Dec. 15, 2006
HOUSTON, Texas - California sophomore punt returner DeSean Jackson won the inaugural Randy Moss Return Man Award for the nation's top kick/punt return man in Division I college football, the GameDay Consultants and Gulf Coast Events announced Friday.
"It's an honor to have been in the position to win this award," Jackson said. "I have worked hard all year long and with all the accolades I have received it puts a good perspective on what hard work can accomplish. But I still have a lot of hard work to do on the football field."
Jackson leads the nation with his punt return average of 18.2 yards. He returned four punts for touchdowns this season, tops in the nation. His career-long punt return of 95 yards came in November against Arizona. He also had a 72-yard touchdown return against UCLA, a 65-yarder against Oregon and an 80-yarder against Arizona State.
With his four touchdown returns this season he broke the Cal school's record and the Pac-10 record for career punt return touchdowns with five. He also had a punt return touchdown (49 yards) in his first collegiate game against Sacramento State last year.
"I have always looked up to Randy Moss' return abilities since I was a teenager and he was with the Vikings," Jackson added. "He is a big playmaker and I tried to do the same things he does on the football field."
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 has hauled in 54 catches for 979 yards and eight touchdowns. He averages 81.6 yards per game, ranking him 16th in the nation.
Jackson will be presented his trophy at a luncheon in Houston on Jan. 12, in conjunction with the IntaJuice North South All-Star Classic 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.