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Cal's Daniel Scott, Jackson Sirmon Named Preseason All-Pac-12 by Phil Steele

Surprise: Bears freshman running back Jaydn Ott selected to Steele's preseason fourth-team all-conference squad
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Cal had two players named to Phil Steele’s preseason all-Pac-12 football first team: safety Daniel Scott and inside linebacker Jackson Sirmon.

Those are the same two Golden Bears players who were named to Athlon’s preseason first team three week ago.

However, the most significant name on Phil Steele’s first-, second-, third- and fourth-team preseason all-conference squads is a Cal player who has yet to play a down of college football – freshman running back Jaydn Ott, who was named to Steele’s preseason fourth-team all-Pac-12 squad. Ott was an early enrollee, coming to Cal for the spring term, enabling him to participate in spring football. He is not expected to be the Bears’ starting running back, a role that seems to belong to Damien Moore, but Ott got plenty of playing time in spring scrimmages and was impressive.

Six other Cal players named to Phil Steele’s all-conference second, third and fourth teams.

Defensive lineman Brett Johnson, who missed all of last season following hip surgery, was named to the second team. He participated in nearly all of the spring football drills and seems to be almost completely recovered from the injuries sustained in a 2021 auto accident. Being named to the preseason second team despite missing the entire season is a testament to the potential he showed in 2019 and 2020. He can play all three defensive line positions, but is most effective as a defensive end in Cal’s three-man front.

Cal offensive lineman Ben Coleman and cornerback Lu-Magia Hearns III were selected for the Phil Steele third team, and center Matthew Cindric, nose guard Ricky Correia and inside linebacker Femi Oladejo joined Ott on Steele’s fourth team.

Much is expected of Cal’s two first-team selections, Scott and Sirmon.

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Neither was selected to the first- or second-team all-Pac-12 squads at the end of last year, as Sirmon received honorable mention last season while at Washington in 2021, but Scott did not even receive honorable mention. Interestingly, Scott was selected a first-team all-conference status on Pro Football Focus' 2021 all-Pac-12 team.

Scott had a team-leading 82 tackles, three interceptions, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack, one forced fumble and three interceptions last season. Scott is also on the preseason watch list for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which given each year to a defensive player who has the biggest impact on his team both on and off the field.

Sirmon had an impressive 2021 season with the Huskies, winding up fifth in the Pac-12 in tackles. He had 92 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, one interceptions and one forced fumble. He transferred to Cal in January 2022, and is the son of Cal's defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach Peter Sirmon.

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Cover photo of Daniel Scott by Darren Yamashita, USA TODAY Sports

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