April 26, 2009
(NEW YORK, NY) -- Former Cal football players linebacker Zack Follett and tight end Cameron Morrah were both selected in the seventh round Sunday on the second and final day of the 2009 NFL Draft. Follett was taken by the Detroit Lions (No. 235 overall), while the Seattle Seahawks selected Morrah (No. 248 overall). The pair joins former college teammate Alex Mack as former Cal players selected in the 2009 NFL Draft. Mack was a first round selection (No. 21 overall) by the Cleveland Browns on the first day of the draft on Saturday.
Follett earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2008 as he improved upon his second-team selection the previous season, and also picked up the team's Bear Backers Award for its Most Valuable Player honor on defense for the second straight year. Follett was once again one of the hardest hitters in the conference and ranked among league leaders in several different categories, pacing the Pac-10 in tackles for loss (23.0, 1.77 per game, No. 3 NCAA) and forced fumbles (5), while ranking fourth in quarterback sacks (10.5, .81 per game, No. 17T NCAA) and tied for 12th in total tackles (87, 6.69 per game). He also returned a blocked field goal attempt 65 yards for a touchdown at Washington State and added a fumble recovery against Maryland. Follett was a 2008 semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award given to the country's best defensive player, a quarterfinalist for the Lott Trophy, the Emerald Bowl MVP, and for the second straight year was honored with the team's Berkeley Breakfast Club Award as its defensive MVP in the Big Game. He also earned Lott Trophy IMPACT Player of the Week and Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors after recording 11 tackles, 3.0 tackles for loss and a sack in a 26-16 win over Oregon on November 1.
Other notable honors during Follett's collegiate career included an honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection as a sophomore in 2006 and first-team Freshman All-American recognition from Rivals.com during his 2005 rookie campaign when he made 32 tackles, including 3.0 for loss, recorded 2.0 sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. He finished his four years at Cal ranked 12th on the school's all-time tackles list with 245 over 49 games (23 starts), 51.0 tackles for loss (No. 5 all-time at Cal), 23.5 sacks (No. 6 all-time at Cal), 13 forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, an interception and 15 pass break-ups.
"I'm excited because they're going to give me a good shot with the Lions," said Follett. "They're the ones that put their neck out and drafted me. I think the reason why I fell [in the draft] is because of my medical history with the neck problems and shoulder stuff that other teams didn't want to risk and take that pick. I think that's the reason I fell, but I'm not the one to make excuses. I'm excited to get out there and play."
"I'm seriously not disappointed," added Follett. "I'm glad to be drafted."
Morrah entered the 2009 NFL Draft after a junior season in which he became one of Cal's most reliable targets, setting a new single-season record for touchdown catches by a Golden Bear tight end in 2008 with a team-high eight scoring grabs and was on the receiving end of at least one touchdown pass in five consecutive contests. The eight touchdown receptions also rank seventh overall on the school's all-time single-season list. Morrah ended his junior campaign with the best numbers of his career (27 receptions, 326 receiving yards, 8 TDs). He totaled 41 receptions for 484 yards and 10 touchdowns over 33 games and 18 starts during his three years at Cal.
"They called me on the phone and told me that they really liked me, and I was excited about that," said Morrah. "I just feel like I'm in a great situation going to Seattle. It's a great place, and I have met a couple people up there so I have got to make the most of it."
Stay tuned to calbears.com to learn of any former Cal players signing NFL free agent contracts.