Monday, February 23, 2009


High School: A four-year varsity starter who twice earned team MVP honors ... the No. 89-rated running back in the country ... also a two-time all-league selection and an all-county honoree as a senior ... rushed 230 times for 1,225 yards as a senior after a 988-yard season in 2006 ... tallied 16 touchdowns in 2007 and 10 in 2006 ... caught 32 passes for 287 yards in his final two seasons ... also served as his tea's punter, averaging 33.7 yards per punt as a senior.

Schlabach: Revised way-too-early 2009 Top 25

By Mark Archive
Signing day has come and gone, and underclassmen have officially decided whether they're staying in school or going into the NFL draft.
There's no better time to update the way-too-early preseason Top 25 for 2009, which figures to be revised at least a half dozen additional times before the games begin in September.

20. California Bears
The Bears overcame inconsistent quarterback play to finish 9-4 in 2008. Even though senior Nate Longshore is moving on, Kevin Riley won't automatically inherit the QB job. Coach Jeff Tedford will give current redshirt freshman Brock Mansion an opportunity to win the job. The Bears will rely heavily on running back Jahvid Best, and must replace center Alex Mack and guard Noris Malele. The linebacker corps will be gutted, with outside linebacker Zack Follett and both inside linebackers moving on.


California Gould rush: Santa Rita grad guides Cal run game
Tucson native has helped produce 1,000-yard rusher for six straight years
Published: 10.17.2008

To this day, Salpointe Catholic High School football coach Dennis Bene can't listen to Prince without a painful flashback to the day he met future University of California running backs coach and Tucson native Ron Gould.
Then a freshman quarterback at Scottsdale Community College, Bene's first day on campus in 1984 involved meeting with Gould, an intense defensive back who graduated from Santa Rita High School (1983) and went on to star at the junior college level and at the University of Oregon. "My first day there, him and three other defensive backs throw me in the back seat of his Buick and he turns on the radio so loud - Prince, 'When Doves Cry,' " recalls Bene. "Here I am this little freshman quarterback and I was so intimidated by these guys. They took me to work out for two hours, and one full hour was an abdominal workout that I still hurt from thinking about it.
"I couldn't walk for three days. That was his way of welcoming me on the team."
While the music selection may have changed, Gould's intensity hasn't as his team gets set to play at Arizona at 7 p.m. Saturday. Included in the 43-year-old's daily routine, usually while the football team is going through warmups, Gould can be seen on the sidelines doing his "old man workout," which includes at least 100 pushups.
"It's funny. A player was asked in a newspaper article here (in California) earlier this year to describe me," Gould said. "He said I was a perfectionist. So, yeah, I coach with the same type of passion and intensity I had as a player back then."
That same passion and intensity, mixed with an ability to earn people's trust and respect, led Bene and Gould to become best friends - Bene was in Gould's wedding and the two visit several times a year. And it led Gould to become one of the nation's premier collegiate position coaches over the past 18 years, including the last 12 with Cal.
On Gould's watch as running backs coach, the Bears have had a 1,000-yard rusher in each of the past six seasons - Joe Igber (2002), Adimchinobe Echemandu (2003), J.J. Arrington (2004), Marshawn Lynch (2005-06) and Justin Forsett (2007). Six running backs, including three fullbacks, in the past four years have gone on to play in the NFL, including four from the 2006 team. "Obviously I'd like to see that continue, but that is such a small part of what we're doing," Gould said. "The bottom line is winning games and there is no substitute for that."
