Athlon Sports has listed eight Arizona State Sun Devils in the Preseason All-Conference teams for the Pac-12.
Recently, Athlon Sports became infamous in the Arizona State fandom for running a season preview that included comments from anonymous coaches roasting the entire ASU football program and predicting doom and gloom for 2022.
Before that, however, the writers at Athlon came up with their predictions for All-Conference honors in the Pac-12 that includes quite a bit of Sun Devils in the mix.
Their selections included the following Arizona State football players:
- D.J. Taylor, PR & KR | First-Team Specialists (PR) and Second-Team Specialists (KR)
- Xazavian Valladay, RB | Second-Team Offense
- LaDarius Henderson, OL | Second-Team Offense
- Merlin Robertson, LB | Second-Team Defense
- Ben Scott, OL | Third-Team Offense
- Kyle Soelle, LB | Third-Team Defense
- Nesta Jade Silvera, DL | Fourth-Team Defense
- Khoury Bethley, S | Fourth-Team Defense
New faces in Tempe expected to produce
The most interesting thing that jumps off this list is the percentage of recent transfers that are expected to make immediate contributions to the Arizona State football program.
Xazavian Valladay is a transfer from Wyoming who is coming to the desert after a 1,070 yard/6 touchdown season in which he ran over 200 times and caught the ball an additional 23 for another 233 yards. Valladay is entering a running back room with lots of depth like Daniyel Ngata, George Hart III, and freshmen Tevin White, but he is already being looked at as a difference-maker on offense.
Nesta Jade Silvera is coming to the AZ from Miami where he was an integral part of the defensive line for four years. A grizzled veteran, Silvera brings size and experience that is expected to raise Coach Rodriguez’s group to the next level of maturity.
Safety Khoury Bethley is the last transfer on the list that Athlon Sports sees making an immediate contribution to the team. Bethley has won All-Conference honors before when he was named to the All-Mountain West First-Team in 2021 at his previous school, Hawaii. In 2020, he put up 70 total tackles, three sacks, six passes defensed. Bethley brings three years of experience to the Sun Devils secondary and is expected to be a big part of the ASU passing defense in 2022.
Congrats to every Sun Devil player selected for this list!
While we still have to wait for the season to play out, it should be encouraging for fans to see outside voices recognizing the talent on ASU’s roster.
Ignore the doom and gloom predictions for now and look forward to the start of the 2022 season. Arizona State kicks off the season on September 1, 2022 against Northern Arizona.
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