Mariota heads up Duck, Beaver all-stars

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. — Five University of Oregon football players — including the first freshman quarterback to receive the honor in 23 years — have been selected to the Pac-12 Conference all-league first team and four Oregon State players gathered the distinction in a vote of head coaches.

The team was announced Monday.

Oregon and Stanford each had five first-teamers to lead the conference, while Oregon State was next with four.

Oregon redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota, who becomes the league's first freshman named at that position since USC's Todd Marinovich in 1989, is joined by senior running back Kenjon Barner, sophomore center Hroniss Grasu, senior defensive end Dion Jordan and sophomore cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu on the Pac-12's elite team.

Second-team Duck selections were senior linebackers Kiko Alonso and Michael Clay.

For the Beavers, senior special-teams standout Jordan Jenkins, senior cornerback Jordan Poyer and senior wide receiver Markus Wheaton and sophomore defensive end Scott Crichton made the first team.

OSU didn't have anyone on the second team.

Mariota became the Ducks' first freshman starter at quarterback since Danny O'Neil in 1991 and capped the regular season by being voted by his teammates as the team's most outstanding player, along with Clay.

The Honolulu native's 2012 achievements included setting the conference record for most touchdown passes by a freshman (30), becoming Oregon's first freshman to throw for 300 yards in a single game (three times) and threatening the NCAA freshman record for single-season passing efficiency.

With one game remaining, he stands three touchdown passes shy of equaling the Ducks' single-season school record and is on pace to eclipse the Oregon school record for one-year completion percentage. Mariota has completed 218 of 312 passes (69.9 percent) while throwing only six interceptions, and is ranked fifth in the country in passing efficiency.

Mariota also was tabbed as the Pac-12's freshman offensive player of the year.

Barner is one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, given to the top running back in the country, and is ranked fourth nationally in rushing (135.3 per game) and sixth in scoring (11.0 points per game) as Oregon's 15th 1,000-yard single-season rusher (1,624).

Grasu was vital to the success of the school's running game as the second-year starter has been a key component in Oregon ranking second in the country in scoring (50.8 average), as well as fourth in rushing (323.3 average) and total offense (550.1 average).

Jordan is one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, given to the top collegiate linebacker in the country. He has recorded 44 tackles this season, including 10.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 quarterback sacks.

Ekpre-Olomu leads the Pac-12 in passes defended (tied for sixth nationally) and forced fumbles (third nationally) in addition to being credited with 58 tackles.

Clay and Alonso rank as the Ducks' top two tacklers at 92 and 75 stops, respectively, with Clay fifth in the conference in tackles per game (8.4 average).

The Beavers' four selections are their most since they had six in 2009.

Jenkins, a running back, topped OSU in special teams tackles with eight and is a member of the two coverage and kickoff teams.

Poyer is a candidate for numerous All-America teams and was recently selected a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award (top defensive back) and the Bednarik Award (top defensive player).

He has six interceptions, tied for third-best in the country, and for his career ranks tied for sixth at OSU with 12.

Wheaton is third on OSU's career list for receiving yards with 2,834, fourth for career receptions with 212 and tied for sixth for career touchdowns receiving with 15. He is second in the Pac-12 this year for receptions with 76.

Crichton is a semifinalist for the Ted Hendricks Award (top down lineman) and an Midseason All-America pick. He has 40 tackles, including 16 for loss and nine sacks.

Earning honorable mention from Oregon were sophomores Jake Fisher (offensive line), Colt Lyerla (tight end), Terrance Mitchell (cornerback) and De'Anthony Thomas (return specialist); juniors Taylor Hart (defensive line), Josh Huff (wide receiver) and Wade Keliikipi (defensive line); and senior Isaac Remington (defensive line).

Senior defensive tackle Andrew Seumalo, junior offensive guard Grant Enger, junior cornerback Rashaad Reynolds, sophomore receiver Brandin Cooks, sophomore kicker Trevor Romaine and freshman center Isaac Seumalo earned honorable mention for OSU.

Stanford's David Shaw was the coach of the year for the second straight season.

Southern California wide receiver Marqise Lee was named the league's top offensive player and Arizona State tackle Will Sutton the top defender. USC end was the top freshman defender.

Shaw is the fifth coach in league history to win the award in consecutive seasons. Shaw helped Stanford overcome the departure of No. 1 overall draft pick Andrew Luck, seamlessly made a midseason quarterback change from Josh Nunes to Kevin Hogan and overtook Oregon to take the North Division crown.

Lee set conference records with 112 receptions for 1,680 yards to go with 14 touchdowns. Sutton led the Pac-12 with 1.82 tackles for loss per game and also registered 10 1/2; sacks.

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