Snapdragon Giveaway: Cal's Core Players In 2011

For eleven days beginning on December 18, Qualcomm Stadium, football home of the San Diego Chargers and San Diego State Aztecs, will carry a temporary new moniker: Snapdragon Stadium. Snapdragon processors by Qualcomm are the digital brains inside mobile devices made by top manufacturers like Samsung, LG, Nokia, and HTC. Snapdragon Stadium will host the Chargers-Ravens game on December 18, the Poinsettia Bowl on December 21, and the Holiday Bowl on December 28.

1. Keenan Allen. In an offense that had a lot of turn over, stability was key. There was some stability, mostly at the wide receiver position. No wide receiver was more consistent and more explosive than Keenan Allen. He could be both a possession receiver and the TD threat. He could be on the outside and also cross over the middle. In the earlier parts of the season when QB Zach Maynard was exhibiting growing pains, his brother Keenan Allen helped take 8 yard passes to the house. He helped be an outlet when Maynard was scrambling.

2. Mychal Kendricks. Mychal Kendricks plays inside linebacker. To me, it was between him and D.J. Holt, who also plays inside linebacker. We had some youth at the outside linebacker position, but both Holt and Kendricks were rock solid studs at the absolute core of the defense. Kendricks was actually named Pac-12 Defensive Player Of The Year:

Mychal Kendricks is 3rd overall in the Pac-12 for tackles:

Name Team Yr Pos G Solo Assisted Total Total/G
1 Cort Dennison Washington SR LB 12 60 53 113 9.42
2 Chaz Walker Utah SR LB 12 44 56 100 8.33
3 Mychal Kendricks California SR LB 12 60 35 95 7.92

And he is 4th overall in tackles for loss:

Name Team Yr Pos G TFL TFL Yards TFL/G
1 Chase Thomas Stanford SR LB 12 17.5 96 1.46
2 Scott Crichton Oregon St FR DL 12 14.5 63 1.21
3 Nick Perry USC JR DL 12 13.0 64 1.08
4 Mychal Kendricks California SR LB 12 12.5 52 1.04

What's interesting is that he actually moved to the inside spot this season. He was playing outside in the past, but apparently Cal felt that they needed somebody core to really replace Mike Mohamed.

3. Giorgio Tavecchio - Ask us a year ago about Tavecchio and the answer wouldn't be "CORE PLAYER." But what a difference a year makes. Although he had some trouble on extra points this season, the Italian Stallion solidified the special teams play in a huge way. Consistency on both kick offs and, more importantly, place kicking was the name of the game. He was 19 for 22 on the year and was 4-4 in a key game against ASU. That ASU game was a shoot out with both teams scoring well over 30 points. Each point counted and Giorgio converting all 4 kicks was huge. Another key game was at UW, where he was 3-3. Cal sadly ended up losing that game, but it wasn't because of GT. It's not easy to convert kicks on the road, so the fact that he was 7-7 on 2 key road games really says a lot.

Allen, Kendricks, and Tavecchio. Three core Cal players in this year's team. GO BEARS!

Want a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket powered by Qualcomm's revolutionary Snapdragon multiprocessor? Just leave a comment on this post with who you think the team's core player is and why he's so important to their success. Vox Media will select one winner from among the participating SB Nation blogs. All entries subject to the official rules found here.

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