Heading into Saturday, Cal's leading rusher, Jahvid Best, is again on pace to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark this season despite dislocating his elbow Sept. 27 against Colorado State. Best, in four games, has 421 rushing yards (105.25 per game).
"I think that string of success is the product of three things," Gould said. "First, we've been able to stay healthy. Second, we've been very fortunate and blessed to have had some good players. But third, and maybe the most important, they believe in what I'm teaching. If the kids don't believe in what you're teaching or what you're doing, it will never work."
Gould's ability to convince those around him to buy into him led to his being named multiple times by as one of the game's top-rated recruiters.
His local ties have helped him find success in recruiting Arizona high school prospects. And while he is prohibited by the NCAA from talking about specific recruiting targets, Palo Verde High School's Adam Hall, one of Tucson's most heavily-recruited football players ever, said he has built a good relationship with Gould. Cal is just one of many top-level programs targeting Hall.
Gould, who is married and has two sons, returns a few times a year to Tucson to visit family members. His father and siblings live in the area. In addition to family, he makes it a point to visit his old college roommate from Scottsdale Community College. "Every time I get back to Tucson, I make sure to see Dennis," Gould said. "We bounce things off one another about life and football both." Had it not been for Gould, Bene may never have gotten into coaching.
"When he was a veterinarian and we would talk on the phone, he never wanted to talk about his work," Gould said of Bene. "All he wanted to talk about was football, football, football. So I told him, 'Before you get too old, you have to get back into the game.' "
Gould read to Bene from a framed poster in his office:
"Passion - there are many things in life that catch your eye, there are few that catch your heart. Pursue those."
Bene took the advice and pursued a coaching job at his alma mater, Salpointe - a Class 5A Division I championship contender this year.
"He's always been a mentor," said Bene, who now has a copy of the 'passion' poster. "Even at a young age, when he was a kid himself, he was a mentor. I can't tell you how fortunate I am to have gotten close to Ronnie." Gould, who served assistant coaching stints at Oregon (1990-91), Portland State (1992) and Boise State (1993-96) before going to Cal, said he has head coaching aspirations, but it isn't anything he's pushing.
"I've never gone out and actively pursued anything like that," Gould said. "If I'm doing the things that I'm supposed to do - good family man, the kids I'm coaching are graduating and performing on the field - then the rest will take care of itself. "If the product on the field warrants me being a head coach one day, then so be it. My product should speak for itself."
additional information
California Gould Rush
California, under the guidance of running backs coach and Tucson native Ron Gould, has had a running back rush for more than 1,000 yards in each of the past six seasons:
Justin Forsett (2007): Ran for 1,546 yards. First-team All-Pac-10. Drafted by Seattle Seahawks
Marshawn Lynch (2005-06): Ran for 1,246 (2005) and 1,356 ('06). Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2006. Drafted by Buffalo Bills
J.J. Arrington (2004): Ran for 2,018 yards in 12 games. Drafted by Arizona Cardinals.
Adimchinobe Echemandu (2003): Ran for 1,195. First-team All-Pac-10. Drafted by Cleveland Browns
Joe Igber (2002): Ran for 1,130; No. 3 on Cal's all-time rushing list with 3,124.
Note: Cal's current top rusher, Jahvid Best, has 421 yards in four games for a 105.3 average.
The Daily Californian Online
Bear Naked: Leader of the Backfield
By Andrew Kim
Daily Cal Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 1, 2008

