Football: Track All-America honor to Muhammad

Cal freshman running back Khalfani Muhammad has earned high school All-America honors from Track and Field News, which named him the top-ranked 200-meter dash runner in 2013, according to the magazine’s current issue.

Muhammad, who attended Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, earned the award after victories at the Mt. SAC Relays and the California state meet and runnerup performances at Arcadia and the USA Junior championships, where he was the highest-finishing high school entry. His season-best time was 20.73 seconds.

Muhammad also was ranked third by magazine in the 100 meters, owing to victories at Arcadia, Mt. SAC and the California state meet. His best 100 time: 10.33, although he ran 10.22 wind-aided.

No other prep sprinter was ranked among the nation’s top-3 by Track and Field News.


Football: Academic honor for Mark Brazinski

Cal senior offensive lineman Mark Brazinski was selected to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District 8 First-Team for NCAA Division I football.

“Years of work culminate into something like this,” Brazinski said in a statement. “I’m very grateful to be honored in this way and to be able to do it at the greatest university in the world.

“It makes a lot of those nights where you didn’t sleep very long worth it. I look forward to the next round and am hopeful I will be considered for Academic All-America honors.”

For all the negative reports that have come out recently regarding the football team’s academic performance, it’s pretty clear Brazinski isn’t part of the problem.

Brazinski received two bachelor’s degrees (Business Administration, Media Studies) in his first three years at Cal and is now in his second year as a graduate student in Cal’s Masters of Information Management Systems at the School of Information.

He compled a 3.58 grade-point average in his undergraduate work and has the same mark in his graduate courses.


Basketball: Cobbs on Cousy Award watch list

Cal senior Justin Cobbs has been named to the 50-player preseason watch list for the Bob Cousy Award, given to college basketball’s top point guard.

Cobbs enters the senior season as the Pac-12 Conference’s active career assist leader with 327 assists in only 67 games over two seasons at Cal.

A transfer from Minnesota following his freshman season, Cobbs owns a 4.9 career assist-per-game average, which ranks fourth all-time at Cal.

At Pac-12 media day last week, Cobbs told me one of his goals this season is to dish at least 200 assists and chase Jason Kidd’s single-season school record of 272. Only three times in Cal history — Kidd twice, Keith Smith once — has a Cal player totaled 200 assists in a season.

Cobbs last season was among the Pac-12 leaders in scoring (10th, 15.1 ppg.), assists (4th, 4.8 apg.), free throw percentage (4th, .841) and assist-to-turnover ratio (6th, 1.5) last season. His .822 career free-throw percentage is seventh-best in school history entering his senior season.

Cobbs started all 33 games last season for the Golden Bears’ 21-12 squad that finished second in the Pac-12 and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.

He led Cal (or tied) in scoring eight times with double-figures in the scoring column in 28 contests. Cobbs averaged 6.0 assists over his final eight games of the season.

Others nominated for the Cousy award include Cobbs’ Pac-12 rivals Jahii Carson of Arizona State, Kyle Anderson of UCLA, Spencer Dinwiddie of Colorado, Dominic Artis of Oregon and Nigel Williams-Goss of Washington.


Swimming: Missy Franklin snags major award

Cal freshman swimming sensation Missy Franklin added to her long list of accolades Wednesday night when she was named the Sportswoman of the Year for an individual sport by the Women’s Sports Foundation at the 34th annual Salute to Women in Sports gala in New York City.

Franklin is the third Golden Bear to earn a Sportswoman of the Year honor, joining soccer’s Alex Morgan and fellow swimmer Natalie Coughlin. Morgan, one of the heroes of the USA’s gold-medal-winning squad at the 2012 Olympics, won in the team category last year, while Coughlin picked up the honor for those competing in individual sports in 2003.

“For Missy to win this award is a testament to a young woman who is striving to reach her full potential and use athletics as a vehicle to do so,” Cal women’s swim coach Teri McKeever said. “At Cal, we talk about having it all, and Missy has demonstrated that through hard work, dedication and determination, this is possible.

“The Sportswoman of the Year honor is a fitting way to celebrate an extraordinary young lady, and I am honored to have her at Cal and swimming in a program with other exceptional student-athletes.”

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Football: A nice honor for linebacker Nick Forbes; is healthy playing time on the horizon?

Junior linebacker Nick Forbes’ priority is to get healthy and back on the field.

In the meantime, he has earned a pretty nice honor, named to the 22-player 2013 Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, co-sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association.

The award pays tribute to the positive impact student-athletes from all level of college football have had on their communities and the lives of others.

“Nick does a tremendous job in the community and is very deserving of this recognition,” Dykes said.

No kidding. Consider:

– Forbes has done volunteer work for Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, City of Berkeley, Playworks, Read Across America, SAGE Mentorship Project and Swim with Mike.

– He has been the vice president of the Golden Bear Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (GBAC) since 2011 and has represented Cal at both the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Conference and the NCAA APPLE Conference.

– In addition, Forbes has been a speaker at a local elementary school and to youth football teams speaking on the importance of education, respect, treating others right and staying out of trouble. He even found time to host Cal’s Oski Student Awards show in the spring of 2013 and organized both a fashion show fundraiser and a student-athlete formal earlier this year.

