1999 Football Biographies
Meet the returning Cal secondary.
July 8, 1999
Eric Brown - 31Position: SAF
Hometown: Los Angeles
Last School: Cleveland HS
A heady defensive player with an excellent understanding of secondary play ... could earn some playing time at safety and also will contend for special teams duty.
1998: re-enrolled at Cal in the spring of '98, after a two-year absence ... played spring ball and then was a scout team member last fall.
1996-97: took off the '96 and '97 seasons to work in southern California and earn some money.
1995: originally came to Cal as a walk on in 1995 and played safety on scout teams that season.
High School/Personal: Attended Cleveland HS and lettered three years as a strong safety and wide receiver ... was a first team West Valley Conference selection as a junior and senior ... also ran track as a prep ... recruited by several schools, including Kansas, New Mexico and several Ivy League schools ... majoring in history and has sights set on law school ... born Nov. 14, 1977 in Los Angeles, CA.
Pete Destefano - 20Position: SAF
Hometown: San Jose
Last School: Archbishop Mitty HS
With 21 starting assignments over the last three seasons, this rugged safety has the experience and physical ability to contend for All-Pac-10 honors his senior season ... ranked as the No. 24 safety in college football by Lindy's magazine entering this fall...a physical player who has steadily improved during his college career and has the pros eyeing him closely...noted for his tough, tenacious style of play.
1998: earned honorable mention Pac-10 honors as a junior...finished as Cal's third-leading tackler with 66 stops, including 38 unassisted tackles, despite missing the USC and Washington games with a knee sprain...came on strong at the end of the season, posting 25 tackles over the last three games...had 10 tackles at Arizona State, nine tackles, including two behind the line of scrimmage, against Arizona and six tackles with a forced fumble in the Stanford finale.
1997: a 10-game starter during the 1997 campaign...ended the season with 38 tackles (27 unassisted), tying him for fifth-most on the team...posted a career-high eight unassisted tackles vs. Arizona State...also had five-tackle games at Louisiana Tech, vs. Oregon State and at Stanford...opened the season with four tackles at Houston, including a 7-yard sack.
1996: started a pair of games, but was on the field in every contest as a member of Cal's special teams...finished the year with 24 tackles, including 16 unassisted stops...entered the season as the starter at free safety and recorded six tackles (four unassisted) in his college debut at San Jose State...coaches decided, however, that his level of experience would be better served in a reserve role...came back to start the final game of the season against Stanford and had five tackles...recovered a fumble on punt coverage against UCLA.
1995: redshirted his first season at Cal.
High School/Personal: Played wide receiver, linebacker, defensive back, running back and quarterback as a prep at Mitty HS in San Jose...earned honorable mention all-state honors from Student Sports magazine...a Blue Chip Illustrated All-America selection as the No. 10 ranked defensive back in the West...earned first team All-Bay Area as named by the San Francisco Examiner...also was first team WCAL and Central Coast Section...led team with 101 tackles and five interceptions as a senior...also accounted for 1,640 yards rushing and receiving on offense...biggest thrill was catching a Hail Mary pass that won the WCAL title his senior year...set a school record with 20 career interceptions...was also recruited by UCLA, Utah and Air Force...was a standout catcher on prep baseball team...hit .363 as a junior, earning team MVP honors...started eight games for Cal's baseball team in 1997 and had four hits in 32 at-bats with four RBI...father, Dennis, played football at San Jose State and then under coach Bill Walsh for the semi-pro San Jose Apaches...dad currently works in the district attorney's office in San Jose...mother, Marie, works as a flight attendant...majoring in political science at Cal...born April 16, 1976 in Redwood City, CA.
Destefano's Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Loss Sacks Int BR 1996* 16 8 24 0-0 0.0 0 0 1997 27 11 38 1-7 1.0 0 1 1998 38 28 66 4-9 0.0 0 1 Totals 81 47 128 5-16 1.0 0 2
* includes stats from bowl game
The Pete Destefano File
- An experienced player with 21 starts in his career, he enters his senior season rated the No. 24 safety in college football by Lindy's magazine.
