Athlon is the latest publication to predict big things for WSU next season. They have placed two Cougars on their pre-season All-American team. Offensive guard Cody O’Connell and defensive end Hercules Mata’afa were the recipients of this recognition.
O’Connell was unsurprisingly named to the 1st team after being a unanimous All-American and Outland trophy finalist in his junior season. Husky linebacker Azeem Victor and Utah punter Mitch Wishnowsky were the only other Pac-12 players shown first team recognition.
Mata’afa was named to the 4th team following a season in which he was named second team All Pac-12 as a sophomore. He recorded 47 tackles, 13.5 TFL’s and 5 sacks in the 2016 campaign. You can see the rest of the team here.
Athlon also names an All Pac-12 team with offensive tackle Cole Madison taking 2nd team honors with Luke Falk on the third team with receiver Tavares Martin, linebacker Peyton Pelluer and cornerback Darrien Molton. The website also put running back Jamal Morrow, running back James Williams, safety Jalen Thompson and kicker Erik Powell on their fourth team.
It’s kind of surprising that Athlon’s would still have the Cougars 4th in the Pac-12 and sitting outside the top 25 with two of the top players in the country, not to mention Falk. Just another reason why pre-season prognostications must be taken with a large grain of salt.
Do you guys see any big omissions from Athlon’s All-American list? A certain quarterback perhaps?
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