Follett and Jackson Named to More Preseason Watch Lists
June 25, 2007
Berkeley - Maxwell Football Club President Ron Jaworski announced the 2007 Watch Lists for the 71st Annual Maxwell Award and the 13th Annual Chuck Bednarik Award on Monday. The University of California had two members of its football program selected to both lists - junior linebacker Zack Follett to the Bednarik and junior Heisman Trophy candidate DeSean Jackson to the Maxwell.
Each list was comprised of sixty-five players who were selected based on their performance during the 2006 season. The Bednarik recognizes the nation's top defensive player, while the Maxwell honors the nation's most outstanding player.
In his two seasons in Berkeley, Follett (Fresno) has developed into a big play standout for the Golden Bears. He was the only non-starter in the Pac-10 to earn all-conference honors as a sophomore, recording 62 tackles with a team-best 12.5 tackles for loss. He also tied for the team-lead with 5.5 sacks. Follett led the Pac-10 with four forced fumbles last season as well. He was a first-team Freshman All-American in 2004. This is Follett's second preseason watch list honor (also on the Lott Trophy watch list, which recognizes athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player).
Jackson (Long Beach) was rated as the No. 1 receiver in the nation by The Sporting News and Rivals.com, as well as the No. 1 special teams player by Rivals this preseason. A Playboy Magazine Preseason All-American, Jackson was tabbed Mel Kiper as the No. 1 junior receiver in the nation. Since his arrival at Cal, Jackson has developed into one of the most exciting players in the nation as a threat for a big play every time he touches the ball. He has 21 touchdowns in 24 career games, and has been Cal's leading receiver for each of his first two seasons, while leading the nation in punt return average and punt return TDs as a sophomore.
The Maxwell Award has been presented to the outstanding collegiate football player in America since 1937 and is named in honor of Robert W. 'Tiny' Maxwell. The Chuck Bednarik Award has been presented since 1995 and is named in honor of Chuck Bednarik, a former University of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Eagle great. Mr. Bednarik is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame 1969 and the NFL Hall of Fame `67.
Brady Quinn (Notre Dame) was the recipient of last year's Maxwell Award and Paul Posluszny of Penn State was awarded the 12th Chuck Bednarik Award for their outstanding performances during the 2006 season. Posluszny was a two time Bednarik Award winner. Pat Fitzgerald the current Head Football Coach at Northwestern University was the only other two time winner of the Bednarik Award.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced in early November and three finalists for each award will be announced November 26th. The winners of the 2007 Maxwell and Bednarik Awards will be announced as part of the ESPN Home Depot College Football Awards Show on December 6, 2007. The formal presentation of these awards will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Harrah's Entertainment Atlantic City in March 2008.
The watch list candidates have been chosen by the Maxwell Football Club's Selection Committee and the Maxwell Club reserves the right to make additions and subtractions to these lists as the 2007 season unfolds. All members of the Maxwell Football Club, NCAA Sports Information Directors, Head Coaches and selected national media are eligible to vote for these awards.
California opens the 2007 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, hosting Tennessee at Memorial Stadium in a 5 p.m. contest. Season tickets are currently available by visiting www.CalBears.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.
2007 California Football Preseason Rankings
No. 9 - ESPN.comNo. 11 - Athlon SportsNo. 11 - Street & Smith'sNo. 12 - The Sporting NewsNo. 12 - Lindy'sNo. 15 - Rivals.comNo. 16 - CBS SportslineNo. 18 - College Football NewsNo. 19 - NationalChamps.netNo. 20 - Sports Illustrated
2007 California Football Preseason All-Americans
DeSean Jackson - Athlon Sports (first team), Playboy Magazine (first team), The Sporting News (first team), Street & Smith's (first team), Blue Ribbon (first team)
Alex Mack - Athlon Sports (second team), Street & Smith's (third team)
2007 California Preseason Watch List Selections
Zack Follett - Lott Trophy (top defensive player/character), Bednarik (top defensive player)
Alex Mack - Rimington Trophy (top center), Rotary Lombardi Award (top lineman), Outland Trophy (top interior lineman)
DeSean Jackson - Maxwell Award (most outstanding player)