Aug. 18, 2009
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BERKELEY - California's Tyson Alualu and Syd'Quan Thompson were named to watch lists Tuesday for the Rotary Lombardi and Bronko Nagurski awards, respectively. Both players have played in all 39 games possible over the last three seasons.
Alualu, a senior defensive lineman, had picked up earlier preseason honorable mention All-American honors. Last year, he was named a second-team All-Pac-10 choice and had a career-high 62 tackles, the most by a Cal defensive lineman since 1995. He has 130 career tackles to go along with 14.5 TFL, 8.5 sacks, four passes defended, four fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, a blocked kick and an interception.
The Rotary Lombardi Award is presented annual by Houston's Rotary Club to the nation's top college football lineman - offense or defense - who, in addition to outstanding performance and ability, best exemplifies the discipline of Vince Lombardi. The award was founded in 1970 in the weeks following the death of legendary football coach Vince Lombardi from cancer.
Thompson is the Golden Bears' active career leader in tackles (208), interceptions (6), passes defended (32), pass breakups (26), punt returns (28) and punt return yardage (344). The senior cornerback is a first-team 2009 preseason All-American and also on watch lists for this year's Lott Trophy, Jim Thorpe Award and Chuck Bednarik Award. Last year, Thompson earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors after recording 70 tackles, 7.5 TFL, a team-high four interceptions that he returned for 128 yards and a school record-tying 18 passes defended. He also ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in punt returns, averaging 12.3 yards per return.
The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is awarded annually to the nation's best defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club. The trophy has been presented since 1993 and is awarded in memory of the legendary Nagurski, an All-American lineman at Minnesota from 1927-29 and a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930's.
Cal is in the midst of its 2009 training camp that continues through August 29 with that day's practice followed by Fan Appreciation Day at Memorial Stadium from noon-2 p.m. All practices are closed to the public.
The Bears begin their 2009 campaign with a nationally televised ESPN2 contest against Maryland at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 5 (7 p.m.). Cal fans are encouraged to participate in a Blue Out in the season-opener. The best way to show your support is to pick up the CalBears.com/Blueout.
For 2009 Cal football tickets, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO BEARS.