Thursday, May 3, 2012
Poll: Pac-12's breakout player?
By Kevin Gemmell and Ted Miller
Last week we gave you our thoughts on who we believed was going to be the breakout player in the Pac-12 this season.
Kevin Gemmell went with Oregon State wide receiver Brandin Cooks, citing the fact that he has a quarterback on the rise in Sean Mannion and an outstanding receiver opposite him in Markus Wheaton, who is likely to draw a lot of the double coverage away from Cooks.
Ted Miller went with defense, selecting Cal defensive end Deandre Coleman. Also noting surrounding talent, Miller stipulates that teams who try to double up on Coleman are going to be in trouble because the rest of the Cal defensive line is so good.
Did we pick the wrong guys?
Stanford linebacker James Vaughters -- who is expected to play a much larger role at middle linebacker -- reportedly had an outstanding spring session and is a budding playmaker on a very talented front seven.
Oregon has an impressive, up-and-coming tight end in Colt Lyerla, who is expected to replace the uber-productive David Paulson. Lyerla caught all of seven passes last year, but five of them were for touchdowns.
Then there is Washington wide receiver Kasen Williams. He may have already broken out last year -- catching 36 balls and six touchdowns while returning 15 punts. What can he do with more playing time and a quarterback under Heisman consideration?
Which of these guys is the breakout player to watch in the Pac-12?