Best College Athlete: Hometown sports hero on the rise
Marshawn Lynch, Byron Davis, Nick Swisher
Marshawn Lynch wasn't just the East Bay's best college athlete, he was the best in the state, and one of the top in the nation. The Oakland Tech grad led the Golden Bears to a 10-3 record, a Holiday Bowl blowout win, and a final rank of fourteenth in the nationwide AP poll. The junior tailback gained 1,356 yards on the season, caught 60 passes for 600 yards, and won the Pac-10's Offensive Player of the Year award. He finished his career with 35 touchdowns and became the second all-time leading rusher in Bears history. "Anytime he touched the ball, you had to hold your breath," coach Jeff Tedford told The Contra Costa Times. "It was phenomenal to see his runs." Lynch was the twelfth player chosen in last weekend's NFL draft.