Today, we have our first Sweet 16 matchup. Russell White, footballer extraordinaire versus Dana Vollmer, swimming superstar! The winner inches ever closer to making the Hall Of Fame. Both really deserve it, but it's getting more and more difficult as we move from round to round.
You can view the full bracket here. Voting ends this Friday. Full write ups after the jump. GO BEARS!
Russell White (3)
The case for Russell is laid out below.
LeonPowe: Superman. One of the 3 best running backs (some would argue the best ever) to play at Cal. Finished in the top 5 in Heisman as a junior. Carried Cal to a #7 National ranking at the end of the 1991 season. Hurdled a Purdue player well before anyone else did it.
Cal's all-time leading rusher was perhaps the biggest recruiting coup in school history. Controversy surrounded White's decision to move from Crespi HS to Berkeley, since he was a Prop 48 student who had not achieved a qualifying SAT score. A summer of tutoring revealed that Russell was dyslexic, and he would go on to earn his degree in social welfare in four years with a B average.
He would also go on to become Cal's all-time leading rusher, behind 1,000 yard efforts in 1991 and 1992. Fifteen times he rushed for at least 100 yards in a game, including a 229-yard effort in Cal's record setting 52-30 beatdown of USC in 1991. With White, the Bears reversed a decade of futility and won back-to-back bowls in 1990 and 1991. His '91 season, with 1,177 yards rushing and fourteen touchdowns earned White first-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and the FWAA.
Now thanks to Prd74, we all get to bask in Russell's greatness a little; his freshman campaign in 1990 had some great moments, including a 99 yard kickoff return against Miami in the first video and an utterly insane run starting at 4:24 in the second vid.
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.
"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.