WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--Running back Toby Gerhart of Stanford has been selected Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year, tackle Brian Price of UCLA the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year and Chip Kelly of Oregon the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. In addition, running back LaMichael James of Oregon and linebacker Vontaze Burfict of Arizona State have been named Pac-10 Offensive and Defensive Freshmen of the Year. The award winners are selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.
Offensive Player of the Year Toby Gerhart, RB, Stanford: Gerhart, a senior from Norco, Calif., was the driving force on offense for a Stanford team that finished the season with an 8-4 record and will participate in a bowl game for the first time since 2001. The All-America running back leads the Pac-10 and ranks second in the nation in rushing at 144.7 yards per game. The workhorse Gerhart this season has rushed 311 times for a Stanford single-season record 1,736 yards (5.6-yard average) and 26 touchdowns. The 1,736 yards rushing is a Stanford season record and ranks ninth on the Pac-10 season list with Gerhart having another game still to play. He also leads the Pac-10 and the nation in touchdowns (26) and scoring average (13.3). The 26 touchdowns rushing is a Pac-10 single-season record. Gerhart had ten 100-yard rushing games this season, including three 200-yard games.
Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year Brian Price, DT, UCLA: Price, a junior from South Central L.A., Calif., is a dominant force on the Bruin defense that ranks third in the Pac-10 in scoring defense. He leads the Pac-10 in tackles for loss by a large margin, and ranks third in the country, with 22.5 stops behind the line, including seven quarterback sacks. An All-America selection this year and two-time All-Pac-10 selection, Price has amassed 43.5 tackles for loss in his three-year career. In addition to ranking third in the Pac-10 in scoring defense and red zone defense, the Bruins lead the league in turnovers forced.
Offensive Freshman of the Year LaMichael James, RB, Oregon: James, a redshirt freshman from Texarkana, Texas, exploded onto the scene for the Pac-10 champion Ducks this season. He finished second in rushing in the Pac-10 behind only player of the year Toby Gerhart of Stanford as he rushed 215 times for 1,476 yards (6.9-yard average) and 14 touchdowns. The 1,476 rushing yards is a Pac-10 freshman record and earned James second-team All-Conference honors.
Defensive Freshman of the Year Vontaze Burfict, MLB, Arizona State: Burfict, a true freshman from Corona, Calif., started the last nine games of the season for the Sun Devils and had an immediate impact. He ranked second on the team in tackles with 69 stops, 40 solo, including 7 tackles for loss and 2 quarterback sacks, to go along with 5 passes broken up and 2 fumbles forced and recovered.
Coach of the Year Chip Kelly, Oregon: All Kelly did in his first year as head coach was lead Oregon to the Pac-10 title and the Ducks' first Rose Bowl berth since the 1994 season. After dropping the season-opener, Oregon reeled of wins in 10 of its next 11 games to finish the season at 10-2, including 8-1 in Pac-10 play to win the league title outright. The high-powered Ducks lead the Pac-10 and are seventh in the nation in scoring offense at 37.7 points per game, but also rank third in the league in total defense. Kelly becomes just the fourth coach to lead his team to 10 victories in his first year as a Pac-10 head coach.
In addition to individual awards, the Pac-10 coaches selected the 2009 All-Pac-10 Football Team that follows.
NOTES ON THE 2009 ALL-PAC-10 FOOTBALL TEAM
Selection Procedures: The All-Pac-10 Team is selected by the Pac-10 head football coaches.
By School: Oregon State placed the most players on the first team with seven selections, followed by California, UCLA and USC with five. Arizona and California were next with four.
By Class: Of the 27 first-team selections, 15 are seniors, eight are juniors, four are sophomores and there are no freshman.
Unanimous: Three players were named on the first-team ballot of all 10 head coaches--PK Kai Forbath and DT Brian Price of UCLA and RB Toby Gerhart of Stanford.
Two-time Selections: Five players are repeat first-team selections from last year--FS Taylor Mays of USC, DT Brian Price of UCLA, CB Syd'Quan Thompson of California, and Jacquizz Rodgers and James Rodgers of Oregon State.
Double Dipper: Damian Williams of USC is a double first-teamer, being named both at wide receiver and punt returner.
All-Academic: Two players were named to the first team on both the All-Pac-10 Team and the Pac-10 All-Academic Football Team--RB Toby Gerhart of Stanford and ILB Mike Mohamed of California. In addition, P Jeff Locke of UCLA was named first-team All-Academic and second-team All-Pac-10.
ARIZONA: DE Ricky Elmore, Jr; QB Nick Foles, So; CB Devin Ross, Sr; MLB Vuna Tuihalamaka, Sr.
ARIZONA STATE: OLB Travis Goethel, Sr; DT Lawrence Guy, So; TB Dimitri Nance, Sr; OLB Mike Nixon, Sr.
CALIFORNIA: S Sean Cattouse, So; C Chris Guarnero, Jr; DE Cameron Jordan, Jr; TE Anthony Miller, So; OT Mitchell Schwartz, So; TB Shane Vereen, So.
OREGON: DT Brandon Blair, Jr; KR Kenjon Barner, Fr; PK Morgan Flint, Sr; DE Kenny Rowe, Jr; WR Jeff Maehl, Jr; OLB Spencer Paysinger, Jr; OT Bo Thran, Jr.
STANFORD: OG David DeCastro, Fr; DT Sione Fua, Jr; SS Delano Howell, So; DE Thomas Kaiser, So; QB Andrew Luck, Fr; FB Owen Marecic, Jr; OT Jonathan Martin, Fr; OG Andrew Phillips, Jr; MLB Clinton Snyder, Sr; WR Ryan Whalen, Jr; PK Nate Whitaker, Jr.
UCLA: OLB Akeem Ayers, So; OLB Kyle Bosworth, Sr; SE Nelson Rosario, So; OT Xavier Su'a-Filo, Fr.
USC: TB Allen Bradford, Jr; DT Jurrell Casey, So; MLB Chris Galippo, So; SS Will Harris, Sr; OG Butch Lewis, Jr; TE Anthony McCoy, Sr; TB Joe McKnight, Jr; OT Tyron Smith, So; NT Christian Tupou, Jr.
WASHINGTON: WR Devin Aguilar, So; OLB Mason Foster, Jr; OG Senio Kelemete, So; QB Jake Locker, Jr; TB Chris Polk, Fr; C Ryan Tolar, Jr; CB Desmond Trufant, Fr.
WASHINGTON STATE: P Reid Forrest, Jr; FS Xavier Hicks, Sr; WR Jared Kastetter, So; DE Travis Long, Fr; RB Dwight Tardy, Sr.