Sept. 20, 2009
ATLANTA - Cal Heisman Trophy candidate Jahvid Best is one of four nominees for the AT&T All-America Player of the Week Award in Week Three of the 2009 college football season. Fans can help Best win the honor by voting for him in the only college football honor determined by fan voting. Text VOTE to 345345 and then reply with your selection. Fans have until 8:59 p.m. PT on Wednesday to submit their votes. The winner will be announced during Thursday's ESPN College Football Primetime presented by Applebee's. Standard text messaging rates apply.
The Golden Bears' junior tailback set a new modern-era (1937-current) single-game school record and also posted a new career-high with five rushing touchdowns to lead Cal to a 35-21 victory at Minnesota on Saturday. He finished with 131 yards rushing on a career-high 26 carries against the Golden Gophers. Best now ranks among Cal's all-time leaders in rushing touchdowns (25, No. 5) and rushing yards (2,213, No. 10). In addition, he had three rushes of 20 or more yards against Minnesota and now has eight this season and 30 in his career.
After the first three games of 2009, Best leads the nation in scoring (18.0 ppg) as well as the Pac-10 in rushing (137.3 ypg, No. 3 NCAA) and all-purpose running (163.0 ypg, No. 15 NCAA). He has rushed for 412 yards and eight TDs on 53 carries for an average of 7.8 yards per carry. Best also co-leads the Bears with seven catches for 59 yards and one touchdown.
In addition, Best has a current string of seven consecutive games of 100 or more rushing yards dating back to the final four contests of 2008. He has rushed for 1,228 yards and 17 TDs on 126 carries (9.7 yards per rush, 175.4 yards per game) during that seven-game span.
Best is a 2009 preseason All-American and 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 was the nation's only running back to be recognized each of the first two weeks of the 2009 season by the College Football Performance Awards, winning the honor as the nation's top running back in the first week of the campaign and picking up first honorable mention honors in the second week.
Last season, he averaged 131.67 rushing yards per game when he totaled 1,580 yards on the ground 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.
The other nominees selected by a panel of analysts from ESPN for this week's AT&T All-America Player of the Week Award are Washington LB Donald Butler, Oklahoma QB Landry Jones and Syracuse WR Mike Williams.
"AT&T is excited to see who the fans will choose this week as the AT&T All-America Player of the Week," said Tim McGhee, executive director, AT&T corporate sponsorships, in a press release. "Each player had an outstanding game, but the fans will be the ones deciding who is crowned the best."
There is no limit on fan voting and each vote counts as one entry into a sweepstakes to win a trip to the 2010 Bowl Championship Series National Championship game in Pasadena. Full sweepstakes rules can be found at espnallamerica.com.
In December, four finalists for the AT&T All-America Player of the Year Award will be announced during a one-hour special on ESPN in conjunction with the announcement of the AT&T ESPN All-America Team as selected by the Football Writers Association of America. Fans will then get their chance to say who the best player in the nation is by voting for the AT&T All-America Player of the Year through the BCS. Voting ends at 8:59 p.m. PT on Jan. 5, and the winner will be announced during the BCS National Championship game on ABC on Jan. 7.
Cal (3-0) will play its Pac-10 opener at Oregon (2-1) this Saturday, Sept. 26 (12:30 p.m.). The game at Autzen Stadium will be televised live nationally by ABC. The Golden Bears return to Memorial Stadium for a showdown with seven-time defending champion USC (2-1) on Saturday, Oct. 3 (5 p.m.) for a contest that ABC will also televise nationally.
For tickets to all 2009 Cal football games, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO BEARS.