Dec. 10, 2013
Colorado Springs, Colo.-----San Jose State University wide receiver Tyler Winston is the 2013 Mountain West Conference Football Freshman of the Year in a vote by the conference's 12 coaches and selected media members.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pound first-year player from Antelope, Calif., burst on the scene in mid-season and became one of the nation's most productive wide receivers. Originally slated for a redshirt season, Winston was moved into an active role beginning with the third game of the season at Minnesota on September 21. Two weeks later at Hawaii, he was a starter and a fixture in the nation's sixth best passing offense.
Winston hauled in 57 of his 58 season's receptions in the final eight games of the Spartans' 6-6 season. San Jose State was 5-3 with him in the starting lineup. He finished second on the team in receptions, receiving yards (858) and tied for second in touchdown catches (5).
With 100-yard plus receiving games at Hawaii (159) Colorado State (151) and Wyoming (171), he became the first San Jose State freshman with three consecutive games of 100 or more yards in pass receptions. Winston added a fourth 100-plus yard game with his 164 yards on 10 catches in the 62-52 win over then-#16 ranked and previously unbeaten Fresno State on November 29.
Winston is the only freshman nationally to catch 10 or more passes in back-to-back games this season. Prior to his 10 receptions against Fresno State, he had 10 catches in the November 22 game against Navy.
Winston becomes the second San Jose State player in the last four years to be named a conference football Freshman of the Year. In 2010, his current teammate, linebacker Keith Smith was named the Western Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year.
Winston is one of nine Spartans to receive 2013 all-conference honors. Wide Receiver Chandler Jones, defensive back Bené Benwikere and Keith Smith are first team selections. Quarterback David Fales, offensive lineman Nicholas Kaspar and placekicker Austin Lopez are second-team choices; and tight end Billy Freeman and offensive guard Ryan Jones are honorable mention picks.