Preview 2021: Previewing and looking ahead to the Pac-12 season with the College Football News Preseason All-Pac-12 Conference Team & Top 30 players.
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2021 Pac-12 Team Previews
North Cal | Oregon | Oregon State
Stanford | Washington | Washington St
South Arizona | Arizona State
Colorado | UCLA | USC | Utah
2021 CFN Preseason All-Pac-12 Team
2021 CFN Pac-12 Top 30 Players
2021 Preseason CFN Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year
QB Kedon Slovis, Jr. USC
The world is hot on all things Arizona State – for a variety of reasons – and QB Jayden Daniels appears to be poised and ready for a huge season. A slew of great tight ends, running backs, and receivers should also make this a big year for the conference, but …
It’s going to be the season of the defense. That’s where the stars are, and the offenses are going to have to battle.
Slovis is coming off a solid year – hitting 67% of his passes for close to 2,000 yards in the six games with 17 touchdowns and seven picks. He showed a knack for cranking up comebacks, and for a team that didn’t have a ground game he was a 300-yard passing regular.
If anything, Slovis and USC might be flying under the radar. (And Daniels and ASU might show why the hype is warranted.)
2021 Preseason CFN Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
DE/LB Kayvon Thibodeaux, Soph. Oregon
Again, the stars are on the defensive side.
The Pac-12 is loaded with phenomenal pass rushing, edge types who can do a little bit of everything. A whole slew of defensive backs will be factors, and on the CFN Preseason All-Pac-12 team, go ahead and argue for about five other linebackers who didn’t make the cut.
And the most talented Pac-12 defensive player of the bunch is the former No. 1 recruit who needs to show this year what all the fuss was about.
Thibodeaux has all the talent, the size, speed, and NFL upside to be a dominant force. He was an easy all-star in his first two seasons, but last year in seven games on only generated three sacks. The 38 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss were nice, but he can do a whole lot more.
Get ready for him – and the Oregon D – to take things up a few notches.