Football analyst Phil Steele named a whole pack of Bears to his preseason lists, most notably senior inside linebacker Evan Weaver, who appeared on the preseason second-team All-American and the preseason first-team All-Pac-12 squads.
The current leading tackler at Cal, Weaver needs just 29 more stops to crack the top-10 all-time list for the Bears — a total he should achieve sooner rather than later.
Weaver also showed up on the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which honors the top defensive player in the country.
For the second year in a row, redshirt junior corner Camryn Bynum took home a preseason second-team All-Pac-12 recognition. Similarly to Weaver, Bynum leads all active Bears in pass breakups.
Joining Weaver on the second team is redshirt senior kick returner and safety Ashtyn Davis. Hailing from Santa Cruz, Davis recorded 56 tackles last season along with four interceptions, and multiple authorities named him to the All-Pac-12 first team.
Having started every game over the past two campaigns, redshirt senior defensive end Luc Bequette earned a selection to the preseason All-Pac-12 third team from Steele. Last season, Bequette tied for the most sacks on the Cal team with five.
Coming from Down Under, redshirt senior punter Steven Coutts received a preseason third-team All-Pac-12 consideration from Steele, but a first-team recognition from Athlon Sports. In 2018, Coutts garnered the Bears’ J. Scott Duncan Award for most valuable special teams player.
Rounding out the preseason third-team selections is junior corner Elijah Hicks, who started 11 games last season to the tune of five tackles for a loss and a pick six against Colorado. For his defensive performance in the 2018 Cheez-It Bowl against TCU, Sports Illustrated named Hicks to its All-Bowl team.
Standing tall on the preseason All-Pac-12 fourth team is the 6’6” redshirt junior tackle Jake Curhan, who earned Pac-12 academic honors as a freshman and sophomore.
New to the Bears this year is a transfer from Independence Community College, junior inside linebacker Kuony Deng. After enrolling in January, Deng picked a ball off in the Spring Game. A four-star recruit out of high school, Deng appears alongside Curhan on the preseason All-Pac-12 fourth team.
John Kalil is a Daily Cal sports staffer. Contact him at [email protected].