Conference MVP's and newcomers to watch

A look at the pre season MVP's and top newcomers

Pre-Season MVPs and Newcomers To Watch Pac-10 Publishers As part two of our collaboration, the Pac-10 Website and CSPA magazine publishers voted for pre-season Players of the Year and named "Pac-10 Newcomers To Watch" for each team in 2001.

MVPs and Players To Watch

Pre-Season Offensive MVP

Ken Simonton

5-9 200 senior


Simonton is looking for his fourth consecutive 1,000 yard rushing season and is a very legitimate Heisman candidate. Last year Simonton gained 1,474 yards on the ground in an offense built around the diminutive tailback that is lethal in the open field and tough to take down.

Pre-Season Defensive MVP

Larry Tripplett

6-1 300 senior


Tripplett is a pre-season all-American and outland award candidate. Tripplett lead the Huskies with 6.5 sacks from his nose tackle position last year. He had 38 tackles including 11 tackles for loss and knocked down three passes. Tripplett set the school squat record this spring by squatting over 750 pounds. Could've been an NFL pick last spring but decided to stay in school for his senior year.

Pre-Season Special Teams MVP

Luke Powell

5-8 165 redshirt sophomore


Powell had 502 yards receiving and averaged 28 yards per reception last year. His explosive speed and elusive moves after the catch have yielded big plays already, including 4 catches better than 60 yards and 6 over 30 yards. He is dangerous on returns and recorded a 51-yard TD punt return. He reminds some of former Cardinal great Troy Walters.

2001 Pac-10 Newcomers To Watch

Matt Ware

6-3 195 true freshman


Considered one of the best prospects in the nation last year and ranked the #1 DB prospect in the country by PrepStar and SuperPrep, Ware could step in as a true freshman and start at either cornerback or free safety.

Brad Brittain

6-5 260 true freshman


The biggest immediate impact for the newest Wildcats could come from Brittain. With no tight ends on the roster that have ever caught a collegiate pass, there could be an opening for Brittain to make an impact.

R.J. Oliver

5-9 168 redshirt freshman


Oliver could have started his freshman year and his play during spring practice validated that notion. He posses excellent cover skills with blazing speed. After a redshirt season he's ready to make his presence known.

Amon Gordon

6-4 280 redshirt freshman


Amon has a freakish frame, speed and hard-hitting knack. Injury forced him to take a medical redshirt last year, and he again was sidelined this past spring. But the moments he has shown on the practice field verify every bit of his hype out of high school. He could unseat some veteran linebackers to play, or possibly start, alongside Coy Wire.

Shaun Cody

6-5 260 true freshman


The USA Today high school defensive player of the year in 2000 will have the opportunity to come in and earn immediate playing time at the defensive end spot after having 255 tackles and 57 sacks in two seasons at Los Altos HS.

Onterrio Smith

5-11 200 sophomore


Smith comes to Oregon from Tennessee and despite a troubled past off field there is no question about his abilities on field. One of the top backs coming out of high school two years ago, Smith should see significant playing time this season, and has been frequently compared to another Smith in his running style, Emmett Smith of the Dallas Cowboys.

Dwayne Wright

6-0 190 true freshman


Wright rushed for nearly 4,000 yards over the past two seasons and received nine of a possible ten votes in the Long Beach Press-Telegram's "Best in the West" rating of prep talent. Only 14 other running backs in the 25-year history of the ratings have received more votes than Wright. Some of those backs included Ricky Williams, Marcus Allen, Lawrence Phillips, Rashaan Salaam and Napoleon Kaufman.

Lorenzo Alexander

6-3 280 true freshman


Alexander was named a Parade All-American and was named among the top 10 defensive linemen in just about every recruiting periodical that went to print last year. Alexander has an immediate shot at playing time with the losses of Waasdorp and Carter on the defensive line.

Andre Cyrus

6-0 180 JC transfer


Cyrus comes to OSU from Mount San Antonio JC and enters a program where the top three receivers all graduated. Expect Cyrus to get playing time immediately.

Reggie Williams

6-4 210 true freshman


However fair or unfair they might be, comparisons to Randy Moss will spring to life once the rest of the Pac-10 sees Williams in action because of his size and speed combination. He's a sprinter (Washington State champion in the 100 meters) with a body built for football. Solid hands and a solid citizen, Reggie should make an immediate impact at Washington in his first season.

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