It's true that the players play the game. So when tailback Jahvid Best left in the third quarter of Cal's 42-7 win over Colorado State, understandably a lot of folks were muttering words unprintable for a column that's as family friendly as mine. But as big a hand as Best may have in dictating the successes of this football team, the truth is that he may not be the most critical individual related to the ground game. That honor belongs to running backs coach Ron Gould, who -- I apologize if this comes across as blasphemous to anyone -- is to tailbacks what Jeff Tedford is to quarterbacks. Gould is the type of coach someone can trust, whether you're a blue-chip prospect or a mere fan, that he'll get the most out recruits regardless of constellation (not that you'd ever want to talk to him about the rating systems of sites like don't seem to appreciate those at all). Marshawn Lynch of four-star fame was twice a 1,200-yard runner. Justin Forsett of humble two-star origins bested Lynch with a 1,546-yard total in 2007. A three-star JuCo transfer, J.J. Arrington set the gold standard in 2004 with 2,018. The point is, losing Best is a critical blow, especially the week before facing the Pac-10's has-been No. 2 in Arizona State. While the Sun Devils aren't what they were supposed be, they're still a silhouette of a good-to-decent team. However, as long as Gould is out there on the sidelines, harping on his players whether they've just completed a career-long run or fumbled just six yards away from the end zone, the Bears' running game should be at least solid.
Cal may lose some broken-play intangibles with Best sitting out, but Shane Vereen's no gimp. Tracy Slocum also presents a solid option in the backfield with good-but-not-great speed. And laugh all you want, but Peter Geurts is one tough runner. If all hell breaks loose, freshman Covaughn DeBoskie will break his redshirt, too, and he's what you call a complete package in terms of physical attributes at 5-foot-11 and 210 pounds. In general, coaches will publicly state that their unseen reserves are just as capable in wake of an injury. But Gould isn't the type to bluff. Rather, Gould is the type of coach that does push-ups -- and a lot, for that matter -- while the team warms down after every evening practice. As mentioned, Gould is the type of coach to get on a player's case whether he was good at that instant. Most importantly, Gould is the type of coach that won't ever let his reserves take a day off in practice, injured Best or not. As soft spoken as he is, does anyone really think Vereen's about to shy away from the limelight? As sparsely as he plays, does anyone think Slocum will be nervous about pleasing a friendly home crowd, or any more so than he's been while trying to please his hard-nosed coach every single day in drills? Please. If anything, I'd be worried about the patched up O-line. I'd be worried about finding a steady option at that third corner spot. I'd be worried about whether Cal can continue to improve at safety playing against Rudy Carpenter.
I'd be worried about whether the Bears can replace Rulon Davis's intensity (which they can't) or at least his invaluable contributions to the run defense. I'd be worried about whether Tedford's actually going to bench Riley
. Among many other things, I'd be worried whether Cal can keep its kickoffs in-bounds. Before he arrived at the weekly media luncheon today, sophomore Cameron Jordan said he ran into Davis, who asked him whether he was ready. Nothing against Jordan or defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, who certainly deserves his own column as well, but I couldn't imagine asking Vereen the same question (although I probably will have to at some point during the week). Though I've already asked Gould. "The biggest thing is, I don't want the kid to feel like he has pressure on his shoulders," Gould said. "It's not about one guy, and that's something I try to instill on all the backs. "It's not one guy that's going to carry the load. We're going to do it collectively."
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Jahvid Best Selected as the Nation's Most Explosive Player
Feb. 17, 2009
BERKELEY - California tailback Jahvid Best was picked as the nation's most explosive player according to this week.
Senior football writer Olin Buchanan wrote of Best, "One of the fastest guys in college football, Best had 10 touchdown runs that covered at least 20 yards; on those 10 runs alone, Best rushed for 583 yards. He had six touchdowns on runs of at least 60 yards. Best also had six runs in excess of 30 yards in which he didn't score. In his first season as a starter, he rushed for 1,580 yards on 194 carries - 8.1 yards per carry. By the way, he had a 54-yard kickoff return, too."
In 2008, Best led in the Pac-10 in rushing and ranked third in the country averaging 131.7 ypg. He rushed for 1,580 yards last season - the second-highest rushing performance in a season in school history (moving past Justin Forsett's 1546 yards in 2007). He ended the season rushing for 698 yards in the last three games. Best set a new Cal record with an average of 8.1 yards per rush in a single season (previous best was 7.3 yards per rush by Jackie Jensen in 1948). Best's 8.1 yards per carry in his career is the best career mark in school history. He was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection and a three-time Pac-10 Player of the Week honoree. His 8.1 yards per carry was the best of any player in the FBS with at least125 rushes last season. With two rushing touchdowns against Miami in the Emerald Bowl win, Best tied the school record with 15 rushing TDs in a season -- also held by JJ Arrington (2004) and Justin Forsett (2007). In all, Best rushed for 100+ yards in a game eight times and was the only Cal running back to ever rush for 200+ yards on three separate occasions.
Best capped off the 2008 regular season with a school-record 311 yards on 19 carries vs. Washington - the fourth-highest total in Pac-10 history and the fourth-best performance in the nation last fall, while scoring four TDs in the process, including sprints of 60 and 84 yards.

