EUGENE — The Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers saw seasons of promise come to a close on bittersweet notes, which likely led to both teams being shut out of the major year-end conference awards.
The Ducks football team was still well-represented on the Pac-12 all-conference teams released on Tuesday afternoon, with five players on the first team, two on the second team, and five receiving honorable mention.
Most of the Ducks will definitely see substantial playing time in the NFL, some sooner rather than later, so in the end bragging rights may draft positions vs. trying out life as undrafted free agents.
T.J. Bass, Brandon Dorlus, Verone McKinley III, Noah Sewell and Kayvon Thibodeaux were all selected to the first team by the conference’s coaches, giving Oregon the second-most first-team selections in the league. The five first-team honorees are the most for the program since the Ducks had five in 2015.
Alex Forsyth and Camden Lewis both landed on the second team; Oregon’s seven selections between the first and second teams are third-most in the conference. Popo Aumavae, Anthony Brown, Travis Dye, Ryan Walk and Mykael Wright all earned honorable mention.
The Pac-12’s All-Conference honors and yearly recognitions were voted by the league’s 12 coaches and it’s hard to hold any ill will against a Utah team and coach that earned their awards through emotionally difficult circumstances. The same could be said of de Laura’s award as Freshman Offensive Player of the year despite losing his head coach and offensive coordinator midseason.
First team honors were nearly even across the Pac-12 North (15) and Pac-12 South (14), as South Division Champion Utah led the way with six honorees, followed by North Division Champion Oregon with five.
In total, across both first and second team selections, Utah led the way with 10 honorees, followed by UCLA (nine), Oregon (seven), and Arizona State (six) with all 12 schools represented.
Offensive Player of the Year: Drake London, WR, USC
London, a pre-season All-American, finished tops in the conference in both receptions (88) and receiving yards (1,084) despite being limited to just eight games after suffering a broken ankle against Arizona. He is the first Trojan to win this award since fellow WR Marqise Lee in 2012. A 2021 Biletnikoff and Maxwell Award semifinalist, London was on pace for breaking Lee’s USC single-season records in both receptions (118) and receiving yards (1,721)
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah
Llloyd, a two-time Butkus Award Finalist, leads the Utes with a career-high 106 tackles during the regular season including 22.0 tackles for loss, which was second most in the country. The junior becomes the first Utah player to win this award and just the third Ute to win a Pac-12 annual award after Zack Moss won 2019 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Ty Jordan won 2020 Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.
Offensive Freshman Player of the Year, presented by Nextiva: Jayden de Laura, QB, Washington State
de Laura becomes the first Cougar to win this award after finishing the regular season atop the conference in passing yards (2,757) and pass TD (23).
Honorable Mention: Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford; Byron Cardwell, RB, Oregon; Sataoa Laumea, OL, Utah; Jaxson Dart, QB, USC; Brenden Rice, WR, Colorado
Defensive Freshman Player of the Year, presented by Nextiva: Junior Tafuna, DT, Utah
Tafuna emerged as a force on at defensive tackle, starting the final 10 games of the season. First Utah player to win this award.
Honorable Mention: Christian Gonzalez, CB, Colorado; Cole Bishop, S, Utah; Jeffrey Bassa, S, Oregon; Lu-Magia Hearns III, DB, California; Calen Bullock, DB, USC;
Coach of the Year: Kyle Whittingham, Utah
Whittingham takes home his second Pac-12 Coach of the Year award in the last three years after leading Utah to its first ever Pac-12 Championship. He also won the award in 2019 and has been Utah’s only head coach since the school joined the conference.
2021 ALL-PAC-12 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM
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RS = Return Specialist
AP/ST = All-Purpose/Special Teams Player (not a kicker or returner)
(*) Two-time first team selection, (**) Three-time first team selection
No Tiebreaker: There was a tie for the fifth offensive lineman for first team, so that team is represented with six offensive linemen. There was a tie for the fourth defensive lineman for first team, so that team is represented with six defensive linemen. There was a tie for the second team kicker, so that team is represented with two kickers.
