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Pac-10 honors USC's Ellis

December 04, 2007|Gary Klein | Times Staff Writer

USC nose tackle Sedrick Ellis was voted the Pacific 10 Conference defensive player of the year by league coaches, it was announced Monday.

The senior has 12 1/2 tackles for losses, including 8 1/2 sacks, for a Trojans defense that ranks second nationally and first in the Pac-10 in total defense.

"That's awesome recognition and something he worked so hard to achieve," Coach Pete Carroll said. "Obviously our opponents realized how difficult he was to deal with and they acknowledged that . . ."

Other conference awards: Oregon quarterback Dennis Dixon was selected offensive player of the year, Washington quarterback Jake Locker was freshman of the year and Arizona State's Dennis Erickson was coach of the year.

USC, which won its sixth consecutive Pac-10 title and will play Illinois in the Rose Bowl, had eight players voted to the first team. Oregon had five, and Arizona and Arizona State had four each.

Safety Chris Horton and kickoff return specialist Matthew Slater were UCLA's first-team selections.

USC offensive tackle Sam Baker was voted to the first team for the third consecutive year. USC tight end Fred Davis, guard Chilo Rachal, defensive end Lawrence Jackson, linebackers Keith Rivers and Rey Maualuga and safety Kevin Ellison also made the first team.

Ellis, Maualuga and Rivers also were first team in 2006, Jackson in 2005.

USC cornerback Terrell Thomas and UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis were voted to the second team.

USC linebacker Brian Cushing, defensive end Everson Griffen, cornerback Cary Harris, safety Taylor Mays, running back Joe McKnight, tackle Drew Radovich, center Matt Spanos, running back Chauncey Washington and linebacker Thomas Williams were honorable mention.

UCLA defensive tackle Kevin Brown, cornerback Trey Brown, kicker Kai Forbath, safety Dennis Keyes, punter Aaron Perez and cornerback Alterraun Verner also were honorable mention.

Also, USC announced that Ellis, Rivers, Jackson, Baker, Davis, Washington and quarterback John David Booty were selected to participate in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 28.

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gary.klein@latimes.com

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