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DeSean: NFL decision today

Posted by Eric | January 15, 2008 at 8:43 am | In DeSean | 5 Comments

EDIT 1:40 PM: DeSean Jackson has declared for the NFL. Listen to an audio recording of his Q&A with the media here (from Scout.com). Read ESPN’s article about his decision here. Good luck in the league, DeSean.

EDIT 12:15 PM: 45 minutes until Jackson’s announcement. In the meantime, here is a clip from the Chronicle:

It’s widely suggested that a player being assured a first-round selection should not risk injury with a return to college. …

“I don’t even get with that,” Bill Jackson said. “He could be like Brady Quinn, sitting there all day. Education is the most important thing to our family.”

Bill Jackson said he was under the impression that his message had resonated with his son.

“I really think he was leaning toward coming back to school,” he said. “If he was going to go (to the) draft, he would have to be working out. He’s been relaxed and hanging out with his partners.

“Of course, he blew my mind with his last decision. I thought he was going to SC.”

DeSean Jackson ranks third all-time at Cal in receiving yards (2,423) and receiving touchdowns (22) and sixth in receptions (162). He has 28 touchdowns in 36 games, including a school- and conference-record six punt returns for scores.

He has 52 career plays of 20 yards or more - 23 percent of his 226 touches - including a 40-yard touchdown reception in the Armed Forces Bowl. DeSean Jackson came off the bench from an undisclosed rules violation to catch five passes for 81 yards from backup Kevin Riley in Cal’s 42-36 comeback win over Air Force.

“With Riley’s performance, it’s going to be a really hard decision,” Jackson said after the Dec. 31 game. “I could come back and get like 100 catches. The way he played gives me something to think about.

At 1pm today, WR/PR DeSean Jackson will announce whether he intends to stay his senior year at Cal or declare as a junior for the draft. Throughout this past season, Jackson has been pegged as a definite first-round pick.

Today is the deadline for underclassmen like Jackson to make their decision — he has waited to literally the last minute to make his decision. Given this drawn-out delay, there might be some slight hope that Jackson will return. We’ll see in a few hours.

Mack returning for senior season

Posted by Steve | January 9, 2008 at 12:10 pm | In Players/Alumni | 2 Comments

Center Alex Mack, winner of the Morris Trophy for the Pac-10’s best offensive lineman, has decided to return for his senior season:

“There is a lot I can do at Cal to improve my game and to further my career,” Mack said Tuesday. “I didn’t want to miss the experience of my senior season and helping the team get back on track and finish things right. This also gives me an opportunity to finish my degree and continue my education.”

This is good news for the Cal offensive line, which allowed only 11 sacks this season. There is still no word from WR DeSean Jackson as to his plans for next year.

Hired: OC, DB and DL coaches

Posted by Eric | January 7, 2008 at 1:01 am | In Coaches | No Comments

Head coach Jeff Tedford has hired Frank Cignetti to be the new offensive coordinator for the Bears. This season, he was the 49ers quarterback coach; he formerly was the OC of Fresno State and UNC.

Tedford also hired Al Simmons (Cal’s DB coach in 98-00) to be the new defensive backs coach, replacing R. Todd Littlejohn. Simmons previously coached for teams like ASU, SJSU, the 49ers, and Oregon State.

Finally, Tedford promoted graduate assistant Tosh Lupoi (see profile) to be the new defensive line coach spot (replacing Ken Delgado).

As previously reported, current QB coach Kevin Daft will be the new receivers coach, replacing Dan Ferrigno.

Here is the official Cal release as well as an article by the Associated Press [/jj].

4-star RB Deboskie commits

Posted by Eric | January 5, 2008 at 11:13 pm | In Recruiting | 2 Comments
Deboskie commitment
Photo: Rivals.com

Today, running back Covaughn Deboskie made an announcement of his commitment to Cal at the Army All-American Bowl (see video). He favored Cal in the recruiting process over the past several months, and news of his unofficial commitment has circulated for a few days.

Deboskie is a 4-star recruit out of Chandler, AZ; he is 6′0″/195 lbs and reportedly has a sub-4.4 40-yard-dash time (see profile on Scout, Rivals). An excellent student with a GPA above 4.0, Deboskie plans to enroll at Cal in the spring and participate in spring practice.

He chose Cal over ASU and Stanford with offers from Florida, Michigan, Alabama, Clemson and Georgia Tech as well.

WR, DB coaches fired

Posted by Eric | January 4, 2008 at 5:52 pm | In Coaches | 2 Comments

Confirming rumors floating around the internet, the CC Times reports that Coach Jeff Tedford has axed two assistant coaches: receivers coach Dan Ferrigno and defensive backs coach R. Todd Littlejohn.

Also in the rumor mill is the possible hire of former Tedford pupil and current 49er quarterback Trent Dilfer as a new offensive coordinator, as well as current QB coach Kevin Daft taking over the WR coach duties.

EDIT 1/5: Additionally, reports are circulating that defensive line coach Ken Delgado is leaving for Louisville on his own (not fired by Tedford).

Armed Forces Bowl: enter Riley

Posted by Eric | January 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm | In Games, Quarterback | 3 Comments
Kevin Riley
Photo: My Bear Territory

QB Kevin Riley entered the game with the Bears looking hopelessly behind, with 0 points to Air Force’s 21. In the face of adversity, the bowl’s MVP played magnificently and led the Bears to a 42-36 victory.

Riley completed 16 of 19 passes for 269 yards while tossing 3 touchdowns and rushing for another, all with no interceptions or mistakes — racking up a stunning 255.54 passer rating.

Some may suggest a quarterback controversy, but I see no such thing. 2008 should be a great season, as the Riley era has begun.

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