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2018 Pacific Takes All-Pac-12 teams: Utah leads way with seven first-team selections

Four team loaded with Pac-12 stars from 2018.

NCAA Football: Utah at Arizona State Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

First Team

Offense

QB Gardner Minshew Sr. Washington State - One of the easiest choices for first-team. Minshew led the Cougars to the most regular season overall wins of any Pac-12 team, put up massive numbers and was the difference between them probably winning 4-6 games and 10 games.

RB Myles Gaskin Sr. Washington - Some other backs may have put up more yardage this year and scored more touchdowns, but none were “better” than Gaskin when it counted most. He’s the best running back in the conference.

RB Eno Benjamin So. Arizona State - Edwards rode Benjamin all season and it paid off big time, with him racking up more than 1,500 yards and scoring 17 total touchdowns. He’s a big part of why the Sun Devils made it to seven wins and almost won the South in what was supposed to be a down year.

WR Dillon Mitchell Jr. Oregon - He was Oregon’s offense at times as a prolific pass catcher who stepped up in clutch situations. He had more than 1,100 yards and caught nine touchdowns and was actually best in Oregon’s biggest games, going off against Stanford and Washington.

WR N’Keal Harry Jr. Arizona State - Simply one of the best receivers to ever play in the conference. He had 1,000 yards receiving again this year and totaled 10 touchdowns while coming up big time again and again for the Sun Devils in big games.

TE Caleb Wilson Jr. UCLA - He showed what he could do healthy as one of the best pass catching tight ends in the nation. He came on strong late and finished with nearly 1,000 yards and caught four TDs.

OL Andre Dillard Sr. Washington State - The Cougars just keep lining up great pass protecting tackles. Dillard is the next and might be the best of them, a possible second round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

OL Jake Hanson Jr. Oregon - The centerpiece of an Oregon offensive line that’s turned into a strong veteran group. He already looks like an NFL player as just a junior.

OL Chuma Edoga Sr. USC - Truly broke out as a senior and has a massive year despite USC’s struggles.

OL Kaleb McGary Sr. Washington - Another strong year for one of the players that paves the way for Gaskin. One of the biggest and scariest linemen in the conference.

OL Jordan Agasiva Sr. Utah - Part of a trio of dynamite senior offensive linemen for the Utes. He was probably the best of the group in 2018.

Defense

DL Greg Gaines Sr. Washington - The best run stuffer in the conference was everything for Washington in 2018, even excelling as a pass rusher at times. He was close to Vita Vea-level as a senior.

DL Bradlee Anae Jr. Utah - Grew again this year as one of the conference’s best sack artists and edge terrors. He also was great against the run all season as a powerful force on the line.

DL Mustafa Johnson So. Colorado - Blew up in his first year at Colorado with more than 50 tackles, 7.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles for-loss. One of the most-versatile defensive linemen in the Pac-12.

DL Christian Rector Jr. USC - Was great for the Trojans all year on the edge with nearly 50 tackles and nearly 10 tackles for loss with 4.5 sacks. A rare bright spot on a Trojan defense that didn’t have their best season.

LB Chase Hansen Sr. Utah - My choice for Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He was a the leader of a great defense that won the South and put up explosive numbers all season blowing up backfields and frustrating passing games.

LB Ben Burr-Kirven Sr. Washington - BBK was more than just the nation’s best tackler with 165 tackles. He was also active in the pass game with two interceptions and the leader of Washington’s deadly defense.

LB Jordan Kunaszyk Sr. Cal - Another linebacker who had more than 100 tackles and led a lights out defense. He was killer all season and disrupted plays in the backfield as well with 10 tackles for-loss and four sacks.

DB Byron Murphy So. Washington - The Pac-12 Championship Game MVP was an MVP all season for the Huskies. He was arguably the nation’s highest-rated cornerback and picked off four passes this season, knocked down 13 and was also tough in run defense.

DB Taylor Rapp Jr. S Washington - He was right there with Murphy all season as one of the nation’s best DBs. A rare talent that was lights out in pass defense, run defense and even rushing the passer, grabbing four sacks to go with his two ints.

DB Julian Blackmon Jr. Utah - One of the conference’s toughest pass defenders and run defending corners was a lockdown CB all season for the Utes. He finished with 44 tackles and a pick six.

DB Jaylon Johnson So. Utah - Quickly turned into one of the nation’s best lockdown corners. He had four picks this year, one for a TD, and also finished with 40 tackles.

Special Teams

K Matt Gay Jr. Utah - Another season as one of the nation’s best kickers. He was great from long range again.

P Mitch Wishnowsky Sr. Utah - Finished out his career as one of the best punters to ever play in the Pac-12.

R Travell Harris Fr. Washington State - It wasn’t a great year for returners in the conference, but Harris was the Pac-12’s best.

2nd Team

Offense

QB K.J. Costello Jr. Stanford - Costello quietly turned into one of the Pac-12’s best quarterbacks in 2018. He had a QB rating of 157, completed 66 percent of his passes for 3,435 yards with 29 TDs.

RB Jermar Jefferson Fr. Oregon State - Put up crazy numbers as a freshman, running for nearly 1,400 yards and scoring 12 TDs. He was arguably the conference’s best back in his first season of action.

RB Joshua Kelley Jr. UCLA - The UCDavis transfer came on huge late in the season and led UCLA to huge wins. He finished the season with more than 1,200 yards and scored 12 touchdowns.

WR J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Sr. Stanford - JJAW was very close to first team. He was the Pac-12’s best red zone receiver, catching 14 touchdowns while also nearly getting to 1,000 yards.