- Father, Dennis, played college football at San Jose State and under Bill Walsh with the semi-pro San Jose Apaches.
Dewey Hale - 36Position: SAF
Last School: Fremont HS
A talented defensive back who needs only to develop consistency to emerge as a strong starting candidate ... is beginning to show a solid understanding of the Cal defensive scheme and make all the right check calls in the secondary ... enters the fall as the third safety and will be the primary back-up to either Pete Destefano or Damian Marzett ... has a fearless style of play and a nose for the football ... coaches also like his strong work ethic.
1998: saw action in all 11 games last season, entirely on special teams ... finished the year with four unassisted tackles, a single stop coming in four different games.
1997: came to Cal and redshirted during the 1997 season as he rehabilitated a broken leg suffered in the summer of '97.
High School/Personal: Prepped at nearby Fremont HS where he earned SuperPrep All-Far West honors, ranking as the No. 86 overall prospect in the region...had 117 tackles and five interceptions his senior season...also returned three kickoffs and one punt for touchdowns during his prep career...considered Oklahoma State, UCLA and Texas A&M before signing with Cal...mother is Brenda Blannon of Oakland...born March 2, 1978.
Hale's Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Loss Sacks Int BR 1998 4 0 4 0 0 0 0
Drae Harris - 11Position: CB
Hometown: Phoenix, AZ
Last School: Mesa CC
A lightning-fast cornerback who has shown the ability to come up with big plays ... doesn't have great size, but has superior one-on-one coverage abilities and plays the ball well in the air ... still needs to develop consistency and become more of a factor in run defense ... has been hampered with lower back problems the last two years, which has cut down on his practice time...possesses perhaps the quickest feet in the Cal secondary.
1998: saw a significant amount of playing time as one of four cornerbacks in the primary rotation ... made some impact plays during the first half of the season ... finished the year with a team-leading three interceptions for 63 yards ... also recorded 14 tackles, including a pair behind the line of scrimmage for minus 14 yards ... had a game-clinching interception that he returned 26 yards for a TD with 0:09 left in a 24-14 win over Washington State ... also made an acrobatic one-handed interception at Washington that he returned 37 yards to the Husky one-yard-line in the fourth quarter at Seattle ... final pick came at Oregon State in the second quarter, helping set up a Cal field goal.
1997: was forced to redshirt 1997 campaign after suffering a hernia during the summer that ultimately required surgery and kept him from participating on scout teams.
Junior College/High School/Personal:.Played two seasons (1995 and '96) at Mesa CC in Phoenix, where he earned first team all-conference honors...was recruited out of the JC ranks by Louisville, Washington State, San Diego State and UNLV before choosing Cal ... prepped at Camelback HS in Phoenix where he earned first team Metro League honors three consecutive years...also starred in basketball and track and field as a prep...led basketball team in scoring, assists and steals as a junior and senior...ran a 10.57 time in the 100 meters and posted a 23-1 long jump at Camelback HS...has an interest in computer information systems as a career...lists Kevin Johnson as his favorite athlete...was a volunteer in the Big Brother program in Phoenix...raised as a youth by his grandmother...sister, Breshawn, lettered in volleyball at Howard University before graduating in 1998...father, Eric Blackwell Sr., is a bank executive in Arizona...majoring in social welfare at Cal...born Sept. 29, 1977 in South Phoenix, AZ.
Harris' Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Loss Sacks Int BR 1998 7 7 14 2-4 0.0 3 4
Chidi Iwuoma - 25Position: CB/RET
Last School: Pasadena HS
An excellent coverage player who figures to establish himself as one of the top cornerbacks in the Pac-10 in 1999...has 13 career starts his first two years as a collegian...has gained 20 pounds since he arrived at Cal, greatly increasing his strength...only 5-9, but can dunk a basketball, which gives a good indication of his athletic ability...one of the fastest players on the Cal team with a 4.4 clocking in the 40...could also contribute as a return specialist.
