Posted: 7:00 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014
By Jack Follman
Arizona's Nick Johnson would captain and quarterback if the Pac-12 needed to have basketball players play football.
The Pac-12 conference has produced some serious two-way stars in basketball and football in Tony Gonzalez and Nate Robinson, but it has been a while since the conference has had a true star who played both sports. Just for fun, as I have been transitioning from watching Pac-12 football to Pac-12 basketball, I wondered what it would look like if you had to make a football starting lineup of Pac-12 basketball players.
I will admit that I don't know much about any potential high school football careers for any of these players, so if anyone has any insight, feel free to chime in.
#13 QB Nick Johnson 6'3 200 Jr. Arizona
The conference's best leader on the hardwood would be the best choice to lead a team on the gridiron with his quarterback-like size, leadership abilities, passing skills and all-around attributes. I have a feeling that Johnson could be a great dual-threat QB.
#1 RB Jahii Carson 5'10 180 So. Arizona State
A pure spark plug with great strength for his size and an uncanny ability to drive, Carson would be electric with a football in his hands. He also seems to have that chip on his shoulder that you love a running back to have.
#11 WR Aaron Gordon 6'9 225 Fr. Arizona
He is pretty long for a receiver, but he has the explosion and speed for the position and imagine him in a jump ball situation. He doesn't have the bulk to be a tight end, but he would be a deadly red zone threat at receiver.
#14 WR Zach LaVine 6'5 180 Fr. UCLA
LaVine could be a Mike Evans-like receiver that is great in space and dominating downfield catches with his height and athleticism. He might not be the most physical receiver, but he wouldn't need to be with his speed and athleticism.
#88 WR Roberto Nelson 6'4 200 Sr. Oregon State
The conference's best scorer in basketball could probably put up some points in football with his quickness and soft hands.
#21 TE Brandon Ashley 6'8 230 So. Arizona
Ashley is a bit lanky and power forwardy and obviously injured but I think how touch he plays and how Hard he crashes the boards along with his length make him an ideal tight end. I thought hard about Kyle Anderson, but I like Ashley's physicality more.
#53 LT Jordan Bachynski 7'2 250 Sr. Arizona State
It is pretty impossible to find a basketball player that has the bulk to be an offensive lineman, but Bachynski has the pure size and fury to handle the position. With the way he attacks opponents trying to put the ball in the basket, I think he would be excellent at getting after it at the tackle spot.
#55 LG Omar Oraby 7‘2 270 Sr. USC
Oraby might have the best combination of height and bulk of any player in the conference and it would be well suited inside on the offensive line.
#53 C Tony Parker 6‘9 275 So. UCLA
Parker is a big body that has the kind of athleticism that would make him devastating if he pulls and has the strength to handle opponents up front. Yes, I know you usually don't even want to have a center be taller than 6'4, but we are limited on options here.
#64 RG Kameron Rooks 7‘0 270 Fr. Cal
Rooks is young, but does have the size, particularly the bulk to play up front.
#75 RT Kaleb Tarczewski 7'0 250 So. Arizona
Maybe the conference's strongest big man, Tarczewski would be great at mixing it up at tackle where his bulk and length would be devastating.
#23 DE D.J. Shelton 6'10 250 Sr. Washington State
Shelton is long, lean, athletic with good strength and toughness making him the perfect candidate to do damage off of the edge.
#99 DT Arik Armstead 6‘8 280 Fr. Oregon
I believe that Armstead is the only player right now that is playing both basketball and football in the Pac-12, so he is an easy choice as he is a defensive lineman for the Ducks already.
#2 DT Perris Blackwell 6'9 280 Sr. Washington
Blackwell takes up a lot of space down low on the court, so he could probably do the same on the football field and has some great strength and a little nasty that could make him great in the trenches with his athleticism.
#24 DE Josh Huestis 6'7 230 Sr. Stanford
Another tough guy down low that can rebound that would be great at holding up the edge and getting after the passer.
#22 LB Xavier Johnson 6‘6 220 So. Colorado
I love Johnson's combination of lenght, speed and power and how it would look on the football field as a hybrid outside linebacker.
#3 LB Jordan Adams 6‘5 220 So. UCLA
One of my favorite transitions here, I see Adams as a downhill linebacker that can hold down the middle or the outside, get after the passer, make big hits and contribute well in pass defense.
#21 LB Jordan Loveridge 6‘6 220 So. Utah
Another great hybrid type player, Loveridge has the great combination of size, strength and toughness to play on the outside at linebacker.
#1 CB Justin Cobbs 6‘3 190 Sr. Cal
Quick with great size and ball skills, Cobbs would be very hard to pass against.
#10 CB Askia Booker 6'2 170 Jr. Colorado
Another great guard with fantastic quickness, ball skills and explosion that has the size and skills to translate to cornerback.
#25 Spencer Dinwiddie 6'6 200 Jr. Colorado
Another player that is obviously injured, but still Dinwiddie's aggressiveness and range would make him an excellent free safety.
#4 Norman Powell 6'4 215 Jr. UCLA
Powell would be more of a strong safety that could lower the lumber which he outstanding size and power.