3 Bears rack up preseason football awards

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With the college football season right around the corner, the Cal football team is beginning to gear up for the uphill battle that lies ahead. After losing star quarterback Jared Goff in the 2016 NFL Draft, however, as well as most of the team’s primary receivers, Cal was expected to undergo a bit of a rebuild in the coming months. But, after receiving graduate transfer quarterback Davis Webb from Texas Tech, Cal immediately became a contender in the Pac-12.

Earlier this month, the National Football Writers Association of America released its preseason award watch lists. By no surprise, Webb was named to the Maxwell Award watch list, and he is not the lone hotshot on this new Bears team. Two of his fellow teammates — Chris Borrayo and Matt Anderson— were also named to their respective NCAA preseason award watch lists.

Senior offensive guard Chris Borrayo was named to the Watch List for the 2016 Outland Trophy for the second consecutive year. The Outland Trophy honors the nation’s top interior lineman, as the award is named after a historic All-American lineman, John Outland.

Over his past three years at left guard, Borrayo has started all of the games he has played in and did an exceptional job this past season in particular of protecting Jared Goff, earning him an honorable mention All Pac-12 selection for his efforts. Being one of Cal’s best offensive linemen, Borrayo will be tasked with protecting Davis Webb’s “blind side” and will be one of the most crucial parts of Cal’s offense this coming year.

Cal’s junior placekicker, Matt Anderson, was also named to the Lou Groza award watch list, and is looking to be the first player in Cal football history to earn this award. This award, named after NFL Hall of Famer Lou “The Toe” Groza, honors the best placekicker in college football. Anderson took over the starting spot last year as a sophomore and has not disappointed.

In 2015, Anderson scored 104 points, the third most in Cal history. Although he is one of the best kickers Cal has ever seen, Anderson — perhaps unlike other star players — also gets the job done off the field. He received the Golden Bear Achievement Award last year for earning the highest cumulative GPA of all football players.

Finally, Davis Webb was named to the Maxwell Award Watch List. Named after the great Robert Maxwell, the award has been given to the best overall collegiate football player every season since 1937. This is Webb’s second time on the watch list, his first being his sophomore season at Texas Tech. The Holiday Bowl MVP will look to lead the Bears to another successful season at the helm of the high-powered “Bear Raid” offense.

With these three award watch list players, this year is already looking bright for Cal football. If Sonny Dykes can continue to make smart decisions for his team moving forward, the team shouldn’t experience too far a drop from its highly successful 2015 season.

Contact Siva Sambasivam at [email protected]