Dec. 12, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas - Sophomore punt returner DeSean Jackson was selected as a finalist for the first annual Randy Moss Return Man Award, for the nation's top kick/punt return man in Division I college football, GameDay Consultants and Gulf Coast Events announced. Oregon State's Sammie Stroughter and Indiana's Marcus Thigpen join Jackson as finalists.
In 25 punt returns, Jackson leads the nation in punt return average (18.2) and returned four punts for touchdowns already this season. His career-longest punt return of 95-yards came in November against Arizona. This season he broke the Cal school's record and the Pac-10 record for career punts returned for touchdowns with five. He also had a punt return touchdown (49-yards) in his first collegiate game against Sacramento State last year.
In addition to his punt return statistics, the Los Angeles native also was a threat at receiver for the Golden Bears. In 12 starts, Jackson hauled in 54 catches for 979 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 81.6 yards per game, ranking him 16th in the nation.
The award, voted on by the NCAA Sports Information Directors, will be announced on Friday, Dec. 15 and presented to the winner at the 2007 IntaJuice North South All-Star Classic in Houston, Texas, on Jan. 13.
California, which set a school record for average home attendance this year, has posted a 9-3 record thus far this season. It is just the 15th time that the Golden Bears have won nine or more games in program history. The Bears will play Texas A&M in the 29th annual Pacific Life Holiday Bowl on Thursday, Dec. 28 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. (Pacific). This marks the first time in school history that Cal has advanced to bowl games in four consecutive years.
Tickets for the bowl game are currently available by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS or by visiting www.CalBears.com.