Talanoa Hufanga named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, USC football with five first-teamers

USC football safety Talanoa Hufanga. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
USC football safety Talanoa Hufanga. (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /

Talanoa Hufanga had top billing for USC football in the Pac-12 All-Conference honors

USC football is well represented in this year’s All-Conference honors from the Pac-12.

Talanoa Hufanga was named the Pac-12’s Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first POY for the Trojans since Adoree’ Jackson in 2016.

In total, nine Trojans were recognized as All-Pac-12 selections.

Five USC football players were named All-Pac-12 first-teamers

Hufanga received first-team honors from the Pac-12 along with Marlon Tuipulotu, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kedon Slovis.

Those are the obvious five to receive recognition for their performances this season.

Hufanga just got All-American honors from ESPN after an outstanding junior campaign. He led the Pac-12 in interceptions, topped USC’s tackle charts and thrived all over the field.

SEE MORE: Talanoa Hufanga is officially an All-American

Tuipulotu was a force in the middle of the defensive line for the Trojans while Vera-Tucker was by far USC’s most reliable offensive lineman once again this year. St. Brown led the Pac-12 in receiving touchdowns.

As for Slovis, he wasn’t at his best for much of the season, but when he was, he was spectacular. His performance in the final minutes of games alone justifies his place at the top of the Pac-12 quarterback pecking order.

Second-teamers include wide receivers Drake London and Tyler Vaughns, linebacker Drake Jackson and cornerback Chris Steele.

London led USC in receiving yards while Vaughns trailed only his two teammates and Stanford’s Simi Fehoko in production among WRs.

Jackson had 5.5 tackles for loss as he adjusted to a new position while also nabbing his first career interception. Steele was a stalwart at cornerback for the Trojans.

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USC also had honorable mentions for defensive lineman Nick Figueroa, cornerback Olaijah Griffin, punter Ben Griffiths, kicker Parker Lewis, offensive linemen Jalen McKenzie and Brett Neilon, and safety Isaiah Pola-Mao.

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