1998: was a mainstay in Cal's starting lineup and finished the season leading the team with 11 pass deflections...was Cal's most consistent corner last season, starting all 11 games...also was the team's sixth leading tackler...ended the year with 48 tackles, including 38 unassisted stops...had four tackles behind the line of scrimmage...his first career interception came against Arizona.
1997: improved steadily throughout his freshman season, getting his first start vs. Oregon State and was also in the lineup in the season finale at Stanford...notched a season-high nine tackles, including one unassisted stop, against the Cardinal...also recorded five tackles at Washington State and four tackles versus both Houston and Arizona State...ended up seeing playing time in all 11 games for the Bears in '97 and closed the season with a total of 32 tackles (six unassisted) and four pass deflections.
1996: redshirted as a member of the scout team.
High School/Personal: Returned five kicks for touchdowns as a senior at Pasadena HS...played running back, receiver and cornerback as a senior...had over 2,200 all-purpose yards and scored 22 touchdowns...named the Co-Offensive Player of the Year in the Pacific League...also earned first team CIF and San Gabriel Valley honors...rushed for 991 yards and scored 11 touchdowns as a senior...also caught 18 passes for 501 yards...best game may have been when he had 169 rushing yards on just six carries vs. Alhambra HS...earned BlueChip Illustrated honorable mention All-Western Region honors...chose Cal after considering Oregon State, Idaho and Nevada...lists Christian Okoye and Michael Jordan as his favorite athletes...major is undeclared, but is considering becoming an athletic trainer in the future...parents, Njoku and Martha Iwuoma, both came to the U.S. from Nigeria...born Feb. 19, 1978 in Los Angeles, CA.
Iwuoma's Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Loss Sacks Int BR 1997 26 6 32 0-0 0.0 0 4 1998 38 10 48 4-9 0.0 1 11 Totals 64 16 80 4-9 0.0 1 15
Damian Marzett - 2Position: SAF
Hometown: Los Angeles
Last School: Southwest CC
A rugged safety who the coaches believe has a great senior season in store in '99 ... one of the most improved players on the Cal defense, blending intelligence, great instincts and a physical style of play...has big shoes to fill in replacing third round NFL draft choice Marquis Smith at strong safety, but has the type of big-play ability that could help him make a smooth transition ... has a great initial burst to the football, whether it be closing in on a tackle or with the ball in the air.
1998: made a strong contribution in his first year in the program, serving as Pete Destefano's back-up at free safety ... started a pair of games (Washington State and USC) when Destefano was out with a knee injury ... had an impact in both starts as he made one interception and had a pass deflection vs. the Cougars and recorded five tackles and returned a fumble 40 yards to the Trojan 37-yard-line late in the third quarter to set up a Cal touchdown at USC ... finished the year with 15 tackles, including eight unassisted stops.
Junior College/High School/Personal: Came to Cal after earning first team all-state and All-America honors by the California State Coaches Association in 1998...picked up honorable mention JC Gridwire honors...was a unanimous first team Western State Conference selection...recorded 75 tackles, including six sacks as a sophomore...also had four interceptions, deflected 17 passes, recovered four fumbles and forced two fumbles...blocked three punts and two field goals...blocked a field goal attempt by Harbor JC with 20 seconds left in the game to preserve a 33-32 victory...earned honorable mention all-league honors as a freshman in 1996 ... originally signed a letter-of-intent out of Locke HS with Texas A&M where he intended to play with close friend and prep teammate Sirr Parker, but instead enrolled at Southwest CC...earned Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a senior in 1995...also earned all-city and all-state honors...played linebacker, safety and running back as a prep...was a standout baseball and track athlete at Locke HS...has plans to coach and teach following graduation...lists Junior Seau as his favorite pro athlete...parents are Bernard and Joann Marzett...born July 14, 1978 in Paramount, CA.
