One of the challenges in publishing a college football preview magazine – and I know this personally since I’ve been a contributor to Athlon Sports for 17 years and it’s still ongoing – is that the information needs to be gathered by early April. to get the problem on supermarket shelves by June.
The danger in this is that things can change. With the transfer portal, they can change dramatically.
With that in mind, the new Lindy’s magazine available for inspection offers a list of the top 10 Pac-12 players that caught our eye. It’s a fairly representable list with some surprises. While it’s true that two people will never agree on compiling something like this, we quickly spotted a couple of unavoidable omissions. Additionally, we may agree that we disagree on some of the other names.
THE TOP 10 OF LINDY
1) Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon
2) Clark Phillips, CB, Utah
3) Tanner McKee, QB, Stanford
4) Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA
5) Zion Tupuola-Fetui, ER, Washington
6) Dalton Kincaid, TE, Utah
7) Justin Flowe, LB, Oregon
8) Kyu Blue Kelley, CB, Stanford
9) Merlin Robertson, LB, State of Arizona
10) Andrew Voorhees, OT, USC
Lindy’s roster is curiously devoid of quarterbacks and linemen, offering only one of each. Perhaps, the players in those positions are simply not that good. Refreshingly, the magazine didn’t put down three or four USC players just for the fun of it.
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That said, here’s another attempt to pinpoint the conference’s elite players with time on our side and attached comments:
RALEYTHE TOP 10
1) Jordan Addison, WR, USC – He was in Pittsburgh when the magazines were ready to go to print. He brings 100 receptions for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns to Los Angeles as a transfer and is widely regarded as the best pass receiver in the nation.
2) Noah Sewell, LB, Oregon – He is the best defender of the Pac-12 and a selection for all first team conferences. The Ducks hit the finish line with the Sewell family, rallying around Noah after lining up behind his brother Penai, an offensive lineman now in the NFL.
3) Zach Charbonnet, RB, UCLA – The former Michigan defender and powerful runner comes out of a season in which he recorded 7 games from 100 yards, including 167 against USC, 131 against UW and 117 against LSU
4) Zion Tupuola-Fetui, ER, Washington – This passing runner was the most dominant defender in the league before he broke his Achilles tendon and he needed time to get it right again. He should be ready to return to the form that brought him 7 layoffs in 4 games in 2020.
5) Clark Phillips, CB Utah – The UTE defender comes out of a second-team All-Pac-12 season where he provided blocking cover, intercepting a couple of passes and returning one for a score.
6) Jaxson Kirkland, OL, Washington – Looking for a sixth season and missing a deadline to make it happen, Kirkland hadn’t established his NCAA eligibility when magazines called it a conclusion. He is now back as the league’s best offensive lineman, an All-Pac-12 first-team pick twice.
7) Jayden de Laura, QB, Arizona – Lindy named Stanford’s Tanner McKee as the league’s best QB. We think it’s de Laura, who won the Pac-12 freshman of the year award and used her arms and legs to lead Washington State to a historic Huskies game. Arizona will build around him. McKee was run by the Huskies.
8) Kyu Blue Kelley, CB, Stanford – Another talented corner, likewise was a selection of all second unit conferences after breaking 10 passes and intercepting two, and running one back for a score against the USC.
9) Caleb Williams, QB, USC – You can never have too many quarterbacks in a top 10. An All-Big 12 pick from the Oklahoma second team, Williams pitched for 1,912 yards and 21 touchdowns starting just seven games.
10) TJ Bass, OL, Oregon – The tough junior from Deming, Washington, who sits at the base of Mount Baker, has started the last 20 games for the Ducks. If Kirkland isn’t the best offense in the league, this guy is.
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