BOISE, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) College football's 2017 preseason watch list announcements got underway Monday morning as a pair of Boise State standouts were recognized by the Maxwell Football Club. Junior quarterback Brett Rypien was named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award for national player of the year, while redshirt junior nose tackle David Moa was among those named to the watch list of the Bednarik Award, given annually to the defensive player of the year.
For Rypien it is the second-straight preseason in which he has been named a candidate for the Maxwell Award. Last season, the Bronco signal-caller was named to the All-Mountain West First Team for the second year in a row, leading the Mountain West and finishing 12th nationally in passing yards (3,646), while also pacing the conference in completions (244) and attempts (394) while finishing second with 24 touchdown passes. He directed a Bronco offense that led the Mountain West and ranked 21st in the country in total offense with 472.8 yards per game, while the Bronco passing offense ranked 15th in the country and also paced the Mountain West at 298.3 yards per contest.
Rypien also led the Mountain West with six 300-yard passing performances in 2016, four more than the next-closest quarterback. His efforts included two of the Mountain West's top-three passing efforts of last season, first throwing for 442 yards and three touchdowns against BYU (Oct. 20), two weeks after passing for 391 yards and five scores in the Broncos' win at New Mexico (Oct. 7).
The Bronco quarterback is one of just three Mountain West players on the Maxwell Award watch list, along with Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen and San Diego State running back Rashaad Penny.
Moa enjoyed a breakout season in 2016, also being named to the All-Mountain West First Team after leading the Broncos with 8.5 sacks while posting 10.5 tackles-for-loss among his 30 tackles (17 solo) from the nose tackle spot. The San Diego native also knocked down four passes at the line of scrimmage and blocked a field goal in the final seconds against BYU on Oct. 20, preserving Boise State's 28-27 victory.
His sack total ranked second in the Mountain West, and Moa's overall play garnered national attention as he was a 2016 midseason addition to the watch lists of the Outland Trophy, Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the Polynesian Football Hall of Fame Polynesian College Footbal Player of the Year award.
Moa is one of four Mountain West defenders to make the Bednarik Award list, joined by Nevada defensive end Malik Reed, Hawai'i linebacker Jahlani Tavai and Wyoming safety Andrew Wingard.
Boise State opens its 2017 campaign Saturday, Sept. 2, at Albertsons Stadium, hosting Troy at 1:45 p.m.