Editor’s Note: Our Senior Writers have selected their SportsPac12 All-Region teams. We conclude with Nick Bartlett’s Northwest (Oregon, OSU, Washington, WSU) All-Region picks. If you missed Mik Dietlin’s California picks, or Dane Miller’s Southwest/Mountain choices, you’ll find links to them below. In coming days, the trio will then vote on our inaugural All-SportsPac12 Football Team.
Posted on July 23, 2020
Coach of the Year, Jimmy Lake, Washington
Although he has never coached a game, Lake’s defenses have been nothing short of epic on Montlake. It is assumed he will instill a physical brand of offense that should take the Huskies to new heights.
Freshman of the Year, Noah Sewell, Oregon
His older brother is the best player in the Pac-12. Noah is a five-star recruit. He should be an instant impact freshman.
Offensive Player of the Year, Max Borghi, Washington State
Last year he finished with over 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns from the line of scrimmage. He should take another step forward as the new offensive leader.
Defensive Player of the Year, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
There is no better complement to an elite secondary than a dominate pass rusher. With quarterbacks holding the ball that extra second, Thibodeaux should take full advantage. Expect big numbers.
Quarterback, Tyler Shough, Oregon
As the presumed Ducks signal caller this year there will be a lot of pressure on his shoulders. He’ll be complemented by a number of highly talented skill-position players, which could lead to a big statistical output.
Running Back, CJ Verdell, Oregon
On offense, Oregon should be expected to lean heavily on Verdell early in the season. He is the biggest returning threat on the Ducks firing squad, and his explosiveness could lead to big plays.
Running Back, Max Borghi, Washington State
With a new quarterback, head coach, and offensive system in the Palouse, Borghi will likely be the beneficiary. His dual-threat ability as a receiver and halfback, teamed with more touches could lead to explosive numbers.
Wide Receiver, Johnny Johnson III, Oregon
The Ducks have been looking for an elite wideout over the past couple of seasons, and this could be Johnson’s year to shine. He has the potential to eclipse the 1,000-yard receiving mark.
Wide Receiver, Tay Martin, Washington State
Nick Rolovich’s run-and-shoot offense is a pass heavy scheme that Martin should flourish in. He is a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
Tight End, Cade Otton, Washington
Washington has a storied list of tight ends as of recent, and Otton could prove next. His junior year should be his breakout campaign, as his 6-foot-5 frame will likely be a security blanket for the new Husky quarterback.
Offensive Line, Brandon Kipper, Oregon State
While the Beavers are not known for their physicality up front, Kipper should be an imposing force. In 2019 he played in all 12 games, was an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, allowing only one sack all season.
Offensive Line, Penei Sewell, Oregon
It is widely understood that Sewell is going to be the best all-around player in the conference this year. He’s a once-in-a-decade type talent, and on-paper, a perfect left tackle.
Offensive Line, Abraham Lucas, Washington State
Lucas should prove to be the most important piece in protecting the Cougs’ new quarterback this season. In 2019, he was rated the best pass-blocking OT in the country by PFF.
Offensive Line, Jaxson Kirkland, Washington
With coach Jimmy Lake gearing towards a physical brand of offense, Kirkland could prove the cornerstone of the new era. Last year he was named to the Pro Football Focus and Associated Press All-Pac-12 second teams.
Offensive Line, Luke Wattenberg, Washington
Wattenberg may be a unrecognized name on Washington’s roster, but by the end of the year I’d expect many defensive coordinators to know his number. He should consistently open up lanes for UW halfbacks to flow through.
Defensive Line, Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon
While the Ducks should be led by their secondary this year, their front seven is undoubtedly fueled by Thibodeaux. After a slow start in 2019, he ended the season on a tear and is probably the most-feared pass rusher in the Conference.
Defensive Line, Levi Onwuzurike, Washington
The Huskies are looking to get back to their physically dominant defenses of previous years, and Onwuzurike is their most complete player in the trenches. He is a preseason All-Pac-12 first team selection.
Defensive Line, Jordon Scott, Oregon
Thibodeaux may get more hype, but Scott is a terror is his own right. He is a proven commodity in the middle of Oregon’s defense, and adds a physical presence that the Ducks have been known for under Mario Cristobal.
Defensive Line, Will Rodgers III, Washington State
The senior should be poised for a breakout campaign, and is WSU’s best defensive lineman. He led the team last year with four sacks and added six tackles for loss.
Linebacker, Hamilcar Rashed Jr., Oregon State
No single player was more important to their respective unit last year than Rashed Jr. He finished the 2019 campaign with 22.5 tackles for loss, 14 sacks, and two forced fumbles.
Linebacker, Joe Tryon, Washington
At the outside linebacker position, he has proven a thorn in the side of opposing quarterbacks. Last year he led the Huskies with eight sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss.
Linebacker, Jahad Woods, Washington State
The Cougars defense will likely lack playmakers this year, which should open up the door for Woods to fill up the stat sheet. Last season, he finished the campaign with 141 tackles.
Defensive Back, Thomas Graham Jr., Oregon
Entering the 2020 campaign the senior cornerback leads the FBS in passes defended and pass breakups. Step for step, he could prove to be the best pure coverage guy in the conference.
Defensive Back, Elijah Molden, Washington
The senior defensive back is a versatile weapon, has a knack for being around the ball, and can play any position in the secondary. He is the Huskies’ unspoken leader.
Defensive Back, Jevon Holland, Oregon
While other UO players may have a cooler highlight reel, Holland is likely the most important piece on their defense. He’s a big hitter, forces turnovers, and a dangerous punt returner.
Defensive Back, Brady Breeze, Oregon
The 2020 Rose Bowl Defensive MVP is back for his senior year. What Breeze lacks in athleticism he makes up for with heart, high football IQ, and competitive spirit.
Punter, Oscar Draguicevich III, Washington State
The Cougars offense hasn’t really needed a punter over the past few seasons, but they do have a reliable option in Draguicevich. He was named to the Ray Guy Award Watch List in 2019.
Kicker, Blake Mazza, Washington State
Not many college kickers come as clutch as Mazza. He was 20-of-21 on field goal attempts, which was good for the highest field goal percentage in WSU history. He was one of three candidates to be named as a Lou Groza Award Finalist.
Returner, Mykael Wright, Oregon
While the Ducks have speedsters all over the field, no one may be as dangerous with the ball in their hands as Wright. He averaged a blistering 38.0 yards per kick-off return including two touchdowns.
—Northwest Region Breakdown by Program—
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