Washington State quarterback Jayden de Laura accepted the Pac-12’s Freshman of the Week award after the first week of the season and safety Ayden Hector made sure it stayed in Pullman a week later.
The walk-on from Seattle became the second consecutive Cougar to earn the weekly Pac-12 award after a standout performance against the Oregon Ducks, contributing to all three turnovers in the first half of an eventual 43-29 WSU loss.
Hector, a former Stanford signee and four-star recruit who also had an offer from Oregon coming out of powerhouse Eastside Catholic, recovered a fumble in the first quarter when Ahmir Crowder wrestled the ball away from Ducks running back Travis Dye.
Later in the first half, Hector was responsible for a second turnover, intercepting an errant pass from Oregon quarterback Tyler Shough – the first pick of the season for WSU.
Hector was in the right place at the right time for Oregon’s second fumble, pouncing on a loose ball when Shough was unable to make a smooth transfer to running back CJ Verdell on a read-option play in the second quarter.
Through two games, Hector is the early Pac-12 leader for fumble recoveries with two and he’s tied for fifth on the team with 11 tackles. Hector started in the season opener against Oregon State at strong safety, tying for the team lead with seven tackles, and he had four more against Oregon playing as a backup to Tyrese Ross.
The Pac-12’s other weekly award winners were Colorado’s Sam Noyer (offensive), Colorado’s Nate Landman (defensive), Oregon State’s Champ Flemings (special teams), Oregon’s T.J. Bass (offensive line) and Washington’s Zion Tupuola-Fetui (defensive line).
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