Cameron Smith Named Pac-12 Defensive Freshman Of Year|
Dec. 1, 2015
First-year freshman inside linebacker Cameron Smith was named the 2015 Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year in a vote by the league’s coaches.
He is the fourth Trojan in the past five years so honored, joining cornerback-wide receiver-returner Adoree’ Jackson (2014), defensive tackle Leonard Williams (2012) and linebacker Dion Bailey (2011). One other USC defensive freshman, safety Taylor Mays in 2006, was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year.
Smith, who graduated a semester early from high school and enrolled at USC this past spring, tore knee ligaments at Colorado (the 10th game of 2015) and had surgery. He ended up with 78 tackles (still leading the Trojans), including a sack, plus he had 3 interceptions (currently tied for the USC lead), 3 deflections and 1 fumble recovery while starting 9 times. Before getting hurt, he was on pace to be the first true freshman to top the Trojans in tackles in a season since records were first kept in 1954. His 3 interceptions against Utah were the most in a game by a Trojan since 1991.
Joining Smith on the Pac-12 football individual awards list are: Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey (Offensive Player of the Year), Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner (Defensive Player of the Year), UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen (Offensive Freshman of the Year) and Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici (Scholar-Athlete of the Year). Washington State’s Mike Leach and Stanford’s David Shaw were named Pac-12 Co-Coaches of the Year.