football gameLucas Gebhart

Sports Editor

Following its best season since 2014, four players on the Idaho State football team, linebacker Mario Jenkins, running back James Madison, wide receiver Mitch Gueller and guard Skyler Phillips, were given First Team All-Conference honors, the most the team has seen since 2003.

In 2003, Idaho State had four players earn First Team All-Conference honors in Sale’ Key, Mark Weivoda, Jared Allen and Emery Beckles.

Phillips accepted an invitation to participate in the 2018 Reese’s Senior Bowl in Alabama this January.

Head Coach Rob Phenicie said earlier this year that a handful of NFL teams were scouting Phillips, Jenkins and defensive lineman JonRhyeem Peoples, who was selected Third Team All-Big Sky by league officials. 

The NFL Draft is scheduled to take place April 26-28 in Arlington, Texas.

According to the Idaho State football Twitter page at least 16 NFL teams sent a team representative to watch at least one of Idaho State’s practices this year.

Phillips, who accepted the invitation last week, will participate with other seniors planning to enter the draft.

The game will be broadcast live on NFL Network on January 27 at 2:30 Mountain Standard Time in Mobile, Alabama. Tickets start at $10.

As of last week, 22 players across the country have accepted invitations to participate in the Reese’s Senior Bowl, including two players from the University of Florida – Johnny Townsend, Duke Dawson and three from the University of Oregon – Tanner Carew, Royce Freeman, Tyrell Crosby. As of last week, Phillips is the only Big Sky player to have accepted an invitation.

Madison’s break out year featured a career-best 933 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 185 carries. The redshirt junior rushed for a season-high 253 yards at Northern Colorado and had three games with 100 yards or more on the ground.

Jenkins finished the year with 111 tackles and had a career-high 18 in the win over Cal Poly. Jenkins had 17 tackles in the FBS win at Nevada, the first win over an FBS school since 2000 and is a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award, a list that honors the FCS’ best defensive player.

Gueller caught 36 passes for 871 yards and eight touchdowns after missing the first three games of the season.

In the win over Portland State Gueller caught four passes for 195 yards and scored a touchdown, including a school record 97-yard pass play. Gueller had 188 yards receiving and two touchdowns vs. Montana, 149 yards and three touchdowns at Northern Colorado and 125 yards against Cal Poly.

In addition to the four First Team selections, league officials also awarded wide receiver Michael Dean and offensive tackle Chase Collins with Third Team honors and running back Ty Flanagan, offensive tackle Brian Fineanganofo and Andy Whittier were given Honorable Mentions.

The conference’s Offensive Player of the Year was given to UC Davis wide receiver Keelan Doss. Defensive Player of the Year was Weber State’s Taron Johnson. The Freshman of the Year was Montana State’s Troy Anderson and the Newcomer of the Year was UC Davis quarterback Jake Maier.

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