Northwest Sports Beat

Top 5 most electrifying Northwest college footballers in 2012

Representing the good ole’ NW.

The Northwest region is known for a lot of things, and while exciting football isn’t necessarily one of them, you as fans know what to look for when you sit down on your couch and tune in every Saturday.

The college football season is barely underway, but already we’ve seen a handful of outstanding performers from our little area of the country.

Heading into week four, here is a look at the Northwest’s most exciting players to watch:

5. Kenjon Barner, Oregon RB

Heading into week four, Kenjon Barner leads the Pac-12 with six scores on the ground, and has run for the conference’s fourth-most rushing yards.

Kasen Williams

The former five-star recruit stands 6’2”, 216 pounds…

Barner may not have the lightning-quick acceleration of some of the other backs in the conference, but he knows how to use his strength and his speed together, creating big-time plays week after week.

4. Kasen Williams, Washington WR

Kasen Williams has the potential to be one of the best wide receivers in the Pac-12 when his time is all said and done.

The former five-star recruit stands 6’2”, 216 pounds, and has two touchdowns on 15 receptions early in the 2012 season.

He needs to continue his growth if he wants to climb this list, but as the one-time second-ranked receiver in the country (according to, the potential is there to excite fans week in and week out.

3. Marcus Mariota, Oregon QB

Marcus Mariota may be just a redshirt freshman, but he’s emerged as one of the early leaders on the Oregon Ducks this season.

The kid from Hawaii is leading the Pac-12 in quarterback rating—by a relative landslide—and his passing yards are top-5 worthy despite Oregon’s heavy rushing attack.

What makes Mariota so exciting to watch is that he is a true dual-threat quarterback.

The 6’4”, 196-pounder hasn’t rushed for any scores through three weeks, but his 4.9 yards per carry and incredible speed outside the tackles make him watch-worthy for any opposing defense.

2. Marquess Wilson, Washington St. WR

Marquess Wilson is arguably the best wide receiver in the Northwest this season.

De'Anthony Thomas

The way Thomas moves on the field is Reggie Bush-esque

The 6’4” junior has the ability to out-reach opponents in jump-ball situations, but he’s also seen his fair share of open field, as he has been known to separate himself from defenses with relative ease.

Averaging 16.8 yards per catch, Wilson is one of the more fun receivers to watch in this region, as evident by his 81-yard score against BYU in week one.

1. De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon RB

De’Anthony Thomas isn’t just the most electrifying player in the Northwest—or even the Pac-12, for that matter. He’s arguably the most exciting player to watch in the entire country.

The way Thomas moves on the field is Reggie Bush-esque, and with time, he has the potential to become the Oregon Ducks’ first Heisman Trophy winner.

But what makes Thomas so electrifying is the fact that he is truly a big-play threat every time he touches the ball.

Through three weeks, Thomas has scored seven total touchdowns on just 24 touches and is averaging 17.5 yards per carry.

He is the definition of an all-purpose player, and his speed and agility have created one of the best football players in all of college football.


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About Bryant Knox

NWSB Editor. Portland native and Oregon graduate, On a non-stop mission to consume as much Ducks+Trail Blazers content as humanly possible. His love of sports is what attracts him to the game, passion for writing drives him to uncover the stories. Connect w/ Bryant today!
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