Juniors Chris Harper and Cole Leininger were named to preseason watch lists Wednesday, with Harper earning a spot on the wide receivers list assembled by the College Football Performance Awards, Leininger for the Ray Guy Award, given to the nation’s top punter.
Harper is one of 42 wide receivers on the list with the winner of the award to be announced on January 14, 2015.
Harper has been Cal’s most productive receiver over the last two seasons and is the team’s active career leader in receptions (111), receiving yards (1,396), receiving touchdowns (7).
Last season, Harper caught 70 passes for 852 yards and five touchdowns.
Leininger is one of the Ray Guy Award’s 25 preseason candidates for the first time and is a member of the award’s watch list for the second consecutive year.
Leininger is coming off a 2013 sophomore campaign in which he increased his punting average by 3.0 yards per punt to a 42.9 mark for the eighth-best avearge in school history.
His 41.5 yards per punt career average ranks No. 10 on Cal’s all-time list.
Doesn’t it seem like there are an awful lot of college football awards and the preseason watch lists that go with them?
Once upon a time there was the Heisman Trophy. Now everyone’s giving out hardware.
Cal sophomore Jared Goff, named to the Maxwell Award watch list on Monday, was among 40 quarterbacks chosen to the College Football Performance Awards Quarterback Trophy.
Eight of the 40 nominees — 20 percent of them — are from the Pac-12. The others: ASU’s Taylor Kelly, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, OSU’s Sean Mannion, Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, USC;s Cody Kessler and WSU’s Connor Halliday.
That’s a QB from every conference school except Washington, Arizona, Colorado and Utah.
Cal sophomores Jared Goff and Khalfani Muhammad are part of early-season watch lists for a couple national awards.
Goff, who set Cal’s single-season passing yardage record (3,508 yards) as a freshman last fall, is on the Maxwell Award preseason watch list. The Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top college football player, dates back to 1937.
Goff is among 16 Pac-12 players and seven quarterbacks from the conference on the list. Other QBs from the Pac-12 in the running are: Stanford’s Kevin Hogan, UCLA’s Brett Hundley, ASU’s Taylor, Kelly, USC’s Cody Kessler, Oregon State’s Sean Mannion and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota.
Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced on Nov. 3.
Muhammad is on the watch list for the Paul Hornung Award, given to the nation’s most versatile player. As a freshman last season, Muhammad led Cal with 445 rushing yards and a 6.0 per-carry average, and totaled 1,638 all-purpose yards, including 46 kickoff returns for 1,003 yards.
Muhammad is one of seven Pac-12 players on the 47-man watch list. Others include Stanford’s Ty Montgomery, USC’s Nelson Agholor and UCLA’s Myles Jack.
Swimmer Natalie Coughlin, winner of 11 NCAA titles and 12 Olympic medals, heads the seven-member 2014 class of inductees into the Cal Athletic Hall of Fame.
Also part of Cal’s 29th Hall of Fame class are gymnast Tom Beach, swimmer Anthony Ervin, golfer Sarah Huarte, track and field athlete Grace Upshaw, football coach Ray Willsey and contributor Rick Cronk, who earned the Hall of Fame Service Award.
Induction ceremonies will be held Oct. 17 at the Greek Orthodox Church Conference Center in Oakland. Ticket information for the event can be found at www.bigcsociety.com.
Here’s a capsule on each inductee:
Cal freshman swimmer Missy Franklin added another honor to her resume when she was named the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year during a ceremony Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Franklin earned the award after her record-setting performance at the 2013 World Championships, where she won six gold medals – most ever for a woman at the event.
“Oh my gosh,” exclaimed Franklin, the youngest-ever winner of the women’s award and the first swimmer so honored. “I don’t know what I’m doing here.”
Cal junior Brittany Boyd is one of five finalists for the 2014 Nancy Lieberman Award, the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame announced. The award goes to the nation’s top point guard.
Boyd, who also has been a candidate for the Wade Tropy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy this season, averages 14.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.9 steals for the Golden Bears.
She was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection and a Pac-12 All-Defensive team pick. Boyd leads the conference in steals and assists.
In her most recent game, against Washington State, she had 13 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists.
Other finalists for the Lieberman award are Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Jerica Coley of Florida International, Moriah Jefferson of UConn and Heather Butler and Tennessee-Martin.
Cal senior guard Justin Cobbs was named a National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) First Team All-District 20 selection.
Cobbs is part of the five-member first team along with Arizona’s Nick Johnson, UCLA’s Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams, and Washington’s C.J. Wilcox.
In all, 252 players from 25 districts around the nation were recognized. Cobbs is now eligible for selection to the NABC Division I All-America team, which will be announced at a later date.
Cal women’s basketball player Mikayla Lyles has been selected as the 2014 recipient of the Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association announced Wednesday.
A senior from Pleasanton, Lyles will receive the $4,500 Robin Roberts/WBCA Broadcasting Scholarship Award presented annually to one female collegiate basketball player who intends to pursue graduate work and a career in sports communications or journalism.
“I am so proud of Mikayla for earning this prestigious award, and for being recognized on a national level for the qualities that we’ve seen her display day in and day out over the course of her time as a student-athlete at Cal,” Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb said.
Cal senior point guard Justin Cobbs was named to the 10-man all-Pac-12 first team on Monday. Cobbs averages 15.6 points and is second in the conference at 5.8 assists per game.
“I don’t see how you could have a first team without Justin on there,” Cal coach Mike Montgomery said.
Senior forward Richard Solomon was an honorable mention selection.
Junior forward David Kravish earned honorable mention on the all-defensive squad and Jordan Mathews was an honorable mention all-freshman selection by the coaches.
Regular-season champion Arizona swept the major awards, with Nick Johnson earning Player of the Year, Aaron Gordon of San Jose taking Freshman of the Year and Sean Miller named Coach of the Year.
Arizona State’s Jordan Bachynski, who led the nation in blocked shots, was voted Defensive Player of the Year. Stanford’s Anthony Brown was named Most Improved Player.
Johnson and Gordon joined Cobbs on the first team, along with Jordan Adams and Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Chasson Randle and Dwight Powell of Stanford, Jahii Carson of Arizona State, Delon Wright of Utah and Josh Scott of Colorado.
Cal freshman Missy Franklin was named National Swimmer of the Week by collegeswimming.com after leading the Bears to the Pac-12 Conference championship last weekend in Seattle.
Franklin set meet records while winning all three of her individual events — the 100-yard free (47.17 seconds), 200 free (1:42.29) and 500 free (4:35.73) — and helped Cal to wins in the 400 and 800 free relay and 400 medley relay and a runnerup finish in the 200 medley relay.
This is the second time this season Franklin has been given the weekly honor as the nation’s top collegiate swimmer.
Franklin and her Cal teammates will next be in action at the NCAA Championships March 20-22 in Minneapolis.