Marzett's Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Loss Sacks Int BR 1998 8 7 15 0-0 0.0 1 1
Deltha O'Neal - 8Position: CB/RET
Last School: Milpitas HS
Clearly one of the most exciting players in college football, he makes big plays seem commonplace...has good speed and quickness, but his knack for making the right reads and avoiding would-be tacklers is what truly separates him from most college players...might be the best return specialist in college football, ranking in the top 25 nationally in both kickoff and punt returns last year ... rated the No. 8 all-purpose player in the nation by Lindy's magazine, while he's ranked as the No. 9 kick returner in college football by The Sporting News...also played briefly on offense, where he started his college career, and provided several big plays...enters his senior year with 3,741 all-purpose yards, the fourth-most in Cal history...has now managed a punt return, reception or run for 20 or more yards in 11 of his last 12 games...currently ranks fifth in Cal history in punt returns, averaging 10.9 on 68 returns (741 yards) and is fourth in kickoff returns with a 24.0 average on 80 returns (1917 yards, which is the most in Cal history)...played tailback his first two seasons at Cal (along with his return duties) and averaged 4.9 yards on 138 carries (680 yards) during the '96 and '97 seasons, including a 72-yard TD run as a soph...moved to cornerback in the spring of '98 and has made tremendous strides learning coverage techniques ... has shown enough progress that he is slated to be a fulltime defensive starter this fall.
1998: had a huge impact in so many different areas, ranking nationally in punt returns and KO returns, pulling down a pair of interceptions on defense and averaging 10.4 yards on five receptions along with a pair of rushes on offense ... threw completed one pass for a touchdown (a 20-yarder at USC)...recorded five kickoff returns over 40 yards and seven punt returns over 20 yards last year...ended the season with 32 tackles (23 unassisted) and three pass deflections...finished the year ranked No. 7 in the nation in kickoff returns with a 28.4 yards per return average...that ranks as the fourth-best mark in Cal history...had several big returns, including a 57-yarder at USC and 49-yarders vs. Nebraska and Washington State...also finished 21st nationally in punt returns with an 11.8 average...that mark ranks as the third-best in school history...was Cal's lone threat in the season-finale against Stanford as he returned a punt 57 yards to the Cardinal 31-yard-line with 2:55 left in the game and Cal down by a touchdown (although Cal's offense failed to score)...was one of three players in the playing rotation at the cornerback spot, starting the Washington and Oregon State games and playing in all 11 contests...had a pair of interceptions, the first coming against Nebraska and the second coming vs. Washington State...his pick vs. WSU was a critical one, as it not only stopped a potential Cougar scoring drive, but gave Cal a 10-point lead when he returned it 76 yards for a TD...had a 31-yard reception in the opening series vs. UCLA, one of five catches on the year in limited offensive duty...earned Pac-10 honorable mention honors.
1997: finished the year as Cal's fourth-leading rusher with 172 yards on 36 carries (4.8 average, 1 TD)...also ranked fourth on the team in receiving with 18 catches for 223 yards (1 TD)...played cornerback very briefly in the final two games of the year at Arizona and at Stanford...excelled as a kick returner, ranking among the Pac-10 leaders in three special teams categories: fifth in punt return average (10.2 ypr), eighth in kickoff return average (21.5 ypr) and 10th in all-purpose yards (117.9 ypg)...had 289 all-purpose yards in the Louisiana Tech game, including 108 yards rushing (12 carries), 67 yards receiving (four catches), 96 yards on kickoffs (four returns) and 18 yards on punts (1 return)...also had a career-long 66-yard TD run against the Bulldogs on Cal's second offensive play...his 56-yard punt return, the fifth-longest in the Pac-10 in 1997, came in the second quarter at Stanford...averaged 29.5 yards on four kickoff returns, including a 53-yarder, against Oklahoma...his 1,297 all-purpose yards for the year ranks sixth on Cal's single-season list...also had more than 150 all-purpose yards against Oklahoma (185), Washington State (199) and Stanford (191).
