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Lynch at the NFL combine

Posted by Eric | February 26, 2007 at 7:00 am | In Marshawn, Players/Alumni | 2 Comments

The official NFL combine results for Marshawn Lynch are in.

His forty time is 4.46, tied for fifth overall (Oklahoma’s Adrian Peterson clocked a 4.40 and tied for the best time with Arizona’s Chris Henry and Ohio St.’s Antonio Pittman). This is a solid number for Lynch, considering he was clocked unofficially at 4.52/4.49 beforehand. Also, Lynch lacked pure track form like some of the other RBs.

On the NFL Network, Coach Dick Vermeil commented that Lynch’s time was more than adequate for a running back, pointing out that he is more of a natural running back than a track athlete. In addition, Marshall Faulk mentioned that given his excellent skills and wide running base, Lynch had plenty of speed.

His vertical jump is 35 1/2 and broad jump 10′5″, compared to Peterson’s 38 and 10′7″. Lynch also clocked a 11.80 in the 60 shuttle and a 7.05 in the three cone.

The overall consensus among scouts and analysts is Lynch had a decent to good showing with no surprises, and he seems to be solidifying his position as the second running back taken in the draft (after Peterson). Most are suggesting that the Green Bay Packers will choose him with their 16th pick.

Meanwhile, Lynch is having to respond to alleged character issues. This article from a Wisconsin (note: Green Bay’s state) paper sums up that most teams aren’t buying the allegations against him:

When an ex-girlfriend claimed he assaulted her in December, red flags about Lynch immediately were raised - even though, four days after the woman’s Jan. 25 accusation came to light, an Alameda (Calif.) County deputy district attorney who specializes in domestic violence cases declined to press charges, citing a lack of evidence and “grave inconsistencies” in the alleged victim’s accusations. Lynch never was arrested or charged.

Lynch’s agents at Octagon Sports took a proactive approach to the matter, sending a letter to all 32 teams that included the DA’s remarks. One league source said the woman was looking to extort money from Lynch, a near-certain first-round pick. Four NFL personnel sources interviewed Friday all said that they think Lynch is a “good kid.”

“I was innocent,” Lynch said. “It was a mistake. I moved on from it. I was faced with adversity and felt it made me stronger. I learned a lesson from it, and now I have to keep moving forward.”

Asked what he’ll do when the subject comes up in interviews, Lynch said, “Tell them the truth. It’s probably not fair, but it’s something they want to know and I have nothing to hide.”

Predictions for 2007

Posted by Eric | February 25, 2007 at 4:04 pm | In Players/Alumni, Ranks/Predictions | No Comments

With spring drills coming up, the analysts are already starting to come up with predictions for 2007. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach is optimistic about Cal, predicting a Rose Bowl appearance against Wisconsin (but USC in the national championship game).

Meanwhile, Yahoo/Rivals has a Pac-10 preview with Cal #2 in the conference:

2. California (10-3, 7-2): DeSean Jackson gives the Golden Bears arguably the nation’s most exciting player. Justin Forsett shouldn’t have much trouble stepping in for star tailback Marshawn Lynch. The bigger question is how the Bears will replace All-America defensive players Desmond Bishop and Daymeion Hughes. …

It also projects quite a few accolades:

California quarterback Nate Longshore and wide receiver DeSean Jackson could emerge as one of the nation’s most dynamic passing combinations. …

Five players who will emerge this season
1. California RB Justin Forsett: He has rushed for 1,625 yards the last two seasons as Marshawn Lynch’s backup. Imagine the numbers Forsett might put up now that he finally has the starting job all to himself.

Five impact newcomers
5. California DT Derrick Hill: This four-star prospect and redshirt freshman is the favorite to replace Brandon Mebane, a three-year starter who earned Rivals.com third-team All-America honors last season.

And, the Bears earn some spots on their “Best by position” list, including Nate Longshore (#2 QB), Justin Forsett (#3 RB), DeSean Jackson (#1 WR), Craig Stevens (#2 TE), Alex Mack (#3 OL), Tom Schneider (#2 K), and Andrew Larson (#1 P).

Cal football means family: Kapp to walk on

Posted by Eric | February 13, 2007 at 4:31 pm | In Recruiting | No Comments

Will Kapp, son of Joe Kapp, has been invited to walk on the team as a strong safety. He played at Los Gatos High in the south bay.

Joe is a huge figure in Cal football, as he was the quarterback who led the Bears to their last Rose Bowl in 1959. He also was head coach 1982-1986 and is famous for being the coach who called The Play.

More about recruited walk-ons will be posted as the news comes out.

Good news for Cal in construction court battle

Posted by Eric | February 11, 2007 at 1:34 pm | In Facilities | 2 Comments

The Bear Insider is reporting some good news despite the court injunction being issued against the construction of Cal’s new sports facility.

Petitioners argued at a hearing on Thursday, February 8th, that because Cal’s EIR was being contested in court and had not yet been approved, Cal should not be allowed to make any changes (whatsoever) to the physical environment of the project site, and should also not be allowed to enter into any contacts in furtherance of the project, even- for example- for schedule planning that would involve no physical changes at the site.

The judge ruled against both requests. Marie Felde of Cal’s Media Relations called this ” … an important victory for the university.”

This allows Cal to go ahead with the bidding/contracting process and also gives the University the ability to ensure public safety if needed (with police action, temporary fencing, etc). According to a recent report from campus police, the tree people are being tolerated but are regularly told that they are breaking the law. A few key points from the article:

1. The protesters are breaking the law, both by trespassing and lodging on campus. Individual street people who sleep on campus are customarily promptly removed, often with just a warning and sometimes with assistance in finding shelter. Repeat violators are cited, and sometimes face jail time.

2. Campus police regularly patrol the tree-protest area to be sure that no public safety issues occur beyond what is already occurring.

5. Campus police have been careful to not take any action that would prejudice or adversely affect Cal’s efforts in court.

7. “The protestors have not developed the swell of support they wanted, and in fact the support may even be tapering off.”

11. “Of course they have to go, no question about it. But it will be at a time - and with methods - of our choosing,” said [Chief] Celaya.

Final 2007 recruiting class list

Posted by Eric | February 7, 2007 at 3:55 pm | In Recruiting | 5 Comments

I’ve compiled a final list of Cal’s 2007 recruiting class, including ratings, stats and links to the Scout/Rivals page of each recruit. Overall, I think this is a very strong class that is talented and fast, adding incredible depth to Cal’s roster at all positions. Jeff Tedford and the coaching staff have really put together a winner in this year’s recruiting class.

As a side note, I’ve ignored ESPN’s recruiting coverage and ratings completely because Tom Luginbill has seemingly ignored anyone on the West Coast who USC hasn’t made an offer.

EDIT 2007-02-08: Included Florida transfer Nyan Boateng on the list.

OFFENSE

Pos Name Scout Rivals Ht/Wt/40 Hometown Committed
FB John Tyndall
(5.5)
6-3/220/- Pacific Grove, CA 1/21/07
OL Justin Cheadle
(5.7)
6-2/266/4.9 Bakersfield, CA 9/26/06
Sam DeMartinis
(5.6)
6-6/252/5.48 Sherman Oaks, CA 11/5/06
Todd Huber
(5.7)
6-2/273/5.04 Palos Verdes Estates, CA 10/21/06
Mitchell Schwartz
(5.7)
6-5/297/5.51 Pacific Palisades, CA 12/29/06
Matt Summers-Gavin
(5.9)
6-5/271/5.1 San Francisco, CA 1/5/07
QB Brock Mansion
(5.7)
6-5/221/4.75 Dallas, TX 6/22/06
RB Jahvid Best
(5.9)
5-10/183/4.4 Richmond, CA 12/12/06
Shane Vereen
(5.9)
5-9/170/4.5 Valencia, CA 8/11/06
TE Skylar Curran (JC)

