Pac-12’s Top 25 Players, Part II

Picking up from Part I, here’s the next five in our Pac-12 Top 25 countdown.

20. Bishop Sankey, Washington

The 5-foot-10 back rushed for 1,439 yards and 16 touchdowns as a sophomore, ensuring that the Huskies didn’t miss All-Pac-12 first-teamer Chris Polk. The only returning running back in the conference who had more yards last season is Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey. Sankey, who has a knack for avoiding direct hits, may even break UW’s single-season rushing record (1,695, set by Corey Dillon in 1996).

19. Leonard Williams, USC

The former four-star recruit turned himself into the Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year with 64 tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. After starting nine games as a defensive tackle, he’ll move to end in Clancy Pendergast’s 5-2 scheme. Standing at 6-foot-5, he was up to 290 pounds during spring.

18. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State

Perhaps no one has drawn more praise from the Beavers coaching staff than Brandin Cooks. After a 1,151-yard sophomore campaign, the 5-foot-10 wideout should step into the No. 1 role and give an unsettled quarterback battle (Cody Vaz vs. Sean Mannion) one of the Pac-12’s better receiving options. Cooks led the league last season with 17.18 yards per catch.

17. Trent Murphy, Stanford

Murphy not only led the Cardinal in multiple defensive stats, he put up numbers Stanford hadn’t seen in roughly a decade. His 10 sacks were the highest team total since 2004, and his 18 tackles for loss the highest since 2000. The Associated Press named him a third-team All-American.

16. Hroniss Grasu, Oregon

Grasu is the anchor on the Ducks’ offensive line, having started 27 straight games at center and been twice named to the Rimington Award watchlist. After starting off last season with a some snap troubles, he fell in sync with quarterback Marcus Mariota — who beat out Grasu’s former roommate and high school teammate Bryan Bennett. The 6-foot-3, 294-pound lineman is also a capable run blocker.

  • Joe Blow

    When’s part III?