1996: coaches expected him to contribute primarily as a return specialist in his first year, but a knee injury to starter Tarik Smith thrust him into the tailback playing rotation sooner than anticipated...started the final two games of the season...proved to be very productive, finishing the regular-season with a 5.2 yard average (80 carries, 418 yards)...led Cal in kickoff returns, ending the season eighth in the Pac-10 with a 21.0 average (22 returns for 461 yards)...average would have gone to 23.1 ypr when including the 100-yard return for a TD against Navy on the opening kickoff of the 1996 Aloha Bowl...also took over Cal's punt return duties in mid-season when Na'il Benjamin was slowed with an ankle injury and finished with five returns for 38 yards, including a 17-yarder...ended the year ranked No. 9 in the Pac-10 in all-purpose yards, averaging 87.4 yards a game...had a 9-yard gain on his first collegiate run in game No. 3 vs. Nevada...played a major role in Cal's win over Oregon State with 11 carries for 54 yards, including a 27-yard run...had a total of 118 all-purpose yards at USC (37 rushing, 11 receiving, 19 punt returns and 51 kickoff returns)...his final kickoff return in the USC game proved to be crucial as he got out of a jam of players at Cal's 15 and broke it outside for a 32-yard return to the Cal 35 with six minutes left in the game and the Bears protecting a touchdown lead...had what was then a career-best 39-yard kickoff return at Washington State...had kickoff returns of 37 and 32 yards to go along with a 13-yard run vs. UCLA...had 95 yards on just 15 carries vs. Arizona, including a 33-yard run...also scored on a 34-yard screen pass against the Wildcats...had a run of more than 10 yards in eight of Cal's last nine games...best game was a career-best 126 yards on just 14 carries at Oregon...had a 31-yard run against Navy in the Aloha Bowl.
High School/Personal: Originally signed with Cal after a brilliant prep career at Milpitas HS in February of 1995, but sat out the '95 season while working on academics...rushed for 1,301 yards as a senior, despite a late-season ankle injury which caused him to miss a pair of games...had 14 rushing touchdowns and one receiving TD in '94...had a school-record 275 yards and three TDs (from 95, 7 and 29 yards out) on 22 carries in one game as a senior...also was a dangerous return man, with four TDs returning punts and kickoffs...was a standout defensive back with 60 tackles and six interceptions (one he returned for a TD) and some schools recruited him as a DB...earned BlueChip Illustrated All-America honors as the No. 10 ranked DB in the West...was a second team all-state selection as a multi-purpose player by Student Sports magazine...still holds Milpitas HS record for most career rushing yards with 2,312 yards...recruited by Nebraska, Washington, Oregon and Arizona before choosing Cal...served as his school's student body president as a senior...full name is Deltha Lee O'Neal III and nickname is "Tre"...father is Deltha O'Neal II and mother is Sheryl Jessie...born Jan. 30, 1977 in Stanford, CA.
O'Neal's Career Statistics
Rushing Year Att Yds Avg TD LG 1996* 102 508 5.0 1 33 1997 36 172 4.8 1 66 1998 2 8 4.0 0 5 Totals 140 688 4.9 2 66
Receiving Year Rec Yds Avg TD LG 1996* 6 44 7.3 1 34 1997 18 223 12.4 1 31 1998 5 52 10.4 0 31 Totals 29 319 11.0 2 34
Kickoff Returns Year Ret Yds Avg TD LG 1996* 28 647 23.1 1 100 1997 30 646 21.5 0 53 1998 22 624 28.4 0 57 Totals 80 1917 24.0 1 100
Punt Returns Year Ret Yds Avg TD LG 1996* 5 38 7.6 0 17 1997 25 256 10.2 0 56 1998 38 447 11.8 0 57 Totals 68 741 10.9 0 57
* includes stats from bowl game
The Deltha O'Neal File
- One of the most versatile players in college football who has produced touchdowns five different ways: rushing, receiving, kickoff returns, interception returns and throwing a touchdown.
