January 7, 1999
Berkeley - Cal junior linebacker Skou Sanyika, who earned second team All-America honors after a prolific 1998 season, announced today his decision that he would return for his senior season next fall.
Sanyika, 6-4 and 235 pounds, led the Pacific-10 Conference in tackles for loss with 23 for minus125 yards last season and is expected to be on several pre-season All-America teams in 1999. He heads a group of seven returning starters off a Cal defense that finished third overall in the league in total defense.
He said that he and his father went through a month-long evaluation process of his NFL prospects for the upcoming draft, including sending a letter of inquiry about his potential draft status to the league office in New York, before deciding to stay at Cal.
"I never was strongly considering leaving early for the NFL, but we felt it was smart to evaluate the situation," said Sanyika. "The consensus was that I would be drafted, but there were opinions all over the board, from late first round to the fifth round.
"Basically, we came to the conclusion that I was much better off coming back for my senior season. I really like it here and I wanted to be a part of our defense next fall. I've seen this defense transformed since I came to Cal and I think we have the potential to be a Top 10 defense nationally next fall. All the hard work is paying off and I am anxious to be on the field with my teammates."
Sanyika said that academics did not play any part of his decision since he was going through with graduation ceremonies this spring at Cal. "After this spring semester, I'll just have two classes to take for my degree, so I'm planning to take one in the summer and one during the fall semester." He is majoring in economics at Cal.