April 22, 2010
NEW YORK CITY - Former Cal defensive lineman Tyson Alualu was selected Thursday in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars. Alualu was taken with the 10th pick overall and was the third defensive lineman to be chosen.
"I am so pleased that Tyson Alualu has been selected by Jacksonville with the 10th overall round of this year's draft," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. "I truly feel that he will make a huge contribution to the Jaguars. The mark he left on the Cal football program will be remembered for a very long time. Not only is he an excellent football player, he is a very special person that we will miss tremendously both on and off the field."
He is the highest Cal selection in the NFL Draft since Andre Carter was selected seventh overall by San Francisco in 2001 and the Bears' ninth top-10 pick in the draft's history. Cal had the first and third picks overall in the draft in 1975 and 1976 when Steve Bartkowski went first overall to Atlanta and RB Chuck Muncie went two spots later to New Orleans the following years. Only two Cal players since - QB Rich Campbell (Green Bay, sixth overall) and Carter - have been picked higher since. Alualu is the 24th player in Cal history to be selected in the first round of the NFL Draft and the sixth since Tedford's arrival in 2002.
"We're proud to have had six players selected in the first round of the NFL Draft in the last eight years," said Tedford. "I would like to think it means that we're recruiting talented players to the Cal football program that continue to develop their football skills once they are here at Cal."
Alualu earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors for the first time in his career as a senior in 2009, was a third-team selection on the national All-College Football Insider squad and earned four team awards (Brick Muller Award - Most Valuable Defensive Lineman; Joe Roth Award - Player best exemplifying courage, attitude and sportsmanship; Cort Majors Captain - Defense, Senior Lifter of the Year). Alualu led all Pac-10 defensive linemen with a career-high 65 tackles that ranked third on the team overall, while also contributing 7.5 sacks and 11.5 tackles for loss to rank among league leaders in the latter categories with per-game averages of 0.58 sacks (No. 7 Pac-10) and 0.88 tackles for loss (No. 10 Pac-10). He played in the 2010 Under Armour Senior Bowl following the season, contributing a four-yard sack of 2007 Heisman Trophy winner and former Florida quarterback Tim Tebow to the North's 31-13 victory.
He also had a productive season in 2008 when he earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors and his 62 tackles were the most posted by a Golden Bears defensive lineman since Duane Clemons had 82 in 1995. He added 6.0 sacks (No. 11 Pac-10) and 11.0 tackles for loss (No. 16 Pac-10).
In his first year as a full-time starter in 2007, Alualu paced Cal's defensive linemen with 52 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for a loss after seeing action in all 13 games and making his first career start as a 2006 freshman when he finished with 16 tackles.
Alualu played in all 52 games possible with 40 starts over his Cal career, including a run of 39 consecutive starts over his final three seasons. His final career numbers were highlighted by 195 tackles to go along with 26.0 tackles for loss (-134 yards), 16.0 sacks (-111 yards), seven passes defended, four forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, a blocked kick, an interception that he returned eight yards and 11 pass breakups. Alualu returned one of the four fumbles he recovered for a touchdown against Arizona in 2007.
Check back on CalBears.com and the 2010 NFL Draft Bear Blog to learn the fate of several other former Cal players hoping to be selected in the NFL Draft as the three-day events continues at Radio City Music Hall in New York City with the second and third rounds on Friday (6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT) and the final four rounds Saturday (10 a.m. ET/7 a.m. PT).