- Has career long plays of 100 yards on a kickoff return (TD), 66 yards on a rush (TD) , 57 yards on a punt return, 34 yards on a reception (TD), and 20 yards on a pass (TD).
Deltha O'Neal's Game-by-Game All-Purpose Yards
Date Opponent Rush Rec KOR PR IR Total 1996 9/21 Nevada 15 0 0 0 0 15 9/28 Oregon State 54 0 45 17 0 116 10/5 at USC 37 11 51 19 0 118 10/19 at Washington State 17 0 54 2 0 73 10/26 UCLA 19 0 117 0 0 136 11/2 Arizona 95 25 101 0 0 221 11/9 at Arizona State 23 0 0 0 0 23 11/16 at Oregon 126 8 9 0 0 143 11/23 Stanford 32 0 84 0 0 116 12/25 Navy 72 16 186 0 0 280 Totals 496 60 647 38 0 1241
1997 9/6 at Houston 25 10 0 0 0 35 9/20 Oklahoma 13 40 118 14 0 185 9/27 USC 1 0 13 17 0 31 10/4 at Louisiana Tech 108 67 96 18 0 289 10/11 Washington 2 32 68 27 0 129 10/18 at Washington State 0 33 166 0 0 199 10/25 at UCLA 2 0 74 22 0 98 11/1 Oregon State 19 31 0 47 0 97 11/8 Arizona State 2 4 23 4 0 33 11/15 at Arizona 0 0 0 10 0 10 11/22 at Stanford 0 6 88 97 0 191 Totals 172 223 646 256 0 1297
1998 Date Opponent Rush Rec KOR PR IR Total 9/5 Houston 3 0 0 40 0 43 9/12 Nebraska 0 0 65 48 0 113 9/19 at Oklahoma 0 0 44 0 0 44 9/26 Washington State 0 0 49 87 76 212 10/10 at USC 5 12 183 23 0 223 10/17 at Washington 0 0 0 36 0 36 10/24 UCLA 0 31 126 11 0 168 10/31 at Oregon State 0 0 48 58 0 106 11/7 at Arizona State 0 0 40 26 0 66 11/14 Arizona 0 0 10 44 0 54 11/21 Stanford 0 9 59 74 0 142 Totals 8 52 624 447 76 1207
Harold Pearson - 28Position: CB
Last School: American River JC
A junior cornerback who may rate as one of the most improved players on the Cal defense ... has gained considerable strength over the last year, although he still needs to make strides in that area ... an intelligent player who has made steady strides during his first two years in the Cal program ... enters the fall as a likely candidate for the playing rotation in nickel or dime alignments.
1998: saw action in all 11 games and finished the season with six tackles, including two unassisted stops ... most extensive action came in the season opener when he was in on 10 plays in the secondary and in the final three games of the season when injuries depleted the secondary ... was a member on several Cal special teams.
1997: redshirted as a member of the scout team.
Junior College/High School/Personal: Was an unheralded all-purpose player when he arrived at American River JC in 1996, but blossomed as he concentrated on cornerback duties...began the season as a reserve but moved into the starting lineup early in the season...ended the year with one interception...brother, David, started at cornerback opposite Harold during freshman season at American River...was being actively pursued by schools such as Nebraska, Washington, Missouri among others before he decided to forego his sophomore season at JC and come to Cal ... prepped at Bella Vista HS where he was a versatile two-way player...earned second team Capital Athletic League honors at tailback as a senior...carried the ball 70 times and rushed 406 yards for a 5.8 average...caught 14 passes for 283 yards (20.2 average)...also started at cornerback and finished with 35 tackles...was a fine prep track athlete who earned all-league honors as a sprinter with a best of 11.1 in the 100 meters...started school early and played his senior football season when he was just 16 years old...parents are Harold and Angeline Pearson...father has developed and markets a line of gourmet foods, including an upscale barbecue sauce that is sold in several large grocery chains called Pearson's BarBeQue Sauce...he also works in the brokerage business...born Dec. 16, 1978 in Sacramento, CA.