(5.4)
6-4/245/4.67 Woodland, CA 12/14/06
Savai’i Eselu
(5.7)
6-3/245/4.8 Honolulu, HI 12/18/06
WR Nyan Boateng (SEC)
Transfer Transfer
6-2/205/4.45 Brooklyn, NY 01/13/07
Mike Calvin
(5.6)
6-2/188/4.48 San Lorenzo, CA 11/16/06
Alex Lagemann
(5.6)
6-2/205/4.53 Saratoga, CA 6/19/06

DEFENSE / SPECIAL TEAMS

Pos Name Scout Rivals Ht/Wt/40 Hometown Committed
DB D.J. Campbell
(5.6)
6-0/177/4.54 North Las Vegas, NV 11/19/06
Sean Cattouse
(5.6)
6-2/180/4.63 Chicago, IL 1/2/07
Chris Conte
(5.8)
6-3/180/- Los Angeles, CA 2/7/07
DE Solomona Aigamaua
(5.4)
6-3/215/4.6 Honolulu, HI 1/17/07
Cameron Jordan
(5.6)
6-3/250/5.14 Chandler, AZ 1/29/07
Ernest Owusu
(5.7)
6-4/245/4.9 Princeton, NJ 2/7/07
Scott Smith
(5.6)
6-7/240/4.90 Honolulu, HI 1/17/07
LB Devin Bishop (JC)

(5.7)
6-2/225/4.7 San Francisco, CA 1/1/07
Alex Cook (JC)

(5.8)
6-3/225/4.5 Brenham, TX 2/5/07
D.J. Holt
(5.7)
6-0/236/4.75 Encino, CA 12/10/06
Robert Mullins
(5.7)
6-0/191/- Los Angeles, CA 1/23/07
K Bryan Anger
(5.5)
6-4/189/4.7 Camarillo, CA 11/18/06

By the numbers:

  • 26 total recruits, with 14 on offense (1 FB, 5 OL, 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 TE, 3 WR), 11 on defense (3 DB, 4 DE, 4 LB) and 1 kicker
  • 3.44 average stars per Scout (with 12 four-star recruits), and 3.12 per Rivals (with 5 four-star recruits)
  • #12 recruiting class in the nation according to Scout, #21 according to Rivals
  • 10 out-of-state recruits, representing Hawaii (3), Texas (2), Nevada, Arizona, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey

Wednesday: Signing Day

Posted by Eric | February 7, 2007 at 1:42 am | In Recruiting | No Comments

Today is the day we find out for sure what our 2007 recruiting class looks like. We already know that these verbal commitments can come and go, but once a letter of intent (LOI) is signed it’s a done deal.

Updates will be posted as news comes in. I have heard that there may be a last minute surprise in store, and Ken over at Bear Territory alludes to this in his blog.

In the meantime, TBIOOTF has posted a nice overview of Cal’s recruiting over the past few years, and Tightwad Hill also has some pretty good posts cautioning against taking the recruiting star rankings too seriously. Take a look.

EDIT 11:13am: All 25 LOI’s in, according to Scout. Signing Day was very smooth, with a couple of pleasant surprises.

EDIT 10:10am: Scout is reporting that all expected LOI’s plus Conte/Owusu are in, other than Smith/Aigamaua in Hawaii who will wait a bit for a ceremony with their coach. 23 down, 2 to go!

EDIT 8:30am: Here’s a surprise: Chris Conte, a safety who committed to Cal early (6/10/06), then switched his commitment to UCLA (1/20/07), has in the end submitted his LOI to Cal! Here are the Scout, Rivals articles linked. Also, Rivals has re-rated him since earlier in the recruiting process and now has him listed as a 4-star safety. This is great news for the defense.

