Aug. 6, 2009
BERKELEY - California's Syd'Quan Thompson was named Thursday to the watch list for the 2009 Jim Thorpe Award that recognizes college football's top defensive back. The award is presented by the Jim Thorpe Association and selects the winner based upon their performance on the field, athletic ability and character. The finalists are invited to ESPN's College Football Awards Show in December in Orlando, while the official presentation takes places at a February banquet in Oklahoma City.
Thompson's stellar career at Cal began as a true freshman in 2006 as the senior cornerback has played in and started all 39 games possible over his first three campaigns. He 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).
Thompson is also on the watch list for this year's Lott Trophy and a 2009 first-team pre-season All-American.
Last year, he 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. He recorded a career-high 78 tackles as a sophomore in 2007 and was a Pac-10 All-Freshman selection by Sporting News and the team's Most Valuable Freshman as a 2006 rookie.
"I am thankful that I have been selected to the watch list for the Thorpe Award," said Thompson. "It's an honor just to be put on the same list with all of those great players. I'm excited for the season and can't wait to go out on the field and compete."
Cal has been ranked as high as No. 9 (Phil Steele) in 2009 national team preseason rankings released by college football preview publications. The Golden Bears were selected to finish second in the Pac-10 this year in an annual preseason poll of media who regularly cover the league.
The Golden Bears open their 2009 campaign with a nationally televised ESPN2 contest against Maryland at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, September 5 (7:00 p.m., PT). 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.