Pac-12: David Paulson

Five football players win Hansen Medals

July, 11, 2012
7/11/12
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Five Pac-12 football players were among the athletes honored this week as Tom Hansen Conference Medal Winners

A Conference Medal is awarded annually to each member institution’s outstanding senior male and female student-athlete based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.

The football players who earned medals are:
Aaron Pflugrad, WR, Arizona State

David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Cameron Collins, LB, Oregon State

Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Derrick Shelby, DE, Utah

Congrats.
Last week we gave you our thoughts on who we believed was going to be the breakout player in the Pac-12 this season.

SportsNation

Who is the breakout player to watch in the Pac-12?

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    14%
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    11%
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    47%
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    5%
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    23%

Discuss (Total votes: 5,558)

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?

A review of the Pac-12's top 25

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
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Our postseason list of the Pac-12's top-25 players is complete.

You can review it here.

Here are some quick breakdowns for you to chew on (remember, because we had an, er, tie at No. 12, there are 26 players on the Pac-12's top-25).

By unit
Offense
: 19
Defense: 7

The Pac-12 is an offensive league. The SEC doesn't have to worry about leaving off a quarterback who might be a first-day NFL draft pick (Arizona State's Brock Osweiler).

Also, offensive players are easier to evaluate. A defensive tackle who clogs the middle but doesn't get many numbers is harder to measure than a quarterback, running back or wide receiver.

By team
USC ... 7
Stanford ... 6
Oregon ... 5
California, Utah, Washington ... 2
Arizona, Washington State ... 1
Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State & UCLA ... 0

USC, Stanford and Oregon dominated. Makes sense: All three were top-10 teams, and no other Pac-12 squads were ranked.

As for the teams with no players: Arizona State's top candidates were Osweiler, running back Cameron Marshall and receiver Gerell Robinson. If the Sun Devils hadn't finished with a six-game losing streak, it's hard to imagine at least one of them wouldn't have made the list.

Colorado had only All-Pac-12 player: second-team offensive tackle David Bakhtiari. Oregon State cornerback Jordan Poyer, who earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors, was given consideration. He's almost certain to be on the preseason top-25.

UCLA didn't have any All-Conference players.

By position
QB ... 5
WR ... 5
RB ... 4
OL ... 3
TE... 2
LB ... 2
DE ... 2
DT... 1
CB ... 1
S ... 1

Every position group -- other than special teams -- got at least one player. That happens in large part because while making the list you think, "Who's the best guy in the conference at this position?"

Who's coming back?

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC
5. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford
7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah
8. Robert Woods, WR, USC
11. Keith Price, QB, Washington
12 De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon
13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
15. Keenan Allen, WR, California
16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC
19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC
20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon
21. John White, RB, Utah
23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC
24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

With 14 guys from the list coming back in 2012, that means 11 spots open up for the preseason top-25.

Want a reason folks think so highly of USC: Five of the 14 guys coming back in 2012 are from USC. And it's a heck of a list.

And how tough is it going to be to earn first-team All-Pac-12 honors at receiver in 2012?

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 1

March, 12, 2012
3/12/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players ends at No. 1.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

1. Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

2011 numbers: Luck passed for 3,517 yards and 37 touchdowns with 10 interceptions in 2011, completing 71.3 percent of his passes. He also rushed for 150 yards and two TDs. He ranked fifth in the nation in passing efficiency.

Preseason ranking: No. 1.

Making the case for Luck: Luck not only is going to be the top overall pick in the NFL draft this spring, he would have been the top overall pick in 2011. Simply, he's the best QB prospect in a generation. Of course, you've heard this all before. He was No. 1 in this ranking in 2010 as well. First, there's the physical side: A 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame that ran a 4.69 40 at the NFL combine and jumped better than any QB. Luck is the pure pro-style pocket passer who secretly moonlights as an outstanding all-around athlete. Then there's the head. Luck is not just a smart guy, he's a Stanford smart guy. The architectural design major had a 3.48 GPA. And he's not just Stanford smart: He's football smart. No college football player in the nation -- perhaps in years -- had as much play-calling responsibility at the line of scrimmage this year as Luck. The Cardinal offense, playing with second-tier talent at receiver, averaged 43.2 points per game, which ranked seventh in the nation. Finally, there's character and moxie. While Luck is highly competitive, he's also as humble as they come -- authentically so. An NFL team is never going to have to worry about Luck getting into trouble. Luck has been burdened with high expectations since 2009 when NFL scouts started whispering about him. He's not only lived up to those expectations, he's eclipsed them. The only wart on his résumé? All together Oregon fans: He failed to beat Oregon the past two seasons, which cost him shots at the national championship.

