Christopher Wuensch

All Pac-12 Preseason Team

Created on Aug. 31, 2013 5:29 PM EST

With the Pac-12 season kicking off this weekend,’ s Pac-12 writers submitted their votes for our first-annual All Pac-12 Preseason Team.

The All Pac-12 Team, as voted on by John Baker, Colin Huber, Henry McKenna, Alex Schultz, Rhett Wilkinson and editor Christopher Wuensch:



In a league littered with quality quarterbacks, it speaks volumes that the cool Hawaiian gets the all-conference nod at quarterback for the Pac-12. A year ago Mariota was just trying to get in the mix. Now, he's a proven starter at the controls of an offense that suits his skill set and temperament perfectly.


The talk around Tucson these days isn’t if Ka’Deem Carey will break Trung Canidate’s Wildcats’ all-time leading rushing mark, it’s a matter of when. He has two years to get 1,470 yards; an obtainable goal, considering he led the nation in rushing last season with 1,929 yards on the ground.


There are few players in today's college game that, when they get their hands on the ball, the crowd rises to its feet in anticipation. Thomas is one of those guys. Of his 36 career touchdowns, the junior has taken 13 of them to the house by scampering 30 or more yards.

WR MARQISE LEE, Southern California

It doesn’t matter that the Trojans are using a garish two-headed monster at quarterback in Max Wittek and Cody Kessler. Whoever is under center just has to get the ball to Lee. The speedy, potential Heisman finalist is the most dynamic receiver in college football. Lee enters his junior year with 22 USC, five Pac-12 and one NCAA record already under his belt.


Cooks is on pace to become just the third Beavers receiver to surpass the 3,000-yard career mark. It seems a realistic goal, considering he’s already accumulated 1,542 yards — 1,151 coming last year as a sophomore. The junior is fast and dynamic. With excellent hand and route-running efficiency, it’s plausible that Cooks can double his eight career touchdowns this season.


Seferian-Jenkins will have one less game to impress fans, scouts and our Pac-12 voters, but despite the one-game suspension due to an off-season DUI, we believe there’s no better tight end in the conference — perhaps in the nation. ASJ enters his junior campaign as the Huskies’ most decorated tight end, including school marks for receptions (110), yards (1,388) and touchdowns (13).


Grasu immediately made an impact on the offensive line in 2010, grabbing the starting center spot in fall camp and not letting it go. He started all 14 games that year and established himself as not only one of the best in the Pac-12, but nationally. He's been named to the Rimington Award watch list the last two seasons and should see some All-American accolades flow his way. He runs the offensive line and, should he decide to leave for the NFL after this season, will be a coveted center pick.


Yankey is a no-brainer unanimous pick for our pre-season team. The senior was an All-American in 2012 and is considered the top pulling lineman in the country. He allowed just one sack last season after switching from left to right guard, and should be thought as one of the main reasons why QB Kevin Hogan has time to pass.

G JOHN MARTINEZ, Southern California

An All-Pac-12 honorable mention in 2012, Martinez is durable, having started 13 of the Trojans' games last season and 25 games overall in his three-year career. The senior is an important cog on a USC offensive line that is tasked with protecting a shaky Trojan quarterback carousel.


Phil Steele likes Fleming for his All Pac-12 first team and we can’t disagree. Fleming is as durable (14 starts last season) as he is big (6-6, 318). The senior’s biggest endorser might be former Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor, who followed Fleming’s blocking to rush for 1,530 yards last season, second-most in Stanford history.

OT  KEVIN GRAF, Southern California

Graf is somewhat of a legacy at USC, following in his father’s and brother’s footsteps as a Trojans football player. A starter since his sophomore year, Graf is as strong as they come in the FBS, having been named the Trojans’ “lifter of the year” in 2012.

PK ANDREW FURNEY, Washington State

If the Cougars offense can get him into range, Washington State likes its chances. An All Pac-12 second-teamer, Furney's long in 2012 was 60 yards. A team captain five times in 2012, Furney was 6-of-9 from beyond 40 yards.

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