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Cal Football

Seven Cal Players On Athlon’s Preseason All-Pac-12 Teams

May 24, 2021
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BERKELEY – Cal had seven selections on the Athlon Sports' 2021 Preseason All-Pac-12 team announced Monday with OLB Cameron Goode's second-team selection leading the way. RB Christopher Brown Jr., OLB Kuony Deng, CB Josh Drayden, S Elijah Hicks and OL Michael Saffell were third-team selections, while OL Valentino Daltoso was a fourth-teamer.

Below are notes on each of Cal's seven selections with an extended bio of each of available by clicking on their names.
 
Christopher Brown Jr., RB, 6-1, 235, Sr., 4th Season At Cal, Oceanside, CA (El Camino HS)
2021 Honors – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
– Has played in 29 of 30 games possible including 14 starts since his arrival at Cal as a freshman in 2018 and is Cal's active career leader in rushes (266), yards rushing (1127), rushing touchdowns (10), total touchdowns (14), points (84) and all-purpose yards (1341), while adding 31 receptions and 214 yards receiving
– Played in all 13 games with 12 starts and set career highs in rushes (208), yards rushing (914), rushing touchdowns (8), receptions (22), yards receiving (166), touchdown receptions (4), total touchdowns (12), points (72), total offense (914) and all-purpose yards (1259) as a 2019 sophomore
 
Valentino Daltoso, OLB, 6-4, 300, RSr., 6th Collegiate Season/5th Season At Cal, Boise, ID (Oregon/Boise HS)
2021 Honors – Fourth-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
– Has played in 35 games with 34 starts since his 2017 arrival at Cal with 12 starts at left tackle, 12 at left guard and 10 at right guard
– Played in and started a career-high 13 games as a 2018 sophomore
 
Kuony Deng, OLB, 6-4, 245, RSr., 6th Collegiate Season/3rd Season At Cal, Aldie, VA (Independence Community College/Virginia Military Institute/John Champe HS)
2021 Honors – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
– Has played in and started all 17 games possible at Cal since the beginning of the 2019 season and posted career totals of 150 tackles, 10.0 tackles for loss (-37 yards), 3.5 sacks (-14 yards), eight pass breakups, eight passes defended, six quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery
– Recorded career highs of 119 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss (-27 yards), 3.0 sacks (-12 yards), eight pass breakups, eight passes defended, five quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery while playing in and starting a career-high all 13 games as a 2019 junior
– Started all four games as a 2020 senior and led the team with 31 tackles and his lone two career forced fumbles both in the fourth quarter of a win over Oregon, while adding 2.5 tackles for loss (-10 yards) and one quarterback hurry
– Ranked third in the Pac-12 and tied for fourth nationally with his 0.50 forced fumbles per game as a 2020 senior
 
Josh Drayden, CB, 5-10, 190, RSr., 6th Season At Cal, DeSoto, TX (Bishop Dunne HS)
2021 Honors – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
– Has played in 43 games with 10 starts over the past four seasons after redshirting as a 2016 true freshman and contributed career totals of 78 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss (-11 yards), three interceptions that he has returned for a combined 71 yards including a career-long 54-yard return for a pick-six at Oregon State as a 2018 junior, 12 pass breakups, 15 passes defended and three quarterback hurries
– Earned third-team (Phil Steele) and honorable mention (Pac-12 Coaches) All-Pac-12 honors as a 2020 senior when he started a career-high all four games and contributed 14 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss (-1 yard) and a career-high-tying one interception that he returned four yards, as well as career highs of four pass breakups and five passes defended
 
Cameron Goode, OLB, 6-4, 245, RSr., 6th Season At Cal, Spring, TX (Klein Collins HS)
2021 Honors – Second-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
– Has played in and started 26 games all at outside linebacker over the past four seasons after redshirting as a 2016 true freshman and posted career totals of 125 tackles, 27.5 tackles for loss (-120 yards), 14.0 sacks (-83 yards), two interceptions that he has returned for 70 yards and a pair of touchdowns, six pass breakups, eight passes defended, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and eight quarterback hurries
– Earned second-team (Pac-12 Coaches, Phil Steele, Jon Wilner) and third-team (Sports Pac-12) All-Pac-12 honors when he started all four games as a 2020 senior and contributed 19 tackles, team highs of 8.0 tackles for loss (-23 yards) and 3.0 sacks (-12 yards), one fumble recovery, two quarterback hurries, one pass breakup and one pass defended
– Ranked tied for second in the NCAA and the Pac-12 as a 2020 senior with 2.00 tackles for loss per game, as well as sixth in the Pac-12 with 0.75 sacks per game and tied for seventh in the conference with 0.25 fumble recoveries per contest
– Had career highs of 57 tackles, 14.0 tackles for loss (-76 yards), 9.5 sacks (-62 yards) and six quarterback hurries, as well as a career-high-tying one forced fumble as a 2019 junior when he was an honorable mention All-Pac-12 selection of the league's coaches
 
Elijah Hicks, S, 5-11, 200, Sr., 5th Season At Cal, Long Beach, CA (La Mirada HS/St. John Bosco HS)
2021 Honors – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
– Has played in all 42 games possible with 34 starts over the last four seasons since his arrival in January of 2017 and posted career totals of 141 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss (-25 yards), 2.0 sacks (-7 yards), two interceptions that he has returned for a combined 64 yards and one touchdown, 12 pass breakups, 14 passes defended and two forced fumbles
– Contributed career highs of 44 tackles, 2.0 sacks (-7 yards), five pass breakups and five passes defended while making a career-high 12 starts and playing in a career-high-tying all 13 contests as a 2019 junior
 
Michael Saffell, OL, 6-2, 295, Sr., 5th Season At Cal, Huntington Beach, CA (Edison HS)
2021 Honors – Third-Team Preseason All-Pac-12 (Athlon)
– Has played in 28 games with 23 starts since his 2017 arrival including 15 of 17 Cal games over the past two seasons as a 2019 junior and 2020 senior
– Named second-team (Pro Football Focus), third-team (Sports Pac-12) and honorable mention (Pac-12 Coaches) All-Pac-12 as a 2020 senior when he started all four games and served as a team season captain
– Picked up second-team All-Pac-12 honors from Pro Football Focus during his 2019 junior campaign
 
2021 CAL FOOTBALL COVERAGE
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