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Golden Nuggets: Honoring the Academic Achievements Across Cal Athletics

Find out the reactions from the two Cal NFL draftees.

VCU v California Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images


It was a long wait for both of Cal’s top prospects, with James Looney and Downs getting their names called in the seventh and final round.

Downs, a 6-foot-3, 245-pound linebacker, went No. 225 overall, and Looney, at 6-3, 280 pounds, was nabbed by Green Bay at No. 232.

It marked the 28th consecutive season that Cal has had at least two players drafted, including 19 players since 2012.

“Cal’s always been my top, I always tell people when they ask,’what’s my timeline,’ I just say what feels best for me, when the time is right, it’ll happen. It just seems like today was the perfect day,” Zimos told Saturday night, “Yesterday was a really good day, got to see the facilities and the campus, all the coaches were awesome, and the way that I fit into this defense really brings happiness to me and my family, so we’re super excited.”


  • Monday was the Academic Honors Luncheon hosted by the Athletic Study Center which honored the best student-athletes among all the programs. Here’s some notable awards!

The Cal women’s swimming & diving team received the Golden Bear Award for the highest cumulative GPA on campus (3.39). The women’s basketball team took the Big C Most Improved Team GPA award for the second year in a row.

Nick Hamilton of the men’s basketball team served as the student-athlete guest speaker and said his experience as a Cal student-athlete has prepared him for whatever is to come in his future.

”I know that my experience at Cal has prepared me for whatever I choose,” Hamilton said. “Everyone here today is the creator of their own destiny. We have all been successful here at Cal because of our integrity, trustworthiness, honesty and loyalty. Whatever dream you decide to pursue in your life, you can do it. It will take an incredible amount of work, but you have to decide to make it, not anyone in this room but you. Everyone in this room will decide their own future.”

Go Bears