Pac-12: Christian Powell

It's time to start our preseason position reviews. Please, hold your applause until we are finished.

Here's how we do this. We provide three evaluative categories: "Great shape," "Good shape" and "We'll see."

Hint: You'd prefer your team to be in "Great shape."

"We'll see" doesn't mean you're going to stink at said position. It means just what it says -- we'll see because there's no way at present to know.

You can review last year's rankings here.

We continue the series with running backs.

GREAT SHAPE

Oregon: The combination of Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner should be as dangerous as ever. De'Anthony Thomas never really grew into the role as an every-down back, but Marshall carried 168 times for 1,038 yards and 14 touchdowns. Tyner slowly picked up more carries and finished with 115 for 711 yards and nine touchdowns. Folks are also excited to see what incoming freshman Royce Freeman brings to the table. This is a scary corps, even before you realize that Marcus Mariota also carried 96 times for 715 yards and nine touchdowns last year.

USC: The emergence of Buck Allen was a pleasant surprise after he spent much time in Lane Kiffin purgatory. He boasted 5.8 yards per carry to go with 785 yards and 14 touchdowns. He'll be pushed by Tre Madden, Justin Davis and D.J. Morgan, who is back after missing all of 2013 with a knee injury. This is a group that could do damage in Steve Sarkisian's up-tempo offense. Think about what Bishop Sankey did last year.

Arizona State: Marion Grice was a touchdown machine. But D.J. Foster is no slouch after rushing for 501 yards and catching 63 passes for 653 yards in a dual-threat role. The local product is explosive and has big-play speed. Deantre Lewis and Kyle Middlebrooks, back from injury, provide depth since Mike Norvell won't want to pass up the opportunity to use Foster in the slot at times. The depth has ASU teetering on the Great Shape/Good Shape fence, but Foster's experience and explosiveness give ASU a perfect replacement for Grice. So we're confident saying ASU is in great shape with him at the helm.

GOOD SHAPE

UCLA: No, we're not going to list Myles Jack as a running back. Get over it. Offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone told the Pac-12 blog he's been looking for Jordon James to make strides as a "one-cut" runner. He believes he has. And Paul Perkins and Steven Manfro will press for carries with the intriguing Craig Lee waiting in the wings. Keep in mind it was quarterback Brett Hundley who led the Bruins in carries (160), yards (748) and touchdowns (11). Maybe ... just maybe ... we'll see Jack also pick up a few carries. The Bruins are dedicated to the run (only Oregon has more carries over the last three seasons) and they have the depth to deliver.

Stanford: No Tyler Gaffney. Four of five starters on the line are gone. Surely this is the year Stanford's running game takes a step backward, right? Probably not. The line will feature five members of the heralded 2012 recruiting class and a committee approach with Remound Wright, Ricky Seale, Barry Sanders and Kelsey Young seems likely. Only Oregon and UCLA have attempted more rushes over the last three seasons, so the Cardinal are going to continue to be dedicated to the ground game. There is a lot of untapped potential with this group and they have a coach who loves to run the football. There are a lot of unknowns, but Stanford's recent history of success running the football warrants the benefit of the doubt to put them in the "Good Shape" column.

Utah: For now, it looks like Bubba Poole will be the primary back. But Kyle Whittingham and Co. are excited about the emergence of JC transfer Davontae Booker and the complementary role Troy McCormick might play. They aren't married to the idea of a single back. In fact, Whittingham told the Pac-12 blog he'd like to have situational flexibility. This trio provides that at Utah for the first time in a while. Spreading things out is a priority for new offensive coordinator Dave Christensen. But don't be surprised to see a balanced attack if these three see success.

Colorado: The Buffs are surprisingly deep in the running backs department, with seasoned players like Christian Powell, Michael Adkins II, Tony Jones and Donta Abron returning. Powell (562 yards, three touchdowns) provided the power while Adkins emerged as a fine complement with 5.2 yards per carry (103 carries, 535 yards and six touchdowns). Look for the coaching staff to keep using those two in unison as a thunder-and-lightning tandem.

Oregon State: The running game, or lack thereof, has been a sore spot for Mike Riley the last couple of seasons. However, with last year's combination of Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks the personnel dictated 603 passing attempts. With Cooks gone, the staff will look to Terron Ward and Storm Woods (who combined for 240 carries, 998 yards and 11 touchdowns) to build off of last year's showing of 94.4 yards per game -- which was 11th in the conference. This tandem has the potential to be very good. It just has to go out and show it.

Washington State: That the Cougars return their top two rushers from last season, Marcus Mason and Teondray Caldwell, bodes well -- even in an offense in which the running back serves more to keep the opposition in check than to run the football. However, it might be Theron West and redshirt freshman Jamal Morrow who get the majority of the carries. The coaching staff was high on Morrow in the spring and if the Cougs can do just enough to keep the safeties guessing, it might open things up more for the Air Raid's primary objective.

WE'LL SEE

Arizona: The Wildcats have to replace Ka'Deem Carey. No easy task. And it was made worse by the recent news that Pierre Cormier's won't be returning. That leaves carries to be divided among Nick Wilson, Zach Green and Terris Jones-Grigsby. Jonathan Haden is still waiting to get cleared and Jared Baker missed the spring with an injury from last year's ASU game. Look for special packages with DaVonte' Neal as well. The Wildcats are silly with wide receivers, which could help open things up in the running game.

California: The Bears averaged just 122.2 rushing yards per game last year -- ninth in the league. Despite the reputation for being a pass-happy team, the coaches would actually prefer more balance, so they'll need better production out of oft-injured Daniel Lasco and Khalfani Muhammad. The departed Brendan Bigelow had the most carries (105) last year, but Muhammad and Lasco combined for 141 totes for 762 yards and six touchdowns. Muhammad is the burner at 175 pounds while Lasco has the bigger frame at 200 and change. Incoming freshman Tre Watson is also an intriguing prospect.

Washington: Like Arizona, the Huskies must replace a phenomenal back in Sankey. But there are options. Dwayne Washington was the No. 2 behind Sankey last year, rushing for 332 yards and four touchdowns on 47 carries. Behind him are Jesse Callier, who was the original starter in 2012 before his injury gave rise to Sankey, and Deontae Cooper. Both have a history of knee injuries. Jomon Dotson and Lavon Coleman could see time. We'll see isn't necessarily a bad thing. It just means, we'll see.

