UPDATE: Vita Vea was announced as the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year shortly after the release of the all-PAC 12 teams. Vea beat out WSU’s Hercules Mata’afa and Stanford’s Harrison Phillips, among others, to take the spot as the PAC 12’s top defender.
Eleven Huskies were today selected to twelve spots on the All-PAC 12 first and second teams. The announcement was made by the conference in a press release out moment ago.
Here are the recipients:
First team: OL Coleman Shelton, WR Dante Pettis (WR and PR), DL Vita Vea, OL Kaleb McGary, and S Taylor Rapp.
Second team: RB Myles Gaskin, DL Greg Gaines, LB Keishawn Bierria, LB Ben Burr-Kirven, S JoJo McIntosh, TE Will Dissly.
In addition to the first and second teamers, five Dawgs were selected as honorable mention. They included: QB Jake Browning, KR Salvon Ahmed, LB Tevis Bartlett, Jr., DB Myles Bryant, and OL Nick Harris.
Every year, there are a few surprises on the list and this year is no exception. You can review the full listing of players here.
Of most interest to me was the selection of Sam Darnold over Josh Rosen as the first team PAC QB. Darnold did oversee an explosive USC offense and won a conference championship. Statistically speaking, however, his numbers were not that impressive when you consider his turnovers. His interception rate of one for every 35 attempts was worst among qualifying QBs (300 attempts) and his nine fumbles lost is fourth in the nation. In fact, no other player in the PAC accounted for as many turnovers (21) as did Darnold.
Of the selected Huskies, this is especially significant for Dante Pettis and Coleman Shelton. Both players were second teamers a year ago and raised the level of their game to first team status.
Husky fans will undoubtedly want to debate a few observations:
- the inclusion of Salvon Ahmed as an honorable mention
- the bump of Kaleb McGary to first team
- the exclusion of Trey Adams altogether
All good fodder for discussion.
We’ll look forward to the upcoming “of the year” announcements where Dante Pettis and Vita Vea are sure to get into the debate. Those announcements are due later this afternoon.
Until then, congrats to all the Dawgs.