The media covering the Pac-12 apparently think more of the Arizona Wildcats than the conference’s coaches.
After failing to place a single player on the official all-league first or second teams – as voted on by Pac-12 coaches – Arizona earned three spots on the Associated Press all-conference second team.
The three are center Nathan Eldridge, defensive end Kylan Wilborn and cornerback Jace Whittaker. In addition, the AP panel named quarterback Khalil Tate the Pac-12’s Newcomer of the Year.
Eldridge, a redshirt sophomore, started all 12 regular-season games and anchored an offensive line that played a huge role in the Wildcats’ offensive success. Arizona leads the Pac-12 in scoring, total offense and rushing.
Wilborn, a true freshman, is tied for third in the conference with 7.5 sacks. He leads the league with four forced fumbles.
Whittaker, a junior, ranks fourth in the Pac-12 with 13 passes defensed. He is tied for fifth with three interceptions.
The AP acknowledged Tate for his breakout sophomore season. Despite playing in the equivalent of about eight games, Tate ranks fifth in the league in rushing (1,353 yards). He ranks sixth in passing efficiency (141.2 rating) and has accounted for 21 touchdowns while averaging 9.2 yards per play.
Arizona (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) will face Purdue in the Dec. 27 Foster Farms Bowl in Santa Clara, California.