When it comes to talent on the football field, very few conferences can compare with the Pac-12 and the number of offensive threats it has.
Not only does the Pac-12 have the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner, given out to the nation’s top wide receiver, and the No. 1 ranked tight end in the country, they have one of the nation’s most explosive players.
Here is a breakdown of the top six offensive threats in the Pac-12:
5. Brett Hundley – Redshirt Sophomore – UCLA
What makes this quarterback so dangerous isn’t his size, athletic ability, arm or running ability. It’s his toughness. Hundley was sacked an incredible 52 times or better yet, 3.71 times per game, yet never missed a game.
Hundley, 6-foot-3-inch, 222 pounds, threw for a UCLA freshman record of 3,745 yards and 29 touchdowns while rushing for 355 yards. His maturity makes him seem older than he really is, and in a conference full of very good quarterbacks, Hundley could emerge as best of them all.
4. Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Junior – Washington
The preseason All-American is looking to solidify his spot as the top tight end in the nation when the 2013 season gets under way. After a rough off season where he was arrested for a misdemeanor DUI, Seferian-Jenkins is ready to take the next step and prove himself.The tight end was Price’s favorite target last year, hauling in 69 passes for 852 yards and seven touchdowns. Apart from Seferian-Jenkins’ size: 6-foot-6-inch, 276 pounds and athletic abilities, his blocking prowess is what sets him apart from other tight ends in the country.
The tight end was Price’s favorite target last year, hauling in 69 passes for 852 yards and seven touchdowns. Apart from Seferian-Jenkins’ size: 6-foot-6-inch, 276 pounds and athletic abilities, his blocking prowess is what sets him apart from other tight ends in the country.
“He’s got great size and runs really well – that’s what makes him so hard to defend,” Oregon senior safety Brian Jackson said.
3. Marcus Mariota – Redshirt Sophomore – Oregon
The reigning first team all-Pac 12 quarterback returns for another season leading the prolific Ducks offense with heavy expectations. Stanford head coach David Shaw called the Manning award watch list nominee the “most complete quarterback in college football.”
Mariota completed 69 percent of his passes for 2,677 yards and 32 touchdowns while running for 752 yards and five touchdowns. The dark horse Heisman candidate spent the summer gaining more knowledge of Oregon’s offense while putting on weight to add to his 6-foot-4-inch, 211-pound frame.
“This summer I’ve focused on getting to know the offense better,” Mariota said. “I’ve been able to put on some weight while not losing speed or arm strength, which is a bonus.”
2. Marqise Lee – Junior – USC
The best wide receiver in college football last year is back for another year at the University of Southern California. Lee, the reigning Biletnikoff award winner, is looking to improve on a breakout year where he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also averaged 8.2 yards per carry in limited time running the ball while returning a kickoff for a touchdown.
1. De’Anthony Thomas – Junior – Oregon
The hybrid wide receiver/running back is known across the nation as one of the most explosive athletes in college football. According to bleacherreport.com, Thomas is the nation’s No. 2 most explosive athlete, the second year in a row he’s come in second. Not only is he a threat any time he touches the football, he can score in so many ways.
After his first two years in Eugene, Thomas has scored running the ball, catching the ball, returning a punt and returning a kickoff for a touchdown. With LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner gone from Oregon, look for Thomas to get the ball even more, a scary thought for opposing defenses.