Tough one here. Olympic Gold Medalist versus NFL Superstar! Nathan Adrian versus Nnamdi Asomugha.
You can view the entire bracket here. Voting ends this Friday at noon. Full write ups after the jump. GO BEARS!
Nathan Adrian (2)
TwistNHook makes the short but sweet case for Adrian:
"Nathan Adrian is a Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming, has individual national titles, helped Cal win a TEAM national title, and was just named to the All-Academic team.
So, for those who don't follow swimming that well, he is a great athlete, a great student, a great Cal guy!"
paleodan adds: "And he helped out on Mythbusters. (A Bay Area show about nerds that like to blow stuff up with robots-and you can't get much more Cal then that.)"
At the 2008 Summer Olympics, Adrian swam in the heats of the 4×100 m freestyle relay and earned a gold medal when the United States won in the final. He has won a total of ten medals in major international competition, nine gold, and one silver spanning the Olympics, the World, and the Pan PacificChampionships.
Nnamdi Asomugha (10)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)