Monday, August 5, 2013
Pac-12 Top 25 for 2013: No. 20
By Kevin Gemmell
Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 preseason players in 2013 continues.
A lot of good players, as it happens every year, won't make the preseason list. It is in their hands to make the postseason list.
You can review our 2012 postseason top 25 here.
20. Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
2012 numbers: Finished tied for third on the team with 25 catches for 392 yards (an average of 15.7 yards per catch) with six touchdowns. He also carried 13 times for 77 yards and a touchdown. For good measure, he also pitched in with four tackles.
2012 postseason ranking: Unranked.
Making the case for Lyerla: This is another player who likely will finish higher on the postseason list. His credentials were mostly overlooked last season because the league had a pair of Mackey Award finalists in Washington's Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Stanford's Zach Ertz. ASJ is back, but Ertz is now being integrated into Chip Kelly's NFL offense. Lyerla is versatile, and the Ducks like to use him all over the field -- split out, on the line, and even in the backfield as a lead blocker or ball carrier. At 6-5, 250, he's a mismatch in coverage and when he goes over the middle, he can completely change a defenses' game plan. His understated performance against Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl -- three catches for 52 yards -- completely changed the way K-State had to play defense. Expect high marks and postseason honors for Lyerla in 2013.
21. Carl Bradford, LB, Arizona State
22. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
23. Hroniss Grasu, C, Oregon
24. Marion Grice, RB, Arizona State
25. Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford