O'Connell a fourth-year junior, was tabbed midseason All-America by CBS Sports in this, his first season as a starter at left guard for Washington State.
Nicknamed 'The Continent' by Mike Leach due to his 6-8, 354-pound frame, O'Connell (pictured above) was the only offensive player from the Pac-12 to be named to CBS Sports' All-American team.
With only three players who play for schools west of the Mississippi included in CBS Sports' selections, one might say O'Connell is standing tall against East Coast bias.
CBS Sports' complete All-American team is HERE.
O'Connell, it turns out, garnered the praise of both CBS Sports and Pro Football Focus ...
PFF ranks the Wazzu offensive line No. 2 in the nation, just behind Iowa.
"Heading into the season the Cougars’ offensive line had the task of replacing current Detroit Lions guard Joe Dahl, and they’ve managed to surpass expectations. The Cougars line boasts PFF’s highest-graded guard in Cody O’Connell and the sixth-highest and 10th-highest graded tackles in Cole Madison and Andre Dillard respectively, along with No. 15 guard Eduardo Middleton. The time to throw the line gives Luke Falk to pass is unbelievable. Falk has faced pressure on only 16 percent of his dropbacks, which is the second-lowest in college football.
"The “Air Raid Scheme” ...obviously helps the offensive line but these guys have heavy responsibility, from man blocking on every single pass attempt, to run blocking and blocking on the perimeter for screen passes. Wazzu’s offensive line efficiency is uncanny and if they continue at this level, the Cougars have a shot at the Pac-12 championship," said PFF.
You can see the entire PFF rankings HERE
The Maxwell Football Club released its updated Chuck Bednarik Award watch list Wednesday and included third-year sophomore defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa of Washington State as one of 10 additions.
Mata'afa enters the week leading the Pac-12 Conference with 9.5 tackles-for-loss and is tied for No. 13 with a team-best three sacks. He's fourth on the team with 24 total tackles has recorded a tackle-for-loss in five of the six games this season including 3.5 in the win over Oregon back on October 1st.
Last season Mata'afa led Wazzu with seven sacks and tied for third on the team with 11 tackles-for-loss, despite never starting a game in 2015. Those gaudy numbers earned him placement on the USA Today Sports Freshman All-America First Team.