Jan. 7, 2008
BERKELEY - The California football team will be represented in postseason all-star games by six different players this year. Safety Thomas DeCoud, running back Justin Forsett and receiver Lavelle Hawkins will play in the 59th annual Under Armour Senior Bowl; offensive tackle Mike Gibson and tight end Craig Stevens will play in the 83rd East-West Shrine Game; and receiver Robert Jordan will be in action at the Cornerstone Hula Bowl.
Jordan will be the first Golden Bear in action in the postseason all-star games as the Oakland product takes part in the Hula Bowl this Saturday, Jan. 12 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 3 p.m. (Pacific) and will be televised live on Versus. To find out if Versus is available in specific areas, visit www.versus.com and input the zip code for that area. On Comcast in the Bay Area, it is Channel 75, while on Direct TV, it is Channel 603. Last year, Cal standouts Abu Ma'afala and Nu'u Tafisi competed in the Hula Bowl. For more information, visit www.HulaBowlHawaii.com.
Gibson and Stevens will be in action next Saturday, Jan. 19 at the East-West Shrine Game with kickoff scheduled for 4 p.m. (Pacific) on ESPN from Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston. The pair will play for the West team which will be coached by Cal Hall-of-Famer Mike White. Dick Vermeil will coach the East squad. Last year's Cal participant in the game was linebacker Desmond Bishop, now with the Green Bay Packers. For more information, visit www.ShrineGame.com.
The 59th Under Armour Senior Bowl will be played on Saturday, Jan. 26 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Ala. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. (Pacific) on the NFL Network. In addition to the game, practice sessions during the week will be broadcast on the NFL Network. Cal has had 22 players participate in the Senior Bowl, including eight since Jeff Tedford's arrival - Tully Banta-Cain and Kyle Boller (2003); Lorenzo Alexander and J.J. Arrington (2005), Ryan O'Callaghan and Marvin Philip (2006) and Daymeion Hughes and Brandon Mebane (2007). All eight remain active in the NFL.
The trio of Golden Bears will just be part of the Bay Area flavor for the game as the staff of the San Francisco 49ers will coach the South team and the Oakland Raiders staff will coach the North team. For more information, visit www.SeniorBowl.com.
DeCoud anchored the Golden Bear secondary from his free safety position, leading the team with 116 tackles. An honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection, he was voted the team's defensive MVP and had six double-figure tackle games in 2007. The Pinole, Calif., products tallied 49 tackles in the last four games alone.
Forsett closed his Cal career ranked third in career rushing yards (3,220) and tied for second in career 100-yard games (15), despite starting just 17 career games. His 26 career rushing touchdowns are the fourth-best single-season total at Cal. In 2007, he led the Pac-10 in touchdowns (15, tied for first in a season at Cal) and ranked second in rushing (118.9 yards per game) and earned All-Pac-10 First-Team honors.
Gibson was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection at left tackle and collected the team's Ken Cotton Award as its most courageous player. He was a key part of a superb offensive line which allowed just 11 sacks in 2007 (best in the Pac-10, fourth in the nation).
Hawkins closed his Golden Bear career ranked 10th all-time in receptions (136) and 11th in receiving touchdowns (12) despite playing just three seasons after transferring. An All-Pac-10 Second-Team selection this season, he led the Bears with 72 catches and receiving yards with 872. He also served as Cal's primary kick returner averaging 22.0 yards per return.
Jordan ranks seventh at Cal in career receptions (156) and ninth in both receiving yards (2,047) and receiving touchdowns (13). He also owns the Cal record for consecutive games with a reception (42) and started more games (37) than any other player on this year's squad. An honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection, Jordan closed the year with career highs of 47 catches and 689 yards. He recorded 247 receiving yards in his last two career games, including 148 yards on six catches in the Bell Helicopters Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force.
Stevens was a three-time all-conference selection and did not miss a game in his Cal career, leading the team with 50 straight appearances to finish his career tied for second all time in games. An honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection, he earned Cal's Frank J. Schlessinger Coaches Award as the player who demonstrates outstanding athletic ability, academic success and community service.
The Golden Bears posted their sixth straight winning season in 2007, capping the year with a come-from-behind 42-36 triumph over Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl. The bowl victory was the fourth for Tedford - no other Cal coach has won more than two. It is the first time in program history that Cal has advanced to five straight bowl games and the first time in over 50 years that the Bears have posted six straight winning seasons.