Senior linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk became the first Cal defensive player named first-team All-Pac-12 since 2011, but the Bears’ highly rated defense was only lightly represented on the team chosen by the league’s coaches.
Junior linebacker Evan Weaver earned a second-team spot, but no player from Cal’s secondary was named to either the first or second team. The Bears led the Pac-12 with 17 interceptions.
Cornerback Cam Bynum was among four Cal players given honorable mention status. Also included were defensive end Luc Bequette, punter Steven Coutts and kick return specialist Ashtyn Davis.
Washington and Utah, who met in the Pac-12 championship game, each had three defensive backs named to the first or second team.
UPDATE: Washington State quarterback Gardner Minshew II was named Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year and Washington linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven was voted the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year.
Mike Leach of Washington State was honored as Pac-12 Coach of the Year.
Kunaszyk was third in the Pac-12 with 133 tackles and led the conference with 83 solo stops. The 6-foot-3, 235-pounder from Sacramento had four sacks, 11 tackles for loss and forced five fumbles.
He is the first Cal defensive player honored on the All-Pac-12 first team since linebacker Mychal Kendricks in 2011.
Second-team pick Weaver was equally productive, finishing second in the Pac-12 with 143 tackles to go with 4.5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown to beat Washington.
Bynum had two interceptions and was regarded as Cal’s best cover man, but Davis shared the Pac-12 lead with four picks and was recognized only for his 26.2-yard average on kickoff returns, second-best in the Pac-12.
Not surprisingly, Cal earned no spots on the All-Pac-12 offensive team.
Player of the Year and Coach of the Year honors will be announced on the Pac-12 Networks tonight at 5 p.m.