Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, right, celebrates with team after Utah defeated Oregon 38-10 to win the Pac-12 Conference championship NCAA college football game Friday, Dec. 3, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Chase Stevens)
With everything Utah endured — and accomplished — this season, it’s no surprise coach Kyle Whittingham was named The Associated Press Pac-12 Coach of the Year for 2021.
Utah is going to the Rose Bowl for the first time after defeating Oregon in the Pac-12 championship, a game the Utes reached after righting themselves following a rocky start on the field.
Utah opened the season 1-2, losing its third game to San Diego State. The Utes won their next game, the conference opener against Washington State, then tragedy struck: defensive back Aaron Lowe was shot and killed at a party in Salt Lake City.
The team rallied, winning all but one of its remaining regular-season games, including a 38-7 victory at home over then-No. 3 Oregon on Nov. 20 that derailed the Ducks’ hopes for a playoff berth. They beat the Ducks again on Dec. 3 in the title game in Las Vegas.
Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd was recognized as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Offensive Player of the Year honors went to USC wide receiver Drake London and UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet, who came to the Bruins from Michigan, was named Newcomer of the Year.
The 2021 AP All-Pac-12 team, as selected by a panel of 14 sports writers and sportscasters who regularly cover the league, with name, school, height, weight, class and hometown. (“u-” denotes unanimous selection):
QB — Dorian Thompson-Robinson, UCLA, 6-1, 205, Sr., Las Vegas.
RB — B.J. Baylor, Oregon State, 5-11, 205, RS-Jr., Wharton, Texas.
RB — Tavion Thomas, Utah, 6-2, 221, So., Dayton, Ohio.
T — Braeden Daniels, Utah, 6-4, 300, So., Carrollton, Texas.
T — Abraham Lucas, Washington State, 6-7, 319, RS-Sr., Everett, Washington.
G — Andrew Vorhees, USC, 6-6, 320, RS-Sr., Kingsburg, California.
G — Nous Keobounnam, Oregon State, 6-2, 292, RS-Sr., Portland, Oregon.
C — Nick Ford, Utah, 6-5, 317, Jr., San Pedro, California.
TE — Greg Dulcich, UCLA, 6-4, 250, RS Jr., Glendale, California.
WR — Drake London, USC, 6-5, 210, Jr., Moorpark, California.
WR — Calvin Jackson Jr., Washington State, 5-10, 194, Sr., Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
K — (tie) Parker Lewis USC, 6-3, 205, So., Phoenix.
Dean Janikowski, Washington State, 6-1, 211, RS-So., Fallbrook, California.
All Purpose — Britain Covey, Utah, 5-8, 170, Jr., Provo, Utah.
DE — Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon, 6-5, 258, So., Los Angeles.
DE — Mika Tafua, Utah, 6-3, 250, Jr., Laie, Hawaii.
DT — Brandon Dorlus, Oregon, 6-3, 284, So., Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
DT —Popo Aumavae, Oregon, 6-5, 305, Jr., Stockton, California.
LB — u-Devin Lloyd, Utah, 6-3, 235, Jr., Chula Vista, California.
LB — Noah Sewell, Oregon, 6-3, 251, Fr., Malaeimi, American Samoa.
LB —Nephi Sewell, Utah, 6-0, 228, Jr., Malaeimi, American Samoa.
CB — Trent McDuffie, Washington, 5-11, 195., Jr., Westminster, California.
CB —Kylor Gordon, Washington, 6-0, 200, Jr., Mukilteo, Washington.
S — Verone McKinley III, Oregon, 5-11, 194, So., Carrollton, Texas.
S — Elijah Hicks, California, 5-11, 200, Sr., Long Beach, California.
P — Kyle Ostendorp, Arizona, 6-1, 215, So., Phoenix.
Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year — Drake London, USC.
Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year — Devin Lloyd, Utah.
Pac-12 Coach of the Year — u_Kyle Whittingham, Utah.
Pac-12 Newcomer of the Year — Zach Charbonnet, UCLA.
QB — Cameron Rising, Utah, 6-2, 220, So., Ventura, California.
RB —Travis Dye, Oregon, 5-10, 190, Jr., Norco, California.
RB — Raachad White, Arizona State, 6-2, 210, RS-Sr., Kansas City.
OT — Sean Rhyan, UCLA, 6-5, 320, Jr., Ladera Ranch, California.
OT — Kellen Diesch, Arizona State, 6-7, 300, Sr., Trophy Club, Texas.
OG — Paul Grattan Jr., UCLA, 6-4, 300, RS-Sr., Pittsburgh.
OG —Sataoa Laumea, Utah, 6-4, 304, RS-Fr. , Rialto, California.
C — Nathan Eldridge, Oregon State, 6-4, 297, RS-Sr., Anthem, Arizona.
TE — Brant Kuithe, Utah, 6-2, 230, Jr., Katy, Texas.
WR — Kyle Philips, UCLA, 5-11, 191, RS Jr., San Marcos, California.
WR —Travell Harris, Washington State, 5-9, 185, RS-Sr., Tampa, Florida.
All Purpose — Kyle Philips, UCLA, 5-11, 191, RS-Jr., San Marcos, California.
K — Camden Lewis, Oregon, 5-11, 208, So., Charlotte, North Carolina.
DE —Drake Jackson, USC, 6-4, 250, Jr., Corona, California.
DE — Ron Stone Jr., Washington State, 6-3, 240, RS-Jr., San Jose, California.
DT — D.J. Davidson, Arizona State, 6-5, 325, Sr., Mesa, Arizona.
DT — Junior Tafuna, Utah, 6-3, 290, Fr., Taylorsville, Utah
LB — Nate Landman, Colorado, 6-3, 235, Sr., Danville, California.
LB — Avery Roberts, Oregon State, 6-1, 234, RS-Jr., Wilmington, Delaware.
LB — Cameron Goode, California, 6-4, 240, RS-Sr., Spring, Texas.
CB — Clark Phillips III, Utah, 510, 185, Fr., Lakewood, California.
CB — Jay Shaw, UCLA, 5-11, 190, Sr., Corona, California.
S — Quentin Lake, UCLA, 6-1, 205, Sr., Irvine, California.
S — Vontae Davis, Utah, 6-0, 195, Sr., Rosenberg, Texas.
P— Race Porter, Washington, 6-3, 190, Sr., Seattle.
AP All-Pac-12 Voting Panel:
Gary Horowitz, KBZY Radio; Dale Grummert, Lewiston Tribune; Jeff Faraudo, Cal Sports Report; Jeff Call, Deseret News; Brian Howell, Boulder Daily Camera; Josh Furlong, KSL; Sean Keeler, Denver Post; James Crepea, Oregonian; Jesse Sowa, Corvallis Gazette-Times; Mark Whicker, Southern California New Group; Nick Daschel, Oregonian; Jon Wilner, Bay Area News Group; Michael Lev, Arizona Daily Star; Michelle Gardner, Arizona Republic.