Bercovici, a redshirt senior from Calabasas, Calif., graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in business management in three years, and maintained a 3.25 grade point average through his undergraduate studies and a 3.67 GPA combined with his graduate-level studies. Bercovici has guided Arizona State to it’s fifth straight bowl-eligible season and has thrown for 4,915 yards in his career with 38 touchdowns, while rushing for 136 yards and six touchdowns. Off the field, Bercovici is a 10-time Scholar Baller at Arizona State, an ASU honor given to student-athletes who achieve a GPA of 3.0 or above. The two-time Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention honoree is currently enrolled in a Master’s of Sports Law and Business and is on track to graduate in May of 2016. The program combines classes from the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law and the W.P. Carey School of Business.
Smith, a freshman from Roseville, Calif., helped the Trojans to an 8-4 overall record, a share of the Pac-12 South title and a berth to the Pac-12 Championship Game. Smith was the first USC freshman to start at middle linebacker since 1978. He started nine of 10 games and finished his rookie season with a team-leading 78 tackles as well as three interceptions. Smith became the first USC player to intercept three passes in a game since 1991, picking off three passes in the win over then-No. 3 Utah and was named Conference Defensive Player of the Week for his efforts. Smith was one of six USC true freshmen to score a touchdown this season. Smith now becomes the fourth Trojan in the last five years to be named Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: Rosen, a quarterback from Manhattan Beach, Calif., took over for the Bruins under center as a true freshman and was the first true freshman quarterback to start a season opener for the Bruins. In his first outing, Rosen went 28-of-35 for 351 yards and three touchdowns in the 34-16 win over Virginia and was named Walter Camp National Offensive Player of the Week and Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week for his performance. He finished the regular season completing 266 passes in 447 attempts (.595) for a UCLA freshman record 3,350 yards and 20 touchdowns. The rookie went on to set a Bruin record with 245 pass attempts without an interception.
DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon: Buckner, a senior lineman from Waianae, Hawai’i, finished the regular season for the second-straight year as the team leader in tackles for loss. In 2015, he recorded 76 tackles (6.3 avg), including 16.0 TFL for 82 yards and totaled 9.5 sacks, which ties for 13th in the nation. The Ted Hendricks Award and Polynesian College Football Player of the Year semifinalist is tied for ninth in Duck history with 35 tackles for loss.
The Castle Rock, Colorado, native amassed a nation-best and Pac-12-record 3,035 all-purpose yards during the regular season. A finalist for the Doak Walker, Maxwell and Hornung Awards, and semifinalist for the Walter Camp Award, the versatile McCaffrey set several school records by rushing for 243 yards against UCLA, posted nine-straight 100-yard rushing games, and recorded 389 all-purpose yards against Cal, the latter eclipsing a 25-year-old mark.
Mike Leach, Washington State: In his fourth year at the helm of the Cougar program, Leach led WSU to a 8-4 record and a 6-3 mark in Pac-12 play after being picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 North in the preseason. WSU led the country in passing offense at 397.0 and recorded its first three-game conference-winning streak since 2003. The Cougars appeared at No. 20 in the AP and Coaches polls, its highest ranking since 2003. Under Leach’s tutelage, Washington State at 8-4 is bowl eligible for just the second time since 2003. The Cougars’ win over Oregon State gave Leach his 100th-career win.
David Shaw, Stanford: In his fifth year as the Stanford Bradford M. Freeman Director of Football, Shaw led the Cardinal to a 10-2 record and an 8-1 mark in Conference play and his fourth 10+ win season. Shaw guided the Cardinal to its third Pac-12 North title in four years for a berth to the Pac-12 Championship Game. Stanford saw three wins over ranked opponents this year with the help of an offense that averaged 36.9 points behind the Pac-12’s most efficient passing game (157.9 passing efficiency) and a rushing attack that’s averaged 222.0 yards per game – the third best single-season average in school history. The Cardinal top the FBS in time of possession average at 35.12 minutes per game.