D'Amato Nominated for Senior CLASS Award; Cal vs. Portland State: Midweek Practice Updates

Vincenzo D'Amato - Norbert von der Groeben (GoldenBearSports.com)

It's Week 2 of the regular season, and the California Golden Bears are in full game prep mode - they face Portland State at home this Saturday. Let's take a quick look at this week's practices, as well as other [good] news: senior kicker Vincenzo D'Amato was named a candidate for the Senior CLASS Award.

Reigning Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week [and Cal's passing efficiency leader with a 514.0 PER] Vincenzo D'Automatico added another potential accolade yesterday:

Cal senior placekicker Vincenzo D'Amato was one of 30 NCAA® Football Bowl Subdivision student-athletes who excel both on and off the field selected Wednesday as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate football.

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I FBS senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

"I feel very honored and excited especially knowing what this award is all about," D'Amato said. "I've been taught by my family to always give it my best and the four areas of excellence this award recognize fit right into that. It's hard work but once you become used to a lifestyle like that it become easier, it's enjoyable."

Read the full Cal media release here: LINK

* * *

The Cal football team showed no signs of a hangover from this past Saturday's hard fought loss versus Northwestern. Practice this week - especially on Monday ($) - has been efficient and crisp, with coaches and players bringing good energy and intensity.

A quick injury update, per Coach Dykes after Wednesday's practice: Brendan Bigelow (and Khairi Fortt) will play on Saturday; Chris McCain and Kenny Lawler were held out as a precautionary measure but will return to practice Thursday; Brennan Scarlett, Nick Forbes, and Mustafa Jalil are still out indefinitely.

Here are links to Hunter Hewitt's and Jeff Faraudo's practice reports:

Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday [SF Chronicle]

Tuesday / Wednesday [Bay Area News Group]

The big news earlier this week included Chris McCain's full reinstatement, Spencer Hagan's medical retirement, and Avery Sebastian's season-ending injury. These and other items were addressed by Coach Dykes in Tuesday's weekly press conference (videos inside links below):

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