Eight Rams named to Phil Steele's midseason All-Mountain West team

CLEVELAND, Ohio - Eight Colorado State football players have received midseason All-Mountain West recognition from Phil Steele's College Football Preview, which was announced Tuesday. Among the eight are three first-team selections: Linebacker Shaquil Barrett, tight end Kivon Cartwright and offensive lineman Weston Richburg.

Running back Kapri Bibbs, linebacker Aaron Davis, offensive lineman Jordan Gragert and kicker Jared Roberts earned second-team honors, while Thomas Coffman earned third-team credit for his performance as a kick returner.

Prior to the beginning of the season, Richburg was the lone Ram on the preseason All-Mountain West first-team, as voted by the league's coaches and media.

Barrett has garnered national attention through the Rams' first six games as he recorded 42 total tackles, fourth-most on the team. However, it is chaos Barrett has caused in opponents' backfields that has made him special through the first half of the season. The senior linebacker has racked up 12.5 tackles for loss, which leads the nation, and 6.5 sacks, the third most nationally. Barrett also blocked two field goals in CSU's home opener against Cal Poly. He is one of two players nationally to register two blocked kicks in one game this season, sharing the honor with Boise State's Demarcus Lawrence. Due to Barrett's 2013 performance his name was added to the Bronko Nagurski watch list.

Cartwright, a native of Pueblo, Colo., who won John Mackey Tight End of the Week honors after his two-touchdown performance vs. UTEP, leads all Mountain West tight ends with 230 yards receiving. His five touchdowns tie for 21st nationally and are the most among tight ends in the NCAA.

Bibbs, a highly-anticipated recruit, has been impressive in his first season in Fort Collins. The redshirt sophomore running back has recorded 429 yards on the ground and six touchdowns. Bibbs' average of 6.6 yards is second in the Mountain West among rushers who have registered 65 or more carries.

Davis, who leads the team with 57 tackles, is averaging 9.5 tackles per contest, an average that ranks 31st in the NCAA. In the first six games the junior linebacker forced his first career fumble and has 2.5 tackles for loss.

Roberts has provided the team with a strong leg and an opportunity for the Rams to constantly put points on the board. The junior kicker, who began his career as a walk-on in 2012, is 10-for-11 (.909) on the year and a perfect 20-for-20 on PATs. His average of 1.7 field goals per game ranks 21st nationally and he is averaging 8.3 points per contest.

Coffman proved through the first six games that his speed poses a threat in the passing and return game. The junior wide receiver has pulled down 11 catches for 173 yards, including a 55-yard reception against San Jose State, but it is his effort on kick returns that earned him recognition. Coffman is averaging 26.1 yards per return, which is second in the Mountain West and 22nd nationally. He also has the second longest kick return in the league, an 84-yard run back against Colorado.

The Rams (2-4, 0-1) travel to face Wyoming (4-2, 2-0) in the second longest standing rivalry west of the Mississippi River on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 12 p.m. MT.