Cal’s Evan Weaver earns Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors

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After leading all FBS players in tackles this season, Cal’s star linebacker Evan Weaver has been selected as the 2019 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the first Bear since Mychal Kendricks in 2011 to receive the honor.

Weaver also earned an All-Pac-12 first team selection, as safety Ashtyn Davis and cornerback Camryn Bynum earned All-Pac-12 second team honors. Offensive lineman Jake Curhan, linebackers Kuony Deng and Cameron Goode, defensive lineman Zeandae Johnson and safety Jaylinn Hawkins also earned honorable mentions.

A finalist for the Butkus Award, Lott IMPACT Trophy and Senior CLASS awards, Weaver was the heartbeat of the Bears’ defense this season, finishing with 173 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and three forced fumbles. Weaver currently sits 26 tackles in front of the country’s next best, Illinois’ Dele Harding. Cal will face Illinois on Dec. 30th in the Redbox Bowl at Levi’s Stadium.

Weaver broke Cal’s single season tackles record against UCLA on Nov. 30, surpassing Hardy Nickerson’s previous record of 167 tackles in the 1985 season. His clutch individual contributions to the Cal defense against Ole Miss and Stanford this season helped the Bears to multiple late victories and a second-straight postseason appearance.

Davis and Bynum earned second team All-Pac-12 selections after quality senior seasons under third-year defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander. Davis was one of three finalists for the Burlsworth Trophy, an award given to college football’s top player who started their career as a walk-on.

Spencer Golanka writes for Bear Bytes. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @sgolanka.