Pearson's Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Loss Sacks Int BR 1998 2 4 6 1-17 0.0 0 0
Jemeel Powell - 21Position: CB
Hometown: Los Angeles
Last School: Serra HS
A young player with a wealth of talent ... still in the learning stage, but has the ability to contend for playing time at cornerback and certainly figures as a starter for much of his Cal career ... coaches like his learning curve and the strides he made during the spring ... has excellent quickness to go along with 4.45 speed ... has gained almost 15 pounds since he arrived at Cal last year.
1998: came to Cal last season and redshirted while working on the scout team.
High School/Personal: Had six interceptions his senior season at Serra HS to go along with 59 tackles...returned four kicks for touchdowns (two punts and two kickoff returns) ... also a fine sprinter on prep track team...chose Cal after considering Arizona State, Oregon, San Diego State and New Mexico...uncle is fellow Cal teammate Damien Marzett ... born Aug. 29, 1980.
Adam Sugarman - 22Position: CB
Last School: Acalanes HS
A young player who will provide depth to Cal's secondary ... originally came to Cal as a walk-on quarterback, but made the transition to cornerback during the off-season ... is a smart player who rarely makes mistakes.
1998: came to Cal and redshirted while working as a scout team quarterback.
High School/Personal: Was the team MVP for Acalanes HS where he set a school record with 16 TD passes, throwing for 1,405 yards in eight games ... was a first team Tri-County League selection at QB ... also a fine prep basketball player who earned league MVP honors in that sport ... is a fourth generation Cal student and both parents attended Cal ... brother, Andy, works as a coaching assistant with the San Francisco 49ers ... born April 8, 1979 in San Francisco, CA.
Paul Ugenti - 33Position: SAF
Hometown: San Jose
Last School: Leland HS
An aggressive player who originally was recruited to play linebacker, but made the move to safety in his first season with the Bears ... a smart player who rarely makes mistakes ... coaches also love his fearless attitude on the field ... figures to contend for playing time in a reserve role and perhaps special teams.
1998: came to Cal last season and redshirted.
High School/Personal: Rushed for 2,054 yards and 25 TDs as a running back at Leland HS...also recorded 91 tackles, one sack and one interception as a safety...accounted for 4,475 rushing yards in his three-year prep career...best game as a prep came against No. 1-ranked Live Oak HS in 1996 when he gained 284 yards on 37 carries and two TDs in a 35-32 upset...earned SuperPrep All-Far West honors as the No. 96 overall prospect in the region...also a member of the PrepStar Western Region team...an excellent student who came to Cal with a 3.56 GPA and plans to major in business...has diabetes, but hasn't let that deter his play on the football field...reminds some of fellow Leland HS grad Pat Tillman, who earned 1997 Pac-10 Player of the Year honors at Arizona State...chose Cal over ASU and Air Force, among others...also played baseball at Leland HS and hit .415, earning second team all-league honors...lists weight lifting, swimming and snow skiing among his hobbies and the Tampa Bay Bucs as his favorite pro team...parents are Paul and Belinda Ugenti...born Jan. 3, 1980 in San Jose, CA.
LaShaun Ward - 24Position: CB
Last School: Muir HS
A great natural athlete who has the type of skills that could make him a honors candidate if he continues to develop and learn the cornerback position ... came to Cal as a standout prep quarterback, but has made the transition to the secondary where he could have a NFL career in the offing ... coaches regard him as the most athletic player in the Cal secondary, a tall compliment considering the obvious abilities of Deltha O'Neal ... still young and makes mistakes, but has the agility to quickly recover ... could emerge as one of the top defensive backs in Cal history if he continues to improve on his technique.
