The Pac-12 All-Conference Teams were announced today, and Oregon State’s Sean Harlow wasy named to the second team. The senior left tackle was the only Beaver named to the first or second units by the conference’s coaches whose votes determine the awards.
Four Beavers did receive Honorable Mention, cornerbacks Treston Decoud and Xavier Crawford, running back Ryan Nall, and guard Gus Lavaka.
The Conference Offensive Player of the Year is Washington quarterback Jake Browning, and the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year is USC defensive back Adoree’ Jackson, who also was a receiver on the Trojan offense as well as being their kickoff and punt returner.
The Freshman Offensive Player of the Year is quarterback Sam Darnold, also from USC, and the Freshman Defensive Player of the Year is Washington defensive back Taylor Rapp.
The Coach of the Year is Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre, who led the Buffs from a 1-8 season a year ago, and last place in the Pac-12 South, to an 8-1 conference mark, and 10-2 season, and the South division conference championship. It’s the largest turnaround in the history of the Pac-10 or -12.
Harlow, who suffered a season ending ankle injury a year ago against Colorado, didn’t return to action until the 4th game of the season, ironically, against Colorado.
And though his return didn’t make much of a difference in Boulder, one could begin to see some improvement from the offensive line that had underperformed significantly to that point.
Harlow’s return, which, allowed 3 other position changes, improved the overall play of all 5 offensive line positions, and it paid dividends the following week, in an overtime win over California. The Oregon State ground game became immediately more effective, and the Beavers would go on to win 3 conference games.
Nall’s name not coming up until in the Honorable Mention section might surprise some, especially in light of his recent performances in Oregon State’s season ending wins over Arizona and Oregon, but its important to note that Nall missed two games, and left after the first play and carry of the Boise State contest. Indeed, he didn’t finish a game until the last 2 of the season, due to nagging injuries. But his inclusion recognizes that his complete game presence, which not coincidentally coincided with two Beaver wins by double digit margins, was a difference maker.
Decoud’s senior season culminated with an invite to the East-West Shrine game, and Crawford, a redshirt freshman tasked with playing opposite the Beavers’ best cover player, was one of the most improved players in the Pac-12 over the course of the season.
Lavaka, a freshman, like Harlow, didn’t hit the field until the 4th game of the season, when Fred Lauina suffered an injury, but went on to start all but 1 game the rest of the way.
(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)