The Pac-12 Conference announced its annual football awards and All-Conference team this week, as Washington, USC, and Colorado were prominently featured among the honorees.
Quarterback Jake Browning of Washington was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year; defensive back Adoree’ Jackson of USC the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year; Mike MacIntyre of Colorado the Pac-12 Coach of the Year; quarterback Sam Darnold of USC the Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year; and defensive back Taylor Rapp of Washington the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year.
In addition to individual awards, the Pac-12 coaches selected the 2016 All-Pac-12 Football Team. Washington placed the most players on the first team with nine selections. USC was next with four, although Adoree’ Jackson accounts for two spots as a DB and RS, followed by UCLA and Utah with three selections each. Pac-12 South Division champion Colorado placed two on first team. It had just one first team selection in the previous five years (WR Paul Richardson, 2013).
Offensive Player of the Year – Jake Browning, QB, Washington
Browning, a sophomore from Folsom, Calif., completed 214 passes in 329 attempts for 3,162 yards and a school record 40 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. Browning ranks fourth in the FBS in passing efficiency (181.6) and 17th in completion percentage (.650).
He was named Pac-12 Player of the Week and garnered many nationally weekly honors for his performance against Oregon on Oct. 8. Browning set the UW record with six touchdown passes, breaking the record of five, which he tied earlier in the season against Idaho on Sept. 10. He finished the game completing 22-of-28 for 304 yards with no interceptions, and rushed for two touchdowns, setting the school record for total touchdowns in a game, with eight.
Under Browning’s guidance, the Huskies are averaging 44.8 points per game, well ahead of the school-record 41.9 points per game set in 1991. He’s led Washington to its first 10-win season since 2000 and has the Huskies ranked in the Associated Press Top 10 for 13 consecutive weeks. Browning is the first Husky to earn the honor since quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo in 2000.
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year – Adoree’ Jackson, DB, USC
Jackson, a junior from Belleville, Ill., has been a dynamic three-way performer for the Trojans. He’s one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, honoring the nation’s top defensive back. He’s also one of four finalists for the Paul Hornung Award, honoring the nation’s most versatile player.
Jackson is fourth on the team with 51 tackles and has four interceptions to go with 11 pass breakups and two fumble recoveries. In his role as a punt/kick returner, Jackson has 19 punt returns for 302 yards (15.9 avg) and two touchdowns, and 22 kick returns for 671 yards (30.5 avg) and two touchdowns. On the offensive side of the ball, he has five carries for 49 yards and one reception for 52 yards.
In the final game of the regular season, a 45-27 win over Notre Dame, Jackson tallied 291 all-purpose yards and scored on a 55-yard punt return, a 52-yard catch and run, and a 97-yard kick return. He owns the USC career kickoff return yardage record (2,045 yards). He has scored 15 touchdowns via reception (6), interception (1), punt return (4) and kickoff return (4). Jackson is the first Trojan to win the award since linebacker Rey Maualuga in 2008.
Freshman Offensive Player of the Year – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Darnold, a redshirt freshman from Capistrano Beach, Calif., came on to start in the fourth game of the season and has guided the Trojans to an 8-1 record in his nine starts, including a current winning streak of eight games in which USC posted better than 400 yards of total offense in each win.
Darnold has completed 213-of-313 passes for 2,633 yards and a USC freshman record 26 touchdowns with just eight interceptions. Darnold is the only USC quarterback in history to have back-to-back games with five touchdowns in each (Arizona and California in 2016). He has thrown multiple TD passes in eight straight games, the first Trojan to do so since Matt Leinart in 2004. His 230 rushing yards in 2016 are the most in a season by a USC quarterback since Reggie Perry’s 254 in 1991.
Freshman Defensive Player of the Year – Taylor Rapp, DB, Washington
Rapp, a freshman from Bellingham, Wash., has played in all 12 games this season, starting the last seven as the team’s fifth defensive back. He’s fifth on the team with 42 tackles and second on the squad with two interceptions, both coming against USC. He contributed to a Washington secondary that was second in the Pac-12 against the pass, allowing 201.9 yards per game.
Coach of the Year – Mike MacIntyre, Colorado
Following one of the greatest one-season turnarounds in school history, MacIntyre earns Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors after leading the Buffaloes to a 10-2 record overall and a 8-1 mark in Conference play, claiming the school’s first South Division title. After completing the 2015 season with a 1-8 Pac-12 record and a 4-9 mark overall, the Buffs were picked to finish last in the Pac-12 South as they entered the 2016 campaign.
With the all-time biggest overall improvement in Pac-12 Conference play from one year to the next, Colorado has climbed the polls and is currently ranked No. 9 in the latest AP rankings. Under MacIntyre, the Buffaloes lead the Conference in total defense (322.4 ypg), second in scoring defense (18.8 ppg) and are fifth in total offense (478.3 ypg). He is the fifth coach in Colorado history to be named Conference Coach of the Year, joining Dal Ward (Big Eight 1956), Eddie Crowder (Big Eight 1965), Bill McCartney (Big Eight 1985, 1989, 1990) and Gary Barnett (Big 12 2001, 2004).
