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Judgment day

Posted by Eric | June 18, 2008 at 9:12 am | In Facilities | 3 Comments

Judge Barbara Miller of Alameda County has exhausted her 90 days to make her ruling — the decision’s deadline is today.  If UC wins, the injunction preventing the construction of the new facilities needed desperately by Cal Athletics should be lifted.  If UC loses, the student-athlete high performance center and stadium renovation projects will be again delayed.

There are reports from the “front lines:” protesters camping out, news vans swarming, and UC lining up equipment trucks to finish removing the tree-sitters and begin construction immediately after the ruling. As a side note, Cal has had the authority to remove the tree-sitters for some time but has waited until yesterday to begin the removal process.

Updates will follow throughout the day.

9:30am: Confirmed sightings so far: cherry picker (a big crane).   Possible sightings: excavators (!)

9:45am: If you’re interested, you can access the court documents here (case number RG06301644).

3:25pm: No word from the judge yet — most speculation is pointing to a 5pm (court closing time) decision.  Meanwhile, the UC crews are reportedly cutting down the support lines between the trees, as the protesters scream threats and obscenities.  Here is a short YouTube clip of the scene.

5:15pm: “There are no judgments.”  No word yet.  Apparently, Cal may have a press conference at 7pm.  The suspense is killer.

Speaking of Blinn College…

Posted by Alex | June 17, 2008 at 11:16 am | In Uncategorized | No Comments

Scout.com reports that Jarred Price, a 5′10″ 215 lbs weakside LB has signed with Cal out of Blinn College.  Price currently plays DE for Blinn, but projects to be a LB at the Division I level.  He becomes the second Blinn player to sign with Cal in the past week.

It seems as if Price might be in the hunt to replace Zach Follett after Follett graduates after this season.  Price will probably play the same blitzing linebacker position that Follett currently occupies.  He has two years to play two seasons after using a redshirt season at Blinn.

Late 2007-08 Recruit

Posted by Alex | June 13, 2008 at 11:53 am | In Recruiting | 1 Comment

Scout.com reports that defensive back Bryant Nnabuife out of Blinn College in Texas has signed with the Golden Bears. Nnabuife is a 6′2″ 200 lbs player who also runs a 4.38 40. He has played both safety and cornerback in the past and could project to play either position for the Bears. Nnabuife himself prefers to play CB, but is open to playing anything. Eligibility-wise, Nnabuife has 4 years to play 3.

If you will recall, Cal signed Alex Cook out of Blinn College a few years ago. Other than Cook, Blinn has stood out as a JC team as they have placed over a dozen players at Division I colleges as transfers.

First Cal recruit of 2008

Posted by Alex | May 8, 2008 at 12:12 pm | In Recruiting | 4 Comments

Quarterback Allan Bridgford out of Mission Viejo, CA has committed to Cal. He is the first recruit of the new football year. Bridgford is listed as 6′3″ 215 lbs, and is also a good student with a 3.5 GPA. Scout.com lists Bridgford as a 3-star recruit, while Rivals.com lists Bridgford as a 4-star recruit.

This is a good start for Cal, and more importantly, Bridgford already seems committed to helping the team. He reportedly will help call other recruits to convince them to join him at Cal. As Bridgford is a highly rated quarterback, many players will probably want to join with him to form a great class. Bridgford also adds to line of Cal quarterbacks that were highly recruited including Nate Longshore, Kevin Riley, компютриand Brock Mansion.

NFL Draft wrap-up

Posted by Eric | April 27, 2008 at 11:03 pm | In Players/Alumni | 3 Comments

This weekend, the Bears had six players taken in the NFL draft. Here is a tabulated summary of the action:

    WR DeSean Jackson Round 2 18th pick (49th overall) Philadelphia Eagles
    TE Craig Stevens Round 3 22nd pick (85th overall) Tennessee Titans
    S Thomas DeCoud Round 3 35th pick (98th overall) Atlanta Falcons
    WR Lavelle Hawkins Round 4 27th pick (126th overall) Tennessee Titans
    OG Mike Gibson Round 6 18th pick (184th overall) Philadelphia Eagles
    RB Justin Forsett Round 7 26th pick (233th overall) Seattle Seahawks
    WR Robert Jordan Undrafted Signed Free-Agent San Francisco 49ers

With respect to the number of players taken in the draft by school, Cal was exceeded by only USC (10), Virginia Tech (8), and LSU (7) — all teams who were in the BCS this past post-season. Arkansas and Michigan also had six players drafted. Overall, a great showing in the draft — it will be great to see more Bears representing Cal in the NFL.

Regarding free agent signings: WR Robert Jordan was picked up immediately after the draft by the local 49ers. OL Brian De La Puente was signed by the 49ers as well.

CONFIRMED 5/1: K Tom Schneider, who completed his degree, will play one more season at Division II North Alabama to prove himself to the NFL.

Media Links

Stevens, DeCoud picked in 3rd round

Posted by Eric | April 27, 2008 at 9:19 am | In Players/Alumni | 2 Comments

TE Craig Stevens was selected by the Tennessee Titans with the 22nd pick of the 3rd round (85th). Later in the round, S Thomas DeCoud was selected 35th (98th overall) by the Atlanta Falcons.

Congratulations to these two seniors, as they were picked at the higher end of draft predictions.

EDIT: WR Lavelle Hawkins will join Stevens at Tennessee — he was selected in the 4th round (126th overall) by the Titans, the first receiver among the Titans’ picks.

