an honorable mention all-conference selection.
“To have that many recognized by the other coaches and know that they’re good players and very deserving to be on these teams, I’m satisfied with the fact that we’re getting some guys recognized,” Bobcats coach Jeff Choate said in a press release. “It’s been a long struggle.”
Montana linebacker Dante Olson shared the league’s defensive MVP honor with Weber State defensive end Jonah Williams.
The Big Sky’s offensive MVP award went to Sacramento State quarterback Kevin Thomson.
Montana running back Marcus Knight was named Big Sky newcomer of the year. Knight transferred to the Grizzlies in the offseason from Citrus College in California. UC Davis linebacker Nick Eaton is the league’s top freshman.
Brott, a senior from Billings West High School, Kidd, a junior from the Fridley, Minnesota, and Tuiasosopo, a junior from Lancaster, California, helped the Bobcats become the No. 1 rushing offense in the league in 2019.
MSU is averaging 270.1 rushing yards per game, which ranks seventh in the FCS. The Bobcats’ line has also allowed just 13 quarterback sacks, the fewest in the league.
Andersen, a junior from Dillon, made a position switch to outside linebacker this season (though he has maintained a role on offense) and has made 54 tackles (11.5 for loss) with 6.5 sacks, two quarterback hurries, five pass breakups and an interception.
“It’s awesome that Troy gets recognized as one of the best players in this league,” Choate was quoted. “I think he’s one of the best 11 so he deserves to be a first team player.”
Hill, a senior out of Kalispell Glacier, has 48 tackles (five for loss) and a fumble recovery in nine games while Konkol, also a senior from Belgrade, has 53 tackles with two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and eight pass breakups.
Jonsen, of Fullerton, California, has 903 all-purpose yards so far (432 rushing, 471 receiving) and has accounted for seven total touchdowns.
Sterk, a senior from Lynden, Washington, is tied for league lead 13.5 sacks and is No. 2 in tackles for loss with 16.5. Marks, a senior from Belgrade, has made 11.5 tackles for loss and a team-high five QB hurries.
A senior from El Dorado, California, Kassis leads the Bobcats with 50 pass receptions for 671 yards. He also made three touchdown catches, but also rushed for one TD and passed for another this season.
Williams, a junior who hails from Maple Valley, Washington, and is a first-year dropdown from the University of Washington, has 54 tackles (14.5 for loss), 3.5 sacks, two interceptions, three quarterback hurries and a fumble recoveries.
A junior from Helena High, Benson has 51 tackles and three sacks for the Bobcats. He has forced one fumble.
Padmos is the Bobcats’ most consistent special teams weapon. The senior out of Jefferson High School in Boulder, is averaging 44.9 yards on 54 punts. He has pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 13 times, and has 15 punts of 50 yards or more.
Montana State (9-3, 6-2 Big Sky) has a bye for the first round of the FCS playoffs. It will host a second-round game on Dec. 7 against either Albany or Central Connecticut State.