2016 ALL-PAC-12 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM
First Team Offense Second Team Offense
QB Jake Browning, So., Washington QB Luke Falk, Jr., Washington State
RB Myles Gaskin, So, Washington RB Ronald Jones II, So., USC
RB Christian McCaffrey, Jr., Stanford (2) RB Phillip Lindsay, Jr., Colorado
WR Gabe Marks, Sr., Washington State (2) WR Chad Hansen, Jr., California
WR John Ross, Jr., Washington WR JuJu Smith-Schuster, Jr., USC
TE Pharaoh Brown, Sr., Oregon TE Nate Iese, Sr., UCLA
OL Trey Adams, So., Washington OL Isaac Asiata, Sr., Utah
OL Zach Banner, Sr., USC (2) OL Sean Harlow, Sr., Oregon State
OL Garett Bolles, Jr., Utah OL Jeromy Irwin, Jr., Colorado
OL Jake Eldrenkamp, Sr., Washington OL Damien Mama, Jr., USC
OL Scott Quessenberry, Jr., UCLA OL Conor McDermott, Sr., UCLA
OL Chad Wheeler, Sr., USC OL Coleman Shelton, Jr., Washington
First Team Defense Second Team Defense
DL Hunter Dimick, Sr., Utah DL Hercules Mata’afa, So., Washington State
DL Tak McKinley, Sr., UCLA DL Stevie Tu’ikolovatu, Sr., USC
DL Elijah Qualls, Jr., Washington DL Vita Vea, So., Washington
DL Solomon Thomas, Jr., Stanford DL JoJo Wicker, So., Arizona State
LB Jayon Brown, Sr., UCLA LB Keishawn Bierra, Jr., Washington
LB Jimmie Gilbert, Sr., Colorado LB Koron Crump, Jr., Arizona State
LB Azeem Victor, Jr., Washington LB Cameron Smith, So., USC
LB Kenny Young, Jr., UCLA
DB Budda Baker, Jr., Washington (2) DB Chidobe Awuzie, Sr., Colorado
DB Adoree’ Jackson, Jr., USC (2) DB Tedric Thompson, Sr., Colorado
DB Sidney Jones, Jr., Washington (2) DB Marcus Williams, Jr., Utah
DB Shalom Luani, Sr., Washington State DB Ahkello Witherspoon, Sr., Colorado
First Team Specialists Second Team Specialists
PK Zane Gonzalez, Sr., Arizona State PK Andy Phillips, Sr., Utah
P Mitch Wishnowsky, So., Utah P Matt Haack, Sr., Arizona State
RS Adoree’ Jackson, Jr., USC RS Dante Pettis, Jr., Washington
AP/ST Ryan Moeller, Jr., Colorado AP/ST Tony Brooks-James, So., Oregon
ALL-PAC-12 HONORABLE MENTION
ARIZONA: AP/ST Samajie Grant, Sr.; WR Nate Phillips, Sr.; WR Trey Griffey, Sr.
ARIZONA STATE: WR N’Keal Harry, Fr.; LB Viliami (Laiu) Moeakiola, Sr.
CALIFORNIA: PK Matt Anderson, Jr.; DL James Looney, Jr.; OL Steven Moore, Sr.; RB Khalfani Muhammad, Sr.; QB Davis Webb, Sr.
COLORADO: WR Bryce Bobo, Jr.; DL, Jordan Carrell, Sr.; WR Shay Fields, Jr.; OL Alex Kelley, Sr.; OL Gerrad Kough, Jr.; QB Sefo Liufau, Sr.; LB Kenneth Olugbode, Sr.; WR Devin Ross, Jr.; DL Josh Tupou, Sr.
OREGON: LB Troy Dye, Fr.; RB Royce Freeman, Jr.; OL Jake Hanson, Fr.; TE Johnny Mundt, Sr.; RS Charles Nelson, Jr.; OL Calvin Throckmorton, Fr.; K Matt Wogan, Sr.
OREGON STATE: DB Xavier Crawford, Fr.; DB Treston Decoud, Sr.; OL Gus Lavaka Fr.; RB Ryan Nall, So.
STANFORD: LB Joey Alfieri, Jr.; P Jake Bailey, So.; DB Dallas Lloyd, Sr.; RB Bryce Love, So.; RS Christian McCaffrey, Jr.; DB Quenton Meeks, So.; LB Kevin Palma, Sr.; Harrison Phillips, Jr.; DB Justin Reid, So.; TE Dalton Schultz, Jr.; ST Brandon Simmons, Jr.; PK Conrad Ukropina, Sr.
UCLA: WR Darren Andrews, Jr.; DB Randall Goforth, Sr.; Fabian Moreau, Sr.; DL Eddie Vanderdoes, Jr.; DB Jaleel Wadood, Jr.
USC: QB Sam Darnold, RSFr.; DL Rasheem Green, So.; DL Porter Gustin, So.; DB Chris Hawkins, Jr.; LB Michael Hutchings, Sr.; TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe, RSFr.; DB Iman Marshall, So.; Leon McQuay III, Sr.; WR Darreus Rogers, Sr.
UTAH: DB Chase Hansen, So.; DL Lowell Lotulelei, Jr.; DL Filipo Mokofisi, Jr.; DL Pasoni Tasini, Sr.; DL Pita Taumoepenu, Sr.; RB Joe Williams, Sr.
WASHINGTON: TE Darrell Daniels, Sr.; DL Greg Gaines, So.; DB Kevin King, Sr.; TE Drew Sample, So.; LB Psalm Wooching, Sr.
WASHINGTON STATE: WR River Cracraft, Sr.; OL Cole Madison, Jr.; RB Jamal Morrow, Jr.; OL Cody O’Connell, Jr.; LB Peyton Pelluer, Jr.; OL Riley Sorenson, Sr.
By Staff of TheDailySportsHerald.com and news services