ALL-PAC-12 HONORABLE MENTION
ARIZONA: WR Stanley Berryhill III, R-Jr.; K Lucas Havrisik, Sr.; DL Trevon Mason, Sr.; OL Josh McCauley, R-Sr.; LB Anthony Pandy, Sr.
ARIZONA STATE: OL LaDarius Henderson, Jr.; TE Curtis Hodges, Gr.; DB Jack Jones, Gr.; DB Chase Lucas, Gr.; WR RIcky Pearsall, Jr.; DB DeAndre Pierce, Gr.; LB Merlin Robertson, Sr.
CALIFORNIA: AP/ST Nick Alftin, R-Jr.; LB Marqez Bimage, Sr.; OL Matthew Cindric, R-Jr.; OL Ben Coleman, R-So.; QB Chase Garbers, R-Sr.; LB Cameron Goode, R-Sr.; DB Lu-Magia Hearns, III, Fr.; OL McKade Mettauer, Jr.; RS Nikko Remigio, Sr.; DL JH Tevis, R-Jr.
COLORADO: AP/ST Daniel Arias, Jr.; DB Mekhi Blackmon, Jr.; RB Jarek Broussard, So.; DB Christian Gonzalez, Fr.; OL Kary Kutsch, Sr.; DL Jalen Sami, So.; P Josh Watts, Jr.; LB Carson Wells, Jr.
OREGON: DL Popo Aumave, Jr.; QB Anthony Brown, Sr.; RB Travis Dye, Jr.; OL Ryan Walk, Jr.; DB Mykael Wright, So.
OREGON STATE: DB Alex Austin, R-Fr.; WR Trevon Bradford, R-Sr.; DB Jaydon Grant, R-Jr.; OL Joshua Gray, R-Fr.; K Everett Hayes, So.; OL Nous Keobounnam, R-Sr.; OL Brandon Kipper, R-Jr.; QB Chance Nolan, R-So.; DB Kitan Oladapo, R-So.; TE Teagan Quitoriano, Jr.; DL Keonte Schad, Sr.; LB Omar Speights, So.; DB Rejzohn Wright, Jr.
STANFORD: OL Branson Bragg, Jr.; QB Tanner McKee, So.; OL Drake Nugent, Jr.; TE Benjamin Yurosek, So.
UCLA: RB Brittain Brown, R-Sr.; OL Paul Grattan, Jr., R-Sr.
USC: P Ben Griffiths, R-Jr.; RB Keaontay Ingram, Sr.; LB Kana’i Mauga, Sr.; OL Brett Neilon, R-Sr.; DB Chris Steele, Jr.; OL Andrew Vorhees, R-Sr.
UTAH: S Cole Bishop, Fr.; DB Vonte Davis, Sr.; TE Dalton Kincaid, Sr.; OL Sataoa Laumea, R-Fr.; LB Nephi Sewell, Jr.
WASHINGTON: WR Terrell Bynum, Jr.; DL Tuli Letuligasenoa, So.; RB Sean McGrew, Sr.; LB Jackson Sirmon, So.; OL Luke Wattenberg, Sr.
WASHINGTON STATE: RB Max Borghi, Sr.; QB Jayden de Laura, So.; DB Daniel Isom, Gr.; DL Brennan Jackson, R-Jr.; DB Armani Marsh, R-Sr., WR De’Zhaun Stribling, Fr.; AP/ST Lincoln Victor, Jr.; DB Jaylen Watson, R-Sr.; LB Jahad Woods, Gr.
OL T.J. Bass – Pac-12 All-Conference First Team
DL Brandon Dorlus – Pac-12 All-Conference First Team
S Verone McKinley III – Pac-12 All-Conference First Team
LB Noah Sewell – Pac-12 All-Conference First Team
DE Kayvon Thibodeaux – Pac-12 All-Conference First Team
OL Alex Forsyth – Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team
K Camden Lewis – Pac-12 All-Conference Second Team
DL Popo Aumavae – Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention
QB Anthony Brown – Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention
RB Travis Dye – Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention
OL Ryan Walk – Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention
CB Mykael Wright – Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention