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DE Cameron Jordan commits

Posted by Steve | January 30, 2007 at 11:56 am | In Recruiting | 2 Comments

Yesterday, defensive end Cameron Jordan committed to the 2007 recruiting class. Coming out of Chandler high school, Jordan is the 6th rated recruit in the state of Arizona. With Nu’u Tafisi, Abu Ma’Afala, and Steve Kelly graduating this year, defensive line coach Ken Delgado has several open spots on the D-line, which Jordan looks to compete for with fellow 2007 defensive-end recruits Scott Smith and Solomona Aigamaua. Jordan comes to Cal after earning all-state honors this past season:

Jordan’s size and production will be a valued commodity at Cal. The All-State DE racked up 17.5 sacks, 37 hurries and 85 tackles on the year in leading his Chandler squad to an impressive 11-2 record before falling in a tough loss to 5A state finalist Mountain View last month.

Charges not filed against Marshawn

Posted by Eric | January 29, 2007 at 5:14 pm | In Marshawn | 1 Comment

As I speculated in my last post, the smoke has cleared about the accusations against Marshawn and the DA will not file charges. Thanks to the guys at TBIOOTF for posting about this right away. A new article in the SF Chronicle states:

Prosecutors said a lack of evidence — including no visible injuries or photographs of injuries, a witness’ statement contradicting the accuser and inconsistencies in the woman’s own story — meant the case couldn’t go forward. …

“We have an ethical obligation that we have to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt. And I don’t think we can,” said Alameda County senior deputy district attorney Kim Hunter.

And, in regard to the restraining order that Lynch was supposedly served:

According to court filings in the application for the restraining order, Lynch was served in mid-January at a gym on Cal’s campus with notice of Friday’s hearing. But Lynch’s lawyer said Lynch could never have received the notice because the star running back was out of the state training at the time.

So, that’s that. I’m glad these allegations were short-lived. Look for Marshawn high in the first round of the NFL draft.

Nothing to see here, move along

Posted by Eric | January 29, 2007 at 2:45 pm | In Marshawn | 4 Comments

Yes, many are reporting that there are allegations and a restraining order out there against Marshawn Lynch. But these are exactly that — allegations. Is it suspiciously near Lynch’s NFL payday? Absolutely. So, I feel no need to give some ex-girlfriend’s accusations the exposure she wants before the facts are known. As serious as this is, I couldn’t help but have a song called “Gold Digger” stuck in my head since I’ve heard about this.

I think Lynch needs to respond to these claims quickly and get this all sorted out. If he really is guilty of these accusations, he deserves to be punished. But for now, he has the benefit of the doubt from me. Updates will be posted as more news is released.

Training Center construction put on hold

Posted by Steve | January 29, 2007 at 12:28 pm | In Facilities | 7 Comments

Earlier this morning, a Judge issued a preliminary injunction temporarily preventing the construction of the training center next to Memorial Stadium. While tree-sitters have been protesting mainly to save the oak trees in the area, the legal basis for their argument is violations of the Alquist-Priolo Act, a state law which prohibits new buildings on earthquake faults. Multiple fault tests had been taken, and while most of them came back as being safe, two of them were inconclusive.

This is a huge hit to Cal football, as construction will now have to be delayed a year, if not indefinitely, as the trial will not begin until this summer, and starting construction directly after then would interfere with the 2007 Football schedule. While an appeal to the injunction is being considered, school officials are confident that they will win out in court if the issue ever even makes it to trial. Let’s hope that the stadium plans eventually get approved, and does not have much affect on recruiting or even Tedford’s long-term plans on staying at Cal.

EDIT by STEVE: 1/30/2007- At least for now, it appears that we don’t have to worry about Tedford getting frustrated and leaving:

“Anybody who’s asking those questions is very uneducated to my feelings to Cal and this program,” Tedford said. “My commitment is unwavering. My commitment is 100 percent to Cal. I’m not panicking. I’m not fazed by this at all.

“I want those statements to be clear to our players, our recruits and anyone else who is wondering.”

In Tedford’s new contract, however, there have been no changes from the previous one regarding the stadium plans. The UC, confident that the stadium plans will eventually be approved, are moving ahead with the bidding process and any site preparation that the injunction may allow. With signing day only a week away, hopefully this confidence will be enough to sway any borderline recruits that may have been put off by the injunction and current state of the training facilities.

Hughes, Mebane standouts in Senior Bowl

Posted by Eric | January 24, 2007 at 3:06 pm | In Defense, Players/Alumni | 2 Comments

Cal seniors Daymeion Hughes (cornerback) and Brandon Mebane (defensive tackle) are getting noticed in the Senior Bowl. Scouts, Inc/ESPN’s Todd McShay has a lot of good things to say in “Monday’s Buzz”:

The defensive player that impressed us the most was Cal cornerback Daymeion Hughes. The 5-10, 192 pounder displayed outstanding agility and instincts throughout practice. There wasn’t a receiver on the team, including standouts such as Jason Hill (Washington State), Rhema McKnight (Notre Dame) and David Clowney (Virginia Tech), who could shake Hughes in one-on-one drills. While it’s important to put everything into perspective this week, I think it’s safe to say that Hughes showed better man-to-man cover skills this afternoon than Michigan’s Leon Hall, who is widely considered the top cornerback prospect and a potential top-15 pick in this year’s class.

There’s more about Hughes and Mebane in the Tuesday article:

Cal CB Daymeion Hughes continues to stand out in practice. He has good size with wide shoulders and a natural feel for making plays and getting his hands on the football. He is fluid and closes suddenly. His lack of pure speed is a clear drawback, however, and he will not be able to keep up with the faster receivers in the NFL if left alone deep downfield in man-to-man coverage. Therefore, we think Hughes has the looks of a starting Cover 2 cornerback to best use his skill set — which is impressive if utilized correctly. …

Cal’s Brandon Mebane and Louisville’s Amobi Okoye aren’t doing a great job of holding their ground when they get reached. However, both defensive tackles are showing good quickness and getting into the backfield.

McShay also talks highly of Hughes in a TV segment on SportsCenter. You can watch the video segment here. Meanwihle, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers also have an article expressing how impressed they are with Mebane:

Cal DT Brandon Mebane (left) surprised Bucs coaches with his quickness off the ball …

California’s Brandon Mebane, a 6-1, 304-pound defensive tackle who might measure out as a bit undersized but who showed off impressive power during a lengthy one-on-one session with the North’s offensive linemen. … At one point, Mebane went head-to-head with the left guard and left him on the ground as he simply bulled over him.

“[He has] a bunch of power,” said the coach, who was essentially in his first day on the job with Tampa Bay. “He’s got a great center of gravity, gets his hips under him and he understands pass rushing. He understands how to use his hips. I’m shocked by him and how quick he is off the ball. He showed great intensity.”

It’s great to see our Cal players raise their draft status and get noticed for the next level of play. I think we’ll be seeing both Hughes and Mebane taken high in the upcoming NFL draft.

OC Dunbar leaves for Minnesota

Posted by Eric | January 24, 2007 at 2:40 pm | In Coaches | No Comments

Offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar is leaving Cal to take the same position at Minnesota after spending one year in Berkeley. This is not an entirely surprising move, as he contributed some spread elements to Cal’s offensive scheme but Cal never adopted the spread completely.

The Contra Costa Times’ Jay Heater has an article about the move to shine some light on the situation.

“Mike was more comfortable running the spread solely,” Tedford said from Dallas on Wednesday. “There were professional opportunities for him in Minnesota, and I think he is going to be more comfortable there.”

Tedford was asked if it was a mistake to bring Dunbar to Cal. “No,” he said. “He brought some new ideas and concepts. Our goal was to meld those together. It’s not that it didn’t work. We were fine.

“But our goal was to meld the two concepts and not to be solely a spread team. I think he is of the mind to be 100 percent in the spread. He has had a lot of success doing that.”

The article goes on to state that Cal will continue to use some spread elements but never use it completely. It also mentions that Coach Jeff Tedford will “take his time” in choosing a replacement.

2007 season schedule released

Posted by Steve | January 21, 2007 at 2:43 am | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The final schedule for the 2007 season was released Friday. The Bears will host 6 home games next season, including games against Tennessee, Oregon State, and USC, all expected to be in the top 25 in the preseason national rankings.

