Pac-12 Media Days 2013: Highlighting Top Players Scheduled for Podium
The lineup for interviews is loaded with top players at Pac-12 media days, which kicks off on Friday, July 26 at Sony Studios in Los Angeles.
The one-day event will give sports writers and radio shows plenty to discuss while we eagerly await the start of another college football season.
Who will start at quarterback for California and Oregon State?
How will the Oregon football program look under Mark Helfrich, who is replacing recently departed Chip Kelly?
Fans are clamoring for the answers to these questions, among others.
Here's a look at the entire interview schedule, as noted by Kevin Gemmell of ESPN.com, followed by a closer look at the top players scheduled to speak to reporters:
|12:00||Larry Scott: Pac-12 Commissioner|
|12:15||Washington State||Coach Mike Leach||Elliott Bosch (OL)||Deone Buccannon (DB)|
|12:30||California||Coach Sonny Dykes||Bryce Treggs (WR)||Nick Forbes (LB)|
|12:45||Washington||Coach Steve Sarkisian||Keith Price (QB)||Sean Parker (DB)|
|1:00||Oregon State||Coach Mike Riley||Brandin Cooks (WR)||Rashaad Reynolds (DB)|
|1:15||Oregon||Coach Mark Helfrich||Marcus Mariota (QB)||Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (DB)|
|1:30||Stanford||Coach David Shaw||David Yankey (OL)||Shayne Skov (LB)|
|2:00||Colorado||Coach Mike MacIntyre||Paul Richardson (WR)||Chidera Uzo-Diribe|
|2:15||Utah||Coach Kyle Whittingham||Jake Murphy (TE)||Trevor Reilly (DE)|
|2:30||Arizona||Coach Rich Rodriguez||Terrence Miller (WR)||Jake Fischer (LB)|
|2:45||USC||Coach Lane Kiffin||Marqise Lee (WR)||Hayes Pullard (LB)|
|3:00||Arizona State||Coach Todd Graham||Taylor Kelly (QB)||Will Sutton (DT)|
|3:15||UCLA||Coach Jim Mora||Xavier Su'a-Filo (OL)||Anthony Barr (LB)|
Kevin Gemmell of ESPN.com
Marcus Mariota, Quarterback, Oregon
Expectations are high for Mariota and the Ducks, even after the departure of Chip Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Named to the 2013 Davey O’Brien National Quarterback Award watch list, the sophomore signal-caller will attempt to improve upon a brilliant 2012 campaign that nearly led to a BCS title game berth.
ESPN.com's Ted Miller recently made the case for Mariota as the nation's top quarterback, noting new head coach Mark Helfrich is expected to call more passing plays this season.
It's safe to say Helfrich is excited about the upcoming season with Mariota as his trigger man. He recently told reporters Mariota has "no ceiling," as noted by USA Today's Paul Myerberg:
Marcus Mariota has "no ceiling," Helfrich says. "He didn't have a good spring, he had a great spring."— Paul Myerberg (@PaulMyerberg) July 25, 2013
A dual-threat quarterback who displayed outstanding accuracy in his freshman season (68.5 percent), Mariota and the Ducks will look to run their opponents out of the stadium on a weekly basis in 2013.
Marqise Lee, Wide Receiver, USC
One of the headliners for Pac-12 media days, as noted by Pac-12 Networks, Lee is a truly special player who is a threat to score every time he touches the ball:
Winner of the Biletnikoff Award in 2012, Lee headlines a talented group of receivers on the 2013 Biletnikoff Award watch list. Barring injury, he'll be one of the first—if not the first—receiver taken off the board in the 2014 NFL draft.
Scouts will be drooling over his pro potential all season long. Daniel Jeremiah of NFL Network recently compared him to Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys:
Studying USC WR Marqise Lee…Reminds me of Dez Bryant at Ok St. Raw route runner but incredibly strong, huge catch radius and build-up speed— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) July 1, 2013
Having caught passes from USC legend Matt Barkley the past couple of seasons, Lee will face a new challenge this year. Cody Kessler and Max Wittek will compete this summer for the chance to start at quarterback for the Trojans this fall.
Both quarterbacks are inexperienced but highly talented players, and the man who wins the competition will be grateful to play with a talented and reliable receiver like Lee.
Will Sutton, Defensive Tackle, Arizona State
When Arizona State first released the names of its representatives for Pac-12 media days, Sutton wasn't on the list, as noted by Gemmell. Thankfully, the school made the decision to send its star defensive tackle to the big event.
An undersized defender for his position, Sutton is an intriguing pro prospect and absolutely dominant college player. As a junior in 2012, he logged pass-rushing numbers that would make any defensive end or linebacker proud: 13 sacks and 23.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
Joining players like Johnny Manziel and Marqise Lee, Sutton was named to the 2013 Walter Camp Award watch list (best player in the nation) recently, as he's expected to put forth another monster season for the Sun Devils.
Someone his head coach calls the most "intense competitor" he's ever been around, as noted by Doug Haller of AZCentral.com, Sutton has impressed many talent evaluators, including ESPN's Kevin Weidl, who loves his ability to disrupt plays in the backfield:
ASU coach Todd Graham at ESPN today: "In 27 years I have not been around a more intense competitor than Will Sutton."— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) July 25, 2013
I could watch Will Sutton all day long. Dude is an animal. Disruption as an interior PR will be very appealing. pic.twitter.com/KPeSerUZMd— Kevin Weidl (@KevinW_ESPN) June 14, 2013
Sutton is a star, and it was the right move for Arizona State to include him in this event.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78
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