Posted on April 3, 2023
I tried to avoid transfers and stick to players already on rosters, but couldn’t completely stick to it with some teams.
Here are players for each Pac-12 team I think will make star turns in 2023.
Arizona – Jonah Savaiinaea, Sophomore GuardHe was a mainstay of all-conference freshman honors last year and should be one of the best interior offensive linemen in the conference in 2023.
Expect him to be much better known by the end of the season around the Pac.
Arizona State – Giovanni Sanders, Senior Wide ReceiverASU doesn’t have anyone who screams breakout star to me.
I think Kenny Dillingham is going to get their offense cooking, though, the way he did Oregon’s last year and Sanders is poised to really ramp up his production as a veteran receiver.
Cal – Craig Woodson, Junior SafetyThe Bears have been killing it at developing star DBs under Justin Wilcox.
Woodson looks next in line with Daniel Scott off to the NFL. Look for him to challenge for All-Pac-12 honors after just being a good DB so far in his career.
Colorado – Cormani McClain, Freshman CornerbackMcClain is a top recruit in the country at any position-level recruit and should come in right away and make a huge impact in Boulder.
Expect him to especially look good teamed with a former top recruit in the country and incoming Jackson State transfer Travis Hunter at the other corner spot.
Oregon – Josh Conerly Jr., Sophomore TackleHe was a five-star recruit and got reps last year behind Oregon’s stellar veteran offensive line.
It feels like he could slide in at left tackle next year and quickly become a star for the Ducks.
Oregon State – Oluwaseyi Omotosho, Junior Defensive EndI tried to avoid transfers here, but just can’t pass up Omotosho, whom I think instantly becomes a good pass rusher for the Beavers after transferring from Wyoming.
He feels like he could immediately add a huge needed wrinkle to the Beavers’ defense.
Stanford – David Bailey, Sophomore Defensive EndFormer blue-chip recruit who was good in 2022 and looks ready to take the next step. He could be one of the Pac-12’s best pass rushers in 2023.
UCLA – TJ Harden, Sophomore Running BackI really like Ball State transfer Carson Steele coming in at running back and I like Harden as well.
Harden flashed with a huge Sun Bowl and I think will have a really good 2023, even if he’s splitting time with Steele.
USC – Mario Williams, Junior Wide ReceiverThe big-time Oklahoma transfer was solid in 2022. I think he steps up in 2023 though with Jordan Addison off to the NFL.
He’ll be a bigger target for Caleb Williams.
Utah – Lander Barton, Sophomore LinebackerThe Utes are actually loaded with young defensive players who could break out.
Barton was great as a freshman and looks like the kind of guy who could be one of their next defensive studs.
Also watch for Van Fillinger, Simote Pepa, and JaTravis Broughton.
Washington – Roger Rosengarten, Sophomore TackleHe protected Michael Penix Jr’s blind side as a freshman and was really good.
I think this year he jumps up from big time freshman to All-Pac-12 player.
Washington State – Jaden Hicks, Sophomore SafetySavvy Pac-12 fans know well about Hicks already as he was a mainstay of the Freshman of the Week honors last year.
This year he should star as one of the Pac-12’s best DBs.
—More from Jack Follman—
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- Jack Follman’s 2023 Pac-12 Football Trap Games
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Great Debate: Ranking the Pac-12 MascotsNick and Jack debate their respective rankings and have some fun along the way - June 1, 2023
Jack Follman’s 2023 Pac-12 Backfield Unit RankingsIt’s one of the best years for quarterbacks and a nice year for running backs at the top as well - May 31, 2023
Jack Follman’s 2023 Pac-12 Wide Receiver RankingsThe top five spots are really tight and you could argue them in just about any order - May 30, 2023