CGB Hall of Fame: Nnamdi Asomugha vs Ed Gray

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One of Cal's greatest defenders takes on one of Cal's greatest scorers. An offense vs defense battle. Who will triumph? The winner will take on Alex Mack in the second round.

Voting ends at noon PST on Friday. Examine the case for either side after the jump and vote in the poll!

Nnamdi Asomugha

R-Rated Superstar wrote a balling post on Asomugha. Incredible stuff from him.


Nnamdi Asomugha is the true embodiment of a California Golden Bear. On the field, Asomugha propelled himself to become one of the top secondary players in football while at the University of California. Playing safety at Cal, Asomugha was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in 2003 with the 24th overall pick where he then became a cornerback. What a cornerback he would turn out to be.

Since the first day, Asomugha has had to prove the doubters wrong. Many questioned whether or not he was worthy of the high selection, but he silenced all of them for good. After his eight-interception season in 2006, Asomugha earned the reputation of a being a shut-down cornerback. In 2007, one scout told Pro Football Weekly that Nnamdi Asomugha was thrown at "less than any defender in the last ten years." The following year, Nnamdi saw even less action. Opposing quarterbacks tested the top-notch corner a mere 27 times. Asomugha allowed only eight receptions all year. He’s a unanimous All-Pro selection on every team and has earned the right to be called, undoubtedly, the best cornerback in the National Football League. He is, without question, the undisputed leader and the heart of the Oakland Raiders.

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Nnamdi Asomugha graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts in Corporate Finance in 2006. More importantly, philanthropy has been a huge area of focus for the pride of the Silver and the Black. He has been partners with the East Oakland Youth Development Center since 2004. He emphasizes the importance of education, hard work ethic on and off the field, a positive attitude, and a healthy diet.

In 2006, Asomugha launched an annual high school college tour program. Each year, he teams up with the East Oakland Youth Development Center to take students from Bay Area high schools on college tours across the country. Additionally, Asomugha distributes backpacks to the incoming freshmen each year at Narbonne High School in Los Angeles. He also outfits the football and basketball team with shoes, a mandate he wrote into an endorsement contract he signed with Nike.


Not only does Asomugha help within his community, he also helps in his mother’s homeland of Nigera, since he’s born of Igbo descent, an ethnic group in southeastern Nigeria.

Education and community service are his mainstays. Asomugha serves as Advisory Board Chair for his family’s foundation, the Orphans and Widows In Need (OWIN) Foundation. Through OWIN, Asomugha and his family provide food, shelter, medicine, vocational training, literacy efforts, and scholarships to widows and orphans victimized by poverty or abuse in Nigeria.

 

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To top all of that off, Asomugha met with former president Bill Clinton to discuss the importance of global service and student activism at the Clinton Global Initiative University.

President Clinton’s youth initiative designed to challenge college students to take action on some of the most pressing global issues in areas such as education, poverty and global health

 

Here are some of the awards that Nnamdi Asomugha has been noted for off of the football field.
Outstanding Community Service Nomination (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Commitment to Excellence Award (2006)
Commitment to Excellence Award (2007)
Home Depot Neighborhood MVP (2007)
Sports Illustrated 2008 Sportsman of the Year (2008)
"Do Right Men of 2008" by Essence Magazine (2008)

Here are some videos on the best cornerback in the NFL.
Nnamdi Asomugha Highlights
Nnamdi Asomugha: Pro Bowl Special
Nnamdi Asomugha Photo Montage

MinerNiner talks about why Ed Gray deserves the CGB Hall of Fame accolades.

A transfer from Tennessee, Gray played only two years in Berkeley, but they were among the most memorable in school history. Gray’s senior season was perhaps the greatest individual season for Cal basketball. He averaged 24.8 ppg, and left Berkeley with the records for the highest career scoring average (20.0 ppg) and the most 30-point games (six). Gray was named Pac-10 Player of the Year and a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.

LeonPowe adds:

Ed Gray also had the second most vicious in-game dunk by a Cal player I’ve ever seen. (First was Monty Buckley).

I’ve never seen a player that built to get buckets. Other big Cal scorers (Lampley, Murray, Randle) had a multitude of skills, but Ed Gray – put the ball in his hands – he’ll get you points. No ball handling. No passing. No rebounding. Little defense. But scores and scores of buckets.

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