Ten Cougars earn All-Pac-12 honors, Luani and Marks to First Team
PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State football had ten players earn All-Pac-12 Conference honors including first-team selections by defensive back Shalom Luani and wideout Gabe Marks, conference commissioner Larry Scott announced Tuesday.
Quarterback Luke Falk and defensive lineman Hercules Mata’afa each garnered spots on the second team and six players received honorable mention, wide receiver River Cracraft, offensive lineman Cole Madison, running back Jamal Morrow, offensive lineman Cody O’Connell, linebacker Peyton Pelluer and offensive lineman Riley Sorenson.
Luani earns his second all-conference honor after receiving honorable mention last season. The senior from Masausi, American Samoa is the Cougars first All-Pac-12 First-Team defensive back since Deone Bucannon in 2013. Luani finished the regular season tied for second in the conference with four interceptions along with 58 tackles including 8.5 for loss, second-most on the team and six pass breakups in 11 games.
Marks was selected to the first team for the second straight year, becoming the first Cougar to do so since offensive lineman Derrick Roche in 2001-02. Marks finished the regular season second in the conference with 85 receptions and 13 receiving touchdowns, tied for second with four 100-yard games and third in receiving yards (867) while also becoming the Pac-12’s all-time leader in receptions. The senior from Venice, Calif. will enter the Cougars bowl game with 312 career catches and second in conference history with 37 career touchdown receptions. Marks will leave WSU a two-time All-Pac-12 first-team selection and the all-time leader in receptions, receiving yards, receiving touchdowns, multiple touchdown games and games with 10+ catches.
Falk earns his second straight All-Pac-12 accolade after being selected to the first team last season. The redshirt-junior from Logan, Utah finished the regular season third in the country in passing yards-per-game (350.3) and passing yards (4,204), tied for fourth with 37 passing touchdowns and with a Pac-12-best 342.2 yards-per-game in conference play. Falk will enter the Cougars bowl game with the second-most touchdown passes in both WSU single-season history (37) and WSU career history (88).
Mata’afa, a redshirt-sophomore defensive line from Lahaina, Hawaii, earns his second straight all-conference honor after receiving honorable mention last season. Mata’afa finished the regular season fifth in the Pac-12 with 12.5 tackles-for-loss including a team-best four sacks. He enters the Cougars bowl game sixth on the team with 45 tackles.
Cracraft caps his Cougar career with his second all-conference accolade after also receiving honorable mention as freshman. The senior from Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. put up big numbers during the Cougars eight-game winning streak before missing the final two games with a knee injury. Cracraft finished the season tenth in the Pac-12 with 53 receptions, ninth with 701 receiving yards and third on the team with five touchdowns. Cracraft finished his career 18th in Pac-12 history with 218 career catches, and sixth in receiving yards (2,701) and receiving touchdowns (20).
Madison, a redshirt-junior, earns honorable mention for the second straight season while O’Connell, a redshirt-junior, and Sorenson, a senior, each earn their first career all-conference honor. Madison and Sorenson both started all 12 games and right tackle and center, respectively, while O’Connell started 11 games at left guard and blocked for the nation’s second-ranked passing offense while rushing for 100+ yards seven times including three 200-yard efforts. O’Connell is one of three finalists for the Outland Trophy, given to nation’s top offensive or defensive lineman, and Sorenson was recently ranked the nation’s top offensive tackle by Pro Football Focus.
Morrow, a redshirt-junior, earns his first career all-conference accolade after leading the Cougars in all-purpose yards (1,184), second in rushing yards (569), third in total touchdowns (10) and fifth on the team with 44 receptions for 468 yards. Morrow is the first Cougar running back to earn All-Pac-12 honors since 2009, Dwight Tardy.
Pelluer, a redshirt-junior earns honorable mention for the second straight season after finishing the regular season fifth in the Pac-12 with 89 tackles including 7.5 for loss, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble. The Sammamish, Wash. native recorded 10+ tackles three times and led the Cougars in tackles the final three games.