June 8, 2006
BERKELEY - University of California seniors Brandon Mebane and Daymeion Hughes have been named to the 2006 Bronco Nagurski Trophy Watch List, it was announced on Thursday by the Charlotte Touchdown Club, the sponsor of the award. The trophy is awarded to the best defensive player in college football. Fifty-five players from around the country have been selected to the preseason Watch List. Cal is one of eight schools with two players on the list.
Mebane, a 6-3, 295-pound defensive tackle, battled double teams throughout 2005 to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors after leading the Golden Bears in sacks. He has been tabbed as a preseason first-team All-American by The Sporting News, Athlon Sports and Lindy's Football Annual. Hughes was also a first-team all-league pick after recording 17 passes defended, including five interceptions. The 6-2, 188-pound cornerback was named a preseason first-team All-American by Playboy Magazine. Both players are products of Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles.
The FWAA All-America Committee selects the Bronko Nagurski winner from the association's 11-man All-America defensive team in late November. Players may be added to the Watch List during the course of the season. The 2006 banquet is set for Monday, Dec. 4, at the Westin Hotel in Charlotte, where five finalists will vie for the prize. Louisville defensive end Elvis Dumervil won the 2005 Bronko Nagurski Trophy.
California is coming off an 8-4 season that included a win in the Pioneer PureVision Las Vegas Bowl. The Bears ended the 2005 season ranked No. 25 in both the Associated Press and USA Today polls. Cal opens the 2006 season on the road, playing at Tennessee on Sept. 2 on ESPN. The home opener for the Golden Bears is Sept. 9 against Minnesota in a game that will be televised nationally by TBS.