These are our annual Pac-12 triplet rankings. We’ve selected a trio of skill players from each team in the conference.
The rules: Each player comes from a different position group, so the offensive version of this series features a quarterback, a running back and a wide receiver. Each program’s troika is ranked against the others in the Pac-12, and we’ll be unveiling and writing about each in reverse order. Remember that this is not an all-inclusive offensive ranking, but rather one of just each team's triplets.
Note: For teams that haven't selected a starting quarterback, we've kept things open-ended regarding who's competing for the job.
Next up on the offensive end: No. 11 Arizona
QB Brandon Dawkins: If the Wildcats can develop any kind of passing consistency from this guy, they'll be a very scary opponent to defend. Dawkins is a freak athlete, and that was on excellent display when he roasted ASU to the tune of 183 yards rushing on just 12 carries to close the 2016 season. There's also arm strength -- see Dawkins' back-foot heave against Washington last year. Arizona's final hurdle lies in packaging all of its quarterback's tools together.
RB Nick Wilson: Remember when Wilson exploded onto the scene as a true freshman in 2014, racking up 1,375 yards on 5.8 yards per carry while making Oregon cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu the fly to his windshield? Injuries have pushed that dominance far into the rearview mirror, as Wilson's production has been roughly cut in half during both years since -- down to 725 rushing yards in 2015 and just 320 yards in 2016. If Wilson can stay healthy as a senior, Arizona will have an ideal complement to Dawkins in the backfield. Can anyone say read-option?
WR Shun Brown: He led the Wildcats with 521 receiving yards and three touchdown catches last year. Arizona's passing numbers -- admittedly paltry -- were fairly evenly distributed among the team's top five wide receivers. Three of those guys -- Nate Phillips, Trey Griffey, and Samajie Grant -- are gone, so 2017 is this 5-foot-8 speedster's time to shine.
Verdict: Based on Dawkins' electric performance in the Territorial Cup alone, the Wildcats have something to work with. But much more polish is needed. There also are big question marks to fill at receiver: Arizona needs Dawkins to become a better passer, but that won't be easy with three of his top targets gone. Brown, therefore, faces big pressure in 2017, and the Wildcats can only hope that Wilson is healthy enough to come to his rescue.