2021 Pac-12 Football Performance Awards, presented by Nextiva, and All-Conference honors announced

Offensive Player of the Year, presented by Nextiva: Drake London, USC

Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Devin Lloyd, Utah

Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, presented by Nextiva: Jayden de Laura, Washington State

Freshman Defensive Player of the Year, presented by Nextiva: Junior Tafuna, Utah

Coach of the Year, presented by Nextiva: Kyle Whittingham, Utah

 

SAN FRANCISCO – The Pac-12 has announced the 2021 Football Performance Awards, presented by Nextiva, as well as its annual All-Conference honors and yearly recognitions as voted by the league’s 12 coaches.  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.

 

 

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)

 

  • 88 receptions are tied for ninth on USC’s season catches list.  London had at least 10 receptions in five of the eight games this season and is the first Trojan to twice haul in at least 15 catches in a game.   Joins Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree (2007) as the only Power 5 players to have 88 catches through 8 games.

  • Had six games this season with 100 or more receiving yards including five in a row.  The streak was ended by his injury, as the junior had already tallied 81 yards in the second quarter when he suffered the season-ending injury.  First Trojan with five straight games with 100 or more yards receiving since Lee in 2012.  Only Pac-12 player to reach 1,000 receiving yards this season and did it in the first seven games.

  • Ranks in the top 20 in Trojans history in receptions (160, 17th) and receiving yards (2,783, 11th).  

  • Named 2021 Midseason All-American first team by the Associated Press, ESPN.com, The Athletic, CBSSports.com, On3.com and the Sporting News.  London’s 135.5 receiving yards per game and 11.0 receptions per game would both rank tops in FBS.

 

Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Devin Lloyd, LB, Utah

 

Lloyd, 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.

 

  • Named MVP of the 2021 Pac-12 Championship Game, leading the Utes to their first ever Pac-12 championship.  Had seven tackles and an interception he returned 34 yards for a touchdown to give the Utes a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.  It was Lloyd’s second Pick 6 of the season and third of his career.

  • Named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week, presented by Nextiva, three times this season, the most of any player this season and first to win it three times in a season since Arizona’s Scooby Wright in 2014.

  • Five games with multiple tackles for loss this season had at least 0.5 TFL in 11 of 13 games this season.  

  • Led Pac-12 linebackers with 8.0 sacks in the regular season after having 8.5 sacks in his first three seasons combined.  Career-high 3.0 sacks in win over Arizona State.

  • Second straight season named first team All-Pac-12, a semifinalist for the 2021 Bednarik Award and a finalist for the 2021 Lott IMPACT trophy

 

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).

 

  • Led the Cougars to their first Apple Cup win since 2012, completing an Apple Cup record 84.3% (27-32) of his passes for the fourth-best completion percentage in WSU single-game history.  Had 245 yards passing and another 31 on the ground as de Laura was named Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Week.

  • Multiple touchdown passes in eight games this season including a career-high four scores against Arizona.

  • Named Rose Bowl Game Pac-12 Player of the Week in win over Oregon State when he passed for career-high 399 yards with 3 passing touchdowns.

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 at defensive tackle, starting the final 10 games of the season.  First Utah player to win this award.

 

  • Registered 4.5 sacks this season, second most among Pac-12 freshmen.

  • Named Pac-12 Defensive Line Player of the Week after Utah’s win over Oregon in Salt Lake City.  

  • Had career-high nine tackles at Arizona, the most by a Utes defensive lineman since 2018.

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, presented by Nextiva: 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.

 

  • Became Utah’s all-time wins leader, passing Ike Armstrong, in their Nov. 20 win over then No. 3 Oregon.  144-69 in his tenure with Utes.

  • Named one of 13 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award as national coach of the year.

  • 10 or more wins in a season for the sixth time in his career and his third Pac-12 South title in the last 4 years.

  • One of four active Pac-12 coaches to have won this award multiple times (David Shaw, Chip Kelly, Karl Dorrell).
  • Has won 19 of his last 22 conference games.
  • 11-3 all-time in bowl games including 2-0 in New Year’s Six bowls (2005 Fiesta, 2009 Sugar).

2021 ALL-PAC-12 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM

  First Team Offense   Second Team Offense
QB Cameron Rising, So., Utah QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Sr., UCLA
RB B.J. Baylor, R-Jr., Oregon State RB Zach Charbonnet, Jr., UCLA
RB Tavion Thomas, So., Utah RB Rachaad White, R-Sr., Arizona State
WR Drake London, Jr., USC WR Calvin Jackson Jr., Gr., Washington State
WR Kyle Philips, R-Jr., UCLA WR Travell Harris, R-Sr., Washington State
TE Greg Dulcich, R-Jr., UCLA TE Brant Kuithe, Jr., Utah
OL Abraham Lucas, R-Sr., Washington State OL Bamidele Olaseni, Sr., Utah
OL Nick Ford, Jr., Utah* OL Braeden Daniels, So., Utah
OL Sean Rhyan, Jr., UCLA OL Kellen Diesch, Gr., Arizona State
OL Nathan Eldridge, R-Sr., Oregon State* OL Alex Forsyth, Jr., Oregon
OL Jaxson Kirkland, Jr., Washington* OL Dohnovan West, Jr., Arizona State
OL T.J. Bass, Jr., Oregon    
  First Team Defense   Second Team Defense
DL Kayvon Thibodeaux, So., Oregon* DL Kyon Barrs, So., Arizona
DL Mika Tafua, Jr., Utah DL Thomas Booker, Sr., Stanford
DL Tuli Tuipulotu, So., USC DL Mitchell Agude, Sr., UCLA
DL Brandon Dorlus, So., Oregon DL D.J. Davidson, Gr., Arizona State
DL Ron Stone Jr., R-Jr., Washington State    
DL Tyler Johnson, Gr., Arizona State    
LB Devin Lloyd, Jr., Utah* LB Darien Butler, Sr., Arizona State
LB Noah Sewell, Fr., Oregon LB Drake Jackson, Jr., USC
LB Avery Roberts, R-Jr., Oregon State* LB Nate Landman, Sr., Colorado
DB Trent McDuffie, So., Washington DB Clark Phillips, Fr., Utah
DB Verone McKinley III, So., Oregon DB Kyu Blu Kelly, Jr., Stanford
DB Kyler Gordon, So., Washington DB Quentin Lake, Sr., UCLA
DB Elijah Hicks, Sr., California DB Qwuantrezz Knight, R-Sr., UCLA
  First Team Specialists   Second Team Specialists
PK Dean Janikowski, R-So., Washington State PK Camden Lewis, So., Oregon
    PK Parker Lewis, So., USC
P Kyle Ostendorp, So., Arizona P Race Porter, Sr., Washington
RS Britain Covey, Jr., Utah** RS Kyle Philips, R-Jr., UCLA
AP/ST Stanley Berryhill III, R-Jr., Arizona AP/ST Jack Colletto, R-Jr., Oregon State

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.

 

About the author: Mark Witcher

Typical thinker. Devoted web specialist. Friendly troublemaker. Zombie maven. Music junkie. Twitter guru.

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