Nov. 30, 2007
BERKELEY - Juniors DeSean Jackson and Alex Mack highlight recent honors for the California football team. Jackson was recognized as an All-American as an all-purpose player by the American Football Coaches Association while Mack has been elected as a finalist for the Rimington Trophy, which honors the nation's top center.
Jackson was selected as an all-purpose All-American for his contributions as a receiver and as a punt return man. The junior already has a career-best 60 receptions this season, tallying 681 yards and five touchdowns despite opposing defenses focusing on him throughout the year. As a return man, he ranks second in the Pac-10 with 10.8 yards per return, including the thrilling 77-yard touchdown against Tennessee in the opener. While opponents have punted away from Jackson throughout the year, Cal has taken advantage six times, scoring immediately after short or mis-hit punts of 31 yards or less.
Mack has been a force at center for the Beas, leading a line which has allowed just nine sacks this year, tops in the Pac-10 and third in the nation. Over the last two years with Mack anchoring the line, Cal has allowed just 22 sacks, also third-best in the country.
In addition to the national honors for Jackson and Mack, Cal had three selections to the Scout.com Freshman All-America team and four players named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team by The Sporting News. True freshmen Chris Conte (cornerback) and Cameron Jordan (defensive end) and redshirt freshman Derrick Hill were named Honorablem Mention Freshman All-Americans by Scout.com. Conte has played in every game this year, recording 32 tackles. It is the most tackles by a Golden Bear true freshman since Donnie McCleskey had 45 in 2002. Jordan has also played in all 11 games and recorded 17 tackles (third among defensive linemen on the team). He recovered a fumble against Arizona State and returned it 13 yards for his first career touchdown. Hill has 16 takedowns this year and added an interception in the end zone against Colorado State and a sack against Arizona.
Conte and Jordan are joined on The Sporting News' Pac-10 All-Freshman Team by true freshman Jahvid Best (return specialist) and redshirt freshman Michael Mohamed (linebacker). Best, who averaged 7.6 yards per carry on 29 carries, ranks second in the Pac-10 with 27.0 yards per kick return. He has tallied 10 or more yards on 36.8% of his touches this season (21-of-57 plays). Mohamed has recorded 33 tackles and three pass break-ups primarily as a weakside linebacker. He earned his first career start against Oregon, recording a career-high eight tackles in the Bears' victory.
Cal closes its 2007 regular season on Sunday, battling Stanford on the road in the 110th edition of the Big Game.