Pac-12: Nate Fakahafua

Pac-12 2012 awards announced

November, 26, 2012
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.


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


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


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


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


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


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

  • 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.

Datone Jones, USC Trojans, Washington State Cougars, Oregon State Beavers, Washington Huskies, UCLA Bruins, Alex Debniak, Johnathan Franklin, Jeff Locke, Arizona State Sun Devils, Joseph Fauria, Matt Barkley, California Bears, Jeff baca, Kenjon Barner, Usua Amanam, Markus Wheaton, Keelan Johnson, Stanford Cardinal, Jordan Poyer, Damien Thigpen, Utah Utes, Will Sutton, Stepfan Taylor, Colorado Buffaloes, Wes Horton, Dion Jordan, Matt Scott, Arizona Wildcats, Brandon Magee, Oregon Ducks, Xavier Su\'a-Filo, Travis Long, Josh Hill, Justin Glenn, Desmond Trufant, Vince D'Amato, Daniel Simmons, Chase Thomas, Deveron Carr, Shayne Skov, Evan Finkenberg, Isaac Remington, Dan Buckner, Sean Parker, Cassius Marsh, Robert Woods, Xavier Grimble, George Uko, Nickell Robey, Hayes Pullard, Keenan Allen, Taylor Kelly, Chris McCain, Hroniss Grasu, Josh Huff, Eric Kendricks, Xavier Cooper, T.J. McDonald, Jake Fischer, Anthony Barr, Taylor Hart, Kiko Alonso, Osahon Irabor, Brian Schwenke, Steve Williams, Terrance Mitchell, Drew Schaefer, Michael Clay, Ryan Hewitt, Jordan Jenkins, Levine Toilolo, Chris Coyle, DeAnthony Thomas, Andrew Abbott, Kyle Quinn, Brett Hundley, Jake Fisher, Zach Ertz, Terrence Stephens, Terrence Brown, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Kasen Williams, Jordan Richards, Shaq Evans, Deone Bucannon, Tony Burnett, David Shaw, Bishop Sankey, Danny Shelton, Marqise Lee, Kevin Danser, Rashad Ross, Sam Schwartzstein, David Yankey, Drew Terrell, John White IV, Dion Bailey, Austin Hill, Star Lotulelei, Brian Blechen, Jake Murphy, Alex Carter, Alden Darby, Joe Kruger, Reggie Dunn, Trevor Romaine, Colt Lyerla, Isaac Seumalo, Tevita Stevens, Andrew Furney, Andre Heidari, Sean Sellwood, Josh Hubner, Kyle Negrete, Henry Anderson, Scott Crichton, Rashaad Reynolds, Ka'Deem Carey, Shaq Thompson, D.J. Foster, Brendan Bigelow, Ben Gardner, Trevor Reilly, Darragh O'Neill, Andrew Hudson, Ty Montgomery, Max Tuerk, Cameron Fleming, Trent Murphy, Sam Brenner, Kevin Hogan, Eric Rowe, David Bakhtiari, Marcus Mariota, Yuri Wright, Kenneth Crawley, Leonard Williams, Grant Enger, Brandin Cooks, Jared Tevis, Travis Feeney, Avery Sebastian, John Martinez, Ed Reynolds, Daniel Munyer, Elliott Bosch, Morgan Breslin, Darryl Monroe, Marion Grice, John Timu, Carl Bradford, Nate Fakahafua, Silas Redd, Jeremiah Poutasi, Nick Kasa, Jake Brendel, Christian Powell, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Brett Bartolone, Teondray Caldwell, Andrew Seumalo, Daniel Zychlinski, David Allen, Jaxon Hood, Alex Lewis, Marques Moseley, Will Perciak, Wade Keliikippi, Cyrus Coen

Pac-12 All-Academic team

November, 20, 2012
The Pac-12 conference has announced its 2012 All-Academic team. To be eligible, the player must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor.