“It’s awesome to be recognized for doing a few unselfish things here and there,” Forbes said.

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Football: Goff earns freshman honor

Cal quarterback Jared Goff was named Athlon Sports Pac-12 Freshman of the Week after passing for 371 yards and three touchdowns in the Bears’ 52-34 loss to No. 4 Ohio State.

Goff is the first Cal quarterback to pass for at least 300 yards in three straight games since Aaron Rodgers in 2003. On the subject of Rodgers, see below . . .

Goff has completed 103-of-168 passes for 1,306 yards with seven touchdowns over the first three games of the season. He leads the NCAA in passing yards, passing yards per game (435.3) and total offense yards per game (429.7).

He is the fastest Cal player to ever reach 1,000 yards passing in a single season, hitting the mark in the first quarter of the third game of the campaign against the Buckeyes.


Rodgers had himself a pretty good game also this weekend. He threw for a career-high 480 yards and four touchdowns in the Packers’ 38-20 win over the Washington Redskins.

And there was ex-Cal star DeSean Jackson, who caught nine passes for 193 yards and a touchdown in the Philadelphia Eagles’ 33-30 loss to San Diego. Rookie Keenan Allen of the Chargers caught two balls for 34 yards.

Finally, Cal alum Marshawn Lynch rushed for 98 yards and two TDs as the Seahawks routed the 49ers 29-3.


Football: Vincenzo D’Amato wins Pac-12 award

Cal senior placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato. who kicked three field goals and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to holder Jackson Bouza in the Bears’ 44-30 season-opening loss to Northwestern, was named Pac-12 special teams player of the week.

Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson and Arizona safety Tra’Mayne Bondurant were honored for offense and defense. Click here for more details.


Football: Bartkowski enjoys Hall induction

Former Cal quarterback Steve Bartkowski was inducted Wednesday night into the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, where he starred with the NFL’s Falcons.

“None of us played the game of college football thinking that we would be in the College Football Hall of Fame,” Bartkowski said. “It’s the icing on the cake. None of us could have done it on our own, so to our teammates, we say thanks… It’s an incredible honor and we are humbled by it.”

One of the great pure passers in Cal history, Bartkowski led the nation with 2,580 yards as a senior in 1974, when he was team MVP and a consensus All-America selection.

In 1975, he was the first and only Cal player selected No. 1 overall in the NFL draft, taken by the Falcons.


Football: Mike White gets Seaborg honor

Mike White, a three-sport letterman at Cal who served as the Golden Bears’ head football coach from 1972-77 and later earned induction into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2013 Glenn T. Seaborg Award.

The award, named after the former University of California chancellor and 1951 Nobel Prize-winning scientist, is presented annually to a former Cal football player for his career accomplishments who represents the honored Cal principles and traditions of excellence in academics, athletics, leadership and attitude.

“I am humbled and extremely proud to receive this honor, especially to represent a great person like Glenn Seaborg, who I knew as a student-athlete and when I first started coaching at Cal,” White said. “Some of the past winners are some unbelievably famous people in the history of Cal football. I don’t deserve that status, but am honored to have been acknowledged and hope that I live up to the past winners.”

White lettered in football, rugby and track & field at Cal from 1955-58. Playing as member of the football team under coaches Pappy Waldorf and Pete Elliott, he was a wide receiver for the Bears and served as team captain as a senior. On the track, he once won three different events in the Big Meet vs. Stanford, while he was team captain of the rugby team his final year. White received the Circle C Athlete of the Year honor in 1955-56. He earned his degree in business administration and was the baccalaureate speaker at graduation ceremonies in 1958.

“Mike White is a wonderful Californian and an outstanding person to receive the Glenn Seaborg Award and honor,” said Jack Hart, chair of the Seaborg Award Board of Directors. “Dr. Seaborg would be pleased. Mike achieved success at the highest level in his coaching experiences, both college and the NFL, and you could make a strong case he coached maybe the best team in Cal’s famed football history.”

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Tom Shields (swimming), Layshia Clarendon (basketball) earn Pac-12 Hansen Medals

W-Basketball Portraits 20122012 Men's Swimming 

Swimmer Tom Shields and basketball star Layshia Clarendon are Cal’s recipients of the 2012-13 Pac-12 Tom Hansen Conference Medal winners for achievement by a senior athlete in scholarship, athletics and leadership.

Shields led the Golden Bears to a victory at the Pac-12 championships, where they snapped Stanford’s 31-year hold on the conference title. Shields was named Swimmer of the Meet after winning five events and finishing second in a sixth.

At the NCAA championships, he won the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard fly, tying Michael Phelps’ national record in the longer event. Shields and the Bears finished second in the team competition, with Shields pushing his career total to 11 NCAA titles.

Clarendon led the Cal women to their first Final Four, averaging 21.4 points in five NCAA tournament games. The first-team all-Pac-12 guard averaged 16.4 points for the season, spearheading the Bears’ charge to a record-setting 32-4 season.