OTHER POSITION REVIEWS

Quarterback

Pac-12's lunch links

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
2:30
PM ET
What if the heart, for its own unfathomable reasons, leads one willfully and in a cloud of unspeakable radiance away from health, domesticity, civic responsibility and strong social connections and all the blandly-held common virtues and instead straight toward a beautiful flare of ruin, self-immolation, disaster?

Spring position breakdown: RBs

February, 25, 2014
Feb 25
7:15
PM ET
Our look at position groups in the Pac-12 continues.

Arizona: With Ka'Deem Carey off to the NFL, figuring out Arizona's running back situation requires a bit of guesswork. Backups Daniel Jenkins and Kylan Butler are out of eligibility and rising junior Jared Baker tore his ACL in the regular-season finale. That leaves no running backs who had a carry last season. Those competing for carries will be redshirt freshmen Pierre Cormier and Zach Green, and true freshmen Jonathan Haden, an early enrollee, and Nick Wilson.

[+] EnlargeOregon/Texas
Ronald Martinez/Getty ImagesByron Marshall will be the Pac-12's leading returning rusher in 2014.
Arizona State: The torch was passed from Marion Grice to D.J. Foster toward the end of last season, and Foster will have a full offseason to prepare to be the No. 1 guy. He showed impressive flashes in spot playing time in the past two seasons, and ran for 318 yards (6.2 yards per carry) in three starts after Grice was lost to injury.

California: Much was made about Brendan Bigelow's talent during his career in Berkeley, but it never materialized the way many expected it would. He was beaten out by true freshman Khalfani Muhammad a year ago, then opted out of his final year of eligibility for a shot at the NFL -- and subsequently was not invited to the combine. Getting a feel for how coach Sonny Dykes would like to use his running backs is tough considering the lopsided nature of most of the games last year, but Muhammad showed all the signs that he would develop into a good Pac-12 running back.

Colorado: Christian Powell and Michael Adkins II will both be back after combining for 1,097 yards rushing in 2013. With receiver Paul Richardson off to the NFL, there's the need for added production on offense, and while coach Mike MacIntyre showed at San Jose State he'd prefer that to come through the air, it could add up to more opportunities for Powell and Adkins.

Oregon: Does it even matter who the Ducks hand the ball to? Sometimes it doesn't seem like it, but, regardless, Oregon remains loaded with speed and talent at running back. Byron Marshall (1,038 yards rushing) and Thomas Tyner (711 yards) will both see plenty of carries when quarterback Marcus Mariota (715 yards) isn't running on his own. The team does lose De'Anthony Thomas, who opted to leave early for the NFL, but Thomas turned into a relative afterthought last season anyway.

Oregon State: It shouldn't be hard to improve the Beavers' running game after they ranked 115th in the country in rushing yards per game last season. Their top two backs -- Terron Ward and Storm Woods -- return and figure to see more use under new offensive coordinator John Garrett. There was a glimpse of what could be against Boise State in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl as the Beavers unleashed a more balanced approach. Woods ran for 107 yards on 16 carries and Ward added 54 yards on nine carries in a comfortable 38-23 victory.

Stanford:The Cardinal's running back situation is outlined here in more detail, but it should be noted that the competition between Remound Wright, Barry J. Sanders and Ricky Seale -- competing to replace Tyler Gaffney -- will also include Kelsey Young. Young was recruited to Stanford to play running back, but was switched to receiver and is now back at running back. Sanders has the name recognition, but all signs point to Wright getting the first crack at being the primary back. However it plays out, it would be a complete shock if one back was used as much as Gaffney was in 2013 and Stepfan Taylor the two seasons before that.

UCLA: If things play out the way UCLA coach Jim Mora hopes they will, linebacker Myles Jack will be just that … a linebacker. After winning Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Freshman of the Year, the Bruins would ideally keep him on defense. For that to happen, someone needs to step up. That conversation still includes Jordon James and Paul Perkins, while Craig Lee, a four-star recruit who redshirted last year, also factors into the equation.

[+] EnlargeJavorius Allen
AP Photo/David ZalubowskiBuck Allen will likely head up USC's running back committee next season.
USC: After watching Bishop Sankey turn into one of the nation's premier backs under the tutelage of new coach Steve Sarkisian, USC's deep stable of running backs has to be intrigued. The Trojans will return four of their top five leading rushers from a year ago -- Javorius "Buck" Allen, Tre Madden, Justin Davis, Ty Isaac -- when they were predominantly a run-first team. Allen, who was named the team MVP in 2013, figures to get the first crack at being the starter, but that could be just in name only as a running-back-by-committee scenario seems likely.

Utah: Another season, another new offensive coordinator for the Utes. This time it's Dave Christensen's job to invoke life in the Utah offense, which will return leading rusher Bubba Poole (607 yards) and Lucky Radley (284 yards). The Utes averaged just 4.1 yards a carry as a team last year, which is partially to blame for the change from Dennis Erickson to Christensen after just one year.

Washington: The NFL combine taught us that Bishop Sankey might have been the most physically gifted running back in the country last year. It's not as simple as plugging in another guy to replace him, but the Huskies are still in good shape. Senior Jesse Callier (48 carries, 213 yards in 2013), who was slated to be the starter before an ACL tear in the season opener in 2012, is intriguing and will compete with fellow senior Deontae Cooper (43 carries, 270 yards) and sophomore Dwayne Washington (27 carries, 332 yards).

Washington State: Considering quarterback Connor Halliday had three single-game passing totals that were more than leading rusher Marcus Mason ran for in entire season (429), any discussion about the Cougars' running game is tough to take seriously. Yes, there will still be running backs on the roster. No, they probably won't combine to run for 1,000 yards as a team.

Previous positions

Quarterback

Colorado Buffaloes season preview

August, 16, 2013
8/16/13
10:30
AM ET
We continue our day-by-day snapshots of each Pac-12 team heading into the 2013 season in reverse alphabetical order with the Colorado Buffaloes.

Colorado

Coach: Mike MacIntyre (16-21, 0-0 at Colorado)

2012 record: 1-11, 1-8 Pac-12 South

Key losses: OT David Bakhtiari, TE Nick Kasa, OLB Jon Major, DT Will Pericak, FS Ray Polk.

