Athlon Sports got right what Pac-12 coaches got wrong.
Athlon released its Pac-12 awards and all-conference teams Friday. The longtime chronicler of college football named Arizona senior guard Jacob Alsadek to the first team and Wildcats junior return specialist Shun Brown to the second team. Both were relegated to honorable-mention status on the official All-Pac-12 teams, as voted upon by the league’s coaches.
Alsadek anchors an offensive line that has Arizona atop the conference in scoring (41.8 ppg), total offense (494.5 ypg) and rushing (324.4). Brown ranks second in the league in punt-return average (12.9) and touchdowns (two).
In sync with the Pac-12, Athlon named Arizona tailback J.J. Taylor and linebacker Colin Schooler its top freshmen on offense and defense. Taylor, a redshirt freshman, has rushed for 828 yards and has seven total touchdowns. Schooler, a true freshman, has 88 tackles, 13.5 stops for losses, four sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble.
Athlon named UA quarterback Khalil Tate its top Breakout Player. Tate took over at quarterback Oct. 7, won four straight Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week awards and ranks fifth in the league in rushing (1,353 yards) entering bowl season.
Athlon even nailed the Coach of the Year award, giving it to Clay Helton of Pac-12 champion USC.
Arizona (7-5) faces Purdue (6-6) in the Dec. 27 Foster Farms Bowl. The Wildcats are scheduled to practice this afternoon.