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

5. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 2

March, 9, 2012
3/09/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

2. Matt Barkley, QB, USC

2011 numbers: Barkley completed 69 percent of his passes for 3,528 yards, with 39 touchdowns and seven interceptions. He also scored two rushing TDs.

Preseason ranking: No. 6

Making the case for Barkley: Barkley earned second-team All-Pac-12 honors behind What's-His-Name and third-team All-American honors from the Associated Press, leading USC to a final top-five ranking and 10-2 finish. He ranked eighth in the nation in passing efficiency, and his 39 TD passes ranked first in the conference. Further, over the season's final four games, he completed 72.7 percent of his passes with 17 TDs and just two picks, ending Oregon's 21-game home winning streak at Autzen Stadium along the way. In that 38-35 victory, he passed for 323 yards and four TDs. And get this: Barring injury, he is almost certain to write his name atop the Pac-12 record book's two most important categories for quarterbacks: career passing yards and career TD passes. He needs 2,765 yard passing to eclipse former USC standout Carson Palmer's 11,818 yards, and 20 TD passes to beat former Trojan Matt Leinart's 99 career scoring tosses. Barkley enters the 2012 season as the decided front-runner for the Heisman Trophy.

3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

5. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 3

March, 8, 2012
3/08/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

3. LaMichael James, RB, Oregon

2011 numbers: James led the nation with 150.4 yards rushing per game. He rushed for 1,805 total yards -- he missed two games -- with 18 touchdowns and a 7.3 yards per carry average. He also caught 17 passes for 210 yards and a TD, and averaged 10.7 yards per punt return with a TD.

Preseason ranking: No. 2.

Making the case for James: James is the greatest player in Oregon history, and one of the greatest running backs in Pac-12 history. A two-time consensus All-American, he finished his career with 5,082 yards rushing and 53 rushing TDs, totals which both rank second in conference history. He ranked second in the FBS in all-purpose yards per game (181.30), and 11th in scoring average (10.0). He produced 26 games of 100-plus, and seven of 200-plus rushing yards. What most folks don't seem to realize is that James in 2011 was probably better than James in 2010, when he was a Heisman finalist and won the Doak Walker Award as the nation's best running back. He averaged more yards per carry -- 7.3 vs. 5.9 -- than he did in 2010, and did so with a rebuilt offensive line. So why is he No. 3? The distinction ultimately came down to this: Outstanding years by quarterbacks eclipse outstanding years by running backs.

4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

5. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 4

March, 7, 2012
3/07/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

4. Matt Kalil, OT, USC

2011 numbers: Zero. That's the most important number there is when evaluating a left tackle. USC's big man didn't allow a sack this season while helping USC's offense go for 162.6 yards per game on the ground and 294.2 per game in the air. As a unit, USC's offensive line allowed just eight sacks all season which was tops in the conference and second best nationally.

Preseason ranking: No. 14

Making the case for Kalil: He's one of those guys that you don't really need to make a case for. Look at him -- his ridiculously athletic 6-foot-7, 295-pound frame -- and you know he's a special player. Pre-draft evaluators actually tag him as a slightly better run blocker than pass protector at this point -- though he's going to get every opportunity to showcase himself and improve as the first offensive linemen taken in this year's draft. He plays with a controlled nastiness that sets the good collegiate linemen apart from the great ones. His list of honors and achievements is vast. Within the conference, he was a first-team performer while also earning the league's Morris Trophy for outstanding offensive lineman -- as voted on by opposing defensive linemen. He was also on the first-team All-America lists of Walter Camp, Pro Football Weekly and YahooSports.com and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award.

5. Chase Thomas, OLB, Stanford

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 5

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

5. Chase Thomas, LB, Stanford

2011 numbers: Finished the season with 52 total tackles, including 33 solo stops. But the real damage was behind the line of scrimmage, where he finished with a conference best 17.5 tackles for a loss (the closest players behind him at 14.5). He was also second in the conference with 8.5 sacks and five forced fumbles.

Preseason ranking: No. 19

Making the case for Thomas: No defensive player in the conference created more havoc in the backfield than Thomas, who instantly bolsters Stanford's defense next season with his decision to return for another year. He was one of the top run-stoppers on the conference's best rush defense, which yielded just 84.4 yards per game. What makes the first-team all-conference performer's season all the more impressive is that he still put up monster numbers without inside linebacker Shayne Skov playing next to him most of the season. Without Skov, teams were able to scheme just for Thomas, often committing two linemen or a lineman and a back to slow him down. Sometimes it worked, a lot of times it didn't. Thomas was also named to the Sporting News first-team All-America squad. At 6-4, 240-pounds, he had a chance to crack the second round of the NFL draft with a strong showing at the combine, but instead he headlines a Stanford defense that returns six of seven starters up front next year. ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Thomas the No. 1 senior outside linebacker returning next season. Insider

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 6

March, 5, 2012
3/05/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal

2011 numbers: Finished tied for first in the Pac-12 with 69 solo tackles and fifth overall with 107 stops. Tied for second in the conference with 14.5 tackles for a loss to go with three sacks, two interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.

