NEXT LEVEL WATCH: Mack named NFL All-Pro

Because so many of our local athletes move on from Santa Barbara to compete on a bigger stage, Presidio Sports compiles a weekly collection of notes to help you keep track of Santa Barbara-connected athletes across the globe.

Check in each week to see what our local products are accomplishing out in the big, wide world.

Find past installments of Next Level Watch HERE.

IN THE NEWS:


Alex Mack, Cleveland Browns ? Former San Marcos star Alex Mack was named an NFL All-Pro on Friday, receiving a Second Team nod behind Carolina’s Ryan Khalil.

Mack had already been named to the 2014 Pro Bowl in Hawaii when the NFL released those selections on December 27. Mack is one of four centers invited to the Pro Bowl, which in a new wrinkle this year will have a pre-game draft on January 22. It will be Mack’s second appearance in the NFL’s All-Star Game.

The All-Pro distinction is regarded as more prestigious than the Pro Bowl appearance and is the first in Mack’s career.

Having just completed his fifth season in the NFL, ?the soon-to-be free agent has said he wants to return to the Browns next season.

?Cleveland?s a very easy place to come back to,” he told ClevelandBrowns.com. “I like the coaches; I like the players. I have a house here, so without a doubt, it?d be very easy to come back. Things can turn around quick.”

Mack has started every single game for the Browns since he was drafted in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft.

?That?s what you want in an offensive lineman, a guy that?s consistently on the field doing what he?s supposed to do,? Mack said. ?Doing your job and chipping away at games is really all an offensive lineman can do.?

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Caleb Richey, William Jessup University ? The Bishop Diego grad has started in eight games as a freshman for William Jessup this season. Richey, last year’s All-City MVP as a high school senior, leads the team in assists and steals. His career high in points for college already stands at 20, acheived on November 30 against Northwest Christian.

Carly Wopat, Stanford ? The senior middle blocker and former Dos Pueblos Charger Carly Wopat has been named one of the four nominees for the 2014 Honda Volleyball Sport Award.

FROM STANFORD ATHLETICS: The Honda Sports award winner for volleyball will be announced after the New Year following a vote by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote. Joining Wopat as nominees are Texas? Haley Eckerman, Nebraska?s Kelsey Robinson and Washington?s Krista Vansant.

Wopat, a native of Santa Barbara, is a three-time All-American. She led the Pac-12 and ranked 13th nationally with 1.43 blocks per set, and was third in the conference with a .429 hitting percentage this season. She also paced the Cardinal with 3.82 points per set. A three-time all-conference pick, she garnered Pac-12 Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week honors in 2013, and became just the third Cardinal player to register 600 career blocks (614). Her .429 hitting percentage this season was a career high and the fifth-best single season mark in program history.

The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies ?the best of the best in collegiate athletics?. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup.

Roberto Nelson, Oregon State ? The Santa Barbara High alum was just?named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the second time this season. Nelson leads the conference in points per game and opened Pac-12 competition with 23 points last night in a loss at No. 20 Colorado. The Beavers play again tomorrow at Utah.

 

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