[+] EnlargeMike MacIntyre
AP Photo/Brennan LinsleyMike MacIntyre is charged with turning around Colorado after making a winner out of San Jose State.
Key returnees: C Gus Handler, TB Christian Powell, WR Tyler McCulloch, S Marques Mosley, DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, P Darragh O'Neill, WR Paul Richardson, Derrick Webb.

Newcomer to watch: It’s too early to tell which one, but three freshmen wide receivers -- Elijah Dunston, Devin Ross and Bryce Bobo (ironically numbered 1, 2 and 3) -- are all making a case to be in the rotation and two-deep.

Biggest games in 2013: The season opener against Colorado State (Sept. 1) is always a big one, and the rivalry with Utah (Nov. 30) is starting to take shape.

Biggest question mark: While no official word has come down on who will start at quarterback, it’s looking more and more like Connor Wood will at least begin the season as the starter. So we can at least put a partial check mark there. The biggest question is really what sort of progress -- if any -- we’ll see in Mike MacIntyre’s first season as the new head coach. He comes in with solid credentials and was Mr. Fix-It at San Jose State. But with the new job comes a new set of challenges. Chief among them, the proverbial challenge of “changing the culture.” MacIntyre made it clear that he wants to win and compete immediately, and he believes that his players have bought in. We’ll see how much on Sept. 1.

Forecast: The media doesn’t have much faith in the Buffs, picking the team that went 1-11 last season to finish last again in the Pac-12 South. This might be one of those situations in which the team shows improvement -- just not in the win department. Remember, San Jose State appeared to take a step back in MacIntyre’s first season, going 1-12, but it was during that time that he was establishing his schemes and philosophies, and in Year 2 they went 5-7. By the third season, the Spartans were 11-2 (10-2 under MacIntyre) and ranked in the top 25. No one is saying the Buffs will be ranked in three seasons, and most people probably aren't expecting it. The Pac-12 is a different animal than the now football-less WAC, but it's not wrong to hope for a postseason berth in the next 3-5 seasons.

And this season, the Buffs are loaded with young players who gained a ton of experience last season. They return 17 starters (eight offense, nine defense) including a young secondary that took its licks last season. Mosley, Kenneth Crawley and Yuri Wright all started last season, and Greg Henderson and Parker Orms are the veterans of the group. Up front defensively, Uzo-Diribe is a talented pass-rusher, and linebackers Derrick Webb and Paul Vigo should be the anchors on defense.

Offensively, they lose Bakhtiari to the NFL and Alex Lewis announced a transfer, which was followed by some bizarre and unfortunate circumstances. But they get Richardson back after he missed all of 2012 with a knee injury. When he’s healthy, he’s one of the most explosive wide receivers in the country and should give the Buffs a stretch-the-field threat they were lacking.

Powell also quietly put together a strong second half last season, posting a pair of 100-yard games and four touchdowns over the final five. If they can plug the left side of the line (it’s looking like veteran Jack Harris at left tackle and Kaiwi Crabb at left guard), he could inch closer to 1,000 yards on the ground after posting 691 and a 4.4 yards per carry average last season.

There is talent on Colorado’s roster, but, as what's becoming a trend with Colorado, fans are going to have to be patient until the new staff figures out how best to use it.
Businessman they drink my wine, plowman dig my earth;
None will level on the line, nobody offered his word.

Doak Walker watch list announced

July, 18, 2013
7/18/13
1:00
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The watch list for the 2013 Doak Walker Award, presented annually to the nation's top running back, was announced Thursday, and it included nine backs from the Pac-12.

Here are the Pac-12 players on the list:
That's everybody, though you'd guess a running back at Stanford might gain enough yards behind that beastly O-line to get picked up as the season goes on.
While the Pac-12 lost a lot of star power at running back from 2012 -- Kenjon Barner, Johnathan Franklin, Stepfan Taylor and John White -- it also welcomes back a strong core of ball carriers.

Four RBs are back who gained at least 900 yards, and that includes the nation's leading rusher in Arizona's Ka'Deem Carey.

Still, there is uncertainty at the position for a number of schools.

Evaluations aren't easy here. A number of teams have an A-list leading rusher back but uncertain depth. Others have plenty of experience returning but no proven A-lister. So stars and depth matter here.

So how does it stack up?

GREAT SHAPE

Arizona: Carey rushed for nearly 2,000 yards last year and could eclipse that mark this fall. He also scored 23 TDs and averaged 6.4 yards per carry. The depth behind him is solid.

[+] EnlargeKa'Deem Carey
Rick Scuteri/US PresswireArizona's Ka'Deem Carey led the nation with 1,929 rushing yards last season.
Arizona State: Marion Grice and D.J. Foster, as noted by the Arizona State sports information office, produced 2,130 combined yards in 2012 (1,172 rushing, 958 receiving) and 25 touchdowns. Grice averaged 6.6 yards per carry, Foster 4.8. Both are good receivers. They are one of the best combos in the nation, if not the best.

Washington: Bishop Sankey ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in 2012 with 110.7 yards rushing per game. He averaged 5.0 yards per carry and scored 16 TDs. There's good depth behind him, particularly if Jesse Callier is back to form after a knee injury.

Oregon: While running back is one of the Ducks questions, that question is more about how they will do things rather than whether or not they will be good. If De'Anthony Thomas is the No. 1 running back and gets 15 to 20 carries a game (and, knock on wood, stays healthy), he'll be a money guy. Byron Marshall is capable and incoming freshman Thomas Tyner is highly touted.

USC: Silas Redd is back after rushing for 905 yards, but he'll have to fight off some youngsters who want the ball, namely freshman Justin Davis, who was impressive in spring practices. There's also D.J. Morgan, and don't forget about Tre Madden, who offers a power option after sitting out last year with a knee injury.

Oregon State: Storm Woods and Terron Ward combined for 1,747 yards (1,355 rushing, 392 receiving) and 19 touchdowns in 2012. Woods rushed for 940 yards and 13 TDs, despite being banged up much of the year. Ward averaged 6.1 yards per carry. These guys won't wow you but they are a strong pair.

GOOD SHAPE

Stanford: The Cardinal is replacing Taylor's conference-high 322 carries, so even if the prospects are strong, there's some question of if it will be one or two guys or a committee. The return of Tyler Gaffney from pro baseball is big. He had 449 yards and seven TDs in 2011 before taking a year off. There's also Anthony Wilkerson, the most likely starter, Ricky Seale, Remound Wright and Barry Sanders. The Cardinal does get a boost from the return of fullback Ryan Hewitt.

