Phil Steele Gives Cal More Preseason Recognition
July 6, 2006
BERKELEY - University of California players have again popped up on preseason All-America teams as the recently released Phil Steele's 2006 College Football Preview has three Golden Bears on its national all-star teams. Senior cornerback Daymeion Hughes is a preseason first-team All-America selection and junior running back Marshawn Lynch is a second-team pick, while senior defensive tackle Brandon Mebane has been named to the fourth team. In addition, the publication ranks Hughes as the No. 1 cornerback in the nation.
Hughes has now been named to six preseason All-America teams, while Lynch and Mebane are appearing on their fifth All-America teams in the preseason.
In addition to the All-America teams, Phil Steele rated players at each position for the 2006 season. While Hughes is rated No. 1 in the nation at cornerback, Lynch is tabbed as the No. 3 running back in the country. Mebane is rated No. 7 among defensive tackles, and senior Nu'u Tafisi and junior Phillip Mbakogu are ranked at No. 34 and No. 38 among defensive ends, respectively. A pair of Golden Bear linebackers also rank among the best as senior Desmond Bishop is the ninth-rated inside linebacker and sophomore Anthony Felder is No. 19 at outside linebacker. Senior Tim Mixon is rated No. 14 as a punt returner and sophomore DeSean Jackson checks in at No. 33 among wide receivers.
The publication also ranked individual units with Lynch, junior Justin Forsett and senior Marcus O'Keith leading a Cal running backs corps which is rated No. 2 in the country. The Bears' defensive line, featuring three players ranked among the top 38, is also ranked No. 2. California's linebackers are rated No. 8, while its still-young receiving group is touted as the 19th-best in the country. The defensive backs, despite losing two starters, are still rated as No. 19 on the strength of the top-rated Hughes.
California is coming off an 8-4 season that included a win at 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 at Tennessee on Sept. 2. The home opener for the Golden Bears is Sept. 9 against Minnesota.
Cal Preseason All-Americans (first team unless noted)
Desmond Bishop - Street & Smith's
Daymeion Hughes - Blue Ribbon Defense, Playboy Magazine, Rivals.com, Phil Steele's, Lindy's Football Annual (second team), The Sporting News (second team), Street & Smith's (second team)
Marshawn Lynch - Lindy's Football Annual, Rivals.com, The Sporting News, Street & Smith's, Athlon Sports (second team), Phil Steele's (second team)
Brandon Mebane - Athlon Sports, Lindy's Football Annual, The Sporting News, Rivals.com (second team), Street & Smith's (third team), Phil Steele's (fourth team)
Tim Mixon - Street & Smith's (second team)
Craig Stevens - Street & Smith's (hon. mention)
Nu'u Tafisi - Street & Smith's (second team)
Cal Preseason Top 10 Rankings
No. 6 Street & Smith's (preseason)
No. 7 ESPN.com (post-spring)
No. 8 SI.com (post-spring)
No. 8 Athlon Sports (preseason)
No. 9 Lindy's (preseason)
Cal Preseason Watch List Selections
Daymeion Hughes - Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy
Brandon Mebane - Bednarik Award, Lott Trophy, Nagurski Trophy, Outland Trophy
Marshawn Lynch - Maxwell Award
Nu'u Tafisi - Hendricks Award