SDSU’s Browning named Mountain West Special Teams Player of the Year

Photo by Andy Bartotto Jack Browning leads the Mountain West in several statistical categories.

From staff reports

San Diego State University’s football team is headed to the Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24. The Aztecs will be traveling with the recently named Mountain West Conference Special Teams Player of the Year after West Hills High School and Grossmont College alumnus Jack Browning was accorded honors following the conclusion of regular season play.

SDSU carries a 7-5 record into the upcoming bowl game against Middle Tennessee (7-5). Browning’s numbers have added up to nothing short of excellence.

Handling all three kicking duties, Browning has made 17 of his 21 field goal attempts and all 28 point-after-touchdown conversions to lead the Aztecs with 79 points — more than the next three players combined.

Browning has also punted 63 times for 2,898 yards (46.0 average) with a net average of 42.7 yards and a long of 63 yards. Out of his 63 punts, 28 have landed inside the 20-yard line, including 14 inside the 10 and six inside the 5. Browning also has kicked off 53 times for 3,394 yards (64.0 average) with 31 touchbacks.

According to Pro Football Focus, Browning has the best punt grade (87.2) in the country. Browning, who ranks third in SDSU single-season history in punt average (46.00), seventh in field goal percentage (80.95) and tied for seventh in field goals (17), is tied for the FBS lead in PAT percentage (100.00), and is tied for fourth in punts inside the 20-yard line (28, first in MW), sixth in net punt average (42.67, first in MW), eighth in punt average (46.00, first in MW), tied for 11th in kickoff average (64.04, first in MW), and tied for 24th in field goals per game (1.42, fourth in MW) and made field goals (17, tied for third in MW).

An Aztec has won the special teams’ player of the year award five times (all over the last eight years), the most in the 24-year history of MW.

For a fourth consecutive year, SDSU had the most first-team all-MW selections with seven, three more than Fresno State and San Jose State’s four. The Aztecs also had the most combined first and second teamers (11) and the most all-conference selections overall (16). The 16 all-league selections for the Aztecs tied a program best (also 2001).

Making the first team were offensive lineman Alama Uluave, Jordan Byrd at both kick and punt returner, defensive lineman Jonah Tavai, linebacker Caden McDonald, safety Patrick McMorris and Browning at punter.

On the second team for SDSU were wide receiver Tyrell Shavers, tight end Mark Redman, offensive lineman Cade Bennett and linebacker Michael Shawcroft (Helix).

San Diego State also had five honorable mentions, including quarterback Jalen Mayden, wide receiver Jesse Matthews (Christian), defensive lineman Keshawn Banks, and cornerbacks Dez Malone and Dallas Branch. Shawcroft led the Aztecs with 77 total tackles in 11 games with 45 first hits, 32 assists, 12 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

Matthews had 38 catches for 409 yards and three touchdowns to rank second on the team in receiving yards and tied for first (with Tyrell Shavers and Mekhi Shaw) for most touchdowns.

The all-conference awards are voted on by the league’s 12 head coaches and various media members from the league.