He will likely miss spring football practice following postseason surgery to his left foot and left elbow

Jahvid Best Undergoes Surgery on Foot, Elbow
Tailback Expected to Fully Recover Well Before Training Came Begins in August

Feb. 6, 2009
BERKELEY - California sophomore tailback Jahvid Best will likely miss spring football practice following postseason surgery to his left foot and left elbow.
The foot surgery was performed Jan. 23 to relieve irritation of an extra bone on the right side of his foot caused when Best bruised the foot midway through the 2008 season. The elbow surgery took place Jan. 15 to tighten a ligament that was injured when Best dislocated the elbow vs. Colorado State Sept. 27.
The goal is for Best to start running in late March or early April to give him four months to prepare for the 2009 campaign. Cal's medical staff expects him to be fully recovered well before the start of training camp in early August.
Despite the two injuries, Best missed only one game - vs. Arizona State Oct. 4 - which was due to the elbow dislocation. Overall, Best rushed for 1,580 yards last fall - the second-highest total in school history - and he set a Cal mark by averaging 8.1 yards per carry. His average of 131.7 ypg ranked third in the nation and first in the Pac-10.
A first-team All-Pac-10 selection, Best was also chosen offensive MVP of the Emerald Bowl when he ran for 186 yards and two touchdowns. Over his final three games vs. Stanford, Washington and Miami - all victories - he totaled 698 yards on just 58 carries.
Six Former Bears to participate at the NFL Scouting Combine later this Month
The NFL Combine can be seen on the NFL Network
Feb. 2, 2009
BERKELEY - Six former California football players - Rulon Davis, Anthony Felder, Zack Follett, Alex Mack, Cameron Morrah and Worrell Williams - have all been invited to participate in the 2009 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium Feb. 18-24 in Indianapolis.
The combine, which features more than 300 of the best college players from around the nation, will have executives, coaching staffs, player personnel departments and medical personnel present from all 32 NFL teams to evaluate players eligible for the upcoming NFL Draft in April.
"This is very exciting for me," said Williams. "I'm a little nervous, but I think that's normal. I'm extremely excited for the opportunity to showcase my talent and skill. I am also going to be cheering for my other teammates who will be there as well. The combine can't come soon enough, but in the meantime I will continue to work on my speed and strength and getting my body in shape to perform in from of all 32 NFL teams."
Davis started seven of the nine games he played last season for the Bears. He registered 5.5 tackles for loss for minus 33 yards, including four sacks. He was given the team's Bob Tessier Award as Cal's most improved defensive lineman. He had a season-best six stops at Maryland, including a sack and a forced fumble. Davis blocked a field goal attempt at Washington State that

Follett returned 68 yards for a touchdown, as well.
Felder was Cal's leading tackler in 2008 with 93 stops; ranking eighth in the Pac-10 with 7.2 tackles per game. He was given the Ken Cotten Award as the team's most courageous player on defense. He reached double figures in tackles three times, with a high of 13 vs. Stanford. He also had 12 stops vs. Michigan State and 10 at USC (8 unassisted).
Overall, Felder registered at least six tackles in 9 of 12 games and had his lone interception at Arizona. He was voted honorable mention All-Pac-10 and assisted on four tackles against Miami in the Emerald Bowl.

As one of the hardest hitters in the Pac-10, Follett was chosen MVP of the Emerald Bowl after finishing with nine tackles (eight solo) vs. Miami with four tackles for loss (minus 33 yards) and two sacks (minus 27 yards). He forced a fumble on his last sack, which set up the Bears' game winning touchdown.
Follett led the league in tackles for loss with 23.0 and was fourth in the conference with 10.5 quarterback sacks in 2008. He also topped the Pac-10 with five forced fumbles and tied for 12th in total tackles (6.7 per game). He ranked third nationally in tackles for loss and tied for 17th in sacks to earn first-team All-Pac-10 honors. Follett was voted Pac-10 Player of the Week following his 11-tackle performance vs. Oregon, when he finished with eight solo stops, 3.0 tackles for loss and a quarterback sack.
Regarded as one of the best centers in the country, Mack was the recipient of the Draddy Trophy as college football's top scholar-athlete in 2008, an award that includes a $25,000 postgraduate scholarship. He was also named the Pac-10 Scholar-Athlete of the Year for football. Mack was selected a first-team All-American by and was also chosen a second-team All-American by Walter Camp and the Sporting News and a third-team All-American by the Associated Press. He won the Morris Trophy as the best offensive lineman in the Pac-10 (as voted by league's defensive linemen) for the second year in a row, just the third player to receive the award twice.
An early entry to the draft, Morrah became one of Cal's most reliable targets in 2008. His eight TD catches were the most ever for a Bear tight end in one season. He had a breakout game against Michigan State, hauling in five catches for 93 yards and a TD, including a 50-yard completion down the sidelines from Nate Longshore. Morrah equaled his career-high in catches with five for 49 yards and a touchdown at Maryland and had 60 yards on three catches, including a back-of-the-end zone grab, at Arizona. A senior stalwart at linebacker (36 career starts), Williams was named Cal's Most Improved Player for the 2008 season. He returned an interception 50 yards to the Oregon 3-yard-line just before halftime to set up a Cal touchdown vs. the Ducks and finished the game with a season-high eight tackles. His 246 career tackles rank 11th on Cal's all-time list. The Sacramento native received honorable mention All-Pac-10 notice.
At last year's combine, former Cal wide receiver and current member of the Philadelphia Eagles DeSean Jackson clocked the fastest 40-yard dash time of any wideout at 4.35 seconds. Also former tight end and current member of the Tennessee Titans Craig Stevens recorded the most reps (27) for a tight end on the bench press.
The NFL Combine can be seen on the NFL Network. Fans can also get all of the information with video feed, player interviews and exclusive news via the Internet at
Marshall will coach Cal's O-line

