One of the outstanding defensive players in college football who has been named a first team 1999 pre-season All-American by The Sporting News...also picked by the same publication as the pre-season Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year and the No. 2 rated outside linebacker in college football...a big-play performer who uses his intelligence and great size to wreak havoc on opposing offenses...burst into the national focus last year with some eye-catching statistics and now has the NFL projecting him as a high draft choice should he continue to develop...controls outside rushing attempts extremely well with his speed and agility...coaches also note his dexterity and his ability to get his hands on a tight end, with hand speed reminiscent of a top featherweight boxer...has registered 45 tackles behind the line of scrimmage in his career, the fifth-best mark in Cal history with still a season to play...the tackles for loss represent an amazing 41 percent of his total tackles during his career ... rated by Lindy's magazine as the No. 6 outside linebacker in the country.
1998: enjoyed a banner junior season, earning second team All-America honors as named by Football News...also was a first team Pac-10 honoree after leading the league in tackles behind the line of scrimmage with 23 for minus 125 yards...put up those numbers despite playing the last third of the season with a sprained ankle...had at least one tackle for loss in the first 10 games, until he played the Stanford finale at far less than full strength...had several impact games throughout the season, including the USC game, which earned him Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week honors...had three tackles behind the line of scrimmage against the Trojans, including a safety on a sack of QB Carson Palmer that started Cal's successful comeback from a 31-10 deficit in the third quarter...that was one of three sacks (minus 20 yards) against USC...also recorded a safety against UCLA...had a big impact in the road victory at Oklahoma with three tackles for loss against the Sooners, including a 13-yard sack of quarterback Brandon Daniels ... also caused a fumble that was recovered at the Sooner 4-yard-line and set up Cal's lone TD of the game...had four tackles for loss against Nebraska among 11 total tackles and four for loss at Washington, including a pair of sacks (minus 19 yards)...opened the season by registering a pair of interceptions against Houston.
1997: had a big season as a sophomore, starting all 11 games and registering 38 tackles...ranked second on the team to fellow linebacker Matt Beck with 15 tackles for loss (minus 67 yards)...had an impressive game in Cal's home opener against Oklahoma with four stops, all for loss (minus 23 yards)...also had two stops behind the line (17 yards) the next week against USC...had at least one tackle for loss in every game except the UCLA contest...had a season-high eight tackles (six unassisted) at Arizona, including a 12-yard sack...also had sacks versus USC and Arizona State...received the team's Andy Smith Award at the end of the season for having the most playing time on the squad.
1996: made a splash in his collegiate debut when he made five tackles behind the line of scrimmage (minus 29 yards), including three sacks (minus 21 yards), in Cal's 42-37 win over San Diego State...productivity slipped somewhat the remainder of the season, but did finish the year fourth on the Cal team with seven tackles for loss (minus 35 yards)...ended with 17 total tackles (13 unassisted)...his lone start of the season came at inside linebacker against UCLA where he had a pair of assisted tackles...suffered a back and neck sprain late in the UCLA game and sat out the following week's contest against Arizona.
1995: came to Cal in 1995 and redshirted.
High School/Personal: First impressed the Cal coaches during the school's summer prep camp prior to his senior year of high school when he was named the camp Defensive MVP in 1994...was a first team all-league selection after registering 130 tackles (79 solo) as a senior at Stevenson HS...also caught 10 passes for 235 yards and two TDs on offense...was wooed by most of the Pac-10 schools and visited both UCLA and Oregon State before choosing Cal...came to Cal with a 3.72 GPA...hosted a weekly radio show during his senior year in high school, featuring rap and rhythm and blues...father, Mtangulizi, is a former member of the Cal faculty in urban planning; mother, Mashariki, is also an urban planner...economics major...born March 17, 1978 in New Orleans, LA.
Sanyika's Career Statistics
Year UT AT TT Loss Sacks Int BR 1996 13 4 17 7-35 3.0 0 0 1997 25 13 38 15-57 3.0 0 2 1998 40 15 55 23-125 7.0 2 1 Totals 78 32 110 45-217 13.0 2 3
The Sékou Sanyika File
- A first team pre-season All-American who is on pace to break Cal's school record for tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
- Father, Mtangulizi, is a former member of the Cal faculty as a professor in urban planning.