The Washington State Cougars have been left out of a few preseason rankings, but the Cougs landed in the Sports Illustrated top 25. The magazine also named WSU guard Cody O’Connell to its preseason All-America team.
After just being left out of the preseason coaches poll, WSU was ranked 22nd by SI. Four other Pac-12 teams were ranked with Stanford (15), Washington (9) and USC (5) coming in ahead of the Cougs.
While WSU fans have been salivating over the potential of James Williams since his redshirt season, the rest of the country is starting to notice the Cougar running back. Williams was selected as the Cougs’ “player to watch” by SI.
For O’Connell, the accolade should come as little surprise. The redshirt senior was a unanimous first team All-American after an outstanding junior campaign. While only an honorable mention selection by the Pac-12 coaches, O’Connell has been very respected by the media.
Interestingly enough, by this single measure O’Connell is the conference’s top offensive player. The only other Pac-12 players selected were linebackers Cameron Smith of USC, Azeem Victor of UW, and Utah Punter Mitch Wishnowsky. So step aside Sam Darnold, The Continent is my pick for 2017 Pac-12 offensive player of the year.
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