California: The Bears might have an outstanding combination here with Brendan Bigelow and Daniel Lasco. Both have flashed potential, particularly Bigelow, who rushed for 431 yards and averaged 9.8 yards per carry -- yeah, 9.8 yards -- in 2012. But they are not a sure-thing. Bigelow has trouble staying healthy, and Lasco had just six carries last year, though one went for 77 yards.

Colorado: Everybody of note is back, led by 235-pound sophomore Christian Powell, who rushed for 691 yards and seven TDs, averaging a solid 4.4 yards per carry. There's also Tony Jones and Donta Abron to compliment Powell's power with some breakaway ability. Of the Buffs worries, running back is way down the list.

WE'LL SEE

UCLA: Replacing Franklin won't be easy, and it's likely this one will be by-committee, because no single player looks like a go-to guy. Jordon James, Paul Perkins, Malcolm Jones, Steven Manfro and Damien Thigpen, who is coming back from a knee injury, are in the mix. James was the top backup last year, while Perkins is the intriguing redshirt freshman. Thigpen, if healthy, is a slash type guy who isn't a pure running back.

Utah: White, the first Ute to rush for more than 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons, is gone. Kelvin York, White's backup, now gets his shot after rushing for 273 yards last year. He, however, has some injury worries. Behind him, there's Lucky Radley, James Poole and 243-pound Karl Williams. It's also possible JC transfer Devontae Booker will get into the mix. The Utes should be OK here but the pecking order isn't yet clear.

Washington State: Does this position even apply for the Cougars? Last year, they ranked last in the nation in rushing with 29 yards per game and 1.38 yards per carry. Teondray Caldwell is the leading returning rusher with 269 yards. There's also Leon Brooks and Marcus Mason. The issue here isn't the running backs. It's the run blocking, which was pitiful last year.
Ted spent much of the last two weeks looking at individuals from the league who are coming back. But what about from a team standpoint? As is always the case, we have to say goodbye to some folks who have graduated, departed early, transferred or simply chose to follow another path in life. What's left in the pantry?

Today we're going to take a look at what each team has coming back in terms of yards, attempts and touchdowns in the run game. We'll start with the Pac-12 South. "Team" carries are not taken into account looking ahead to 2013, but negative yards in 2012 are. Remember also that sacks are (for some redonkulous reason) counted as a rushing attempts.

Here's a reminder of how the teams ranked in the league in rushing offense last year:
  1. Oregon
  2. Arizona
  3. Arizona State
  4. UCLA
  5. California
  6. Stanford
  7. USC
  8. Washington
  9. Utah
  10. Oregon State
  11. Colorado
  12. Washington State

Here's what the teams in the Pac-12 South have coming back.

Arizona
  • Rushing yards in 2012: 2,961
  • Rushing attempts in 2012: 544
  • Rushing touchdowns in 2012: 33
  • Rushing yards returning: 2,427
  • Rushing attempts returning: 419
  • Rushing touchdowns returning: 27
  • Percentage of yards returning: 81 percent
  • Percentage of attempts returning: 77 percent
  • Percentage of touchdowns returning: 81 percent
  • Biggest statistical returner: Ka'Deem Carey, 1,929 yards, 303 attempts, 23 touchdowns
  • Biggest statistical loss: Matt Scott, 506 yards, 113 attempts, six touchdowns
Arizona State
  • Rushing yards in 2012: 2,670
  • Rushing attempts in 2012: 598
  • Rushing touchdowns in 2012: 27
  • Rushing yards returning: 1,998
  • Rushing attempts returning: 421
  • Rushing touchdowns returning: 18
  • Percentage of yards returning: 74 percent
  • Percentage of attempts returning: 70 percent
  • Percentage of touchdowns returning: 66 percent
  • Biggest statistical returner: Marion Grice, 679 yards, 103 attempts, 11 touchdowns
  • Biggest statistical loss: Cameron Marshall, 583 yards, 135 attempts, nine touchdowns
Colorado
  • Rushing yards in 2012: 1,323
  • Rushing attempts in 2012: 425
  • Rushing touchdowns in 2012: 16
  • Rushing yards returning: 1,320
  • Rushing attempts returning: 396
  • Rushing touchdowns returning: 15
  • Percentage of yards returning: 98 percent
  • Percentage of attempts returning: 93 percent
  • Percentage of touchdowns returning: 93 percent
  • Biggest statistical returner: Christian Powell, 691 yards, 158 attempts, seven touchdowns
  • Biggest statistical loss: Nick Hirschman, zero rushing yards, 25 attempts, one touchdown

*Note: Colorado is interesting because Hirshman is the only player who carried last year who is off the roster, and he evened out with 60 rushing yards and 60 yards lost. Jordan Webb, Connor Wood and John Schrock accounted for minus-152 yards. The 20-yard differential is in minus-20 "team" yards, which aren't taken into account as returning yards.

UCLA
  • Rushing yards in 2012: 2,671
  • Rushing attempts in 2012: 599
  • Rushing touchdowns in 2012: 29
  • Rushing yards returning: 954
  • Rushing attempts returning: 305
  • Rushing touchdowns returning: 16
  • Percentage of yards returning: 35 percent
  • Percentage of attempts returning: 50 percent
  • Percentage of touchdowns returning: 55 percent
  • Biggest statistical returner: Brett Hundley, 355 yards, 160 attempts, nine touchdowns
  • Biggest statistical loss: Johnathan Franklin, 1,734 yards, 282 attempts, 13 touchdowns
USC
  • Rushing yards in 2012: 1,958
  • Rushing attempts in 2012: 392
  • Rushing touchdowns in 2012: 12
  • Rushing yards returning: 1,271
  • Rushing attempts returning: 247
  • Rushing touchdowns returning: 10
  • Percentage of yards returning: 64 percent
  • Percentage of attempts returings: 63 percent
  • Percentage of touchdowns returning: 83 percent
  • Biggest statistical returner: Silas Redd, 905 yards, 167 attempts, nine touchdowns
  • Biggest statistical loss: Curtis McNeal, 701 yards, 116 attempts, two touchdowns
Utah
  • Rushing yards in 2012: 1,605
  • Rushing attempts in 2012: 446
  • Rushing touchdowns in 2012: 17
  • Rushing yards returning: 539
  • Rushing attempts returning: 184
  • Rushing touchdowns returning: 8
  • Percentage of yards returning: 33 percent
  • Percentage of attempts returnings: 41 percent
  • Percentage of touchdowns returning: 47 percent
  • Biggest statistical returner: Kelvin York, 273 yards, 60 attempts, three touchdowns
  • Biggest statistical loss: John White, 1,041 yards, 218 attempts, eight touchdowns

Pac-12's three-headed monsters

June, 5, 2013
6/05/13
1:00
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What the heck is a three-headed monster in the Pac-12? It's about returning production: Elite combinations of quarterback, running back and receiver in the conference.

