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Consensus All-American Evan Weaver is the Cal linebacker everyone knows.

Junior Kuony Deng could be the next big thing after piling up 111 tackles (and counting) in his first season with the Bears.

But there is another Cal linebacker of consequence, an impact player from the outside.

Junior Cam Goode, whose past two seasons were disrupted by season-ending injuries, has stayed healthy all season and impressed the conference coaches enough that he earned All-Pac-12 honorable mention status.

“He’s playing his best football since he’s been here right now,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said, “and that’s a good thing.”

Goode enters Monday’s Redbox Bowl against Illinois with 49 tackles, including team-best totals of 13 tackles for 73 yards in losses, including 8.5 sacks for 59 yards. With two sacks in each of Cal’s season-ending wins over Stanford and UCLA, Goode climbed to No. 3 in the Pac-12 in both tackles for loss and sacks.

“He really came on late. The last couple games showed statistically more and more,” Wilcox said. “Coming off significant injuries for two years he probably started off a little bit slower. Some of that was just the rehabilitation process and getting his body ready to play.”

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(In this video, Cam Bynum, Jake Curhan and Nikko Remigio talk with reporters at Friday's final Redbox Bowl news conference in San Francisco).

Goode added about 25 pounds and played this season at 6-foot-3, 235. “I think that helped him sustain the rigors of the season. He’s worked hard at that,” Wilcox said.

Goode has shown glimpses of being special each of the past two seasons, only to have both years end in disappointment.

— He started the first nine games as a redshirt freshman in 2017, totaling 46 tackles and sealing a 27-16 win over Ole Miss with a 32-yard pick-six. Then he was injured against Colorado and done for the season.

— Goode was back on the field to open the 2018 season, and returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown against North Carolina before a foot injury in the second half once more put the kibosh on the rest of the season.

“You always feel for those guys when they go down with those season-ending-type injuries,” Wilcox said. “The amount of hours in workouts and meetings they put in to be able to play, and when that’s taken from them it’s difficult to watch and you feel awful for them.

“It’s just part of our game. Football’s a physical game and those things happen. But having them back-to-back is disappointing for sure.”

Goode, who has 18.5 tackles for loss (including 10 sacks) among his 98 career tackles, has played 21 games for the Bears, but missed 16 others due to injury.

“To his credit, he’s stayed with it and continues to train and I’m excited for him to finish off this season and build momentum into next season as well,” Wilcox said. “I think he has his best football ahead of him.”