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2015 Pac-12 surprise stars: Not many saw these Pac-12 players turning into stars this year

Pita Taumoepenu is just one player who has exceeded expectations.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Jared Baker Sr. RB Arizona

Baker was expected to be Nick Wilson's backup and be just a slight contributor, but injuries to Wilson and standout play by Baker has turned him into one of the best overall backs in the league. Baker has already run for more than 600 yards while averaging almost seven yards per-carry and has seven total touchdowns.

Joshua Garnett Sr. G Stanford

I know Garnett was already a good Pac-12 player, but I am putting him on here because he has jumped from solid starter to All-American in 2015. He has arguably turned into the best offensive lineman in the Pac-12.

Myles Gaskin Fr. RB Washington

Gaskin was a nice four-star recruit for Washington in the Class of 2015 that I think most thought would be a nice player down the road, but Gaskin has quickly turned into a star as he already has more than 600 yards and six touchdowns in 2015. He has literally been the only thing going for Washington's offense all season.

Kyle Kragen Sr. DE Cal

Kragen redshirted in 2014 due to illness and has come out on fire in 2015 as one of the conference's best pass rushers. He already has five sacks this season.

Phillip Lindsay So. RB Colorado

I think most expected Christian Powell and Michael Adkins II to be Colorado's one-two punch at running back, but the speedy Lindsay has actually be the man at the position thus far in 2015. He has more than 450 yards rushing, more than 100 receiving and five touchdowns this season.

Shalom Luani Jr. S Washington State

A Samoan soccer star, Luani is one of the most interesting players in the conference and has made a huge impact on defense for the Cougars in his first year there from JC. He has 54 tackles and three interceptions thus far this season.

Henry Mondeaux So. DE Oregon

Not many positive surprises for the Ducks this year, but Mondeaux has been a nice surprise depth player with three sacks, some knocked down passes and a blocked kick.

Ryan Nall Fr. HB Oregon State

Nall is a rare H-Back and has been productive for the Beavers. He has more than 200 yards rushing and has scored two touchdowns this season.

Isaako Savaiinaea Jr. LB UCLA

The Bruins needed their talented young linebackers to step up when Myles Jack went down for the season and Savaiinaea has. He suffered a yet-to-be-revealed injury last week, but was a force leading up the injury as he leads the Bruins in tackles and has also been a factor in pass defense.

Cameron Smith Fr. LB USC

The true freshman has arguably been the Trojans' best defensive player in 2015 after being a solid, but far from star recruit in the Class of 2015. He leads the Trojans in tackles, has three interceptions (all in a big win over Utah) and has been solid in pass defense.

Pita Taumoepenu Jr. DE Utah

Everyone knew of Hunter Dimick and Lowell Lotulelei going into the season, but Taumoepenu has outshined them both in 2015 as he leads the conference in sacks. He already has six sacks this season.

Tim White Jr. WR Arizona State

The JC transfer has been an instant big play spark for the Sun Devils. He already has more than 300 yards receiving and has caught five touchdowns along with bringing a kick back for a score.