Nov. 24, 1997
Tillman Named Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Arizona State linebacker Pat Tillman has been named Pacific-10 Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced today. The Sun Devils also garnered six first-team, four second-team and seven honorable mention All-Pac-10 selections. ASU's six first-teamers was the second-most in the league behind only Washington.
|Pat Tillman leads the Sun Devils with 13 tackles this season. (File Photo)|
Sun Devils on the first-team included offensive linemen Kyle Murphy and Grey Ruegamer, defensive back Mitchell Freedman, punter Marcus Williams, all-purpose player J.R. Redmond and Tillman. Tillman was one of only three players to be named first-team on the All-Conference and the All-Academic football teams.
ASU's second-teamers were defensive tackle Jeremy Staat, defensive backs Jason Simmons and Damien Richardson, and kicker Robert Nycz. Honorable mention went out to defensive end Vince Amey, offensive tackle Glen Gable, cornerback Courtney Jackson, wide receiver Lenzie Jackson, tailback Michael Martin, defensive end Hamilton Mee and tight end Zack Romero.
Tillman, a senior from San Jose, Calif., is the leader of the Arizona State unit that leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense, allowing just 17.5 points per game. With one game still to play, he leads the Sun Devils and is among the Conference leaders with 80 tackles, including 13 tackles for loss. He also shares the team lead in interceptions with three. Tillman is the undisputed leader of an ASU defense that, in addition to leading the Pac-10 in scoring defense, has allowed a league-low nine rushing touchdowns and has permitted opponents to complete just 47.5% of their passes. The Sun Devils have not allowed a first-quarter touchdown all season and have shut out nine of 10 opponents in the first quarter. A standout in the classroom as well, Tillman is a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic Team selection and a GTE Academic All-District performer by virtue of a 3.82 grade-point average in marketing.
"Pound for pound, he is the best linebacker I've ever coached," says Arizona State coach Bruce Snyder of the 5-foot-11, 206-pound Tillman.
Washington State head coach Mike Price, who guided the Cougars to their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1931, was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year while his quarterback, Ryan Leaf, was named the leagues Offensive Player of the Year.
The All-Pac-10 football team in its entirety:
First Team Offense Second-Team Offense QB Ryan Leaf, Jr., WSU QB Cade McNown, Jr., UCLA RB Skip Hicks, Sr., UCLA RB Michael Black, Sr., WSU RB Rashaan Shehee, Sr., Washington RB Saladin McCullough, Sr., Oregon WR Jerome Pathon, Sr., Washington WR Jim McElroy, Sr., UCLA WR Bobby Shaw, Sr., California WR Troy Walters, Jr., Stanford TE Cameron Cleeland, Sr., Washington TE Blake Spence, Sr., Oregon OL Chad Overhauser, Sr., UCLA OL Jason McEndoo, Sr., WSU OL Olin Kreutz, Jr., Washington OL Jeremy Newberry, Jr., California OL Kyle Murphy, Sr., ASU OL Jose Portilla, Sr., Arizona OL Grey Ruegamer, Jr., ASU OL Cory Withrow, Sr., WSU OL Benji Olson, Jr., Washington OL Tony Coats, Jr., Washington First-Team Defense Second-Team Defense DE Kailee Wong, Sr., Stanford DE Dorian Boose, Sr., WSU DT Joe Salave'a, Sr., Arizona DT Jeremy Staat, Sr., ASU DT Leon Bender, St., WSU DT Brandon Whiting, Sr., California DE Jason Chorak, Sr., Washingon DE Inoke Breckterfield, Jr., Oregon State OLB Pat Tillman, Sr., ASU OLB Danjuan Magee, Sr., UCLA ILB Chris Claiborne, So., USC ILB Chris Draft, Sr., Stanford OLB Jerry Jensen, Sr., Washington OLB Peter Sirmon, So., Oregon DB Brian Kelly, Sr., USC DB Tony Parrish, Sr., Washington DB Chris McAlister, Jr., Arizona DB Jason Simmons, Sr., ASU DB Mitchell Freedman, Jr., ASU DB Damien Richardson, Sr., ASU DB Shaun Williams, Sr., UCLA DB Duane Stewart, Sr., WSU DB Larry Atkins, Jr., UCLA First Team Specialists Second-Team Specialists PK Chris Sailer, Jr., UCLA PK Robert Nycz, Sr., ASU P Marcus Williams, Sr., ASU P Jeff Banks, Sr., WSU RS Troy Walters, Jr., Stanford RS Pat Johnson, Sr., Oregon ST John McLaughlin, Jr., Cal ST Reggie Davis, Jr., Washington ST Eric Winn, Sr., Oregon AP J.R. Redmond, So., ASU AP R. Jay Soward, So., USC RS=return specialist ST=special teams player (non-kicker or returner) AP=all-purpose player Offensive Player of the Year: Ryan Leaf, QB, Jr., WSU Defensive Player of the Year: Pat Tillman, OLB, ASU Pac-10 Coach of the Year: Mike Price, Washington State