The only "pure" three-headed monsters in the Pac-12 this fall are Arizona State and Washington, in that the Sun Devils and Huskies welcome back their quarterback, leading rusher and leading receiver.

Yet, even they aren't without issues. The Sun Devils probably wish they had an elite receiver leading their passing offense instead of tight end Chris Coyle. The Huskies are hoping the Keith Price in 2013 is not the Price of 2012, but of 2011.

Further, some teams are close: Oregon State has two quarterbacks coming back with extensive starting experience, leading rusher Storm Woods and an 1,000-yard receiver in Brandin Cooks.

Two teams, California and Washington State, don't welcome back their leader at any of the three positions

Ranking these isn't easy. The challenge is priority and value. What if a team is, say, outstanding at running back and receiver, but inexperienced at quarterback? How does that measure up with a team that is merely good, but also experienced at all three positions?

Further, four teams are difficult to rate because of uncertainty at at least one position: Arizona, California and USC at quarterback, and UCLA at running back.

So here's how we see things stacking up -- and, yes, we did some projecting at some positions. And, yes, you should feel free to be outraged by our lunkheaded bias against your team, which obviously should be ranked much higher.

1. Oregon
QB Marcus Mariota, RB De'Anthony Thomas, WR Josh Huff

The skinny: If you give extra weight to quarterback, the Ducks prevail. Moreover, Thomas and Huff are explosive playmakers who seem poised to step into the limelight and put up big numbers this fall. And there's also tight end Colt Lyerla.

2. Arizona State
QB Taylor Kelly, RB Marion Grice, TE/H-back Chris Coyle

The skinny: Kelly is a good start and there's depth at running back behind Grice with the capable D.J. Foster. Both Grice and Foster are good receivers, so they can be lumped in with Coyle. This offense will be outstanding if an incoming receiver can step in and stretch the field.

3. Oregon State
QB Sean Mannion/Cody Vaz, RB Storm Woods, WR Brandin Cooks

The skinny: We can make an exception for the Beavers indecision at quarterback, because we know both guys well. Woods and Cooks are a strong running back-receiver combo who will give whoever wins the quarterback job plenty to work with.

4. UCLA
QB Brett Hundley, RB Jordon James, WR Shaq Evans

The skinny: Hundley carries the Bruins here. There is uncertainty at running back, and Evans averaged just 62.9 yards receiving last season with just three TDs. But Hundley is an All-American candidate.

5. Washington
QB Keith Price, RB Bishop Sankey, WR Kasen Williams

The skinny: If Price returns to form, this troika would move up a couple of notches. Williams gets seconded by tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

6. Stanford
QB Kevin Hogan, RB Tyler Gaffney, WR Ty Montgomery

The skinny: Hogan was the guy in the cockpit during the Cardinal's late-season charge. Gaffney is a proven guy, despite taking a year off. And Montgomery has shown flashes of being a first-option wide-out.

7. USC
QB Max Wittek/Cody Kessler, RB Silas Redd, WR Marqise Lee

The Skinny: Whoever wins the starting quarterback job should be at least solid. Redd should hit the 1,000-yard mark. And Lee is the best guy at his position in the country. But will his numbers go down this fall without Matt Barkley?

8. Utah
QB Travis Wilson, RB Kelvin York, WR Dres Anderson

The skinny: Plenty of experience here, and the depth is solid behind York and Anderson. And don't forget underrated tight end Jake Murphy. The key element is Wilson taking a strong step forward after being thrown to the wolves as a true freshman starter.

9. Arizona
QB Jesse Scroggins, RB Ka'Deem Carey, WR David Richards

The skinny: Carey carries this one because the Wildcats are uncertain at quarterback -- it as easily could be B.J. Denker or true freshman Anu Solomon up there. Even with that fluidness at quarterback, this ranking would be much higher if leading receiver Austin Hill didn't blow out his knee this spring.

10. California
QB Zach Kline, RB Brendan Bigelow, WR Chris Harper

The skinny: Yes, we are projecting Kline wins the quarterback competition. There is great potential here, and Harper isn't the only talented young receiver who could lead the Bears. But Bigelow, as explosive as he is, needs to prove he can stay healthy and become an every-down back.

11. Washington State
QB Connor Halliday, RB Teondray Caldwell, WR Gabe Marks

The skinny: Halliday has yet to completely win over coach Mike Leach, as much of Leach's post-spring commentary was on how well redshirt freshman quarterback Austin Apodaca played. Caldwell is a quick scat back, but the Cougs had essentially zero running game last season. Marks might be poised for a breakout, and the Cougs are solid at receiver overall.

12. Colorado
QB Connor Wood, RB Christian Powell, WR Paul Richardson

The skinny: This is a better-than-you-think troika, because Richardson is among the most talented receivers in the conference. But he's coming back from a knee injury that killed his 2012 season. Powell, a 235 pounder, rushed for a respectable 691 yards last season. The linchpin is Wood: Is he ready to lead this offense? The bottom line is the Buffs can't rank higher because they were last in the Pac-12 in total and scoring offense last season.

Pac-12's 1,000-yard rushers

May, 29, 2013
5/29/13
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After looking at returning 2,500-yard passers, we're moving on to returning 1,000-yard rushers.

The Pac-12 is replacing many of its big names at running back, including Oregon's Kenjon Barner, UCLA's Johnathan Franklin, Stanford's Stepfan Taylor and Utah's John White, who each eclipsed the 1,000-yard benchmark in 2012.

The returning 1,000-yard rushers are:
Both these guys seem certain to reach the 1,000-yard mark again in 2013, barring injury. Carey was an All-American after leading the nation in rushing. He could become a Heisman Trophy candidate. Sankey got stronger as the year went on, and his offensive line should take a big step forward this fall. It could be tight between them for the Pac-12 rushing crown.

