Arizona Football

Arizona Wildcats earn Pac-12 coach, defensive player of year honors but snubbed on all-conference teams




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The Arizona Wildcats are not only the top team in the Pac-12 South, they appear to be the best team — as in a balanced, cohesive unit from top to bottom — judging from the All-Pac-12 selections released tonight.

It’s no wonder that Rich Rodriguez was selected the Pac-12’s Coach of the Year, given that he coached a team void of first- and second-team selections.

Scooby Wright, the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year, was the only Arizona player chosen to the conference’s first team by league coaches. The second-team selections were punter Drew Riggleman and offensive lineman Steven Gurrola.

Arizona players listed as honorable mention: Senior receiver Austin Hill, sophomore receiver Cayleb Jones, senior defensive back Jonathan McKnight, senior defensive lineman Dan Pettinato, redshirt freshman quarterback Anu Solomon, senior defensive back Jared Tevis and freshman running back Nick Wilson.

Oregon, ranked No. 2 in the College Football Playoff Rankings released Tuesday, had five first-team selections compared to Arizona’s one. The teams meet in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night at 6 p.m. (Tucson time) at Levi Stadium.

Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota was selected the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year, which sets up an interesting matchup between the league’s top offensive and defensive player. Mariota is also a Heisman front-runner while Scooby Wright has earned votes for that honor from members of the national media, including Dennis Dodds (, Bruce Feldman (Fox Sports) and Stewart Mandel (Sports Illustrated). They rate Wright No. 5 on their Heisman ballots.


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Pac-10/12 Player of Year
1983: Ricky Hunley, LB
1986: Byron Evans, LB
1987: Chuck Cecil, FS
1988: Dana Wells, NG
1990: Darryll Lewis, CB
1993: Rob Waldrop, DT
1995: Tedy Bruschi, DE
2014: Scooby Wright, LB
2005: Mike Thomas, WR
2013: Ka’Deem Carey, RB



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One of the biggest surprises in my opinion, other than Nick Wilson not earning at least second-team running back honors, was the snub of safeties Tra’Mayne Bondurant, Jourdon Grandon or William Parks from at least the honorable mention list.

Parks is second on the team in tackles for lost yardage with 11, trailing Wright’s 27. Bondurant has two interceptions, two fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. Grandon leads the team with three interceptions and has a forced fumble.


First Team Offense
QB, Marcus Mariota, Jr., Oregon
RB, Javorius Allen, Jr., USC
RB, Devontae Booker, Jr., Utah
WR, Nelson Agholor, Jr., USC
WR, Jaelen Strong, Jr., Arizona State
TE, Pharaoh Brown, Jr., Oregon
OL, Jamil Douglas, Sr., Arizona State
OL, Jake Fisher, Sr., Oregon
OL, Hroniss Grasu, Sr., Oregon
OL, Andrus Peat, Jr., Stanford
OL, Max Tuerk, Jr., USC

First Team Defense
DL, Henry Anderson, Sr., Stanford
DL, Nate Orchard, Sr., Utah
DL, Danny Shelton, Sr., Washington
DL, Leonard Williams, Jr., USC
LB, Hau’oli Kikaha, Sr., Washington
LB, Shaq Thompson, Jr., Washington
LB, Scooby Wright III, So., Arizona
DB, Ishmael Adams, So., UCLA
DB, Su’a Cravens, So., USC
DB, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Sr., Oregon
DB, Damarious Randall, Sr., Arizona State
DB, Jordan Richards, Sr., Stanford

First Team Specialists
PK, Andy Phillips, So., Utah
P, Tom Hackett, Jr., Utah
RS, Kaelin Clay, Sr., Utah
AP/ST, Shaq Thompson, Jr., Washington


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Tackle for lost yardage leaders in Arizona history:
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[/ezcol_1half_end] publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He also has published articles for Bleacher Report and Lindy’s College Sports.


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