After an 8-4 season, USC saw multiple players receive Pac-12 honors Tuesday morning. Three players were selected for first team All-Pac-12, five for second team, and six receiving honorable mentions.
Wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. and left tackle Austin Jackson were selected as first team All-Pac-12 on the offensive side while defensive tackle Jay Tufele was named to the first team All-Pac-12 on defense.
Pittman currently is having an amazing senior season. He has been the more consistent and reliable receiver for the Trojans this season. Pittman is currently a Biletnikoff award finalist with 95 catches for 1,222 yards and 11 touchdowns. Those numbers place him second among receivers in the conference. Pittman also received All-Pac-12 second team honors as an All Purpose player.
Austin Jackson, on the other hand, was one of the more consistent offensive linemen for the Trojans this season. The junior tackle missed most of fall camp when he donated bone marrow to his little sister.
Tufele made a jump from second team last year to first team this season. He had a much stronger 2019 season with 4.5 sacks and 6.5 tackles for loss. He also had a huge hand in the Trojans success against the inside run this season.
Offensive guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, defensive end Drake Jackson, safety Talanoa Hufanga, kick returner Velus Jones Jr. were named second team All-Pac-12. Cornerback Olaijah Griffin, linebacker John Houston, kicker Chase McGrath, wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown, Tyler Vaughns and quarterback Kedon Slovis were honorable mentions.
Slovis was also named Freshman offensive player of the year and deservedly so. After stepping in for the injured JT Daniels, the quarterback threw for over 3,000 yards with 28 touchdowns and 9 interceptions. He also finished second in the Pac-12 with a passer rating of 167.61 and averaged 294.7 passing yards per game.
Slovis also threw for over 400 yards in the final three games of the season. You could say that the freshman has a bright future ahead of him. Drake Jackson received an honorable mention for freshman defensive player of the year for his outstanding season at defensive end.
It is safe to say that USC was represented very well in postseason honors and when you compare it to last year, it’s a big step in the right direction. Utah led the way with eight selections while Arizona State and Washington have five players selected for first team All-Pac-12. So the Trojans still have some work to do if they want to reach that level.