Allen, Sofele nab preseason honors

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It’s not really news anymore: Keenan Allen can play with the best of them. The flurry of preseason watch lists to which Allen has been named in recent days don’t tell you anything new about the star junior wide receiver.

What they do tell you is just how high the bar has been raised.

Since July 9, Allen has been named to four national watch lists that would honor him as either the best player in the country or the best player in the country at his position. The most recent of these accolades came on Friday, when the wide receiver was named to Walter Camp Watch List for 2012 Player of the Year. Three days before, Allen was named to the Biletnikoff Award Watch List, an award for the country’s best wide receiver for which he was a semifinalist after catching 98 passes for 1,343 yards last year.

Running back Isi Sofele has earned similar accolades in recent weeks, most recently named a candidate for the Doak Walker Award, given to the country’s top running back. Sofele, a senior, became Cal’s ninth 1,000-yard rusher in the last decade. Sofele and Allen were each named to the watch list for the Maxwell Award, another honor given to the country’s top college football player.

Offensive lineman Matt Summers-Gavin and defensive lineman Aaron Tipoti, both seniors, have been named to the Outland Trophy Watch List, awarded to the country’s top interior linemen.