Air Force picked 12th in Group of Five HERO preseason poll - Air Force Academy Athletics

7/21/2023 10:05:00 AM | Football
Air Force was selected 12th in the HERO Sports Group of Five preseason top 25, the organization announced today. The Falcons were the second-highest Mountain West team selected, trailing only Boise State, who was picked fifth.
Junior nose guard Payton Zdroik and senior inside linebacker Alec Mock were each selected to preseason All-American teams. Zdroik was named to the first team while Mock was a second team selection.
Zdroik, a first-team all-Mountain West preseason selection, recorded 30 total tackles, tops among defensive lineman on the team, and is the top returner in tackles for loss with 10 for 47 yards and sacks with 5.5 for 37 yards. He was second on the team in both categories last season. Mock was third on the team in tackles last season with 65, while adding five tackles for loss, a sack and six quarterback hurries.
Air Force, picked second in the Mountain West preseason media poll, finished the 2022 season 10-3 overall and was second in the Mountain West Mountain Division with a 5-3 mark. The Falcons posted their third straight 10-win season, excluding the COVID-shortened 2020 season, which only Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Utah and Oregon have matched. Air Force won a series-record 21st Commander-in-Chief's Trophy and defeated Baylor to win the Armed Forces Bowl.
Group of Five Top 25
1. Tulane (three first-place votes)
3. SMU (one first-place vote)
4. Troy
5. Boise State
6. (tie) Toledo and Western Kentucky
8. JMU
9. (tie) Coastal Carolina and South Alabama
11. Memphis
12. Air Force
13. Liberty
14. Marshall
15. Fresno State
16. San Diego State
17. Ohio
18. FAU
19. Appalachian State
20. Louisiana
21. Miami (Ohio)
22. Eastern Michigan
23. North Texas
24. (tie) Central Michigan and Georgia Southern
RV: Middle Tennessee, Navy, Louisiana Tech, Buffalo, East Carolina, New Mexico State, Southern Miss, Wyoming, UAB
First Team Offense
QB Frank Harris, UTSA
RB George Holani, Boise State
RB Frank Gore Jr., Southern Miss
WR Tory Horton, Colorado State
WR Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky
WR Joshua Cephus, UTSA
TE Brady Hunt, Ball State
TE Mark Redman, San Diego State
OL Nick Rosi, Toledo
OL Nolan Potter, NIU
OL Prince Pines, Tulane
OL Sincere Haynesworth, Tulane
OL AJ Gillie, Louisiana
AP Jermaine Brown Jr., UAB
First Team Defense
DL Owen Porter, Marshall
DL T.J. Jackson, Troy
DL Kendy Charles, Liberty
DL Brandon Brown, UTSA
DL Payton Zdroik, Air Force
LB Jason Henderson, Old Dominion
LB Shaun Dolac, Buffalo
LB Dallas Gant, Toledo
LB D.J. Schramm, Boise State
LB Easton Gibbs, Wyoming
DB Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo
DB Reddy Steward, Troy
DB Ike Larsen, Utah State
DB Yam Banks, South Alabama
DB Jack Howell, Colorado State
First Team Special Teams
K Dominic Zvada, Arkansas State
P Jack Browning, San Diego State
RS Smoke Harris, Louisiana Tech
Second Team Offense
QB Grayson McCall, Coastal Carolina
RB Marquez Cooper, Ball State
RB Samson Evans, Eastern Michigan
WR Sam Pinckney, Coastal Carolina
WR Khaleb Hood, Georgia Southern
WR Sam Wiglusz, Ohio
TE Oscar Cardenas, UTSA
TE Neal Johnson, Louisiana
OL X'Zauvea Gadlin, Liberty
OL Nick Kidwell, JMU
OL Isaiah Helms, App State
OL Cade Beresford, Boise State
OL Brian Dooley, Eastern Michigan
AP La'Damian Webb, South Alabama
Second Team Defense
DL Brandon Brown, UTSA
DL James Carpenter, JMU
DL Fish McWilliams, UAB
DL Mohamed Kamara, Colorado State
DL Mazin Richards, North Texas
LB JaQues Evans, Western Kentucky
LB Alec Mock, Air Force
LB Clayton Coll, Ball State
LB Tyrice Knight, UTEP
LB Kavian Gaither, Sam Houston
DB Ridge Texada, North Texas
DB Nate Bauer, Toledo
DB Maxen Hook, Toledo
DB Micah Abraham, Marshall
S Rashad Wisdom, UTSA
Second Team Special Teams
K John Hoylan, Wyoming
P Mitchell Tomasek, Eastern Michigan
RS Keegan Wilburn, Ohio
Third Team Offense
QB Austin Reed, Western Kentucky
RB Larry McCammon III, FAU
RB Blake Watson, Memphis
WR Alex Adams, Akron
WR De'Corian Clark, UTSA
WR Jerjuan Newton, Toledo
TE Tanner Koziol, Ball State
TE Treyton Welch, Wyoming
OL Justin Osborne, SMU
OL Ethan Crowe, Ball State
OL Khalil Crowder, Georgia Southern
OL Cade Bennett, San Diego State
OL Canaan Yarro, New Mexico State
AP Kimani Vidal, Troy
Third Team Defense
DL Richard Jibunor, Troy
DL Evan Anderson, FAU
DL Praise Amaewhule, UTEP
DL DeVonte O'Malley, NIU
DL Elijah Chatman, SMU
LB Jamal Ligon, UTSA
LB J.T. Killen, Coastal Carolina
LB Marques Watson-Trent, Georgia Southern
LB Donovan Manuel, FIU
LB Cody Moon, San Diego State
CB Cam Stone, Hawaii
DB Marcus Fuqua, Buffalo
DB Jarius Monroe, Tulane
DB Donte Kent, Central Michigan
CB Cam Lockridge, Fresno State
Third Team Special Teams
K Alex McNulty, Buffalo
P Dom Dzioban, Miami (Ohio)
RS Milan Tucker, Appalachian State
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