4. LB Hamilcar Rashed, Sr. Oregon State
Utah’s fantastic defensive front was loaded with superstar pass rushers.
Oregon’s D line was outstanding, and it was a decent year as a whole for Pac-12 defensive lineman.
But it was a hybrid linebacker from Oregon State who turned into the conference’s best playmaker in the backfield.
Utah’s Bradlee Anae came up with 13 sacks – only one other player hit double digits.
Hamilcar Rashed led the Pac-12 with 14 sacks, lived behind the line with 22.5 tackles for loss – Anae was second with 14 – and pounded out 62 tackles from his spot on the outside. Unlike Anae – and others on the top of the statistical sheet – Rashed didn’t have a bowl game or Pac-12 Championship to add to the numbers.
A solid recruit out of Phoenix, the 6-4, 238-pounder came on as a sophomore with a strong 58-tackle, 11.5 tackle for loss season, and then it all came together last year.
He generated at least a tackle for loss in each of the first ten games, crushed Cal and Arizona with three sacks, had five games with double-digit stats, and was all over the field in game after game.
He’ll be keyed on from the start, but the Beavers should have a stronger linebacking corps overall to make up for it.