[+] EnlargeKa'Deem Carey
Rick Scuteri/US PresswireArizona's Ka'Deem Carey rushed for 1,929 yards and 23 touchdowns last season.
Or maybe a darkhorse rises. While there's a lot of turnover at RB, the cupboard is hardly bare.

Here's a look.

Arizona State: The Sun Devils are in fine shape here with Marion Grice and D.J. Foster giving them one of the conference's best tandems. Perhaps the best. They combined for well over 1,000 yards as cornerstones of the conference's third-best rushing offense, with Grice leading the way with 679 yards. Will one or the other gain 1,000 yards? Why not both?

California: New coach Sonny Dykes doesn't really know what he's got at running back because both Brendan Bigelow and Daniel Lasco sat out spring practices. Bigelow is explosive but needs to be more consistent. If he gets touches, however, he's going to rush for 1,000 yards.

Colorado: Christian Powell, a 240-pound bruiser, led the Buffaloes with 691 yards last year. Tony Jones is a solid backup. Still, it will be a major accomplishment if a Buff rushes for 1,000 yards in Mike MacIntyre's first year. If it does happen, however, that would almost certainly indicate a lot more wins in 2013 than many project.

Oregon: The Ducks will have a 1,000-yard rusher because they always have a 1,000-yard rusher. The only question is who is the lead dog and how is the ball distributed. The top candidate is De'Anthony Thomas, with him becoming more of a running back than a hybrid player. But if Byron Marshall and incoming freshman Thomas Tyner can handle the load, Thomas seems most dangerous as a slash guy.

Oregon State: The Beavers also look like a good bet for a 1,000-yard rusher in 2013. For one, Storm Woods fell just short with 940 yards last year. Second, the offensive line's improvement this spring was notable.

Stanford: Anthony Wilkerson and Tyler Gaffney had an "Or" between then on the post-spring depth chart. Either could be a 1,000-yard back. And the Cardinal's run-first approach and potentially dominant offensive line means one or the other -- or someone else -- is surely going to eclipse the benchmark number.

UCLA: There isn't anyone as talented as Franklin on the roster at present, and the general feeling is the Bruins might go with a committee approach this fall with Jordan James, Paul Perkins and Malcolm Jones. The Bruins might run the ball well, but it's questionable whether one of those guys will hit the 1,000-yard mark or not.

USC: Silas Redd seems like the most likely starter, at least based on his leading the Trojans with 905 yards rushing last year. But he's getting challenged by freshman Justin Davis. And Tre Madden, D.J. Morgan and Javorius Allen might claw into the picture. With a first-year starter at quarterback and a potentially strong offensive line, it would seem like a good bet one of these guys gains 1,000 yards.

Utah: The Utes were happy with their line play this spring, and it seems as though there's solid depth behind likely starter Kelvin York. While James Poole, Lucky Radley and Karl Williams made plays this spring, they likely will be a "Plan B" behind York, who's got a good shot at 1,000 yards.

Washington State: It's called the "Air Raid" for a reason: Mike Leach likes to throw. The Cougars ranked last in the nation with 29.8 yards rushing per game last year. The Cougs also have O-line issues. While there's decent talent in the backfield, led by Teondray Caldwell, the chances are remote a Coug running back will even approach 1,000 yards on the ground. Shoot, the entire team rushed for 349 in 2012 -- 1.4 yards per carry -- which was nearly 1,000 less than even lowly Colorado.
COLORADO BUFFALOES

2012 record: 1-11
2012 conference record: 1-8 (Last in South Division)
Returning starters: Offense 9; Defense 7; Kick/punt 2

Top returners: WR Paul Richardson, WR Nelson Spruce, LB Derrick Webb, RB Christian Powell, C Gus Handler, DE Chidera Uzo-Diribe, CB Kenneth Crawley.

Key losses: TE Nick Kasa, OL David Bakhtiari, LB Jon Major, DB Ray Polk.

2012 statistical leaders (*returners)

Rushing: Christian Powell* (691)
Passing: Jordan Webb* (1,434, out indefinitely with knee injury)
Receiving: Nelson Spruce* (446)
Tackles: Derrick Webb* (88)
Sacks: Chidera Uzo-Diribe (7)
Interceptions: Jered Bell*, Jon Major, Marques Mosley* (1)

Spring answers

1. He's back: After missing all of 2012 with a torn ACL, wide receiver Paul Richardson is back and healthy. This is a huge boost for an offense that was lacking an explosive playmaker. In four Colorado scrimmages this spring, he had eight catches for 294 yards and three touchdowns. It's not the greatest barometer, but the fact he's on the field and running by defenders is a very positive sign.

2. Starting from scratch: Colorado has an entirely new coaching staff for the first time since 1979. So a good chunk of spring was spent reading name tags. It was also spent getting the team used to running a no-huddle offense. New coach Mike MacIntyre noted that the 15 practices were simply about introducing concepts -- which was accomplished. Translating those concepts into progress on the field will be a bigger task this fall.

3. Filling holes: Obviously, nothing is set in stone. A new coaching staff means a complete evaluation of every position. But there were some names that jumped out as candidates. D.D. Goodson made the move from tailback to wide receiver -- giving them a little more speed and depth at the position. January enrollee Addison Gillam jumped to the top of the depth chart at linebacker and cornerback John Walker made a big push in the secondary -- probably Colorado's deepest and most hotly contested position group.

Fall questions

1. QB questions: Last year there were three -- Jordan Webb, Nick Hirschman and Connor Wood. This year there are three -- Wood, Shane Dillon and incoming freshman Sefo Liufau. There are rumblings Webb might make it back by October -- but even then you have to wonder if he'll be close to 100 percent. Still, there are lots and lots of question about who will be running the new offense.

2. Sorting out the line: Just when it seems like the Buffs are starting to get a little continuity on the offensive line, right guard Daniel Munyer breaks his fibula during a fumble drill. It's not all completely up in the air -- and they do have a solid returning center in Gus Handler -- who should again be on the Rimington Trophy watch list. But there is still a lot of evaluation to be done.

3. Time to grow up: By now we all know about Colorado's youth in the secondary. A lot of freshmen played last year (1,476 snaps between a trio of freshmen defenders) and they learned the hard way what it's like to guard Pac-12 receivers. The maturation of this group is critical because improved secondary play will trickle down and take some of the pressure off of the front seven. This group has the athleticism and potential to be very good. The question is, will they?
All players are equal, but some players are more equal than others. That's the basis of our Most Important Player series.

