Senior California linebacker and 2011 Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks added to his post-season honors on Monday when he was named a Third-Team All-American by Yahoo! Sports. The honor marked the first time in his career that Kendricks has been named to a post-season All-American squad.
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Kendricks, who also earned Cal's co-team MVP honors on the defensive side of the ball, is tied for third in the Pac-12 in tackles for loss per game (1.08 tflpg) and tackles (8.0 tpg), while leading the team in both with totals of a career-high 96 tackles and 13.0 tackles for loss. He also co-leads the squad with a pair of interceptions that he has returned for a team-high 62 yards, while adding 3.0 sacks, two pass breakups and two fumble recoveries that he has returned for 33 yards. Kendricks has posted four double-digit tackle games in 2011, including a career-high-tying and team season-high 15 stops at Washington. He also had 13 tackles at Stanford along with a season-high-tying 2.5 tackles for loss (-18 yards) and his first full sack of the season when he dropped Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck for a 14-yard loss. Kendricks was a fourth-team midseason All-American and first-team midseason All-Pac-12 choice according to Phil Steele.
Kendricks is the Bears' active career leader in tackles (248), tackles for loss (35.0), sacks (13.5) and fumble recoveries (7) in 50 games played and 28 starts. He has added four interceptions, a forced fumble, five pass breakups and one blocked kick.
Cal (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12) will play Texas (7-5, 4-5 Big 12) in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego on Wednesday, Dec. 28 (5 p.m. PST), after becoming bowl-eligible for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons.
The Bears will be playing in a bowl game for the eighth time in the last nine campaigns, and are also assured of a winning record in 2011 for the ninth time in the last 10 campaigns. Cal finished fourth in the highly competitive North division of the Pac-12 Conference and was selected for a bowl prior to any of the teams from the conference's South division.