The final conference awards of the year have been released, and the Bruins racked up a handful of honors.
UCLA football (8-4, 6-3 Pac-12) ranked second with nine representatives on the All-Pac-12 teams as voted on by the conference's coaches, only behind Utah's 10. Receiver Kyle Philips, tight end Greg Dulcich and left tackle Sean Rhyan made First Team All-Pac-12, while quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson, running back Zach Charbonnet, edge rusher Mitchell Agude, safety Quentin Lake and defensive back Qwuantrezz Knight made Second Team All-Pac-12.
Philips also made the Second Team as a return specialist.
The nine players who made all-conference teams is triple the Bruins' output from 2020, when Thompson-Robinson and Dulcich made Second Team and defensive lineman Osa Odighizuwa made First Team.
UCLA had two honorable mentions in 2021 as well – running back Brittain Brown and left guard Paul Grattan.
On the preseason all-conference teams, only Philips made the cut for the First Team, while Dulcich and Rhyan were on the Second Team. Thompson-Robinson, Brown, Knight, right tackle Alec Anderson, center Sam Marrazzo, defensive lineman Otito Ogbonnia, linebacker Caleb Johnson, safety Stephan Blaylock and kicker Nicholas Barr-Mira were honorable mentions at the time.
But even with the high number of all-conference team members, no Bruin earned one of the individual player of the year awards handed out by the Pac-12.
USC receiver Drake London won Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year despite only playing seven and a half games, thanks to his record pace at 1,084 yards and seven touchdowns on 88 catches. Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd won Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura won Pac-12 Offensive Freshman of the Year, Utah defensive tackle Junior Tafuna won Pac-12 Defensive Freshman of the Year and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham won Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
UCLA did not seem to have contenders for any of those awards either, as they did not provide an honorable mention for either of the freshman awards and the Pac-12 did not listed honorable mentions for player of the year and coach of the year awards.
Thompson-Robinson had a strong case for Offensive Player of the Year, leading the Pac-12 in passer rating, adjusted yards per attempt and total touchdowns while finishing second in total yards and third in winning percentage by a quarterback. Thompson-Robinson had better stats than All-Pac-12 First Team quarterback Cameron Rising almost across the board, with Rising's 62.8% completion narrowly beating out Thompson-Robinson's 62.2% mark.
The Bruins' signal-caller had one more interception than his Ute counterpart, but they had nearly identical touchdown-to-interception ratios at 21-to-6 and 18-to-5, respectively.
UCLA still sits ahead of Oregon and Arizona State in terms of all-conference honorees, but all nine – and the two honorable mentions – could possibly be leaving Westwood this offseason.
Knight, Brown and Grattan are out of NCAA eligibility and are guaranteed to leave the program. Thompson-Robinson, Philips, Dulcich, Charbonnet, Lake and Agude all have eligibility remaining, but each of them could realistically enter the NFL Draft instead of coming back.
Philips led the Pac-12 with 10 receiving touchdowns and had the second-most punt return yards as well. Dulcich ranked first in yards and second in touchdowns among tight ends, Charbonnet finished second in rushing yards, Agude had a conference-high four forced fumbles, Knight placed in the top 10 in tackles for loss and Lake had the seventh-most passes defended.
As it turns out, 2021 could be a last hurrah for many Bruins, and although they didn't finish with the Pac-12 crown atop their heads, they still locked down some serious hardware in possibly their final seasons in blue and gold.
The full All-Pac-12 teams are listed below: