Dec. 3, 2007
Berkeley - Senior running back Justin Forsett and junior center Alex Mack headlined 12 individuals from the University of California on the annual Pac-10 all-conference football teams announced by the league office on Monday.
Forsett was a first-team choice after compiling 1,406 yards on the ground to go along with a league-high 13 rushing touchdowns this season. The 5-8 senior, who has logged 3,080 yards during his tenure at Cal, has eight 100-yard games this season (14 for his career), including a 164-yard performance against the league's second-best rush defense (USC) and 150 yards against the league's top-rated rush defense (Oregon State). He registered 132 yards, including a game-clinching 44-yard burst down the sidelines to ice a victory over Washington State. He also logged a career-best three rushing touchdowns against Louisiana Tech to go along with 152 yards on the ground.
Mack earned his second-straight first-team selection after anchoring an offensive line that allowed a league-low 11 sacks this season. Rated as the No. 1 junior center by Mel Kiper, Mack is one of just three unanimous choices to the first team. He helped pave the way to 471 yards of total offense, including 230 yards on the ground in Cal's triumph over Tennessee in the season-opener. Mack is a finalist for the Rimington Trophy for the top center in the country and was also a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award.
Headlining second-team honors are wide receivers Lavelle Hawkins and DeSean Jackson. Hawkins has enjoyed his finest season in a Golden Bear uniform, pacing the team with 855 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 69 catches. He matched his career-high with nine catches for 78 yards against Washington State and snared nine balls for a career-best 192 yards (sixth-most in school history) including a 64-yard touchdown reception against Oregon State. He also returned the opening kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in the victory over Louisiana Tech.
The lightning quick Jackson totaled 681 receiving yards and five touchdowns this season, including a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown against Tennessee and a career-best 73-yard end-around touchdown at Colorado State. He hauled in a career-high 11 catches for a career-high 161 yards with two touchdowns at Oregon, while posting nine catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns at UCLA. Jackson also garnered Pac-10 second-team honors as a punt return man. He ranked second in the league in punt return average at 10.8 yards per clip.
A second-team defensive pick at linebacker, junior Zack Follett, proved once again to be a menacing force in the deep and talented Golden Bear linebacker corps this season, amassing 59 tackles (a team-best 11.5 for losses), 5.5 sacks, six pass breakups and two forced fumbles in 10 games played this season. The junior recorded a season-best 10 takedowns, including three for losses at UCLA.
An impact player in his first season at Cal, freshman Jahvid Best earned first-team honors as a special teams player after seeing time as a tailback, a return man and a gunner. He averaged 27.0 yards per kickoff return (second-best in the league) and had a career-long 54-yard return at UCLA. He also recorded 12 tackles on punt and kick coverage teams. Offensively, he tallied 221 rushing yards and 74 receiving yards. He burst through tacklers for a 64-yard touchdown romp at Colorado State for his first career score, and added his first career touchdown reception against Louisiana Tech on a 16-yard pass from Longshore.
Cal had a slew of honorable mentions as well, including seniors Thomas DeCoud, Brian De La Puente, Mike Gibson, Robert Jordan and Craig Stevens, and junior Anthony Felder. DeCoud paced the defense with 106 tackles, while Jordan established a new Cal record for consecutive games with a reception (41). Stevens posted 204 yards receiving with three touchdowns, while De La Puente and Gibson started every game on the offensive line. Felder ranks second on the team with 99 tackles.
Cal will play in a fifth straight bowl game for the first time in program history as the Golden Bears will battle Air Force in the 2007 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, on Dec. 31. The game will be televised live by ESPN from Amon G. Carter Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Pacific Time (11:30 a.m. Central).