Plenty of Reasons to Keep Watch on Cal's James Looney

Cal senior defensive end James Looney was selected Thursday by the Charlotte Touchdown Club to the pre-season watch list for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy that has been awarded annually since 1993 to the most outstanding defensive player in college football. Looney is a national preseason honors candidate in 2017 for several awards honoring the nation's most outstanding player overall as well as its top defensive player, defensive lineman, interior lineman and defensive end.

Looney has played in 24 career games over his last two seasons at Cal as a 2015 sophomore and 2016 junior with 23 his starts during the period leading all active Cal players. He has registered career totals at Cal of 89 tackles, 11.0 tackles for loss (-49 yards) and 4.5 sacks (-26 yards). Looney picked up nearly all of his single-season career highs as a junior with 54 tackles, 8.0 tackles for loss (-38 yards), 3.5 sacks (-22 yards), two quarterback hurries, one fumble recovery that he returned 25 yards and one forced fumble, with the fumble recovery equaling the one he had as a 2015 sophomore.

The FWAA and the Charlotte Touchdown Club will announce five finalists for the 2017 Bronko Nagurski Trophy on Thursday, November 16. The winner will be chosen from those five finalists and announced at the annual Bronko Nagurski Trophy Banquet, presented by ACN, on Monday, December 4. The winner will also be presented live at the Home Depot College Football Awards Red Carpet Show televised by ESPNU on December 7, 2017.

The FWAA has chosen a National Defensive Player of the Year since 1993. In 1995, the FWAA named the award in honor of the legendary two-way player from Minnesota. Nagurski dominated college football, then became a star for professional football's Chicago Bears in the 1930s. He is a charter member of both the College Football and Pro Football Halls of Fame.