The Pac-12 is home to some of the best football players in the country, but with several top performers leaving for the NFL, some new players are going to get their chance to shine. Here are five players in the conference that will become household names this season:
QB Josh Rosen, Freshman, UCLA Bruins
Rosen is being counted on to take over as UCLA’s starting quarterback, and the 6’4″, 205-pounder seems ready for it. He is the top-ranked pro-style quarterback because of his strong arm and good accuracy, though he’ll have to adjust to the pace of Pac-12 defenses. The Bruins have a lot of returning starters and young, exciting prospects on offense, which should make the transition easier for one of the most talented QBs in the country – the only question mark is how much his lack of experience will hurt him.
QB Vernon Adams, Senior, Oregon Ducks
Adams was an absolute monster during his three years at Eastern Washington, throwing for 10,438 yards and 110 scores while adding 1,282 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. With one year of eligibility left as a graduate student, Adams transferred to Oregon for his final season to fill in for Marcus Mariota. He may need some time to adjust to the speed of the game at the FBS level, but once he does, the rest of the country better watch out.
QB Jared Goff, Jr, Cal Golden Bears
Goff might not be suiting up for a team that’s seen much recent success (at least not since that Aaron Rodgers guy left for the NFL), but he somehow managed to fly under the radar in 2014 despite absolutely jaw-dropping numbers. Goff threw for just under 4,000 yards, with 35 TDs, 7 interceptions and a 62% completion rate…and the Bears are losing just three of their 22 starters to graduation. His three primary WRs will all be entering their senior year – are you starting to see where this might be going?
WR Nelson Spruce, Senior, Colorado Buffaloes
The best receiver you may not have heard of, Spruce was the go-to receiver for the Buffaloes in 2014 – racking up an eye-popping 106 catches for 1,100+ yards and 12 touchdowns. Spruce just seems to do all of the little things well, more than making up for the lack of one undeniable tangible advantage. The kid is poised to continue to produce (and produce big) during his senior season as Colorado looks to rebound from a nightmarish 2-10 campaign.
WR Trent Irwin, Freshman, Stanford Cardinal
Stanford’s passing attack really needs a boost from someone, and Irwin might just be the guy to supply it. He has the size (6’2″) and soft hands to be a great possession receiver and a top red zone target, but his speed is his biggest asset.Back to the NCAA Newsfeed