QB: Josh Rosen – UCLA: Sensational true freshman Quarterback last season and now Rosen has a year of experience behind him. Rosen threw for 3,669 yards and 23 Touchdowns. Rosen is 6-4, 210 with a bright, bright future. Rosen throws a great deep ball and is fairly mobile. Mostly, Rosen has a cool head and he seems to thrive under pressure. It’s not a great year in the Pac 12, but Rosen is one player that is really good.
QB: Luke Falk – Washington State: Anybody that plays for Washington State football coach is
going to put up big numbers at Quarterback, and Falk is no different. Last year, the 6-4, 205 Falk threw for 4,561 yards and 38 Touchdowns. The Washington State Cougars were surprisingly good last year and posted a 9-4 record and it could be more of the same this season.
RB: Christian McCaffrey – Stanford: One of the surprise players of 2015 nationally after rushing for over 2,000 yards and breaking Barry Sanders all purpose yardage record on the season. A great receiver out of the backfield, he is also an outstanding return man and the heart and soul of the Stanford program.
RB: Soso Jamabo – UCLA: Paul Perkins has been the go to guy for the Bruins the past two seasons, but he left for the NFL. Jamabo was one of the back ups last year and he showed great potential in limited playing time with 403 yards rushing on 66 carries. Jamabo is 6-3, 210 and has good speed. He was one of the top rated Running Backs in last year’s recruiting class.
RB: Royce Freeman – Oregon: Freeman is 5-11, 230 with speed and plenty of power. Last season, Freeman ran for 1,836 yards and 17 Touchdowns. Freeman is a talent and he should be able to carry the Duck’s program next season while they break in a new Quarterback and a new Offensive Coordinator.
RB: Myles Gaskin – Washington: Super quick off the ball, Gaskin impressed last season with 1,302 yards rushing and 14 Touchdowns. Gaskin is 5-9, 190 and hails from Lynnwood, Washingon and he’s one of the more explosive Running Backs in the country.
RB: Ryan Nall – Oregon State: The Beavers moved Nall from Tight End to Running Back last year out of desperation and he responded with 455 yards rushing at over 6 yards per carry. He had 122 yards rushing against Colorado and 174 yards rushing against rival Oregon. At 6-2, 255 Nall has the size to be an excellent power back and he showed good speed against the Ducks.
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster – USC: Even though it is a down year out West, Smith-Schuster is a top talent. Last season, he caught 89 passes for an impressive 1,454 yards and 10 Touchdowns. That
followed a 54 catch performance as a true freshman in 2014. He is 6-2, 210 with good strength, hands and speed.
WR: Jordan Villamon – Oregon State: Villamon is a huge Wide Receiver at 6-5, 240 and is pretty much unstoppable by average sized Cornerbacks. The Beavers didn’t throw the ball a lot last year, but Villamon had 43 receptions for 660 yards and 5 Touchdowns.
WR: Gabe Marks – Washington State: Cougar Quarterbacks kept Gabe Marks busy last season and he responded with 104 receptions for 1,192 yards and 15 Touchdowns. The 6-0, 190 Marks is a senior from Venice, California and is sure handed and dependable.
TE: Dalton Schultz – Stanford: The Cardinal is another college team that still loves the Tight End. Schultz was a back up to Austin Hooper a year ago and only caught 10 passes, but the 6-6, 235 Schultz showed tremendous potential and he should see the ball a lot this season.
TE: Kody Kohl – Arizona State: Kohl is not the biggest Tight End at 6-3, 235, but he has good hands and he runs well. He was a dependable target last year for Mike Bercovici and he should be again this year for the new Quarterback.
OT: Chad Wheeler – USC: Wheeler missed playing time a year ago with injuries but he should be back at Left Tackle this season. He is 6-7 and about 290 with little fat and excellent feet. Wheeler didn’t get much attention, but e was a reliable Tackle and should improve this season.
OT: Conor McDermott – UCLA: The Bruin Left Tackle is 6-9, 310 with enormous potential. The senior from Nashville, Tennessee moves well for his size and protects Josh Rosen’s back.
OT: Casey Tucker – Stanford: Stanford’s lone returning starter in their Offensive Line. He started at Right Tackle last season, but he probably moves to the Left Tackle. He is a talented player and should
be a difference maker.
OT: Tyrell Cosby – Oregon: Cosby was forced into duty as a true freshman in 2014, and then he started at Right Tackle in 2015. Coming to Oregon from Henderson, Nevada the 6-5, 310 Cosby should move to the Left Tackle position this year and he could be one of the best in the Pac 12.
OG: Damien Mama – USC: Damien Mama started from his first day on campus along with his classmates Talamaivao and Toa Lobendahn in the class of 2014. Mama is huge at 6-4, 350 and at times a dominating blocker.
OG: Viane Talamaivao – USC: Talamaivao is another monster Guard for the Trojans at 6-2, 320. He might even be a little better than Mama right now. The Trojans started 4 freshmen Offensive Linemen in 2014 and these guys are all experienced players now which bodes well for new starter at Quarterback Max Browne.
OG: Chris Borrayo – California: The Golden Bears of Cal played themselves into their first bowl game in years last season. Quarterback Jared Goff is gone, but there is some talent remaining and Borrayo was one of the leaders in the Offensive Line from a year ago.
C: Khaliel Rodgers – USC: Rodgers was forced into duty at Center last year with the injury to starter Max Tuerk. With Tuerk hopefully off to the NFL, Rodgers should be the new permanent starter at Center and he looked good late.
