Top Five Offensive Position Players in the Pacific 10 Conference

Clifton BlevinsContributor IMay 16, 2009

BERKELEY, CA - OCTOBER 25: Runningback Jahvid Best #4 of the Cal Golden Bears carries the ball  during the game against the UCLA Bruins at Memorial Stadium on October 25, 2008 in Berkeley, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
The Spring football session is over . . . and so the long wait until kickoff of the 2009 college football season begins (three and a half months, but who's counting?)
In the Pacific 10 conference, they'll be some new faces taking leadership roles for several teams. And a conference usually known for its star quarterbacks, will see a shift in focus to a talented group of running backs returning for the 2009 season. 

Here are my top five offensive position players entering the 2009 season:

QB - a real transition year in the conference with no gunslingers returning:

1) Lyle Moevao - Oregon St. (60% passer led Beavers to 9 wins last year)
2) Jeremiah Masoli - Oregon (surprise performer - running & passing threat)
3) Kevin Riley - CAL (talented, but inconsistent)
4) Jake Locker - UW (explosive and good leader, but injuries have held him back)
5) Tie: Andrew Luck - Stanford (has beat out Tavita Pritchard for starting spot)
Aaron Corp (leading to take control of SC's talented offense)

One to watch: Matt Barkley - USC (can he make a run as the starter this Fall?)

RB - Strongest position group in the Pac 10 in '09 - quite a bit of talent:

1) Jahvid Best - CAL (home run threat any time)
2) Jaquizz Rodgers - Oregon St. (1st team all pac 10 as true frosh)
3) LeGarrette Blount - Oregon (big, with good speed - #1 option for Ducks in '09)
4) Toby Gerhart - Stanford (nearly 100 ypg last season)
5) Stafon Johnson - USC (uncanny ability to find running lanes)

One to watch: Nic Grigsby - Arizona (quietly putting up numbers each year)

WR - good players at the very top, but not much depth as a group:

1) Damian Williams - USC (proved himself a playmaker in '08 for Trojans)
2) James Rodgers - Oregon St. (playmaker for the Beavers)
3) DeAndre Goodwin - UW (productive player who will be #1 receiving option)
4) Delashaun Dean – Arizona (nice size at 6’4, 200lbs – 50+ catches in ’08)
5) Ronald Johnson – USC (became complete WR in breakout ’08 season)

One to watch: Adam Hall – Arizona (incoming true frosh could make impact for 'Zona)

TE - quite a few returning players at TE will be main targets for their teams:

1) Rob Gronkowski - Arizona ("Gronk" is an impact player)
2) Ed Dickson - Oregon (35 receptions, and 15 ypc in '08)
3) Anthony McCoy - USC (turning into serious receiving threat for Trojans)
4) Ryan Moya - UCLA (one of the Bruins' top receiving options in '09)
5) Coby Fleener – Stanford (steps into starting role for Cardinal)

One(s) to watch: Kavario Middleton – UW and Blake Ayles - USC (athletic, young players who just need experience)

Offensive Line – versatility is the key word for the top OLinemen:

1) Kris O'Dowd - USC (player who made an impact from day one)
2) Jeff Byers - USC (terrific downfield blocker)
3) Colin Baxter – Arizona (has started at Guard and Center for the Wildcats)
4) Kenny Alfred – Washington St. (anchor of Wazzu OLine)
5) Chris Marinelli - Stanford (has played OT and both Guard spots for the Cardinal)

One to Watch - Tyron Smith - USC (youngster has claimed starting OT spot on experienced Trojan OLine)