Preseason previews, lists and predictions have started to flood the interwebs, and Athlon’s Pac-12 Football 2013 All-Conference Team was next in line, as announced on Monday. Four Trojans made the first team, while USC had eight players and nine positions overall get preseason honors from Athlon.
As expected, the first teams included Marqise Lee at wide receiver(and kick returner) and Morgan Breslin at defensive end. The Pac-12’s Defensive Freshman of the Year in 2012, Leonard Williams, also got the honor, as well as Dion Bailey.
Bailey’s listing however, is somewhat of a surprise. Despite being a Freshman All-American linebacker in 2011 and one of USC’s most sound defenders last season, Bailey makes the switch from linebacker to safety this year. While safety is his natural position, Bailey has never suited up at safety in a collegiate game, making it rather bold for Athlon to slot him on the first team over worthy candidates like Washington State’s Deone Bucannon, Arizona State’s Alden Darby and Washington’s Sean Parker.
In addition to the quartet of first teamers, Silas Redd, Max Tuerk, George Uko and Hayes Pullard all made the second team. Tuerk, like Bailey, is making a position change this season, moving from left tackle to left guard. And like Bailey, he got the nod at his new position.