QB Connor Wood, Colorado, So., 3.55, Finance
RB Jared Baker, Arizona, RS, Fr., 3.56, Undeclared
RB Patrick Skov, Stanford, So., 3.41, Undeclared
WR Andrei Lintz, Washington State, RS Sr., 3.72, Sport Management
WR Luke Matthews, Utah (2), Sr., 3.69, Mass Communication
TE Koa Ka'ai, Oregon, RS Fr., 3.94, History
OL Chris Adcock, California, So., 3.57, Business Administration
OL Jake Brendel, UCLA, RS Fr., 3.60, Math/Applied Science
OL Khaled Holmes, USC , Sr., 3.31, Communication
OL Tevita Stevens, Utah (2) , Sr., 3.54, Spanish
OL Matt Summers-Gavin, California, Sr., 3.27, Political Science


DL Henry Anderson, Stanford, Jr., 3.43, Political Science
DL Nate Bonsu, Colorado, Jr., 3.42, International Affairs
DL Will Pericak, Colorado (2), RS Sr., 3.45, Accounting
DL Danny Shelton, Washington, So., 3.47, Anthropology
LB Dave Fagergren, Utah, Sr., 3.51, Business
LB Jake Fischer, Arizona (2) , Jr., 3.32, Marketing
LB Brandon Johnson, Arizona State, RS Jr., 3.44, Sociology
DB Brian Blechen, Utah, Jr., 3.18, Sociology
DB Jordan Richards, Stanford, So., 3.34, Undeclared
DB Eric Rowe, Utah, So., 3.54, Undeclared
DB Jared Tevis, Arizona, So., 3.25, Finance
PK John Bonano, Arizona (3), Sr., 3.93,Physiology
P Jeff Locke, UCLA (3), RS Sr., 3.70, Economics
ST Justin Gorman, Colorado RS So., 3.61, Finance
(2) Two-time first-team All-Academic selection; (3) Three-time first-team All-Academic selection


QB Matt Barkley, USC, Sr., 3.21, Communication
RB Kenny Bassett, Oregon, So., 3.31, Business Administration
RB Steven Manfro, UCLA, RS Fr., 3.20, Undeclared
WR Dustin Ebner, Colorado, RS Sr., 3.47, Integrative Physiology
WR Nelson Spruce, Colorado , RS Fr., 3.73, Business
TE Michael Cooper, Arizona, So., 3.92, Pre-Business
OL Trace Biskin, Arizona, Sr., 3.29, Political Science
OL Zach Brevick, Washington State, RS Jr., 3.23, Entrepreneurship
OL Brad Cotner, Colorado, RS Fr., 3.34, Arts and Sciences
OL Kevin Danser, Stanford, Sr., 3.13, Biomechanical Engineering
OL Stephane Nembot, Colorado , RS Fr., 3.20, International Affairs


DL Nate Fakahafua, Utah, So., 3.19, Undeclared
DL Ben Gardner, Stanford, Sr., 3.01, Science, Technology and Society
DL Taylor Hart, Oregon, Jr., 3.17, Sociology
DL Andrew Seumalo, Oregon State, Sr., 3.17, Finance
LB Michael Clay, Oregon, Sr., 3.10, Family and Human Services
LB V.J. Fehoko, Utah, So., 3.31, Economics
LB Travis Long, Washington State, Sr., 3.02, Management and Operations
DB Isaac Archuleta, Colorado, RS Fr., 3.09, Business
DB Tyré Ellison, California, Sr., 3.01, Social Welfare
DB Ronnie Harris, Stanford, So., 3.13, Undeclared
DB Charles Henderson, Utah, RS Fr., 3.47, Undeclared
PK William Oliver, Colorado , So., 3.66, Management
P Sean Sellwood, Utah, Sr., 3.70, Exercise and Sport Science
ST Richard Yates, Colorado, RS Fr., 3.60, Mechanical Engineering

For the list of all players who were named honorable mention, you can see the complete release from the Pac-12 conference here.

Q&A: Utah coach Kyle Whittingham

August, 1, 2012
With Utah kicking off camp on Thursday, we thought it'd be nice to catch up with the always-accomodating Kyle Whittingham to talk some defensive depth, quarterback issues and whether we should believe the hype surrounding the Utes.

Let's get to the most important question first: Would you go hunting with Mike Leach?

Kyle Whittingham: Absolutely. The entertainment value alone is priceless.

There were some conflicting reports last week that Jordan Wynn's job might not be secure. Is he your starting quarterback or is the job up for grabs?

