Pac-12 players to watch: De'Anthony Thomas, Marqise Lee lead the way

Doug Pensinger

The player I'm most excited to watch this season in the Pac-12 is ____ because _____.

Anthony Cassino, UW Dawg Pound: Marqise Lee. He makes plays nobody else in the country can replicate. If USC can find someone to get him the ball, he's going to have another monster year.

Chris Landon, UW Dawg Pound: Keith Price is the most intriguing QB story in the entire conference given the enormous gap between expectations for his 2012 season following a breakout 2011 and what actually transpired. The solidification of his offensive line this season is clear - but will it translate to the "old Keith"?

Outside of my own home team's most interesting story, I'm most excited to watch Anthony Barr at UCLA. His transformation from an offensive reserve to a defensive force is intriguing and I'm excited to see if he can propel himself to a top 10 draft pick next April.

Jon Woods, Ralphie Report: Paul Richardson, because the Buffs went through an entire season with out a playmaker and it's nice to have at least one back.

Jack Follman, Pacific Takes: Marqise Lee. In a time where it seems like college football is becoming more about system than pure skill, I love a guy like Lee who is simply just a ridiculous football player. He would be the best player on any team he played for and he's got that "It" factor where he simply looks like he could make a big play every time he is on the field.

Phil Fraser, Ralphie Report: De'Anthony Thomas, because have you seen that friggin guy?

Kurt Sahr, Building the Dam: Newly appointed starter Sean Mannion. Oregon State's season will be largely dependent on his success. Outside of my homer pick, though, De'Anthony Thomas and Will Sutton both change the game just with their mere presence.

nds500 (Noah), Addicted to Quack: De'Anthony Thomas and Marqise Lee, the two most exciting players in college football. Either one can score a touchdown on any possession.

Jeff Nusser, CougCenter: I'm probably not the only one to go with DeAnthony Thomas, but I don't care -- he's incredible. I have an affinity for explosive players, going all the way back to my days as a youth watching Napoleon Kaufman as a misguided Husky fan. The electricity in the stadium every time he touched the ball is something that's hard to describe -- the knowledge that he could take it to the house at any moment created this incredible sense of anticipation: "What is he going to do THIS time?" I get the same feeling every time DAT gets a touch. I just hold my breath, hoping he'll do something special ... or hilarious.

David Piper, Addicted to Quack: De'Anthony Thomas. You have a legitimate chance to see something electric every time he touches the ball.

Jason Bartel, AZ Desert Swarm: Ka'Deem Carey because it'll be interesting to see if he can have as much success with a passing game that is not as much of a threat.

Connor Pelton, Building the Dam: Marcus Mariota. The sophomore exceeded all expectations in 2012 and did so effortlessly. The way he moves on the field is beautiful to watch, and I want to see what he can do, possibly even topping last year's 32 touchdowns, this season. As a freshman, he only faced a handful of big, strong defenses that challenged him in the slightest. This year Tennessee is on the schedule; Not a great team, but one big and fast enough to make things interesting. He also has to go to The Farm and face one of the top defenses in the country, the only team to make him look like the redshirt freshman he was in 2012. Very intriguing.

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