First off, quarterbacks are excluded to make things more interesting. It goes without saying, for example, that Oregon's Marcus Mariota is the Ducks' most important player.

And most important doesn't necessarily have to be "best." An All-American's backup can be pretty darn good, too.

Our most important guys are players who could swing a win total one way or the other, based on their living up to expectations. Or their absence.

Colorado: WR Paul Richardson

2012 production: Did not play

Why Richardson is so important: He's a difference-maker on a team that doesn't have a lot of them. There's a reason that Colorado ranked last in the Pac-12 in total offense and scoring offense -- they didn't have anyone who could stretch the field and defenses would simply load up the box.

As a result, the Buffs managed just 110.2 rushing yards per game (11th in the league behind Washington State) and were forced to throw more than they wanted to -- and because they were usually down by large amounts. They weren't great at throwing, either, ranking last in pass efficiency with 11 touchdowns and 19 interceptions while completing just 55 percent of their throws.

Richardson can make a difference. After missing all of 2012 with a knee injury -- a period he called "excruciating" for having to watch his team stumble to a 1-11 record that led to the firing of Jon Embree -- he's surgically repaired and feeling "incredible."

As the Buffs install a pistol offense under new coach Mike MacIntyre, a process that was noticeably slow this spring because the personnel depth isn't in place yet and a quarterback has yet to be named, they will need at least one guy to spark the offense. Sure, it could be running back Christian Powell, who surged last season with two 100-yard performances and four touchdowns in his final four games.

The 6-foot, 240-pound thumper has promise and many are excited to see what he'll do in the new offense. But Richardson -- perhaps a bit rusty from his year off -- is still the most explosive player on the team. In two years with the Buffs, he has five touchdowns of 50 yards or more. He's the kind of player who can take a 5-yard slant and turn it into a 75-yard touchdown. That big-play, game-changing, momentum-swinging element just wasn't there. With Richardson back, it is.

He provides the kind of dynamic athleticism the Buffs were lacking last season. Youth and inexperience at the wide receiver position, combined with a revolving door at quarterback made for some tough offensive goings in Boulder last year. Richardson brings a level of experience and, perhaps, a calming presence. Players will instantly look to him for leadership.

Chances are Colorado won't make any remarkable turnarounds in 2013. Many expect them to be better, but better might only equal three or four wins. Still, with a player like Richardson, they get back an offensive element that was missing in 2012.
The offseason is the season of lists. And here's another.

Athlon Sports ranked the Pac-12 running backs, 1-20, and offered a breakdown of each player for your reading pleasure.

It's a pretty solid list, with maybe one or two position flips. But overall, it's a good assessment of the running back talent in the league and an example of just how deep the conference is at the position. As a reminder, the league produced six 1,000-yard rushers last season, the national rushing leader and two of the three Doak Walker finalists. Only two of those six are back -- and, yes, they are highly ranked.

Here's Athlon's take:
  1. Ka'Deem Carey, Arizona
  2. De'Anthony Thomas, Oregon
  3. Bishop Sankey, Washington
  4. Silas Redd, USC
  5. Marion Grice, ASU
  6. Storm Woods, Oregon State
  7. Brendan Bigelow, California
  8. Byron Marshall, Oregon
  9. D.J. Foster, ASU
  10. Anthony Wilkerson, Stanford
  11. Christian Powell, Colorado
  12. Tyler Gaffney, Stanford
  13. Thomas Tyner, Oregon
  14. Barry Sanders, Stanford
  15. Kelvin York, Utah
  16. Paul Perkins, UCLA
  17. Jordon James, UCLA
  18. Justin Davis, USC
  19. Terron Ward, Oregon State
  20. Teondray Caldwell, Washington State

Some thoughts:
  • The top three make sense -- and the order of those three could really fall into personal preference because all three could be No. 1. If you're looking for a "traditional" running back, then you could probably put Sankey over Thomas. But DAT does so much more than just run the football and is so explosive that I could see him at Nos. 1, 2, or 3. Carey's credentials certainly warrant the top spot and the Pac-12 blog is very high on Sankey, as you can see from here and here. Expect to see more from him in the receiving game as well in 2013.
  • Personally, I'd put Grice ahead of Redd. As Ted pointed out earlier in the week, the Pac-12 is home to the hybrid back and Grice is a super dynamic. And the way ASU uses its backs in the passing game, it will equate to huge total yardage numbers for Grice and Foster. I do think we'll see more ground game from the Trojans this year, which could also mean bigger numbers from Redd. A few guys behind him though who could steal some carries.
  • The Pac-12 blog is a big fan of Woods and we're expecting an even bigger year in 2013. The Beavers were 53-47 in the pass to run ratio, which is good balance. But the passing game was more productive than the ground attack, which ranked 10th in the league last year. As Woods develops (and Ward is a solid change-of-pace back), we're expecting to see those numbers even out.
  • Between Bigelow, Marshall and Foster, Foster was more productive last year (1,026 total yards, six combined touchdowns) compared to Marshall (461, 4) and Bigelow (523, 4) -- but Bigelow and Marshall certainly have explosive potential. Foster should also see increased productivity with Byron's brother, Cameron, gone at ASU. You could easily interchange all three at all three spots and make a solid case for their placement.
  • Stanford and Oregon are the only schools with three backs on the list. Gaffney's return certainly bolsters the Cardinal running back corps -- but neither he nor Wilkerson have had to carry the load the way Stepfan Taylor, a three-time 1,000-yard rusher, did the previous seasons. That continues to be one of the most intriguing position battles of the offseason.
  • Very excited to see what 6-0, 240-pound bruiser Christian Powell can do in the pistol.
  • As I've mentioned on previous Athlon lists, I'm not a huge fan of ranking players who haven't taken snaps yet -- but in the case of Sanders and Tyner, I can buy that. Sanders has arguably the best offensive line in the country ahead of him and Tyner fits an offense that makes great running backs better.
  • York showed some potential last year when he started sharing some carries with two-time 1,000-yard rusher John White, but he missed three games with an ankle injury late in the season. It will be interesting to see what he does over the course of the season and how the running game plays into Utah's new offensive philosophy in the Dennis Erickson-Brian Johnson brain trust.
  • Big hole at UCLA. Anyone have a five-sided coin?
  • Washington State averaged 29.1 rushing yards per game last year. And unless Mike Leach is secretly switching to the triple option, any mention of a WSU running back doesn't feel particularly applicable.