DE: JoJo Wicker – Arizona State: Yet another talent coming out of Long Beach Poly which seems to put out an endless supply of college and NFL players. Wicker played considerably last season as a true freshman and showed potential. He sacked the Quarterback 4 times and made 7.5 tackles for loss which should increase with more playing time.
DE: Derek McCartney – Colorado: The grandson of famous former Buffalo head coach Bill
McCartney. McCartney registered 5 Quarterback sacks and 11.5 Tackles for loss while finishing 5th on the team in total Tackles. I am expecting more improvement out of the Buffaloes this season and with McCartney.
DE: Kylie Fitts – Utah: The Utes suffered some big losses over the past 2 seasons but the senior Fitts is back after making 7 Quarterback sacks last season. He also had 41 total Tackles and broke up 10 passes which is unusual for a Defensive End. Fitts is 6-4, 270 and from San Bernardino, California.
DT: Solomon Thomas – Stanford:
Thomas came to Stanford last year but played very little. He was forced into a starting position in 2015 because of lack of depth, but he showed himself to be worthy. He should be much improved as a junior in 2016.
DT: Eli Ankou – UCLA: The Bruins lost top Defensive Tackle Kenny Clark to the NFL, but Ankou and Vanderdoes should fill in nicely. Ankou was a productive Tackle a year ago with 47 Tackles and 5 Tackles for losses, with 1.5 Quarterback sacks. Ankou is 6-3, 305 and good against the run.
DT: Eddie Vanderdoes – UCLA: Vanderdoes was injured in the first game last year and missed the season. The formerly heavily recruited 6-3, 305 Defensive Tackle from Northern California was dominating in 2014 and on his way to real stardom when he went down. If he is healthy in 2016, he should be one of the best Tackles in the conference and maybe more.
LB: Cameron Smith – USC: Bringing back memories of a Jack del Rio or Riki Gray, Smith came in as a true freshman last season and started immediately. Smith led the team in tackles until he was
injured in the 10th game and he still finished 2nd in tackles on the season. In the Utah game, Smith picked off 3 passes returning 1 for a Touchdown and the other two setting up Touchdowns. He injured his knee late in the season and hopefully he will heal in time for the season.
LB: Peyton Pelluer – Washington State: Washington State and Washington both have had plenty members of the Pelluer family over the years. Peyton Pelluer led a surprisingly good Cougar defense a season ago in tackles. He also had 11 Tackles for loss and the 6-0, 230 Linebacker from Sammamish, Washington is maybe just getting started.
LB: Azeem Victor – Washington: The Huskies suffered some huge losses on defense last season and several of them were 1st round picks. But, even so, they had one of the better defenses in the Pac 12 last season with Victor leading the team in tackles. Victor is 6-3, 240 and very physical. He also picked off a pass and returned it for a Touchdown.
LB: Hardy Nickerson – California: The son of a former NFL Linebacker, Nickerson led the Golden Bears in Tackles a season ago. The 6-0, 225 senior is from nearby Oakland.
CB: Adoree Jackson – USC: Not only is Jackson one of the top Cornerbacks in the country, he is also a talented receiver, and return man. He caught 27 passes for 414 yards and a couple of Touchdowns. As a punt returner, he had 2 returns for scores. He also returned 30 Kickoffs averaging 23 yards per return. Jackson didn’t play every down at Cornerback last season, but that is his best
CB: Ishmael Adams – UCLA: Adams is a tremendous talent, but he got in some trouble off the field and was suspended for some games last year. He is explosive and a difference maker at Cornerback and as a return man. If he gets his hands on the football he is likely going to score. He is good in coverage and not that bad against the run for his size.
CB: Iman Marshall – USC: Marshall was the top rated Cornerback in the country in the last recruiting class and he was an instant impact player. He’s a big Corner at 6-2, 200 and was 4th on the team in tackles a season ago. He had 3 Interceptions and broke up 9 passes. He was beaten some last year, but now has a year of experience and he showed flashes of brilliance.
CB: Arrion Springs – Oregon: Springs was a highly touted Cornerback from San Antonio, Texas and after playing sparingly as a true freshman he started to come into his own last season. He has good size at 5-11, 205 and possesses good coverage skills. He was one of the team’s top tacklers and he broke up 12 passes.
DB: Chris Hawkins – USC: Productive Defensive Back for the Trojans. Last year he was 3rd on the team in tackles and picked off 2 passes. He also returned a fumble 94 yards for a Touchdown against Arizona State.
DB: Kareem Orr – Arizona State: True freshman Safety for the Sun Devils picked off 6 passes in is first season and returned one of them for a Touchdown. Coming to the arid Southwest from Chattanooga, Tennessee Orr found himself in starting duty from almost the start and took advantage
DB: Jaleel Wadood – UCLA: Wadood was one of the teams leading tacklers last season at Safety. He picked off a couple of passes and was a team leader. He’s not a big guy at 5-10, 175 but he is a difference maker at Safety.
DB: Marcus Williams – Utah: The junior from Corona, California was 3rd on the team in total tackles a season ago behind 2 senior Linebackers. But, his best stat was his 5 Interceptions
PR: Dante Pettis – Washington: Pettis averaged 17 yards per return and returned 2 for Touchdowns.
KR: Christian McCaffrey – Stanford: He averaged just under 29 yards per return with 1 Touchdown.
Kicker: Aidan Schneider – Oregon:
Punter: Matt Haack – Arizona State: