BOULDER – Junior CB Isaiah Oliver's first-team pick highlights the six Colorado Buffaloes selected to the 2017 Pac-12 Football All-Conference Teams that the league office announced Tuesday.
The teams, a first-, second- and honorable mention picks, are comprised via a vote by league coaches. This was the first year of polling where coaches could not vote for one of their own players.
Oliver becomes the sixth Buff to garner first-team All-Pac-12 honors since CU joined the league in 2011 (fourth via a coaches vote while the other two, Chidobe Awuzie and Tedric Thompson in 2016, were first-team Associated Press selections).
Colorado's other five selections for this year's honors – junior inside linebacker Rick Gamboa, senior left tackle Jeromy Irwin, senior running back Phillip Lindsay, sophomore quarterback Steven Montez and junior defensive back Evan Worthington – were all named All-Pac-12 honorable mention.
Oliver led the conference in passes defended (breakups plus interceptions) and tied for seventh in the FBS with 1.50 per game. He played in 10 contests, missing two due to injury, and despite that fact his 13 total pass breakups ranked in a tie for second in the league and tied for 12th nationally. Oliver also intercepted two passes on the season.
Last Friday, Oliver declared his intentions to leave school early and enter 2018 NFL Draft. Thus, he finishes his career tied for 10th in Colorado history for the most pass breakups with 30 in his three seasons in Boulder.
Additionally, Oliver was named a second-team All-American cornerback on Tuesday by SB Nation.
Lindsay follows up his second-team selection from 2016 with his honorable mention pick this year. Lindsay not only led the Pac-12 in rushing attempts, he also led the nation with 301, which went for 1,474 yards and he scored 14 TDs on the ground. He also caught 23 passes that went for 257 yards and another score. In all, Lindsay had 324 touches and did not fumble one single time.
He finishes his CU career with 24 school records to his name. He is Colorado's all-time leader in career all-purpose yards with 5,760 (3,635 rushing, 976 receiving, 1,077 kickoff returns) and yards from scrimmage with 4,683, second in rushing yards (3,707), and is fourth in scoring (234 points).
Irwin, like Lindsay, follows up his 2016 second-team selection with an honorable mention nod this year. CU's top graded lineman on the season, he led all CU linemen with 26 knockdown blocks. Additionally, Irwin had a team-high with 12 touchdown blocks (direct), he tied for the lead in perfect plays on passing touchdowns with 16 and allowed just 1½ quarterback sacks in his 709 snaps from scrimmage in 10 games.
Gamboa was second on the team with 117 tackles in starting all 12 games; he in fact has made 37 consecutive starts going back to 2015. He had one other tackle for a loss, another five for no gain, a half sack, a team-leading 10 third down stops, five quarterback pressures and seven pass breakups for the Buffs.
Montez, in his first full year as CU's starting quarterback, finished with 3,313 yards of total offense (2,975 passing, 338 rushing), which was just the third 3,000-yard season in CU history (and just behind the record of 3,336 set by Sefo Liufau in 2014). Montez threw 18 touchdown passes and was picked off nine times. He posted four 300-yard passing games on the year, including three-straight against California, Arizona State and No. 15 USC, marking the first time in school history a quarterback had three consecutive games passing for over 300.
Additionally, from Sept. 23 through Nov. 4, Montez went 172 consecutive passes without being intercepted, setting a new school record in that regard.
Worthington led Colorado in interceptions with three and he finished third on the team with 86 tackles. He had five tackles for losses, one sack, eight third down stops, seven pass breakups, four quarterback pressures, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He posted career-highs in tackles with 12 during the Oregon State and Utah contests and in all had seven or more tackles in 7-of-12 games.