Preseason ranking: No. 16.

Making the case for Kendricks: He was the best defensive player on the No. 1 total defense in the conference (statistically speaking). Kendricks was selected first-team All-Pac-12 and crowned the conference defensive player of the year for his efforts. He leaves Cal as one of it's all-time greatest defensive players, totaling 258 tackles in his career -- ninth on Cal's all-time list. The Bears' ironman played in all 51 games during his Cal career and in 2011 was a second-team All-American selection by Phil Steele, third-team by Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated honorable mention. He's the school's all-time leader in tackles for a loss. Five times in 2011 he reached double-digit tackles, including a season-high 15 stops in a loss to Washington and 13 tackles in a loss to Stanford. He followed up a stellar 2011 with an equally impressive performance at the combine that have many thinking he could crack the second round.

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 7

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
9:00
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

7. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah

2011 numbers: Lotulelei had 44 total tackles, with nine coming for a loss. He had 1.5 sacks, a pass break-up, forced fumble and a fumble recovery.

Preseason ranking: Unranked.

Making the case for Lotulelei: How dare the Pac-12 blog vote an interior defensive lineman ahead of all these scintillating offensive stars! Well, go ask any interior offensive lineman who tried to block Lotulelei last season -- almost always with a second interior offensive lineman helping. We'll wait here. Da da dum tee dum. You're back! They crumpled onto the ground and yelled, "Noooooo!" Yeah, that's what we thought. After all, Pac-12 offensive linemen voted Lotulelei, just a wee bit at 6-foot-3, 325 pounds, the best defensive lineman in the conference in 2011, which earned him the coveted Morris Trophy. He also earned first-team All-Pac-12 honors and then opted to come back for his senior season, even though he likely would have been a first-day pick in the NFL draft. The toughest things to find on the West Coast -- other than good barbecue restaurants -- are A-list interior defensive linemen. That's what Lotulelei is. If you plopped him into any Pac-12 defense, he wouldn't put up sexy numbers but that defense would dramatically improve statistically. The belief here is that Lotulelei should get preseason All-American attention.

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 8

March, 1, 2012
3/01/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

8. Robert Woods, WR, USC

2011 numbers: Woods caught 111 passes for 1,292 yards with 15 TDs.

Preseason ranking: No. 21

Making the case for Woods: Woods, first-team All-Pac-12, earned first-team All-American honors from the AP, The Sporting News and was second-team with Walter Camp. While he fell off a bit at season's end, almost entirely due to injury, there was no question the 6-foot-1, 180 pounder was the best receiver in the conference. His 9.2 receptions per game was No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 4 in the nation. His 107.7 yards receiving per game were No. 2 in the conference and No. 8 in the nation. His 15 TDs ranked first in the conference. He didn't do as well as he did in 2010 in the return game, but he still made opposing coaches very nervous whenever he touched the ball. His most memorable game came against Arizona, when he caught 14 passes for 255 yards. One of his two TDs went for 82 yards. He also set a school record with 17 catches in the opener against Minnesota.

9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 9

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

No. 9. Chris Polk, RB, Washington

2011 numbers: Polk rushed for 1,488 yards and 12 touchdowns on 293 carries. He averaged 114.5 yards per game on the ground, 5.1 yards per carry and also caught 31 balls and four touchdowns.

Preseason ranking: No. 4.

Making the case for Polk: The first-team All-Pac-12 performer finished third in the conference in total rushing yards and was an All-America honorable mention from Sports Illustrated. He holds or is near the top of every UW rushing record and his 4,049 career rushing yards in second all time. Some of his 2011 highlights include 147 yards and a touchdown in the Alamo bowl, 144 yards rushing (four touchdowns) and 100 yards receiving (one touchdown) against Arizona (becoming the first Husky to have 100 rushing and receiving yards in the same game) and a season high 189 rushing yards against Utah. At 5-11, 222 pounds, he's a powerful runner, but also had the breakaway speed that produced eight plays of 30 yards or more -- including three touchdowns runs of 30-plus yards and a 70-yard touchdown reception against Cal.

No. 10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

No. 11. Keith Price, QB, Washington

No. 12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 10

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues as we now move into the top 10.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

No. 10. Jonathan Martin, LT, Stanford

2011 numbers: Martin protected QB Andrew Luck's blindside and the Cardinal gave up just 11 sacks in 2011, which tied for seventh fewest in the nation. The Cardinal also ranked 18th in the nation with 210.6 yards rushing per game.

Preseason ranking: No. 10

Making the case for Martin: The case will best be made for Martin when he's a first-round NFL draft choice this spring. The 6-foot-6, 304-pound junior opted to enter the draft a year early after earning first-team All-Pac-12 honors for a second consecutive year after being honorable mention as a redshirt freshman. Martin was a preseason first-team Playboy preseason All-America selection and made a number of postseason All-American teams, including Walter Camp (first team) and AP (second team). For two years in a row, Stanford has had the best offensive line in the conference -- in 2010, the Cardinal allowed just six sacks and rushed for 213.8 yards per game. Martin was the cornerstone both years.

No. 11 Keith Price, QB, Washington

No. 12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 11

February, 28, 2012
2/28/12
12:00
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

No. 11: Keith Price, QB, Washington

2011 numbers: Let's start with the 33 passing touchdowns. That would be a UW single-season record. Then, there's the 3,063 passing yards -- second all time at Washington. The 66.9 completion percentage and 161.09 passing efficiency? Record and record.

Preseason ranking: Unranked.

Making the case for Price: How does an unranked player catapult to No. 11? You start by putting up numbers that get you in the conversation with Pac-12 quarterbacks like Andrew Luck and Matt Barkley. You shock the rest of the conference with efficiency and accuracy traditionally not seen from a sophomore, let alone a first-time starter. You make a fanbase forget about Jake what's-his-name -- that first-round draft pick you replaced. And you do it all on bad knees, bad ankles and with a bad shoulder. The full, healthy Price was finally unleashed in the Alamo Bowl and he rushed for his first three touchdowns of the year and threw for another four. He said he's dedicating himself this offseason to putting on more weight so he can stay healthy. If the poised pocket quarterback and the athletic runner can all come together for a full season next year, expect this dynamic football player to warrant some legitimate Heisman buzz.

12. Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

Pac-12 Top 25 for 2011: No. 12

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
7:30
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.

You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.

No. 12 (tie). Darron Thomas, QB & De'Anthony Thomas, WR-RB, Oregon

2011 numbers: Darron Thomas completed 62 percent of his passes for 2,761 yards with 33 TDs and seven interceptions. He also rushed for 206 yards and three scores. De'Anthony Thomas rushed for 595 yards and seven TDs, averaging 10.8 yards per carry. He caught 46 passes for 605 yards and nine TDs. He averaged 27.3 yards per kick return with two TDs.

Preseason ranking: Darron Thomas was No. 3. De'Anthony Thomas was unranked.

Making the case for the Thomases: No doubting these Thomases! (Yes, this was a screw-up. Yes, one of these guys was inadvertently -- stupidly -- left off of the master top-25 list when the countdown began. So this is the best way to make sure they both get included. The good news is this is about where both would rank). Darron Thomas had a good season but fell a bit in our overall estimation -- he threw and ran for fewer yards than in 2010 -- while De'Anthony Thomas will be the highest rated true freshman. Darron Thomas, despite surprising many with his decision to enter the NFL draft a year early, ranks first in career touchdown passes (66) for Oregon, seventh in passing yards (5,910) and sixth in total offense (6,633). He is the third player in Pac-12 history (USC’s Matt Leinart 2003-04, Stanford’s Andrew Luck 2010-11) with consecutive seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes. And he was outstanding in the Rose Bowl, completing 17 of 23 for 268 yards with three touchdown’s and one interception in the win over Wisconsin.

De'Anthony Thomas was even more outstanding in the Rose Bowl, with a team-high 314 all-purpose yards, carrying the ball twice for 155 yards and two TDs, including a stunningly explosive 91 yard bolt. He also caught four passes for 34 yards. De'Anthony Thomas was the Pac-12 co-offensive freshman of the year and earned first team All-Conference honors as a kick returner. He was the only player in the nation with at least 400 yards rushing, receiving and kick returning. He ranked 11th nationally in all-purpose yards with 147.8 ypg. He earned numerous freshman All-American honors and is already being mentioned as a leading 2012 Heisman Trophy candidate.

13. Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State

14. David DeCastro, OL, Stanford

15. Keenan Allen, WR, California

16. Marqise Lee, WR, USC

17. Nick Perry, DE, USC

18. Nick Foles, QB, Arizona

19. T.J. McDonald, S, USC

20. Dion Jordan, DE, Oregon

21. John White IV, RB, Utah

22. Coby Fleener, TE, Stanford

23. Nickell Robey, CB, USC

24. Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

25. David Paulson, TE, Oregon

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PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/27
Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12