USC offensive tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker was named the offensive winner of the 2020 Morris Trophy. The award is given to the most outstanding Pac-12 lineman and is voted on by the players, meaning Vera-Tucker was selected by the Pac-12’s defensive linemen.
He is USC’s 17th overall Morris Trophy winner and the first since offensive tackle Matt Kalil won the award in 2011.
Vera-Tucker provided USC was a huge boost entering the 2020 season, as he originally planned to opt out of the season in order to prepare for the NFL draft, but then decided to come back and suit up for one final season in the cardinal and gold. He started at left guard in 2019, but settled in at left tackle this past fall.
He was named a captain this season and earned All-Pac-12 first team honors, as well as All-American honorable mention. Vera-Tucker then declared for the 2021 NFL Draft, leaving a hole at left tackle that will be difficult for the Trojans to replace. Vera-Tucker will now look to give the Trojans first-round selections of offensive tackles in back-to-back drafts, as Austin Jackson went in the first round to the Miami Dolphins last spring.
Oregon defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux was the winner of the 2020 Morris Trophy on the defensive side.
Of USC’s 17 Morris Trophies, 13 of them have been won by offensive linemen. The Trojans won the first three awards, with Roy Foster a two-time recipient and then Bruce Matthews winning the third. Jeff Bregel, Pat Harlow, Tony Boselli, Travis Claridge, Jacob Rogers and Ryan Kalil then won before USC players won three years in a row, with Charles Brown, Tyron Smith and Kalil.
Defensively, George Achica, Darrell Russell and Sedrick Ellis, both in 2006 and 2007, are USC’s Morris Trophy winners.