ESPN.com writer chooses his All-Pac-12 football dark horse candidates

Jun 6, 2016, 7:04 PM
Follow @Tdrake4sports...

For the Pac-12 teams in Arizona to compete with the likes of Oregon and Stanford, they are going to need more than just their key players to contribute in the upcoming football season.

Ted Miller, ESPN.com writer, chose his All-Pac-12 dark horse candidates that featured one player from every Pac-12 South school.

Interestingly enough, the two players he picked from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University came from the defensive side of the ball.

Arizona: The Wildcats have a new, super-secret defensive scheme under first-year coordinator Marcel Yates, but scheme won’t mean anything without playmakers. A candidate to be just that is linebacker DeAndre’ Miller, a 6-foot-3, 236-pound junior with the athletic skills to rush the passer and play in space. He had eight tackles for loss and two sacks last year, and those totals should go up as the Wildcats try to replace the production of Scooby Wright.

Miller, from Buckeye and junior at UA, totaled 50 tackles last season in 11 games with a season-high seven in the season opener against University of Texas at San Antonio.

Cody Ippolito, a junior linebacker, is the only returning linebacker who made more tackles with 51.

Miller added two sacks to his stat sheet with one against University of Washington and one against in-state rival ASU, while also making eight tackles for negative yards for the Wildcats.

On the other side of the state, Ted Miller chose a player that is in the trenches of the line of scrimmage.

Arizona State: While accumulating A-list defensive linemen is often a challenge for Pac-12 teams, that is not an issue at present for Arizona State. The best of the lot may be true sophomore JoJo Wicker, who at 6-foot-3, 275 pounds can rush the passer and stand up to a power run game. He had four sacks last year and should increase that total this fall.

Wicker, from Long Beach, California, put together 21 tackles in the 11 games he played in his freshman season for the Devils.

Of the returning linemen, Wicker led the way for the Sun Devils with four sacks last season against University of New Mexico, University of Southern California, Washington State University and rival UA.

The two will face off against each other in the regular-season finale, Friday, Nov. 25, when the teams meet in Tuscon for the annual Territory Cup battle.

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona Football

Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham speaks during Pac-12 Conference men's NCAA college football media ...
Associated Press

Top-heavy Pac-12 places 3 in 2022 preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll

The Pac-12 placed three teams in the top-15: Utah, Oregon and USC. Only two more teams earned any points, however.
3 days ago
Pac-12 Conference commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at Pac-12 NCAA college football media day Fr...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12, Larry Fitzgerald-backed startup to monetize highlights for NIL

The Pac-12 is entering the NIL space by partnering with a startup that will help athletes earn money from their personalized game highlights.
7 days ago
Arizona State defensive back Chase Lucas reacts after knocking down a pass against Colorado in the ...
Nikash Nath

Wildcats WR Jacob Cowing named his son after ASU product Chase Lucas

Here's something you don't see every day: A college football player naming his son after a former player from his rival school.
8 days ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Nikash Nath

CBS Sports: Wildcats among top 30 best 2021-22 sports programs

CBS Sports released rankings Monday with over 130 colleges ordered on the success of their athletic programs. 
11 days ago
Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate throws a pass in the second half of an NCAA college football game a...
Wills Rice

Former Arizona Wildcats QB Khalil Tate signs with CFL’s Argonauts

Former Arizona Wildcats star quarterback Khalil Tate signed with the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts on Wednesday.
12 days ago
George Kliavkoff, Commissioner of the Pac-12 Conference, left, with Senior Associate Commissioner M...
Associated Press

Pac-12 notebook: Tiebreakers for title game forthcoming

The Pac-12 pushed for conference title games to be played without requiring divisions, and it was the first conference to take advantage.
13 days ago
ESPN.com writer chooses his All-Pac-12 football dark horse candidates