[+] EnlargeUtah's Kyle Whittingham
Russ Isabella/US PRESSWIREUtah coach Kyle Whittingham says he would go hunting with Mike Leach.
KW: Jordan is our starter. But in this program, everyday is a competition. Nobody's job is etched in stone. It's all about what you've done lately. Jordan had a very good spring and performed as well -- or better -- than he ever has in this program. But the talent level at the quarterback position has been increased dramatically. All I was trying to point out was that the gap has closed and the level of competition is extremely high at that position. You have to play well to hang onto your job. But Jordan is the guy going in as the starter.

With Brian Blechen out for three games and Keith McGill taking a redshirt year, how confident are you in the secondary and its depth?

KW: It certainly is something that's not ideal for us, to be in that situation. But we've got a lot of good players in the program. When one guy is out of the lineup, the next guy's got to step up and pick up the slack and get the job done. We fully expect that to happen.

Quade Chappuis is most likely going to step in for Brian?

KW: Most likely. He's the guy right now that's scheduled to fill in for Brian.

Nate Fakahafua is preparing to start for the first time. What does he bring to the defensive line that complements Star Lotulelei and the Krugers?

KW: Nate plays with a great deal of quickness and athleticism. Speed is his primary asset. He's a strong kid -- about 245 pounds. Since he's been in the program he's probably added 40 pounds to his frame. He was a wide receiver and defensive end in high school, which is a strange combination. He's a speed rusher and he relies on his athleticism and agility to get the job done.

Same question for V.J. Fehoko. What were the indications he's ready to take over as the starting middle linebacker?

KW: V.J. is a very physical middle linebacker. He plays the run exceptionally well. He's tough at the point of attack and really a bit of a throwback. He's an old-school middle linebacker. A plugger type.

Some of these position battles -- the rover linebacker, the two offensive tackle spots -- when do you want to have those settled by?

KW: The sooner the better, obviously. We don't have a time frame. We're hoping there is some natural separation that occurs and the sooner that happens in camp, the better off we'll be. I'd say, if we get to the point where we are a week out from the game and there hasn't been a clear-cut division, we'll have to make a decision at that time.

You guys are getting a lot of preseason love -- full disclosure -- a lot of it on this blog. Do you feel its deserved?

KW: Well, last season we felt was a good transition to the Pac-12. It was a mixed bag. There were a lot of positives, but there were definitely some negatives in the season as well. We'd like to be more consistent this year. We were too hot and cold last season. We need to develop more consistency in our play this season and that's our primary objective.
Every team has a strength -- that one position group that can make a play on offense or make a big stop on defense when needed.

Based on what happened this spring, we're going to look at the strongest position group for each school. It could be on either side of the ball -- and it could be subject to change after fall camp goes into full swing.

We're going in reverse alphabetical order.


Strongest position group: Defensive line

Headliner: Star Lotulelei (44 tackles, 9 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks)

Supporting cast: Joe Kruger (35/5/3); Dave Kruger (22/1.5/1); Nate Fakahafua (4/0/0); Thretton Palamo (6/0/0); LT Tuipulotu (6/0/0)

The skinny: With an average weight across the projected starting four of 284 pounds, there isn't a lot of skinny to be found. And it starts in the middle with Lotulelei, the sitting Morris Trophy holder and All-America candidate. The 325-pounder feasts on double-teams. His job isn't to put up mind-blowing stats, it's to take multiple offensive linemen out of the play and allow his linebackers to mop up, and there is no defensive lineman in the conference that does it better. It's why he's being projected as a top five pick in next year's NFL draft.

He's got some pretty good experience alongside him as well with Dave Kruger, a three-year starter at defensive tackle who has 27 starts since his freshman year and has played in 38-of-39 games.

LT Tuipulotu missed spring ball with a knee injury, but should be good to go in the fall and he'll spell Lotulelei and Kruger along with redshirt freshman Seni Fauonuku.

On one defensive end spot, Joe Kruger returns and added some weight. He's up to about 275. Fakahafua will be the only first-time starter, but he saw some time as a true freshman so nothing should really be all that daunting. JC transfer Niasi Leota, true freshman Hunter Dimick and Palamo, a converted running back, add good depth to an already nasty group.