Senior DT Danny Shelton, senior LB Hau’oli Kikaha and junior LB Shaq Thompson, all nearly certain NFL draft choices from Washington, were named to the All-Pac-12 Conference first team. Voting by the coaches was released Tuesday night. Thompson was also selected as all-purpose/special teams player.
Washington State junior WR Vince Mayle was named to the second-team offense.
Seven Huskies earned honorable mention: freshman S Budda Baker (Bellevue HS), senior OT Micah Hatchie (Haleiwa, HA.), senior DE Andrew Hudson (Redlands, CA.), sophomore KR John Ross (Long Beach, CA.), senior OL Colin Tanigawa (Pasadena, CA.), senior LB John Timu (Long Beach, CA.) and sophomore PK Cameron Van Winkle (Fall City).
Cougars on the honorable mention list include LB Jeremiah Allison, sophomore DB Daquawn Brown, junior OL Joe Dahl and senior QB Connor Halliday.
Shelton, named Monday to the conference’s academic first team for the third year in a row, is the first UW defensive lineman to earn a spot on the All-Pac-12 first team since Larry Tripplett in 2001. A massive nose tackle from Auburn, Shelton had 89 tackles, second on the team. He also had nine sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and four fumble recoveries, tied for most in the nation.
Kikaha, a fifth-year senior from Laie, Hawai’i, spent most of the season as the nation’s sacks leader. He’s recorded 67 total tackles with 24 for a loss and 18 sacks. He set school records for season and career sacks and single-season TFLs. Kikaha is a finalist for the Lombardi, Butkus and Polynesian Football Player of the Year awards and is also a two-time Academic All-Pac-12 first-teamer.
Thompson, a junior from Sacramento, is the front-runner for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player. He proved his versatility by rushing for 100 yards in each of his two starts at tailback, while also leading the nation with four defensive touchdowns. He finished the season with 71 tackles, three forced fumbles, one interception and four fumble recoveries (which he converted into three TDs and 184 yards in returns). On offense, he rushed for 456 yards on 61 carries (7.5-yard average) and also caught four passes for 56 yards.