WR Laviska Shenault So. Colorado - Shenault spent a good chunk of the season as the scariest receiver in the nation. He got banged up and slowed down as the season went on, but it was still overall a huge season for the breakout star.

TE Kaden Smith Jr. Stanford - Continued to develop into the next star tight end at Stanford. He had nearly 50 catches for more than 600 yards and caught two TDs.

OL Chris Brown Sr. USC - Another talented USC offensive line that put it together this year as a super smooth and skilled interior linemen for the Trojans.

OL Calvin Throckmorton Jr. Oregon - A key veteran on an offensive line that blew open the run game for Oregon’s freshmen running backs and protected Justin Herbert very well.

OL Abe Lucas Fr. Washington State - Stepped in as the right tackle for the Cougars as a freshman and became a serious standout right away.

OL Nick Harris Jr. Washington - The center of Washington’s strong offensive line stepped up as the Huskies’ leader on the offensive line and opened up a lot of holes for Myles Gaskin during the season.

OL Casey Tucker Sr. Arizona State - The Stanford grad transfer found himself in Tempe and turned into a standout tackle.

Defense

DL Logan Tago Sr. Washington State - Had a breakout year as a senior with nearly 30 tackles, 10 tackles for-loss and three sacks up front for the Cougars’ stiff defense.

DL Leki Fotu Jr. Utah - Fotu stepped up big this year and became another stud Utah defensive tackle, finishing with 30 tackles, six for-loss and 3.5 sacks.

DL Jaylen Johnson Sr. Washington - another key cog in Washington’s powerful defense, his value in run defense showed in him racking up more than 30 tackles as a defensive tackle.

DL John Penisini Jr. Utah - Just another big Utah defensive linemen that was a terror all season with 36 tackles, seven for-loss and two sacks.

LB Evan Weaver Jr. Cal - Weaver should really be a first-team selection, but I’m a stickler for sticking to classic all-conference line-ups and I went with Kunaszyk. He was killer for Cal all season, with more than 140 tackles, 8.5 for-loss, 4.5 sacks and two picks, one for game-winning TD.

LB Colin Schooler So. Arizona - He had another years an athletic linebackers who makes a lot plays in the backfield. Finished with more than 100 tackles and 21.5 tackles for-loss with 3.5 sacks and two ints.

LB Nate Landman So. Colorado - He emerged as an explosive playmaker for the Buffs, totalling more than 100 tackles and a good number of tackles for-loss and ints.

DB Marquise Blair Sr. Utah - A strong hitter, tough tackler and playmaker, he held down the back of Utah’s defensive exceptionally well in 2018.

DB Ashtyn Davis Jr. Cal - Cal’s pass defense came out of nowhere and Davis was the leader of it as a playmaking safety.

DB Camryn Bynum Jr. Cal - Another defensive back who blew up for Cal this year and turned them into a team you couldn’t pass against.

DB Ugo Amadi Sr. Oregon - Another great season for the veteran DB who has helped turn around Oregon’s defense. He finished the season with three ints, two taken back for TDs.

Special Teams

K Jet Toner Jr. Stanford - Didn’t kick a ton of field goals, but had an exceptional accuracy percentage when he did.

P Stefan Flintoft Sr. UCLA - Had a punt average right up there with Wishnowsky.

R Ashtyn Davis Jr. Cal - A great punt returner who took one back for a score.

Third Team

Offense

QB Manny Wilkins Sr. Arizona State

RB J.J. Taylor So. Arizona

RB Zack Moss Jr. Utah

WR Shawn Poindexter Sr. Arizona

WR Michael Pittman Jr. Jr. USC

TE Colby Parkinson So. Stanford

OL Jackson Barton Sr. Utah

OL Patrick Mekari Sr. Cal

OL Shane Lemeiux Jr. Oregon

OL Cohl Cabral Jr. Arizona State

OL Toa Lobendahn Sr. USC

Defense

DL Jalen Jelks Sr. Oregon

DL Jordon Scott So. Oregon

DL Luc Bequette Jr. Cal

DL Levi Onwuzurike So. Washington

LB Troy Dye Jr. Oregon

LB Peyton Pelleur Sr. Washington State

LB Cameron Smith Sr. USC

DB Jalen Thompson Jr. Washington State

DB Jaylinn Hawkins Jr. Cal

DB Traveon Beck Jr. Cal

DB Paulson Adebo Fr. Stanford

Special Teams

K Brandon Ruiz So. Arizona State

P Michael Sleep-Dalton Jr. Arizona State

R Ugo Amadi Sr. Oregon

Honorable Mention

Offense

QB Justin Herbert Jr. Oregon

RB C.J. Verdell Fr. Oregon

RB Travon McMillian Sr. Colorado

WR Isaiah Hodgins So. Oregon State

WR Davontaveon Martin So. Washington State

TE Drew Sample Sr. Washington

OL Quinn Bailey Jr. Arizona State

OL Lo Falemaka Sr. Utah

OL Gus Lavaka So. Oregon State

OL Chris Brown Sr. USC

OL Brandon Fanaika Sr. Stanford

Defense

DL Porter Gustin Sr. USC

DL Jovon Swann So. Stanford

DL Tevin Paul So. Cal

DL P.J. Johnson Jr. Arizona

LB Justin Hollins Sr. Oregon

LB Khrys Barnes Jr. UCLA

LB Bobby Okereke Sr. Stanford

DB Javelin Guidry So. Utah

DB Myles Bryant Jr. Washington

DB Iman Marshall Sr. USC

DB Adarius Pickett Sr. UCLA

Special Teams

K J.J. Molson Jr. UCLA

P Jake Bailey Sr. Stanford

R N’Keal Harry Jr. Arizona State