EDIT 7:04am: Rivals is reporting that Ernest Owusu (3-star DE from prep school in New Jersey who did not previously announce a commitment) has decided to come to Cal over Stanford, Minnesota, UNC, and some other BCS conference schools.

EDIT: The SF Chronicle writes:

Cal football coach Jeff Tedford is expected to announce today an incoming class of 23 recruits that makes a statement … “Jeff Tedford and his staff have firmly established themselves as great recruiters,” Rivals national recruiting editor Jeremy Crabtree said. “When you talk about the top classes each and every year, Cal now has to at least be in the conversation.” …

Crabtree estimates … Rivals will rank the Bears’ class in the top 25 for the fourth consecutive season despite the absence of a five-star recruit … Cal’s recruiting class is solid from top to bottom, fills needs and includes a bevy of linemen … According to Scout.com, Cal is No. 15 in overall points, trailing only No. 5 USC and No. 8 Oregon in the Pac-10.

Cal’s group includes 20 high school players and three junior-college transfers, and is especially strong at running back, linebacker and along the offensive line. By position, the class has five linebackers, four offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, two running backs, two wide receivers, two tight ends, two defensive backs, a quarterback and a punter.

Tim Mixon headed to NFL

Posted by Eric | February 7, 2007 at 1:07 am | In Defense, Players/Alumni | 4 Comments

According to sources, Cal’s AD compliance office has confirmed that senior cornerback Tim Mixon will no longer be seeking a sixth year of eligibility and will make a try for the NFL. Mixon was injured in fall camp and missed the 2006 season. He was previously looking to extend his eligibility for another year, but most speculated that his chances to get another year were very slim–making this news disappointing but not surprising.

Thanks Timmy for the leadership as well as the hard work at cornerback and punt returns. We wish him the best of luck in the NFL.

4-star DE/SLB Alex Cook commits from Texas

Posted by Eric | February 5, 2007 at 11:04 pm | In Defense | 1 Comment

The Bears have added a huge commitment to the recruiting class on defense.

Alex Cook, a JC All-American defensive end from the junior college championship team Blinn College in Texas, has committed to Cal. Cook turned down offers from Arkansas, Arizona State, Louisville, Tennessee, and other schools in this decision. At 6′3″/225 with a 4.5 forty time, he is rated four stars by both Scout and Rivals.

The 6-3/225 Cook stood out as a difference-maker on Blinn’s 12-0 National Junior College Athletic Association championship squad –their first since 1996. Cook plays with a ferocity, coming off the edge or shooting gaps with cat-like speed. In Blinn’s championship game, the speedy Cook utilized his 4.5 forty speed with an amazing 5 sacks on the day as Blinn defeated the nations #2 ranked JC, Pearl River CC, 19-6. Cook also caused a fumble that was picked up by teammate Damien Reed and run back for a 67 yard td. Cook totaled 13 sacks and 68 tackles on the year.

While he previously played DE, Cook will be playing strong side linebacker for the Bears. He looks to make an immediate impact this upcoming year and he should be an excellent addition of speed and playmaking ability in the pass rush.

This also shows the further expansion of Cal’s sphere of recruiting with another commitment from deep within Texas.

Michalczik named Offensive Coordinator

Posted by Steve | February 1, 2007 at 4:46 pm | In Coaches, Offense | 1 Comment
Jim Michalczik, Cal’s offensive line coach of the previous five seasons, has been promoted to the role of offensive coordinator left open by the recent departure of Mike Dunbar for Minnesota. He shall also retain his duties as offensive line coach. With Michalczik as the offensive coordinator, Cal next season will most likely remain more geared towards a pro-style offense, centered upon the run game. Cal has produced a 1,000 yard rusher in each of Michalczik’s five seasons as offensive line coach, and look towards continuing the streak with Justin Forsett in the backfield.

Kevin Daft, a graduate assistant, was also promoted to take over as the quarterbacks coach.

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