April 23, 2009
DALLAS, TX - Former Cal football players Alex Mack, Will Ta'ufo'ou and Zach Smith were among those honored when the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame (NFF) announced today the members of the 2009 NFF Hampshire Society, which is comprised of college football players from all divisions of play who each maintained a 3.2 GPA or better.
"This is a great and very deserving honor for all three of these guys," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. "Not only are they very strong athletes, but obviously their academic efforts have paid off for them. They have all been great representatives of the university and really encompass everything we're all about here when we talk about academics, athletics, social and community excellence. All three of these guys have been great people in the classroom, on the football field and socially."
All three of Cal's honorees completed their collegiate football eligibility last season.
Mack earned the prestigious Draddy Trophy in 2008, given to college football's top scholar-athlete, as he wrapped up his Cal career with an outstanding senior campaign both on the field and in the classroom. He was also the 2008-09 Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football and a Pac-10 first-team all-academic choice, as well as a finalist for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award given for academic and athletic accomplishment. On the field, the center earned first-team All-American and All-Pac-10 nods, and added the Pac-10 Conference's Morris Trophy to his resume for the second year in a row in 2008. He was also a finalist for the Rimington Trophy and a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award. In addition, he was named Cal's 2008 winner of the Schlessinger Coaches Award, which recognizes outstanding athletic ability, academic success and community service.
Ta'ufo'ou started nine contests and played in all 13 games at fullback to help pave the way for a Cal rushing attack that featured Jahvid Best's 1580-yard season that ranked third in the nation with an average of 131.67 rushing yards per game. Ta'ufo'ou added seven receptions for 27 yards and a touchdown, while rushing four times for 26 yards. Ta'ufo'ou was also an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic selection.
Smith wrapped up his collegiate career by playing in nine games, primarily as a backup fullback and on special teams.
For more information on the 2009 National Football Foundation Hampshire Honor Society visit footballfoundation.com