1998: came to Cal last season and redshirted.
High School/Personal: A multi-talented prep quarterback who was credited with more than 5,000 yards of total offense his final two seasons at Muir HS...threw for 1,675 yards and ran for 400 more as a senior...accounted for 24 touchdowns in '97, passing for 18 and running for six...was a member of the Tom Lemming Prep Report All-Far West team as the No. 71 overall prospect in the region...also was a member of the PrepStar Western Region team, ranking as the No. 3 prospect in the "athlete" category...earned first team Pacific League and West San Gabriel Valley honors as both a junior and senior...was an honorable mention CIF pick his senior year, while he earned first team CIF honors in '96...as a junior, he threw for 2,085 yards and 20 touchdowns with just six interceptions...father is a policeman in Pasadena...recruited by USC and Arizona State as a defensive back, while Oklahoma wanted him as a quarterback in its option attack...an excellent prep sprinter...has volunteered to speak as D.A.R.E. classes for the Pasadena Police Department...parents are Jayce and Esmeralda Ward...born Sept. 22, 1980 in Pasadena, CA.
Bert Watts - 37Position: SAF
Hometown: Basking Ridge, NJ
Last School: Ridge HS
A young player with good size and the type of intelligence to make secondary calls from his safety position ... missed a chance to make an impact during the spring as he sat out most of the session with a slight concussion ... coaches like his potential, but he may be a year away from significant playing time.
1998: came to Cal last season and redshirted.
High School/Personal: A two-way star at Ridge HS in New Jersey where he played quarterback, tailback, wide receiver and safety...earned first team all-league, Somerset County and all-state honors (Div. II) honors as a running back...listed by the Newark Star Ledger as one of the top 40 recruits in the state of New Jersey...was a member of the SuperPrep All-Northeast team, ranking as the No. 26 prospect in New Jersey...led his prep team to the league title and an 8-1 record, the best mark in the 37-year history of the school...scored 25 TDs as a senior (19 rushing, two receiving, two kickoff returns, one punt return and one interceptions return) to finish sixth in the state in scoring...rushed for 221 yards and three TDs in final prep game vs. Dayton HS...had a pair of interceptions and 38 tackles as a senior...grew up in Piedmont, Calif., before his family moved east...mother graduated from Cal and he has a brother who lives and works in Davis...came to Cal with a 3.3 GPA and an 1150 score on the SAT...chose Cal after considering Air Force, Army and Miami...his grandfather played football at Oregon State, his dad at San Jose State (signing a free agent contract with the Atlanta Falcons), one brother (Rich) earned All-America honors at UC Davis and went on to play two years in the Pittsburgh Pirate organization, and another brother (Tom) is on a football scholarship at Maine...plans to major in biology at Cal...born Aug. 31, 1979 in Piedmont, CA.
David Watts - 39Position: SAF
Hometown: Mountain View
Last School: Cal Poly SLO
A hard-working player who made the move from cornerback to safety during the off-season ... might be the brightest player on the Cal defense as he is like a coach on the field...a solid all-around athlete who has greatly developed his technique since arriving at Cal...should again contend for playing time on special teams.
1998: was on Cal's travelling squad for the entire season, but didn't see any defensive action ... did see some brief time on special teams, including the Oregon State game.
1997: transferred to Cal and was a squad member in 1997.
1996: started at free safety in five games while a freshman at Cal Poly SLO...registered 11 tackles (five unassisted) on the season...posted his first collegiate interception earlier in the year versus Central Washington.
High School/Personal: Attended St. Francis HS with current Cal teammate Ryan Tollner...lettered all four years at St. Francis, playing both wide receiver and corner...received scholarship offers from Fresno State and Saint Mary's before deciding on Cal Poly...wanted to play for the Bears so badly that he gave up his scholarship at Cal Poly to walk on at Cal...parents are Bob and Katie Watts of Mountain View...born Jan. 24, 1978 in Mountain View, CA.