We are just two days away from the Pac-12 Conference finally taking the field for the 2020 football season.
On Thursday, the Pac-12 announced the preseason All-Pac-12 First and Second Teams, voted on by selected media personnel.
Representation on the First Team was again nearly split evenly between the North Division (13) and South Division (12). USC led the way with six student-athletes among First Team selections, followed by Oregon with four and Washington State with three.
Four Oregon Ducks have been named to the preseason First-Team and two on the Second-Team:
FIRST-TEAM: RB CJ Verdell, DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, DT Jordon Scott & CB Dede Lenoir
Senior running back CJ Verdell is coming off a 1,220-yard season in 2019 including 197 carries and eight touchdowns. He also claimed the Pac-12 Championship MVP trophy after rushing for 208 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries against the nation’s best defense (Utah Utes).
After a breakout freshman campaign, Kayvon Thibodeaux is back for his sophomore year with a mentality that getting 10 sacks last year ‘was cute.’ The 6’5”, 250-pound defensive end recorded 35 total tackles and nine sacks and earned the Coaches Pac-12 Freshman Defensive Player of the Year last season.
Jordon Scott demanded double teams the moment he stepped onto the field as a freshman in 2017. Scott decided to return to Oregon for his senior year and is a two-time Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention selection by the coaches.
Dede Lenoir returns to an Oregon secondary as the only starter from last year’s 2020 Rose Bowl victory. Lenoir decided to return to Oregon following the Rose Bowl, then decided to opt out with the uncertainty in the conference, and then opted back in to play in 2020. Head Coach Mario Cristobal said on Wednesday that Lenoir is the best corner in the country and is excited to watch him play one more year in an Oregon uniform.
SECOND-TEAM: WR Johnny Johnson & CB Mykael Wright
The 2018 offseason was a game-changer for Johnny Johnson III where the wide receiver worked on his hands and route running. As a result, Johnson’s junior year in 2019 was a dominant one: 57 receptions for 836 yards and seven touchdowns.
Mykael Wright made an impact both at corner and on special teams during his freshman year in 2019. He was named to the The Athletic Freshman All-America second team and a Coaches Pac-12 All-Conference honorable mention last season. Wright will start at corner alongside Lenoir to open Pac-12 play on Saturday vs. the Stanford Cardinal.
- LB Isaac Slade-Matautia
- All-Purpose: Mykael Wright
Read the full Pac-12 preseason teams here.