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Biggest Pac-12 football shoes to fill in 2014

Each Pac-12 team has at least one player that will be nearly impossible to replace.

Stephen Dunn


Shoes to fill - RB Ka'Deem Carey

Who might fill them? Fr. Pierre Cormier, Jr. Jared Baker, Fr. Nick Wilson

The Wildcats have the tall task of replacing arguably the best running back in the entire country and there is no clear-cut candidate to do it. With how many carries he shouldered, how many yards and touchdowns he racked up, it will be almost impossible to properly fill in for Carey, but the Wildcats will likely try with a collection of young backs with great potential.

Arizona State

Shoes to fill - DT Will Sutton

Who might fill them? Sr. Marcus Hardison

The Sun Devils have to replace pretty much their entire starting defense and no player will be harder to replace than the two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Sutton. The Sun Devils have an excellent defensive tackle coming back in junior Jaxon Hood, but he is more of a nose tackle and former JC transfer Hardison will be counted on to step up and be the hybrid defensive lineman that commands the attention of opposing offensive fronts and wrecks havoc.


Shoes to fill - DT DeAndre Coleman

Who might fill them? Jr. Trevor Kelly So. Jacobi Hunter

The Bears were devastated by injury on defense in 2013 and further devastated by early deflections to the NFL Draft after the season, but no lose stings more than then graduation of massive defensive tackle Coleman. Cal's run defense was abysmal with Coleman, so I can't imagine how bad it will be without his huge presence, but JC transfer Kelly and standout freshman Hunter (who made my All-Pac-12 Freshman team in 2013) could end up being better in the long run.


Shoes to fill - WR Paul Richardson

Who might fill them? Jr Nelson Spruce, Sr. D.D. Goodson, Sr. Tyler McCulloch

Richardson was far and away the most talented player on the Buffs in 2013, sometimes seeming like their only dangerous player on offense.  However, the Buffs do have an underrated cluster of receivers who have shown the ability to be effective pass-catchers with great size who might end up filling his shoes by committee.


Shoes to fill - WR Josh Huff

Who might fill them? Sr. Keanon Lowe, Fr. Devon Allen So. Chance Allen

Huff seemed to always step up when the Ducks needed him most and was unstoppable at times when healthy. His shoes got much, much harder when budding star Bralon Addison was likely lost for the season in spring practice and now a cluster of mainly inexperienced receivers will have to step as starting receivers.

Oregon State

Shoes to fill - WR Brandin Cooks

Who might fill them? Jr. Richard Mullaney, So. Victor Bolden, So. Malik Gilmore

The Beavers are going to have to replace the guy who could have been the nation's best receiver and the absolute backbone of their offense in 2013. The Beavers do have a fantastic group of tight ends and Mullaney is one of the most underrated receivers in the conference. Still, they will need to have a major, electric playmaker step up for Sean Mannion and they will likely be hoping that Bolden or Gilmore is that guy.


Shoes to fill - LB Shayne Skov

Who might fill them? Sr. A.J. Tarpley Jr. Blake Martinez

Hard to choose between David Yankey, Trent Murphy and Shayne Skov, but had to go with Skov since he was also the vocal leader of Stanford's vaunted defense. The Cardinal have been hoarding, big athletic linebackers for a long time now and Tarpley and Martinez are experienced players, who while not quite as talented as Skov, are definitely All-Pac-12-level players.


Shoes to fill - G Xavier Su'a-Filo

Who might fill them? Sr. Malcolm Bunche, So. Alex Redmond, So. Scott Quesenberry

Su'a-Filo was quietly an All-American type player that could be a first round draft pick Thursday. The good news for UCLA is that they have one of the best crops of young offensive linemen in the entire country and guys like Redmond and Quesenberry are future All-Pac-12 players.


Shoes to fill - C Marcus Martin

Who might fill them? So. Khaliel Rodgers

The Trojans have to do a ton of reloading at center and a number of different players could step in for Martin.


Shoes to fill - DE Trevor Reilly

Who might fill them? Sr. Nate Orchard

Reilly was quietly one of the best defensive ends in the conference in 2013 and a big reason why the Utes were so tough on defense at home. The good thing for the Utes is that Orchard is another underrated presence that could easily have a breakout season like Reilly did as a senior in 2014.


Shoes to fill - RB Bishop Sankey

Who might fill them? Sr. Deonate Cooper So. Dwayne Washington Sr. Jesse Callier

Like Carey was for the Wildcats, Sankey was everything for Washington the past two seasons and will be impossible to replace. The Huskies have a couple of lightly-experienced veterans in Cooper and Callier along with youngster Washington who will be expected to replace him by committee.

Washington State

Shoes to fill - S Deone Bucannon

Who might fill them? Jr. Taylor Taliulu

Bucannon was an All-American holding down the back of the defense for the Cougars and will be a second or third round pick in the draft. The Cougars' defensive backfield was decimated by graduation and the loss of rising star Daquawn Brown to off-the-field issues, leaving Taliulu as the only experienced returner in the back for the Cougars.