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Kyle Whittingham, Devin Lloyd and Junior Tafuna highlight Utah’s Pac-12 award recipients

Utah claimed its first Pac-12 championship last Friday, and Tuesday it cleaned up when the league announced its annual awards

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham hoists Pac-12 trophy after Utes beat the Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game.
Utah Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham hoists the Pac-12 trophy after the Utes beat the Oregon Ducks in the Pac-12 championship game at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Friday, Dec. 3, 2021.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

To the victors go the spoils.

Utah claimed its first Pac-12 championship last Friday, and Tuesday it cleaned up when the league announced its annual awards.

The Utes collected three of the five Pac-12 awards as Kyle Whittingham was named Pac-12 Coach of the Year, linebacker Devin Lloyd received Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year honors and Junior Tafuna earned Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

Utah had six players named to the All-Conference First Team — quarterback Cam Rising, running back Tavion Thomas, offensive lineman Nick Ford, defensive end Mika Tafua, Lloyd and return specialist Britain Covey.

The All-Conference Second Team featured tight end Brant Kuithe, offensive linemen Bamidele Olaseni and Braeden Daniels and cornerback Clark Phillips III. Tight end Dalton Kincaid, offensive lineman Sataoa Laumea, linebacker Nephi Sewell, safety Cole Bishop and safety Vonte Davis were each Honorable Mention All-Conference selections.

In other awards, USC wide receiver Drake London was named Offensive Player of the Year and quarterback Jayden de Laura was named Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.

For Whittingham, it marks his second Pac-12 Coach of the Year award in the last three years.

This season, Whittingham became Utah’s all-time wins leader, passing Ike Armstrong in their Nov. 20 win over then-No. 3 Oregon. He’s compiled a 144-69 record in his tenure with Utes.

Whittingham has been recognized as one of the 13 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award as national coach of the year. The Utes won 10 or more games in a season for the sixth time in his career and his third Pac-12 South title in the last four years. Whittingham has won 19 of his last 22 conference games.

Lloyd, a two-time Butkus Award Finalist, leads the Utes with a career-high 106 tackles during the regular season, including 22.0 tackles for loss, which was No. 2 in the country.

The junior becomes the first Utah player to win this award and just the third Ute to win a Pac-12 annual award after Zack Moss won 2019 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Ty Jordan won 2020 Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.

Lloyd was named MVP of the 2021 Pac-12 championship game with seven tackles and a 34-yard pick six.

Tafuna started the final 10 games of the season and became the first Utah player to win Defensive Freshman of the Year Award.

Tafuna recorded 4.5 sacks this season, second most among Pac-12 freshmen, and turned in a career-high nine tackles at Arizona, the most by a Ute defensive lineman since 2018.


2021 ALL-PAC-12 CONFERENCE FOOTBALL TEAM

QB

Cameron Rising, So., Utah

QB

Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Sr., UCLA

RB

B.J. Baylor, R-Jr., Oregon State

RB

Zach Charbonnet, Jr., UCLA

RB

Tavion Thomas, So., Utah

RB

Rachaad White, R-Sr., Arizona State

WR

Drake London, Jr., USC

WR

Calvin Jackson Jr., Gr., Washington State

WR

Kyle Philips, R-Jr., UCLA

WR

Travell Harris, R-Sr., Washington State

TE

Greg Dulcich, R-Jr., UCLA

TE

Brant Kuithe, Jr., Utah

OL

Abraham Lucas, R-Sr., Washington State

OL

Bamidele Olaseni, Sr., Utah

OL

Nick Ford, Jr., Utah

OL

Braeden Daniels, So., Utah

OL

Sean Rhyan, Jr., UCLA

OL

Kellen Diesch, Gr., Arizona State

OL

Nathan Eldridge, R-Sr., Oregon State

OL

Alex Forsyth, Jr., Oregon

OL

Jaxson Kirkland, Jr., Washington

OL

Dohnovan West, Jr., Arizona State

OL

T.J. Bass, Jr., Oregon

DL

Kayvon Thibodeaux, So., Oregon

DL

Kyon Barrs, So., Arizona

DL

Mika Tafua, Jr., Utah

DL

Thomas Booker, Sr., Stanford

DL

Tuli Tuipulotu, So., USC

DL

Mitchell Agude, Sr., UCLA

DL

Brandon Dorlus, So., Oregon

DL

D.J. Davidson, Gr., Arizona State

DL

Ron Stone Jr., R-Jr., Washington State

DL

Tyler Johnson, Gr., Arizona State

LB

Devin Lloyd, Jr., Utah

LB

Darien Butler, Sr., Arizona State

LB

Noah Sewell, Fr., Oregon

LB

Drake Jackson, Jr., USC

LB

Avery Roberts, R-Jr., Oregon State

LB

Nate Landman, Sr., Colorado

DB

Trent McDuffie, So., Washington

DB

Clark Phillips, Fr., Utah

DB

Verone McKinley III, So., Oregon

DB

Kyu Blu Kelly, Jr., Stanford

DB

Kyler Gordon, So., Washington

DB

Quentin Lake, Sr., UCLA

DB

Elijah Hicks, Sr., California

DB

Qwuantrezz Knight, R-Sr., UCLA

PK

Dean Janikowski, R-So., Washington State

PK

Camden Lewis, So., Oregon

PK

Parker Lewis, So., USC

P

Kyle Ostendorp, So., Arizona

P

Race Porter, Sr., Washington

RS

Britain Covey, Jr., Utah

RS

Kyle Philips, R-Jr., UCLA

AP/ST

Stanley Berryhill III, R-Jr., Arizona

AP/ST

Jack Colletto, R-Jr., Oregon State