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Cameron Smith voted Pac-12 freshman defensive player of year

Cameron Smith voted Pac-12 freshman defensive player of year
USClinebacker Cameron Smith runs with the ball after one of his three interceptions against Utah on Saturday at the Coliseum (Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press)

USC linebacker Cameron Smith was voted Pac-12 Conference freshman defensive player of the year by league coaches.

Smith started nine games at middle linebacker before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Colorado. He was the first USC freshman to start at middle linebacker since 1978.

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Smith, who came to USC from Granite Bay High near Sacramento, was sidelined the final two regular-season games but still leads the Trojans with 78 tackles.

Smith also intercepted three passes against Utah, returning one for a touchdown in the Trojans' victory over the then-No. 3 Utes.

USC plays Stanford on Saturday in the conference championship game at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara.

UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen was freshman offensive player of the year. Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey was offensive player of year, Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner defensive player of the year, Washington State's Mike Leach and Stanford's David Shaw co-coaches of the year, and Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

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