Dec. 11, 2007
BERKELEY - California's Alex Mack continues to earn honors this year as the junior center was named the Morris Trophy winner as the best offensive lineman in the Pacific-10 Conference, the league announced on Tuesday. The Morris Trophy is a unique award given to the outstanding offensive and defensive linemen in the Pacific-10 Conference. What makes the award unique is the selection procedure, which has the starting offensive linemen in the Conference voting for the defensive winner and vice versa. It is truly a players' award.
Mack is the fourth Golden Bear lineman to win the honor - the other three are all active in the NFL. Todd Steussie, the 1993 offensive winner, is in his 13th year in the NFL, currently playing with the St. Louis Rams; 2000 defensive winner Andre Carter is currently playing with the Redskins; and Cal's most recent winner, offensive tackle Ryan O'Callaghan is with the New England Patriots.
A 6-5, 300-pound product of Santa Barbara, Mack has been Cal's most-decorated player of the season, collecting a host of honors. In addition to the Morris Trophy, he was selected as a finalist for the Rimington Trophy as the top center in the nation and honored as the first-team All-American at center by The Sporting News. One of just three players to be a unanimous first-team All-Pac-10 selection, he was also a semifinalist for the Rotary Lombardi Award for the op down lineman (offense or defense) in the country. His skills also extend off the field as he is a two-time selection to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Team and a two-time Pac-10 All-Academic honoree. Mack anchors a formidable Cal offensive line which has allowed just 11 sacks this year (best in the Pac-10, fourth in the nation) and was voted the team's Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman (Brick Muller Award) after leading the team in pancakes, knockdowns and cuts.
USC defensive tackle Sedric Ellis is the defensive winner of this year's Morris Trophy.
Ellis and Mack will be presented their awards at a luncheon at the prestigious Washington Athletic Club in Seattle in January, 2008. The Morris Trophy is sponsored by the Morris Family of Woodway, Wash., and the Washington Athletic Club.
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).