- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Our countdown of the Pac-12's top 25 players continues.
You can see Ted Miller's preseason top 25 here.
6. Mychal Kendricks, LB, Cal
2011 numbers: Finished tied for first in the Pac-12 with 69 solo tackles and fifth overall with 107 stops. Tied for second in the conference with 14.5 tackles for a loss to go with three sacks, two interceptions and a pair of fumble recoveries.
Preseason ranking: No. 16.
Making the case for Kendricks: He was the best defensive player on the No. 1 total defense in the conference (statistically speaking). Kendricks was selected first-team All-Pac-12 and crowned the conference defensive player of the year for his efforts. He leaves Cal as one of it's all-time greatest defensive players, totaling 258 tackles in his career -- ninth on Cal's all-time list. The Bears' ironman played in all 51 games during his Cal career and in 2011 was a second-team All-American selection by Phil Steele, third-team by Yahoo! Sports and Sports Illustrated honorable mention. He's the school's all-time leader in tackles for a loss. Five times in 2011 he reached double-digit tackles, including a season-high 15 stops in a loss to Washington and 13 tackles in a loss to Stanford. He followed up a stellar 2011 with an equally impressive performance at the combine that have many thinking he could crack the second round.