May 4, 2012
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Former Cal placekicker Giorgio Tavecchio has agreed to terms on an undrafted free agent contract with the San Francisco 49ers. Tavecchio played in 46 games and finished his collegiate career with 256 points to rank fifth on Cal's all-time scoring list and fourth among kickers. He made 48-of-64 (75.0%) field goal attempts and 112-120 (93.3%) extra-point tries, ranking third in both all-time made field goals and extra points made.
He also had exceptional academic achievements, highlighted by being a semifinalist as a senior for the William V. Campbell Trophy, often referred to as the "Academic Heisman," and a candidate for the National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete Awards. He also earned second-team Pac-10/12 All-Academic recognition each of his final three seasons (2009-11) and Capital One All-Academic All-District® 8 honors as a senior. Earlier this week at Cal's annual Academic Honors Luncheon, he was presented with the Jake Gimbel Prize given annually to a male student-athlete at Cal for successful integration of academic and athletic pursuits who exemplifies the true Golden Bear spirit, and . He also was the recipient of a Pac-12 post-graduate scholarship and won a Golden Bear Achievement Award for having the highest GPA on the football team.
In addition to his honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors from the coaches as a senior, Tavecchio was named first and third-team All-Pac-12 according to Yahoo! Sports and College Sports Madness when he played in all 13 games and became the first Cal player to pace the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (20-23, 87.0%) and the first since Doug Brien in 1991 to lead the conference in field goals made per game (1.54). His field goal percentage of 87.0% was a single-season school record, while his 20 total field goals rank third on Cal's single-season list. Tavecchio also ranked among Pac-12 leaders in scoring among kickers (fifth) and overall scoring (10th), with his scoring average of 7.38 points per game tied for 60th nationally. He made each of his last nine field goal attempts over his final five games, including a career-high-tying four in the first 4-for-4 performance of his career in the regular-season finale at Arizona State, with the four field goals made and 100.0% both tying Pac-12 season bests. His 17 points (4-4 FG, 5-5 PAT) against the Sun Devils were also a career high and equaled the most by a Pac-12 player in 2011 as he earned Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors and honorable mention Placekicker Perfomer of the Week recognition from the College Football Performance Awards for the third time of the season. Earlier in the season, Tavecchio hit a 54-yarder at Oregon that was one yard shy of the school record as he made three of four field goals against the Ducks.
Tavecchio played in all 12 games as a junior during his first season as Cal's full-time starting placekicker, making 11-of-16 field goal attempts (68.8%) and 37-of-39 extra-point tries (94.9%) to rank second on the team in scoring with 70 points. He was among the Pac-10's per-game leaders in scoring among kickers (5.8 ppg, 5th), PAT percentage (94.9%, 5th), field goal percentage (68.8%, 6th), field goals made (0.92 fgpg, 6th, T74th NCAA) and scoring (5.8 ppg, 9th). Tavecchio had a season-high 14 points when he made all three of his field goal attempts and five-of-six extra-point tries against Arizona State to earn honorable mention CFPA Placekicker Performer of the Week honors. He made his first 23 kicks of the season (18-18 extra points, 5-5 FG) before missing a 33-yard field goal attempt in the third quarter at Arizona. He made a season-long 53-yard field that was Cal's longest since Tom Schneider's 55-yarder at the 2006 Big Game and added another from 47 yards in the season finale against Washington to be named an honorable mention CFPA Placekicker Performer of the Week.
He played in 11 games and scored 38 points as a sophomore, hitting 8-of-12 field goals (67.0%) and all 14 of his extra-point attempts (100.0%) but did have one blocked that was credited to the team. Tavecchio was ranked eighth in the Pac-10 with his 0.73 field goals made per game average as well as ninth in scoring among conference kickers with an average of 3.5 points per contest. He hit a game-winning 24-yarder for the deciding points with 0:21 seconds left in a 23-21 win at Arizona State, after booting a season-long 51-yarder in the third quarter. Tavecchio made 4-of-5 field goals vs. Arizona, equaling a career high for field goals made and establishing a season-high for points with 12 as he was named the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time in his career for becoming the first Cal player to make four field goals in game since Tom Schneider accomplished the feat in the 2006 Big Game against Stanford.
Tavecchio joined the team three days before the 2008 season opener against Michigan State as a true freshman and became an impact player for the Bears in his first collegiate game when he handled kickoff duties against the Spartans. He assumed full-time placekicker responsibilities for an injured David Seawright prior to the Arizona contest on October 18 and stayed in the role for the remainder of the season. He finished second on the team in scoring with 52 points, making 9-of-13 (69.2%) field goal attempts and was a perfect 25-of-25 (100.0%) on extra-point tries. Tavecchio ranked sixth in the Pac-10 in field goals made per game (0.90 fgpg), as well as 15th in the conference in scoring per contest (5.2 ppg). He made 2-of-3 field goal tries in his debut as the team's placekicker vs. Arizona, including a season-long-tying 42-yarder and had another field goal from 42 yards the following game vs. UCLA.
Six former Cal players were selected in the 2012 NFL Draft that concluded Saturday including second-round picks in offensive lineman Mitchell Schwartz (Cleveland Browns - No. 37 overall) and linebacker Mychal Kendricks (Philadelphia Eagles - No. 46 overall), third-round punter Bryan Anger (Jacksonville Jaguars - No. 70 overall), fifth-round wide receiver Marvin Jones (Cincinnati Bengals - No. 166 overall), and seventh round choices in defensive back D.J. Campbell (Carolina Panthers - No. 216 overall) and defensive lineman Trevor Guyton (Minnesota Vikings, No. 219 overall).
Tavecchio is one of an additional seven former Cal players to have been announced by NFL teams to have agreed to terms on an undrafted free agent contract following the 2012 draft. Wide receiver Michael Calvin (Atlanta Falcons), safety Sean Cattouse (San Diego Chargers), offensive lineman Justin Cheadle (Kansas City Chiefs), linebacker D.J. Holt (Washington Redskins), tight end Anthony Miller (Denver Broncos) and defensive lineman Ernest Owusu (Minnesota Vikings) have also agreed to terms.
Additional announcements of former Cal players agreeing to terms on undrafted free agent contracts may be forthcoming but will not be made until official announcements by the NFL team.