1. Matt Barkley QB USC SR
Lane Kiffin got a nice Christmas gift for 2012 when Matt Barkley came back for his senior season.
Barkley returns for his senior season to accomplish three goals: Win the Pac-12, win the Heisman trophy, and restore order to the Pac-12 by winning the national title. As a junior he tossed for just 39 touchdowns to seven interceptions with a completion percentage of 69 percent, and 3,500 yards. The best skill position player in the Pac-12 will have a lot of weapons on offense to put up similar if not better numbers as a senior.
2. Robert Woods WR USC JR
Woods made a case for the league's best receiver as a freshmen and then did it on a national level as a sophomore. Now as a junior and Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon gone to the NFL I dare you to find a better receiver than Woods somewhere out there in college football. Woods caught 111 balls for 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns. Woods also had over 500 yards returning on just 30 touches. As a junior Woods could seriously make a case for 1,500 yards receiving with Barkley returning to USC as well.
3. De'Anthony Thomas WR/RB OR SO
Thomas did a little bit of everything for the Ducks as a freshmen. He started the season as a running back but because of Oregon's lack of depth at receiver he saw increased time there. All he did was finish with over 2,000 yards all-purpose and scored 18 touchdowns, and led the Ducks in receiving receptions. With LaMichael James now gone from the Ducks as well as increased time at receiver the sky is the limit for Thomas.
4. Keenan Allen WR Cal JR
After only 492 yards as a freshmen Allen more than tripled his receiving yards as a sophomore. In 13 games Allen finished the season with 98 catches for 1,343 yards and six touchdowns. With Cal bringing back Zach Maynard the production should go up even more for Allen who most likely will be playing his final season at Cal before heading off to the NFL.
5. Keith Price QB UW JR
De'Anthony Thomas will look to build on an All-American freshman season as a sophomore.
Jake Locker? Who is that? That is what Keith Price had Washington fans saying following his sophomore season and first year starting at quarterback in place of Locker who graduated. Price finished the season with 3,063 yards, 33 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, 67 percent completion percentage, and a quarterback rating of 161.9. With another year in the Washington system, his fourth, the Washington quarterback might become the league's second best quarterback.
6. Marqise Lee WR USC SO
The other starting receiver for the USC Trojans could very well end up being the league's best come December and that makes USC's scoring ability just disgustingly good. 73 catches, 1,143 yards, and 11 touchdowns receiving as a freshman. Lee also added a touchdown in the return game and 300 more yards. With Woods already demanding a double team Lee could be seeing lots of one-on-one coverage. May USC have mercy on the rest of the Pac-12's defenses.
7. Darron Thomas QB OR SR
Thomas is just 23-3 as a starter in his two seasons at Oregon. As a junior he completed 211 passes for 2,761 yards, 33 touchdowns, and just seven interceptions. With LaMichael James now gone Thomas should see his pass attempts increase and the chance for more yards. The belief in college football is that when you get a three-year starter for a good team the production they put up are all-league level. Andrew Luck, Matt Barkley, Dennis Dixon, and Nick Foles are just some of the league’s past three-year starters who have seen huge success.
8. Marquees Wilson WR WSU JR
The 5th receiver to find his way onto this list Wilson is the best receiver you have never heard of and certainly have never heard of outside of the Pac-12. All Wilson did for the Cougars last season was catch 82 balls for 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns. He had over 1,000 yards as a freshmen and with his quarterback finally healthy and new head coach Mike Leach's spread offense Wilson could put up over 1,500 yards of offense next year as a junior. Wilson is likely a first three round draft prospect already in next year's draft and could climb higher.
9. John White RB UTH SR
White went under the radar last season as he was at Utah and the Pac-12 had guys like LaMichael James, De'Anthony Thomas, Chris Polk, and other backs getting attention. All White did last season was rush for 1,520 yards and 15 touchdowns on 316 carries while also adding two touchdowns receiving. With Utah a year under their belt in the Pac-12 and maybe the only team in the South Division to give USC any kind of a fight for the division title White will be much more known.
10. Kenjon Barner RB OR SR
As LaMichael James' backup Barner still found himself as a key cog for the Ducks. In games against Arizona State, Colorado, and USC it was Barner who either filled in for an injured James or played better. He finished his junior season with 152 carries for 939 yards and 11 touchdowns while also adding 17 catches for 184 yards and three more touchdowns. All in all Barner finished the year with 1,232 yards of total offense despite missing two games. With an increased roll in Oregon's system expect big numbers from Barner.
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