There are new faces across the Mountain West who have emerged from the junior college ranks and could influence the race to the top this fall.
Unknown names could join the big moment.
Mountain West’s 2022 football season is almost upon us at this point, fall camps are about to end and live action will begin next week. There’s an idea of who the stars across the conference will be leading most of the competition and conversation over the next few months, and how transfers from elsewhere across the FBS landscape will impact the race to the top.
What about their junior college counterparts, though? In recent years, we’ve seen players like Tristan Nichols, Derek Wright, Joey Noble and Keric Wheatfall play key roles on their respective teams after entering the conference without much attention. As the juco 2022 rookies now take part in on-field activities, here’s a look at a handful of players who could play a major role in the upcoming season.
Jeffrey Weimer, WR, UNLV
Much of the Rebels’ progress in 2022 will depend on whether their offense takes a step forward, but with the departure of Charles Williams, that won’t revolve around a single star so much this fall and will require whoever starts at quarterback. -rear make more games.
Enter Weimer, who helped City College of San Francisco win the California junior college title last year as the leading wide receiver with 77 catches for 1,268 yards and 17 touchdowns. Given that he has already received accolades at fall camp for his work ethiche could be the much-needed addition to Kyle Williams that will make the UNLV passing game even more dangerous.
From André Greeley, DB, State of Colorado
Another product of the CCSF football program, Greeley played as big a role as Weimer in the team’s run to the title…if not more. After all, the last of his ten interceptions came with less than two minutes left in the league game against Riverside and thwarted a goal threat in the red zone. If he plays a major role in replacing Rashad Ajayi and Marshaun Cameron, don’t be surprised.
Cortez Hogans, DL, Boise State
The Broncos will be looking for more of their pass rush than they got in 2021, and Hogans could be part of that rebound. He spent 2021 at Snow College in Utah after three years in northern Illinois and thrived, recording 26 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and three sacks, so he could be a key part of a defense. already facing high expectations.
Noah Kema, LB, Hawaii
The Warriors are building their defense almost from scratch, which means there are plenty of opportunities for athletes like Kema to take on big roles. Like Hogans, Kema spent 2021 at Snow College; unlike Hogans, Kema was named by Rivals as the 2021 preseason first-team All-American and played a key role in the Badgers’ run to the NJCAA National Championship Game the previous year with 79 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and six pass breakups.
Terrell Vaughn, WR, Utah State
The Aggies need to replace several pass catchers on their championship team a year ago and Vaughn just might be the Brandon Bowling analog they want. While at Ventura Junior College in Southern California, he had a program-best 149 catches and 1,715 yards with 20 touchdowns. At 5-foot-7, 170 pounds, he could potentially thrive in the slot or, better yet, become the next Deven Thompkins under offensive coordinator Anthony Tucker.
Evan Svoboda, QB, Wyoming
The Cowboys have a type of quarterback, huh? Svoboda certainly looks the part as he’s listed on Wyoming’s 6-foot-5, 240-pound roster, and the tape suggests he has enticing arm strength, but patience can be a virtue. He spent 2021 with Hogans and Kema at Snow College, but was a substitute last year. That Craig Bohl and his coaching staff saw something they liked, however, is worth watching.
Noah Lavulo, DL, State of San Jose
Lavulo may be flying the most under the radar of this group, but would it be a surprise if he fit right in with one of the Spartans’ greatest strengths? At nearby College San Mateo, he had 61 total tackles, 22.5 tackles for loss, 12 sacks and two forced fumbles during the 2019 and 2021 seasons. takes on too much with Viliami Fehoko and Cade Hall in the lead, but you don’t have to squint to imagine him thriving in a rotational role like Tre Smith did a year ago.
Sherod White, RB, New Mexico
The Lobos could consider several options to replace Aaron Dumas in the backfield, but White should be among the options that get a long look. At Mt. San Jacinto College in California last season, the 5-foot-9, 195-pound Menifee native averaged an astounding 7.3 yards on 138 carries, posting 1,001 rushing yards in all. He was also a part of the passing game, with 37 catches for 483 yards and a total of 20 touchdowns, meaning he could provide a versatile skill set that New Mexico running backs have lacked for some time.