Season review: Colorado

January, 25, 2013
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COLORADO (1-11, 1-8)

Grade: D-minus

MVP: As voted by the Colorado players and coaches, defensive end Will Pericak quietly put together a very consistent season and ended his career having started all 49 games. He set the school record for most career starts despite being a Type I diabetic. He posted 62 tackles, eight stops on third down with a pair of sacks, and four tackles for a loss. He was also tied for second in the conference with four forced fumbles.

What went right: Colorado's three-touchdown outburst and come-from-behind win at Washington State back in September was certainly a bright spot in a season lacking them. There was no lack of effort, and that kept them from an 'F.' Nick Kasa emerged as one of the more steady tight ends in the conference, and running backs Christian Powell and Donta Abron combined for 947 rushing yards and nine touchdowns -- giving the Buffs a good-looking, young tandem to keep an eye on as the team transitions into the pistol. It's worth noting, too, that they cut the total number of penalties from 103 to 73 -- which was fifth in the league. And as far as we know, Ralphie didn't break a leg or sprain a hoof.

What went wrong: Besides the 11 losses? It started early when they couldn't hold double-digit leads against Colorado State and FCS Sacramento State, and it snowballed. If you want, you could really go back even earlier with the loss of wide receiver Paul Richardson in the preseason with a knee injury. Colorado ranked 100th or lower in 19 major statistical NCAA categories. The Buffaloes turned the ball over 34 times, which teams turned into 22 touchdowns and 160 total points. There was inconsistency at quarterback, which led to the worst third-down percentage in the league (29.9 percent). There's no need to pile on all of the things that went wrong statistically for the Buffs (which led to the firing of Jon Embree). It was a bad season. Plain and simple.

Outlook for 2013: With a new head coach comes the promise of optimism. And Mike MacIntyre certainly has the resume needed for rebuilding a program. He turned San Jose State into a 10-win program. In 2012, Colorado's true freshmen combined to start more games than any other team in the nation (57). No one has transferred or left the program (except David Bakhtiari, who declared early for the NFL draft) so there is continuity across the board, and some youth that gained a lot of experience -- albeit the hard way. The bulk of Colorado's new staff has worked together for three seasons, so there is continuity and familiarity there as well. Don't expect six wins and a bowl game in 2013, but hoping for three or four wins shouldn't be too much to ask for.

Pac-12 2012 awards announced

November, 26, 2012
11/26/12
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The Pac-12 conference has announced its 2012 individual honors and all-conference first and second teams as voted on by the coaches.

Offensive Player of the Year: Marqise Lee, WR, USC.
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Will Sutton, DE, Arizona State.
Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon.
Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Leonard Williams, DE, USC.
Coach of the Year: David Shaw, Stanford.

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE

QB Marcus Mariota, Fr., Oregon
RB Kenjon Barner, Sr., Oregon
RB Ka’Deem Carey, So., Arizona
WR Marqise Lee, So., USC
WR Markus Wheaton, Sr., Oregon State
TE Zach Ertz, Sr., Stanford
OL Hroniss Grasu, So., Oregon
OL Khaled Holmes, Sr., USC
OL Brian Schwenke, Sr., California
OL Xavier Su’a-Filo, So., UCLA
OL David Yankey, Jr., Stanford

SECOND-TEAM OFFENSE

QB Matt Scott, Sr., Arizona
RB Johnathan Franklin, Sr., UCLA
RB Stepfan Taylor, Sr., Stanford
WR Austin Hill, So., Arizona
WR Robert Woods, Jr., USC
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, So., Washington
OL Jeff Baca, Sr., UCLA
OL David Bakhtiari, Jr., Colorado
OL Sam Brenner, Sr., Utah
OL Kevin Danser, Sr., Stanford
OL Sam Schwartzstein, Sr., Stanford

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE

DL Scott Crichton, So., Oregon State
DL Dion Jordan, Sr., Oregon
DL Star Lotulelei, Sr., Utah (2)
DL Will Sutton, Jr., Arizona State
LB Anthony Barr, Jr., UCLA
LB Trent Murphy, Sr., Stanford
LB Chase Thomas, Sr., Stanford (2)
DB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, So., Oregon
DB Jordan Poyer, Sr., Oregon State
DB Ed Reynolds, Jr., Stanford
DB Desmond Trufant, Sr., Washington

SECOND-TEAM DEFENSE

DL Henry Anderson, Jr., Stanford
DL Morgan Breslin, Jr., USC
DL Ben Gardner, Sr., Stanford
DL Datone Jones, Sr., UCLA
LB Kiko Alonso, Sr., Oregon
LB Michael Clay, Sr., Oregon
LB Brandon Magee, Sr., Arizona State
DB Deone Bucannon, Jr., Washington State
DB Alden Darby, Jr., Arizona State
DB T.J. McDonald, Sr., USC
DB Nickell Robey, Jr., USC

FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Vince D'Amato, Jr., California
P Jeff Locke, Sr., UCLA
RS Reggie Dunn, Sr., Utah
ST Jordan Jenkins, Sr., Oregon State

SECOND-TEAM SPECIALISTS

PK Andrew Furney, Jr., Washington State
P Josh Hubner, Sr., Arizona State
RS Marqise Lee, So., USC
ST David Allen, Sr., UCLA

ALL-PAC-12 HONORABLE MENTION
NOTES
  • By School: OREGON and STANFORD placed the most players on the first team with five selections each, followed by OREGON STATE with four.
  • By Class: Of the 26 first-team selections, 14 are seniors, five are juniors, six are sophomores and one freshman.
  • Unanimous: Only one player was named on the first-team ballot of all 12 head coaches--WR Marqise Lee of USC.
  • Two-time selections: Two players are repeat first-team selections from last year--DT Star Lotulelei of Utah, LB Chase Thomas of Stanford.
  • All-Academic: Two players were named to the first team on both the All-Pac-12 Team and the Pac-12 All-Academic Football Team--P Jeff Locke of UCLA, OL Khaled Holmes, USC. In addition, OL Kevin Danser of Stanford, DL Ben Gardner of Stanford and Michael Clay of Oregon were named second-team All-Academic and second-team All-Pac-12.
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