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2018 Top 50 Pac-12 players: USC’s Stephen Carr poised for major breakout

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We continue our countdown of the Pac-12’s top players going into 2018.

NCAA Football: Stanford at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

21. Stephen Carr So. RB USC - Carr’s stats as a true freshman won’t blow you away, but if you watch him run you’ll see why he looks like he will become USC’s next great running back. He’s big, fast and runs like an NFL back. Expect big things this year from him.

22. Christian Rector Jr. DE USC - Rector exploded as one of the conference’s best pass rushers in 2017. He had 11.5 tackles for-loss and 7.5 sacks. He should bump both those numbers in 2018.

23. Byron Murphy So. CB Washington - Murphy only played in a handful of games in 2017 due to injury, but what he showed was enough to prove himself as the conference’s best CB going into 2018. He’s ultra athletic and fast, but also incredibly physical and looks like a first round pick in 2019 or 2020.

24. Jordan Miller Sr. CB Washington - The other injured Husky CB. Miller is a 6’1 athlete with long arms who no one threw much against before he got hurt halfway through 2017. If healthy, he could be the conference’s best.

25. Peyton Pelleur Sr. LB Washington State - Pelleur missed almost all of 2017 due to injury, but got a fifth year and returns as one of the conference’s most-experienced and most-proven defensive players. He should crack more than 100 tackles in 2018 as the Cougars’ defensive leader.

26. Jaelan Phillips So. DE UCLA - Phillips was arguably the top recruit in the class of 2018, at least out west, and could easily be the Pac-12’s best defensive lineman by the end of 2018. Watch out for him to blow up.

27. Walker Little So. T Stanford - Little was maybe the best freshman offensive lineman in the country last year and should keep progressing as a sophomore. He’s a future All-American and first round pick as a 6’8 left tackle with great feet.

28. Jalen Thompson Jr. S Washington State - Thompson patrols the back of WSU’s defense exceptionally well and had a breakout season as a sophomore with four interceptions.

29. Andre Dillard Sr. T Washington State - The Cougars are producing great tackles under Mike Leach and Dillard’s the next in line. He might the be the Pac-12’s best pass blocker.

30. J.J. Arcega-Whiteside Sr. WR Stanford - Stanford’s go-to red zone receiver developed into a stellar all around weapon in 2017. He had more than 700 yards receiving and six scores and is almost impossible to cover at 6’3 220.