USC tops preseason All-Pac-12 football team with six first-team selections
As the Pac-12’s postponed season prepares for its long-awaited debut this weekend, the perception of the conference’s top talent appears to lean heavily toward USC, which saw a conference-leading six players named to the media’s preseason All-Pac-12 first team on Thursday.
USC sophomore Kedon Slovis earned 17 of 22 votes as the Pac-12’s top quarterback, and he was joined on the first team by his top two receivers, Amon-ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns, as well as the Trojans’ top returning offensive lineman, Alijah Vera-Tucker. On defense, edge rusher Drake Jackson and safety Talanoa Hufanga also earned top preseason marks.
Punter Ben Griffiths was added to the second team, while defensive linemen Marlon Tuipulotu and Brandon Pili and defensive backs Isaiah Pola-Mao and Olaijah Griffin were given honorable mention.
UCLA had two players — defensive end Osa Odighizuwa and all-purpose player Demetric Felton — named to the second-team and another, offensive lineman Sean Rhyan, given honorable mention.
A lot is expected from the junior linebacker and new defensive coordinator Todd Orlando isn’t afraid to let Palaie Gaoteote know that.
The Pac-12 list this season is largely based on residual hype, comments from coaches and scant video evidence, with media across the conference unable to observe any practice in the lead-up to the Saturday start.
The Trojans were picked earlier in the offseason to take part in the Pac-12 title game against Oregon. But in that matchup, the media predicted USC to lose.
The Times does not vote in media polls per its policy.
2020 preseason All-Pac-12 conference team
First team offense
QB: Kedon Slovis, USC
RB: CJ Verdell, Oregon
RB: Max Borghi, Washington State
WR: Amon-ra St. Brown, USC
WR: Tyler Vaughns, USC
TE: Brant Kuithe, Utah
C: Drew Dalman, Stanford
OL: Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC
OL: Abraham Lucas, Washington State
OL: Jaxson Kirkland, Washington
OL: Nick Ford, Utah
More than half of UCLA’s football team will wear one-word messages on the backs of their jerseys Saturday in an effort to promote social justice.
First team defense
DL: Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
DL: Mustafa Johnson, Colorado
DL: Jordan Scott, Oregon
DL: Jermayne Lole, Arizona State
LB: Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State
LB: Nate Landman, Colorado
LB: Drake Jackson, USC
DB: Elijah Molden, Washington
DB: Camryn Bynum, California
DB: Talanoa Hufanga, USC
DB: Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon
First team specialists
PK: Blake Mazza, Washington State
P: Michael Turk, Arizona State
AP: Max Borghi, Washington State
Second team offense
QB: Jayden Daniels, Arizona State
RB: Jermar Jefferson, Oregon State
RB: Christopher Brown Jr., California
WR: Frank Darby, Arizona State
WR: Johnny Johnson III, Oregon
TE: Cade Otton, Washington
C: Orlando Umana, Utah
OL: Jake Curhan, California
OL: Dohnovan West, Arizona State
OL: Foster Sarell, Stanford
OL: Simi Moala, Utah
State and county health officials cited rising community spread of COVID-19 as the key factor in their decision not to allow family at UCLA and USC home games.
Second team defense
DL: Mika Tafua, Utah
DL: Thomas Booker, Stanford
DL: Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA
DL: Brett Johnson, California
LB: Kuony Deng, California
LB: Jahad Woods, Washington State
LB: Ryan Bowman, Washington
DB: Jack Jones, Arizona State
DB: Elijah Hicks, California
DB: Mykael Wright, Oregon
DB: Aashari Crosswell, Arizona State
Second team specialists
PK: Peyton Henry, Washington
P: Ben Griffiths, USC
AP: Demetric Felton, UCLA & Britain Covey, Utah (tie)
Honorable mention (received votes from four or more members of the media)
RUNNING BACK: Alex Fontenot, Colorado
WIDE RECEIVER: K.D. Nixon, Colorado; Britain Covey, Utah
CENTER: Michael Saffell, California; Luke Wattenberg, Washington
OFFENSIVE LINE: Donovan Laie, Arizona; William Sherman, Colorado; Brandon Kipper, Oregon State; Sean Rhyan, UCLA; Josh Watson, Washington State
DEFENSIVE LINE: Zeandae Johnson, California; Brandon Pili, USC; Marlon Tuipulotu, USC; Viane Moala, Utah
LINEBACKER: Merlin Robertson, Arizona State; Cameron Goode, California; Isaac Slade-Matautia, Oregon; Devin Lloyd, Utah
DEFENSIVE BACK: Lorenzo Burns, Arizona; Chase Lucas, Arizona State; Olaijah Griffin, USC; Isaiah Pola-Mao, USC; Trent McDuffie, Washington
PLACE KICKER: Cristian Zendejas, Arizona State; Jet Toner, Stanford
PUNTER: Oscar Draguicevich III, Washington State
ALL-PURPOSE: Mykael Wright, Oregon; Travell Harris, Washington State
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