Nov. 4, 2009
BERKELEY - Cal tailback Jahvid Best was named one of 16 Maxwell Award semifinalists on Wednesday announced Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski. The honor is given annually to the nation's best college football player and Best is looking to become the first Golden Bear to earn the award now in its 73rd year.
Other semifinalists include QB Jimmy Clausen (Notre Dame), RB Noel Devine (West Virginia), RB Toby Gerhart (Stanford), RB Mark Ingram (Alabama), QB Case Keenum (Houston), QB Dan LeFevour (Central Michigan), RB Dion Lewis (Pittsburgh), RB Ryan Matthews (Fresno State), QB Colt McCoy (Texas), QB Kellen Moore (Boise State), QB Christian Ponder (Florida State), RB Jacquizz Rodgers (Oregon State), WR Jordan Shipley (Texas), WR Golden Tate (Notre Dame) and 2008 Maxwell Award winner QB Tim Tebow (Florida).
Best has been one of the nation's top running backs through the first eight contests of the 2009 season. He has 838 rushing yards in 2009 on 132 carries for an average of 6.3 yards per attempt and 104.8 yards per game. Best needs just 162 yards to give Cal a 1,000-yard rusher for the eighth consecutive year. He also has 15 touchdowns overall (11 rushing, 4 receiving), moving to within three TDs of Cal's all-time single-season record (18, Duke Morrison, 1922) and two of the modern-era record (17, Lindsey Chapman, 1993). His 11 TDs on the ground are only four shy of the single-season record of 15 he equaled last year. Best set a single-game school record with five rushing TDs, to go along with 131 yards on the ground on a career-high 26 carries at Minnesota on Sept. 19, 2009.
He is among 2009 NCAA and Pac-10 leaders in several categories, including a scoring average of 11.25 points per game that is tied for second nationally and tied for first in the Pac-10. He is also fourth in the Pac-10 in rushing and No. 21 in the nation with his 104.75 yard-per game average, and No. 13 in the conference in total offense with the same figure. In addition, he is sixth in the conference in all-purpose running yardage with an average of 134.12 yards per game (1073 total - 838 rush, 217 receive, 18 kick return).
Best is also among Cal's all-time leaders in rushing touchdowns (28, No. 4), all-purpose running yardage (4,020, No. 5), 100-yard rushing games (13, No. 6), rushing yardage (2,639, No. 7) and points scored (204, No. 9). He also has three career 200-yard games (most ever by a Cal player) and has put his big-play capability on full display throughout his career with a total 34 rushes of 20+ yards, to go along with 11 of 60+ yards and four of 80 or more. He has 12 runs of 20 or more yards this fall, including three touchdown jaunts of over 60 yards (93 at UCLA; 73 vs. Maryland, 61 vs. Washington State).
Best rushed for 1,580 yards in 2008 to mark the second-best single-season ever at Cal, while his 8.1 yards per carry set a new school record. He was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2008 and garnered multiple preseason All-American honors in 2009.
The Maxwell Award has been presented to the outstanding college football player in America since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert W. "Tiny" Maxwell. The Maxwell Football Club, founded in 1935, is based in Philadelphia and is the oldest football club in the United States. The panel voting for the Maxwell Award includes Maxwell Football Club members, NCAA head coaches, sports information directors and selected national media.
The three finalists for the 2009 Maxwell Award will be announced on November 23. The winner will be announced as part of the Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards Show which will be held on December 10, 2009. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City on March 5, 2010.
Cal (6-2, 3-2 Pac-10) will next host Oregon State (5-3, 3-2 Pac-10) at Memorial Stadium in a nationally-televised Fox Sports Net game this Saturday, Nov. 7 (4:00 p.m. PT). The contest will be broadcast locally on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.
For ticket information, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO BEARS.