Today we have a classic Cal athlete, Jerrott Willard, he of the half shirt, against a national championship winning swimmer, Dana Vollmer. No word on whether she also wears the half-shirt. But this isn't a fashion competition. Or it might be, there aren't really any sort of clear guidelines regarding how you should vote.
Either way, you should vote! This is in the Pappy Waldorf Regional and the winner takes on Jerome Randle int he second round. You can see the full bracket here. Voting ends this Friday at noon, so vote now! GO BEARS!
Pappy Waldorf Regional
LeonPowe talks up Jerrott's case.
Jerrott Willard was a badass linebacker from 1991-1994 . . .who rocked the half shirt. Willard was the best linebacker we've had since Hardy Nickerson. Maybe Desmond Bishop was more physically gifted and maybe Follett was better at hitting the Qb, but nobody we've had since the mid 80s has been the absolute terror sideline to sideline, in the backfield or back in coverage that Jerrrott Willard was.
He completely dominated the 1994 Alamo Bowl, including a 64 yard interception return for a touchdown. He was everywhere you needed a linebacker to be, covering the tight end, in the backfield hitting the qb, shuffling down the line to nail the running back at the point of attack on a toss play.
The best linebacker I've ever seen at Cal.
Kodiak: Sideline to sideline terror who can play the run as well as drop into coverage.
Fierce hitter, great instincts, and tough guy who played with an almost signature bare midriff.
Would have had a great pro career if not for knee injuries.
From tightwad hill’s description of Willard
Jerrott Willard was probably the best tackler I’ve ever seen wear Blue and Gold. Broadcasters love the cliche of "football instincts." Cliche or no, Willard had those instincts in spades. He exploded through ball carriers and rarely missed a tackle. His angles were as sharp as a geometry major’s, and he squeezed the absolute most out of what God gave him. He played sideline to sideline with a non-stop motor that recalls Desmond Bishop of this year’s team.
Willard led the Bears in tackles in each of his four seasons and wound up third all-time with 469 career stops, 54 of them for losses. He also had the knack for the big play, which separates him from other Cal defenders with gaudy stats. In his freshman year he blocked a critical punt for a touchdown against Oregon State in a 27-14 victory. In Cal’s 37-3 Alamo Bowl victory over Iowa in 1993, he returned an interception 61 yards for a score, and was named Defensive Player of the Game. In countless other situations, we could count on Jerrott to make the critical stop on third down, or to force a turnover.
Though Willard played alongside some outstanding talents in his time at Cal, he was voted Team MVP after both his junior and senior seasons, and he was a two-time All-Pac 10 first team selection at inside linebacker.
Dana Vollmer (10)
OaktownAggie: NCAA swimmer of the year.
Olympian. Forgot to add:
Overcame adversity, having undergone heart surgery in 2003.
NCAA Swimmer of the Year during a National Championship season.
From her CalBears.com bio:
"Claimed numerous awards in a stellar final season as a Bear - named the 2009 NCAA Swimmer of the Year, Pac-10 Swimmer of the Year and Honda Sports Award winner for Swimming...nominated for a 2009 ESPY Award in the Best Female Collegiate Athlete category...won four national titles and was key member of Cal's first NCAA team championship"
" Cal's Dana Vollmer has won the Honda Award as the nation's top swimmer.
Vollmer helped her team capture the Pac-10 and NCAA titles. She was chosen NCAA swimmer of the year Wednesday after winning the 100- and 200-yard freestyle, and she also contributed to two relay titles in the 400 and 800 freestyle.
Vollmer is the third athlete from Cal to win the Honda Award, joining Mary T. Meagher (1985, '87) and Natalie Coughlin (2002, '03).
The Honda Award is given annually to the top female athletes in 12 NCAA sports."
As a member of the US Swimming Team, she was a member of the world-record-setting 800m free relay at the 2007 World Championships, earned gold as a member of the 800m free relay at the 2006 Pan Pacifics, and was gold medalist on the 800m free relay that broke a 17-yr-old world record at the 2004 Olympics.