2007 California Football Schedule
Sept. 1	Tennessee
Sept. 8	at Colorado State
Sept. 15 Louisiana Tech
Sept. 22 Arizona
Sept. 29 at Oregon
Oct. 6	BYE
Oct. 13	Oregon State
Oct. 20	at UCLA
Oct. 27	at Arizona State
Nov. 3	Washington State
Nov. 10	USC
Nov. 17	at Washington
Nov. 24	BYE
Dec. 1	at Stanford

Also, Spring practice begins on March 12, while the Spring Game is scheduled for April 14.

Recruiting news: good and bad

Posted by Eric | January 16, 2007 at 3:43 pm | In Recruiting | 2 Comments

First, the good: wide receiver Nyan Boateng has transferred to Cal from Florida to have 2 years of eligibility starting in the 2008 season (transfers must sit out one season according to NCAA rules). Boateng was rated as a 5-star prospect in high school, and was selected for the Army All-American Bowl along with our own DeSean Jackson. However, injuries prevented him from making an impact at Florida. Boateng is a tall and athletic receiver listed at 6″2′/205 lbs/4.45 forty and a 42″ vertical. He is definitely a welcome addition since the receiver core will lose Lavelle Hawkins, Robert Jordan, and possibly Jackson to the NFL after the 2007 season.

The bad news: safety Terry Mixon (brother of Tim Mixon) who previously made a verbal commitment to the Bears as a junior college transfer, has changed his commitment to Washington State. While he would have been an excellent addition to this class, we wish him the best of luck up in Pullman. In related news, there is still no decision about Tim’s petition for a sixth year of eligibility.

Confirmed (AP): Tedford 4-year contract extension

Posted by Eric | January 16, 2007 at 12:01 pm | In Coaches | 2 Comments

In an Associated Press report, it has been confirmed that Coach Jeff Tedford’s contract has been extended for 4 years, through 2013. This great news comes in an article celebrating Tedford’s success and the emergence of the program as an annual contender, giving Cal some more exposure and recognition nationally. Some excerpts:

Tedford is 43-20 in five seasons, leading the Bears’ longest sustained period of excellence in a half-century. He led Cal to a 10-3 record, a Pac-10 co-championship and a victory over Texas A&M …

Tedford annually appears on the coaching wish lists of big-school athletic directors and NFL general managers. This winter alone, he was linked him with openings at Alabama and with the Atlanta Falcons. …

But Tedford seems comfortable at Cal, where he has transformed a once-struggling program into a West Coast power with burgeoning fan support and new facilities on the way. …

The Bears have reached the top 10 in three straight seasons while appearing in four consecutive bowl games — winning three — for the first time in school history. Cal’s share of the Pac-10 crown this season was its first conference title since 1975, and Tedford also has beaten archrival Stanford five straight times.

This also grants the Cal program additional stability and quashes any rumors of Tedford looking to bolt to other programs or NFL positions. This stability is crucial for Tedford’s continual success in recruiting top-tier talent. Plus, Tedford until 2013 and world-class facilities underway… it can’t get better than this.

EDIT: The Contra Costa Times has an article about the contract extension with some quotes from Tedford:

“I’ve never had a hidden agenda of moving anywhere else. We have been fortunate to have had some success here and I believe we have put ourselves in the national spotlight. I’m very excited about the future of this program, and I feel it’s a privilege to be a part of it.”

Tedford said his biggest desire in landing a contract extension was having job security. “I know that Cal can’t compete (with the NFL) in money,” he said.

Barbour acted quickly and Tedford said he never met personally with an NFL team. He said he also has received several calls from universities interested in luring him away from Cal and that he isn’t interested.

“I have a lot invested in this program,” he said. “There has been a lot of work done by a lot of people. I don’t want to take a step backward.”

Breaking news: Tedford contract extension

Posted by Eric | January 11, 2007 at 10:26 pm | In Coaches | 1 Comment

According to KGO’s Ken Dito, Coach Jeff Tedford will be receiving more money and a contract extension. This is unconfirmed but I will post details as they are released…

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