Nov. 28, 2011
(WALNUT CREEK) - Mychal Kendricks (Sr., LB) was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year in a vote of the conference coaches announced by the Pac-12 on Monday. Kendricks was joined on the first team by Keenan Allen (So., WR), Bryan Anger (Sr., P) and Mitchell Schwartz (Sr., OL).
Trevor Guyton (Sr., DL) was a second-team selection.
Kendricks finished the regular season tied for third in the Pac-12 in tackles per game (1.08 tflpg) and tackles (8.0 tpg), while leading the team in both with totals of a career-high 96 tackles and 13.0 tackles for loss. He also co-leads the squad with a pair of interceptions that he has returned for a team-high 62 yards, while adding 3.0 sacks, two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries that he has returned for 33 yards. Kendricks posted four double-digit tackle games in 2011, including a career-high-tying and team season-high 15 stops at Washington. He also had 13 tackles at Stanford along with a season-high-tying 2.5 tackles for loss (-18 yards) and his first full sack of the season when he dropped Heisman Trophy candidate Andrew Luck for a 14-yard loss. Kendricks was a fourth-team Midseason All-American and first-team midseason All-Pac-12 choice according to Phil Steele.
Kendricks is Cal's active career leader in tackles (248), tackles for loss (35.0), sacks (13.5) and fumble recoveries (7). He has added four interceptions, a forced fumble, five pass breakups and one blocked kick. He has played in all 50 games possible over the past four seasons with 28 starts.
Kendricks becomes the seventh Cal player to earn Pac-10/12 Player of the Year honors. Previous selections include Chuck Muncie (1975), Ron Rivera (1983, Co-Defensive), Mike Pawlawski (1991, Co-Offensive), Deltha O'Neal (1999, Defensive), Daymeion Hughes (2006, Defensive) and Marshawn Lynch (2006, Defensive).
"I'm truly blessed to have won," Kendricks said. "It was a goal of mine, definitely."
"It's great to see Mychal Kendricks recognized for his play," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "To be the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year is a huge accomplishment and a great honor. Mychal has worked very hard to put himself in position to be earn this honor, but I don't think it goes unnoticed that without his teammates this wouldn't have been possible. The people around him have a great deal to do with his achievement of winning this recognition."
Allen has career and team-high totals of 89 receptions, 1,261 receiving yards and six touchdown catches. His reception and receiving yard totals are both second on Cal's all-time single season lists. Allen also ranks second in the Pac-12 and tied for 11th nationally with his per-game average in receptions (7.42), as well as third in the Pac-12 and 12th nationally with his per-game average in receiving yards (105.08). The third-team midseason All-American and first-team midseason choice according to Phil Steele led the nation in receiving yards per game for two weeks after contests against USC and Utah. He was also one of 10 Biletnikoff Award semifinalists for the honor given annually to the nation's top receiver, as well as a candidate for the Paul Hornung Award bestowed upon the nation's most versatile player.
Anger becomes the first Cal punter to earn first-team all-conference honors for three consecutive seasons and has played in all 50 games possible over the past four seasons. In 2011, he ranks No. 13 nationally and No. 2 in the Pac-12 with a 44.57 yard per punt average. He has had 15 punts of 50 or more yards as well as 18 in which he has pinned opponents inside their 20-yard line and 10 where opponents have been forced to make fair catches. Anger had at least one punt of 50 or more yards in 10 of 12 games and had one for nine consecutive games at one point. Anger's career average of 43.5 is second all-time at Cal.
"It's an honor to be named All-Pac-12 for the third year in a row," Anger said. "I want to thank my teammates for all of their hard work. Without them I could not have achieved nearly as much over the years. Go Bears!"
Schwartz has started all 50 games possible over the last four seasons and anchors an experienced 2011 offensive line that has paved the way for first-year starting tailback Sofele to post the sixth-highest single-season rushing total in school history and Allen to make a run at the top of Cal's record book in both single-season receptions and receiving yards.
"It's an honor to be named first team," Schwartz said. "I want to say thanks to my coaches and teammates for helping me become a better player all year long and to my family for its support."
Guyton co-leads Cal with 4.5 sacks (-23 yards) in 2011 and is third on the club with his 10.0 tackles for loss (-36 yards). He also co-leads the squad in forced fumbles and fumble recoveries with two each. Guyton's 42 tackles are first among Cal's defensive linemen.
"It's a great honor to be named All-Pac-12," Guyton said. "It feels good that my hard work and dedication has been recoginzed across the conference."
In addition to Anger's third consecutive all-conference pick, Kendricks and Schwartz were second-team all-league selections in 2010. Schwartz was also an honorable mention pick in 2009.
An additional 10 Cal players - D.J. Campbell (Sr., DB), Sean Cattouse (Sr., DB), Justin Cheadle (Sr., OL), D.J. Holt (Sr., LB), Marvin Jones (Sr., WR), Anthony Miller (Sr., TE), Isi Sofele (Jr., RB), Matt Summers-Gavin, (Jr., OL), Giorgio Tavecchio (Sr., PK) and Aaron Tipoti (Jr., DL) - earned honorable mention honors.
"I'm very proud of the student-athletes that were recognized as all-conference players," Tedford said. "All of these guys have worked very hard to put themselves in position to not only help the team but achieve personal recognition."
Cal (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) is bowl eligible for the eighth time in the last nine seasons. The Bears will find out the 2011 bowl they will be playing in and their opponent when bowl selections are made on Sunday, Dec. 4. For more information on Cal's bowl prospects, visit CalBears.com .