Cal Football Video: Evan Weaver Looking Forward to Seeing his Illini Mirror Image
The nation's two leading tacklers will be on the field at Levi's Stadium when Cal and Illinois meet in the Redbox Bowl on Dec. 30.
Cal senior Evan Weaver, speaking in the video above, has led FBS in tackles all season. He has a single-season school-record 173 heading into the Bears' second consecutive bowl game.
But No. 2 on the NCAA list is Illinois senior Dele Harding, who has 148 tackles.
Weaver said he hasn't seen Harding play but sounded impressed by his credentials, which also include three interceptions, two of them returned for touchdowns.
Weaver tops the nation in tackles per game at 14.4 with Harding second at 12.3.
Weaver also is the FBS leader with 95 solo stops. Harding is far behind with 64, ranking in a tie for 14th nationally.
Harding earned third-team All-Big Ten honors this season.
The Pac-12 will hand out its individual awards on Tuesday, with Weaver expected to be in the running for possibly even Defensive Player of the Year.
Weaver also is among four finalists for the Butkus Award, given to the nation's top linebacker, and for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which goes to a player who excels on and off the football field.
IMPACT is an acronym for Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity. The honor is the first and only college football award to equally recognize athletic performance and the personal character attributes of the player.
A 6-foot-3, 245-pound native of Spokane, Washington, Weaver has accepted an invitation to play in the 2020 Senior Bowl all-star game.
Weaver is 20 tackles shy of the all-time NCAA single-season tackle record of 193, set in 14 games, by Lawrence Flugence of Texas Tech in 2002