By Ted Archive
California has hired former Cleveland Browns assistant Steve Marshall to coach its offensive line.
Marshall, who's also coached the offensive line at Virginia Tech, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Colorado and Alabama, will replace Jim Michalczik, who was hired by new Washington coach Steve Sarkisian to be the Huskies offensive coordinator.
Marshall has coached in the NFL the six seasons, first with the Houston Texans and then the past two seasons with the Browns.
In 2007, his offensive line tied for third fewest sacks (19) allowed in the NFL. Marshall also worked with then-rookie tackle Joe Thomas, and he became only the fourth NFL rookie to earn Pro Bowl honors.

Steve Marshall Named Offensive Line Coach at Cal
By Cal Media Relations Posted Jan 28, 2009

Copyright © 2009

Steve Marshall, an offensive line coach at either the college or NFL level since 1979 who spent the past two seasons with the Cleveland Browns, has been named offensive line coach at the University of California, Golden Bear head coach Jeff Tedford announced Wednesday.
"Steve really understands the fundamentals and techniques of superior offensive line play," Tedford said. "He brings experience and expertise to the position, and he has coached a lot of quality offensive linemen. It is great to have him on board and we are fired up about the future of our offensive line. I think he's going to fit in very well with our program."
Marshall, 52, has coached in the NFL for six years, two with the Browns and four seasons with the Houston Texans. Among the colleges he has worked for are Virginia Tech, Tennessee, UCLA, Texas A&M, North Carolina and Colorado.
While with the Browns, Marshall's work helped clear the way for Jamal Lewis to rush for more than 1,000 yards this past year. In 2007, Cleveland's line tied for third in the NFL for third fewest sacks allowed (19).
Prior to joining the Browns, Marshall worked as an assistant offensive line coach with the Houston Texans from 2002-03 before being named the Texans' offensive line coach from 2004-05. He spent the 2006 season out of coaching.
As offensive line coach at Colorado during the 2000-01 campaigns, Marshall helped the Buffaloes capture a Big 12 championship and a spot in the Fiesta Bowl. He moved to Colorado after a two-year stint at North Carolina, where he served as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. The Tar Heels earned an appearance in the Las Vegas Bowl in 1998.
As offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Texas A&M in 1997, Marshall was part of a 9-4 Aggie squad the ended the year with a No. 20 Associated Press ranking, claimed a spot in the Big 12 championship game and played in the Cotton Bowl.
A native of Vernon, Conn., Marshall began his coaching career as offensive line coach at Plymouth State in New Hampshire in 1979. He then served as an assistant offensive line coach at Tennessee from 1980-81 before overseeing the offensive line and kicking game at Marshall from 1982-83.
Marshall coached the offensive line and tight tends at Louisville in 1984, then worked as offensive coordinator and offensive line coach at Murray State from 1985-86. He served as offensive line coach at Virginia Tech for one season in 1987 before being promoted to offensive coordinator, a position he held through 1992.
Marshall returned to Tennessee in 1993, first has offensive line coach in '93, then adding the title of running game coordinator for the 1994-95 campaign. The Volunteers led the SEC in rushing all three seasons and beat Ohio State in the Citrus Bowl following the 1995 season to earn a No. 2 ranking in the final coaches' poll. Marshall made his first foray into the Pac-10 as offensive line coach at UCLA in 1996 before going to Texas A&M.
Marshall replaces Jim Michalczik, who is the new offensive coordinator at Washington.