SPOKANE, Wash. — An Athlon preseason first team all-American. 

A Phil Steel preseason second team all-American. 

Several preseason all Pac-12 honors.

The accolades keep rolling in for the Spokane’s Evan Weaver this off season but it doesn't seem to matter much to him.

"I mean it’s cool," said Evan with a chuckle. "I honestly don’t pay a lot of attention to it. It’s good to have. It’s good to be out there with national recognition, but I really don’t think it means anything until the end of the season, until I prove myself. I feel like if I let that get to my head too much, I just won’t be able to be me on the football field."

Of course the FBS’ leading returning tackler had the option to not return to school this season, and instead earn a pay check a year early from an NFL team. 

When listening to Weaver discuss why he chose to stay at Cal, it’s obvious that he made the decision that was right for him.

"Just the coaches and the degree you get from there," said Weaver when referencing why he decided to stay. "The coaches and teammates are amazing. There’s just no way I could leave that behind. Just being able to be there for another season with them is just a blessing."

That decision means more responsibility, both in terms of performance and leadership.

"It feels good. Just to be able to talk to all of my teammates and have some sort of respect from them and have respect for them. Being able to have that dialogue with them means a lot."

It won’t just be the eyes of the Bay Area watching Evan this fall. He knows his a role model in the Spokane community. 

He wouldn’t have it any other way.

"It’s awesome. I love this city. I grew up here. Every time I come back, even if it just for a weekend just like this, it’s just memories. I love being here. I love doing everything I can possibly do. Just setting an example for the younger kids and letting them know that they can be better than just staying here their whole lives. You can go out, you can play whatever sport you want to play as long as you put your mind to it."

The NFL beckons, but he has a few more games in a Cal uniform to put his mind to first.