Feb. 16, 2011
SACRAMENTO - Wide receiver/returner Jeremy Ross was presented with the 2010 Henry J. "Tiny" Bates Memorial Award given annually by the Cal Grid Club of Sacramento at the organization's end-of-season banquet at the Vizcaya Pavilion on Wednesday evening.
The award is given annually to a senior on the Cal football team from the Sacramento Valley region. The accolade is named in honor of Bates, who was one of the co-founders of the club in 1947 and a right end for the Golden Bears in 1916 and 1917 under legendary head coach Andy Smith. The award was established in 1968 in Bates' memory after his passing.
"There were a lot of people at the event and it was an awesome feeling to know they were there in my honor," said Ross. "It was really special and a great experience. The award means a lot to me to be recognized for my efforts and all the investment I made in the Cal football program. It feels really good for it to be noticed by not just the coaches, the players and the family, but by a lot of other people as well."
Ross, who graduated from Laguna Creek High School in Elk Grove in 2006, finished his career second on Cal's all-time punt return average list with an average of 15.2 yards per punt return, ranking behind only the 16.7-yard average posted by all-time leader DeSean Jackson (2005-07). Ross brought back 31 punt returns for 471 yards and one touchdown during his four seasons on the field for the Bears from 2007-10. He also finished his career with 2,287 all purpose yards (201 rushing, 764 receiving, 471 punt return, 851 kick return) with an average of 53.2 all purpose yards per game over the 41 contests (14 starts) he played in. Offensively, Ross caught 57 passes for 764 yards and three touchdowns and even added a 30-yard touchdown completion to fellow receiver Nyan Boateng in his only career passing attempt.
Other career highlights for Ross included a string of 15 consecutive games with at least one catch, spanning the final 11 contests of his junior campaign and the first four outings of his senior year.
As a 2010 senior he led Cal in punt return average, while ranking third in the Pac-10 and 18th nationally, bringing back 22 punt returns for 279 yards and an average of 12.7 yards per return. He was also second on the club in kick return average (21.6 ypr), with 11 returns for 238 yards. His career-high average of 81.8 all purpose yards per game over 10 contests was fourth on the team and 22nd in the Pac-10. He reached his total of 810 by adding 18 receptions for 210 yards and nine rushes for 91 yards to his punt and kick return totals. He also scored the first two rushing touchdowns of his career as a senior.
Notable highlights from earlier in Ross' Cal career included his career highs of 860 all purpose yards, 344 receiving yards and 22 receptions as a junior. Ross also led Cal with an average of 21.3 yards per punt return during his junior season on nine returns for 192 yards. His average would have led the Pac-10 and broke a single-season Cal school record had he recorded enough punt returns to meet the minimum standard of one per game played by the team. In addition, Ross had his signature game at Cal during his junior campaign when he exploded for a career-high 228 all purpose yards against Washington State, with 61 receiving yards, 75 kick return yards and 92 punt return yards. Ross picked up 191 of his all purpose yards against the Cougars on three plays, with a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 61-yard catch and a 54-yard kick return as both the punt return and catch were the longest by a Cal player in 2009. He was named a Punt Returner Performer of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards for his effort.
Ross also set records for receivers at Cal in the weight room, with a power clean of 352 pounds, a 350-pound bench press (tied for the school record), a 500-pound squat and a vertical jump of 37.5 inches.
HENRY J. "TINY" BATES MEMORIAL AWARD WINNERS