Fresno State’s Justin Rice makes preseason all-conference team

Fresno State linebacker Justin Rice recovers and scores a touchdown during a home victory against the University of Nevada Las Vegas at Bulldog Stadium on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. (Larry Valenzuela/The Collegian)

Senior linebacker Justin Rice has been selected as the only Fresno State Bulldog on the preseason All-Mountain West (MW) team.

Rice, last season, was selected as a first-team All-MW linebacker after ending his first full year on defense. He ended the 2019 season as the leading tackler with 112 tackles — the third-most in the MW.

In 2019, Rice was tied for fourth in the NCAA with four forced fumbles and was named the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Week for his performance against USC on Oct. 21. In that game, Rice had 10 tackles and a fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.

For four straight games, Rice had double-digit tackles, including a season-high of 13 against Air Force at Falcon Stadium.

Rice was also the only player from Fresno State to have a first-team selection in the annual Phil Steele Magazine, Additionally, Rice was also named to the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Chuck Bednarik Award watch lists.

For the rest of the MW, Boise State had eight players selected out of the 28 spots, and San Diego State and Colorado State followed with the next-most selections at four apiece. 

Here are the rest of the preseason All-MW selections:

Offense

Defense

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