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Pac-12 Football: 2015 Season Awards

The 2015 regular season proved there is plenty of star power in the Pac-12.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

It was another fun season in the Pac-12. In 2015, plenty of young players established themselves as the future faces of the conference, while some of the upperclassmen went out on very strong notes.

Take a look below to see who we named as the Pac-12 recipient for Offensvie Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, Freshman Player of the Year, Breakout Player of the Year and Most Improved Player of the Year.

Offensive Player of the Year - Christian McCaffrey, RB - Soph. (Stanford)

McCaffrey was instrumental to the Cardinal's success, contributing in just about every facet possible. The sophomore led the entire nation in all-purpose yards with 3,035 total yards, breaking the Pac-12 record once held by Reggie Bush.

McCaffrey ran for 1,640 yards (2nd in Pac-12), had 435 receiving yards and 960 combined return yards (1st), as well 11 total touchdowns (tied-7th).

Runner Ups

Royce Freeman, RB - Soph. (Oregon): Freeman led the conference in rushing yards (1,706) and touchdowns (16 total—14 rush, 2 rec). Just a sophomore, Freeman offers everything desired in an every-down back when considering his size, strength and speed.

Luke Falk, QB - Soph. (Washington State): Falk was at the focal point of the Cougars' success, throwing for 4,266 yards (1st in Pac-12) and 36 touchdowns against just eight interceptions. Wazzu's future looks bright with him under center.

Jared Goff, QB - Jr. (California): Goff's team didn't perform too well during conference play, but his numbers were still impressive. The junior tossed for 4,252 yards and a conference-leading 37 touchdowns in 2015.

Devontae Booker, RB - Sr. (Utah): The senior carried the Utes to a nine-win 2015 campaign. Despite missing Utah's final two games, Booker closed the regular season with 1,261 yards (4th in Pac-12) and 11 touchdowns (3rd).

Defensive Player of the Year - DeForest Buckner, DE - Sr. (Oregon)

Buckner was a force throughout the year on the Ducks' defensive line. Often commanding double teams because of his disruptive play, the senior still collected 9.5 sacks (2nd in Pac-12) and 16 tackles for loss (3rd in Pac-12) this year.

Runner Ups

Gionni Paul, LB - R-Sr. (Utah): Finally managing to stay healthy for a full season, Paul went on to finish with 109 total tackles (3rd in Pac-12), three sacks, 12.5 tackles for loss (6th), four interceptions (tied-3rd), three fumble recoveries (1st). His playmaking ability on the defensive side of the ball made for an impressive campaign to say the least.

Su'a Cravens, LB - Jr. (USC): Having transitioned to outside linebacker full-time, Cravens wreaked havoc for opponents once again in 2015. The junior tallied 73 total tackles to go with 5.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and six pass breakups.

Blake Martinez, LB - Sr. (Stanford): Martinez directed the Stanford defense to finish as one of the most efficient units in the conference. He led the Pac-12 in tackles with 121 (14th nationally).

Travis Feeney, LB - Sr. (Washington): Feeney closed the regular season in the top five of the conference in sacks (tied-3rd — 7 sacks), tackles for loss (4th — 15.5), and fumbles forced (tied-1st — 3). His breakout year helped propel Washington's defense to dominance in 2015.

Freshman of the Year - Josh Rosen, QB - Fr. (UCLA)

Rosen's freshman campaign entailed of some very impressive and underwhelming showings, but all-in-all, there's no debate as to who is the most promising of all first-year signal-callers in the country.

Rosen finished the year with 3,350 yards on a 59.5 completion percentage clip, throwing 20 touchdowns against nine interceptions. He also went on a 245-pass streak without throwing an interception, exemplifying the poise with which he was able to direct the Bruins offense, despite his youth.

Runner Ups

Cameron Smith, LB - Fr. (USC): A torn ACL cut an outstanding freshman campaign short, but Smith's numbers still ranked amongst the top in the conference. As the first freshman to start at middle linebacker for USC since 1978, Smith finished with a team-high 78 tackles (8th in Pac-12) and three interceptions (5th).

Ronald Jones II, RB - Fr. (USC): Once Clay Helton took control of the team, Jones began to be used more and more. He finished eighth in the conference in rushing yards (890) and scored seven times. He's already established himself as one of the more dynamic ball carriers in the country.

Myles Gaskin, RB - Fr. (Washington): Gaskin became the first true freshman in Washington history to amass 1,000 yards in a single season, finishing the regular season with 1,121 yards (6th in Pac-12) and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 100 yards or more in the Huskies final four games.

Iman Marshall, CB - Fr. (USC): Marshall had a strong season for the Trojans. He tallied 56 tackles and finished with three interceptions and seven pass breakups, despite often matching up against opposing team's top receivers.

Breakout Player of the Year - Christian McCaffrey, RB - Soph. (Stanford)

McCaffrey's stardom has burst in 2015, as he is arguably the most exciting player in the entire conference. His speed and playmaking ability has drawn comparison to Reggie Bush, whose conference record for all-purpose yards he recently shattered en route to building a very strong Heisman campaign for his efforts.

Runner Ups

Luke Falk, QB - Soph. (Washington State): Falk led the Cougars to the team's highest win total since it won 10 in 2003. He threw for the most yards in the Pac-12 with 4,266, despite missing the final regular season game due to injury. He also tossed for 36 touchdowns and only eight interceptions.

Peyton Pelluer, LB - Soph. (Washington State): The sophomore is considered one of the best young linebackers in the conference. He finished the year with 98 total tackles and 11 tackles for loss (both most of any underclassman in the Pac-12), along with two forced fumbles.

Marcus Williams, DB - Soph. (Utah): Williams finished second in the conference with five interceptions, while also breaking up four passes and making 63 total tackles in his sophomore season.

Charles Nelson, DB/WR - Soph. (Oregon): Nelson served primarily as a return man and receiver for the Ducks early on in 2015, but soon found himself on the defensive side of the ball at free safety because of his speed. He finished 12th in the conference in all-purpose yards (1,128 total: 756 ret, 258 rec, 109 rush), and also notched an interception and four pass breakups to go with 41 total tackles. He is one of the most electric players in the country.

Most Improved Player of the Year - Kevin Hogan, QB - Sr. (Stanford)

Statistically, there wasn't a meteoric jump in Hogan's game, but if you saw his 2015 play in comparison to his 2014 play, you'd think he was a totally different player. His confidence and control is much more apparent, and consistent (his game-winning drive to beat Notre Dame in the regular-season finale is proof).

After only averaging 7.9 yards per attempt at a 65.9 completion rate in 2014, Hogan improved to averaging 9.2 yards per attempt clip while completing 68.3 percent of his passes this year. He also helped the Cardinal to 10 wins and a Pac-12 North title.

Runner Ups

Darius White, CB - Jr. (Cal): White finished the 2015 regular season with 57 total tackles, two tackles for loss, three interceptions, eight pass breakups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. In 2014, he managed just 28 tackles and four passes defended.

Ronnie Harris, CB - R-Sr. (Stanford): The fifth-year senior finished third in the Pac-12 with 10 passes defended, and has been regarded as one of the top defensive backs in the conference this season.

Azeem Victor, LB - Soph. (Washington): Victor finished 12th in the conference in total tackles (88) after finishing with five total in 2014.

Travis Wilson, QB - Sr. (Utah): Wilson started off the year with much more command under center, but faltered down the stretch. Still, he helped his team to a 9-3 record in his senior year, and wasn't as much of a hindrance to his offense's success as in years past.