Aug. 31, 2009
BERKELEY - California junior running back Jahvid Best and senior defensive back Syd'Quan Thompson continued to be showered with 2009 preseason honors on Monday when both were selected to the CBSSports.com 2009 Preseason All-American first-team. Both have been named to multiple first-team preseason All-American squads prior to the 2009 campaign.
Best is one of the nation's leading candidates for the Heisman Trophy and also on watch lists for the College Football Performance Awards Player of the Year and Running Back of the Year, Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award. He is the country's leading returning rusher after averaging 131.67 yards per game last year when he ran for 1,580 yards to record the second-highest single-season total ever at Cal. His 8.1 yards per carry in 2008 set a new single-season school record while his 15 rushing touchdowns tied the Bears' single-season mark. Best was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection as a running back in 2008 after earning the same honor on special teams as a true freshman the previous campaign.
Thompson already has his name on watch lists for the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Lott Trophy, the Bronco Naguski Trophy and the Jim Thorpe Award. 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). Last year, Thompson 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.
The Golden Bears will open their 2009 campaign by hosting Maryland in a nationally televised ESPN2 contest at Memorial Stadium this Saturday, September 5 (7 p.m.). 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 more information, visit CalBears.com/Blueout.
For 2009 Cal football tickets, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO BEARS.