EDIT: RB Justin Forsett has been picked in the 7th round (233rd overall) by the Seattle Seahawks.

DeSean Jackson drafted by the Eagles at #49

Posted by Steve | April 26, 2008 at 5:19 pm | In DeSean | 3 Comments

DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia

DeSean Jackson has been drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles as the 18th pick of the second round, pick number 49 overall and the 7th wide receiver to be drafted. In a rather strange draft, no wide receivers were selected in the first round, which seemed to be dominated by defensive players and linemen.

EDIT: The Eagles have also selected OT Mike Gibson in the 6th round (184th overall).

In Alumni news, the Green Bay Packers selected with the 56th pick of the draft QB Brian Brohm from Louisville, so Aaron Rodgers will have some competition for the starting QB job.

EDIT: The Packers also selected QB Matt Flynn (LSU) in the 7th round, so Rodgers will certainly be pushed to succeed with the addition of these rookies.

NFL draft today: projections

Posted by Eric | April 26, 2008 at 10:26 am | In Players/Alumni | No Comments

Today at noon, the NFL draft begins. Cal has an unprecedented number (7) of potential draftees: S Thomas DeCoud, RB Justin Forsett, OL Mike Gibson, WR Lavelle Hawkins, WR DeSean Jackson, WR Robert Jordan and TE Craig Stevens.

OL Brian De La Puente and P Andrew Larson have a good chance in free agency as well.

My projections:

1st round: Jackson
2nd-3rd round: Hawkins
3rd-5th round: DeCoud, Stevens
6th-7th round: Gibson, Forsett
7th round/FA: Jordan, Larson, De La Puente

Good luck to our guys — updates will come as the draft goes on. Meanwhile, here’s a draft video from the NFL about Jackson.

DeSean Jackson article

Posted by Alex | April 16, 2008 at 6:26 pm | In DeSean, Players/Alumni | 4 Comments

NFL.com recently published this article by Thomas George about DeSean Jackson. It brought up some interesting points about Jackson’s draft stock. Seemingly, concerns with Jackson’s character are dropping his stock a bit into the late first round. George says this about Jackson:

The good:

Explosive. Electrifying. Dual threat as a receiver and kick returner. Excellent hands. Projected that he could reach Carolina receiver Steve Smith-type output in style and production. A junior entry into the draft with compelling upside.

The bad:

A me-guy. Selfish. Not a good teammate. Not a coachable player. Too many questionable influences hanging around him and a hard time letting them go.

Also, he quotes a 25-year scout who gives an incredible compliment to Jackson, along with a bit of a caveat:

“This young man has all of the ability in the world. He can be as good as he wants to be. But is he going to do the things necessary to get there? I had a scout tell me to watch him in workouts with the receivers and see if he is not the last one in the line for drills. So, I looked. He was the last one in line for drills. But there are issues and there are issues. He’s not evil. He’s not robbing banks. If you draft this guy, you’d better have him on a short leash from the get-go. He seems to have always done just enough to beat those around him relying on the fact he was better than them. Well, at the next level, they are as good and better than him. His size is a concern. He goes no later than the second round. He could get in the bottom of the first round.”

There have constantly been reports of Jackson being a “me-first” guy, but it is difficult to tell if these are true. Jackson’s teammates have always been complimentary of him. Hopefully, Jackson himself can be trusted, and he ends up being a superstar in the NFL.

Spring open practice report

Posted by Eric | April 13, 2008 at 4:06 pm | In Defense, Offense, Players/Alumni, Quarterback, Special Teams | 2 Comments

Yesterday, Cal fans turned out a sizeable crowd for the Bears’ open practice/scrimmage. Here is a report, courtesy of GFang:

Quarterback

[Kevin] Riley- did not get to show off his arm too much . . . but when he threw, was very crisp and accurate with zip. He would’ve been perfect if Calvin didn’t drop 2 of his passes (that may be Calvin’s weakness). He had great protection, but he did run for 6 yards when under pressure once. Riley’s best pass was a 20 yard TD strike to Calvin deep in the endzone towards the end of practice. That got the biggest pop from the crowd today. Basically, he looked very accurate and was not afraid to thread the needle.

[Brock] Mansion- struggled, even in warm-ups. Misthrew about half of his passes. Does not have the mechanics that Riley does. I think he needs another year to work out the kinks.

Running Back

[Tracy] Slocum got into endzone twice, including a 15 yarder down the right sideline. He is workmanlike. In general he picked up at least 4-5 yards per carry against the 1st team defense. [Covaughn DeBoskie] is slender but tough. Runs very fluidly. He did fumble once after a nice gain, which was recovered by CB [Syd'Quan Thompson].

Defense

DE [Ernest] Owusu- played 2nd team; registered 3 sacks, including 2 in a row on QB Cory Smits. He will contribute this season!

LB [Zach] Follett, LB Charles Johnson, and DL [Jon] Karacozoff got their names called often, also.

Special Teams

[Thompson] is a natural at returning punts. WR Nyan Boateng also returned punts; his chances to return were limited. I’d definitely pick Squid to return punts, even if he’s our no. 1 CB.

P [Bryan] Anger is the real deal. Got big pops from the crowd. Thunderous leg! The 2nd chance he got, he launched it 10 yards over [Thompson]’s head and the offense recovered it. The 3rd time he punted, the returner stood way back lol. Anger will be able to consistently kick 50-55 yard punts with great hangtime. Right now he’s at about 70% consistency. I predict he starts for the next 4 years.

Feel free to chime in with any additional observations or thoughts about the scrimmage.

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