Apr. 21, 2011
(SANTA CLARA) - Former Cal tailback Shane Vereen must have got the attention of current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh over the last three seasons when he rushed for 312 career yards in three games against teams Harbaugh coached at Stanford, including the Big Game in 2009 when he led the Golden Bears to a 34-28 victory with 193 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.
If for some reason those three performances didn't do the trick, his performance Wednesday at the 49ers Local Pro Day at the NFL team's headquarters in Santa Clara did.
Harbaugh had plenty to say about Vereen after watching his one-on-one matchup with former Nebraska tailback Roy Helu Jr., a local product from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, during a competitive circuit drill that pitted players against each other.
"I absolutely loved it," he told 49ers.com with a big smile. "Both Shane and Roy, those guys are highly thought of running backs. For them to come out here and compete ... that got me fired up. I was really impressed with that. Both those guys were very even in the drills they were doing. I think we're going to have to go to the tape to see who won."
Vereen also had good things to say about Harbaugh and his staff.
"You could tell they have a lot of passion for the game and enjoy being out here," Vereen said. "It added to the excitement."
The 49ers Pro Day is one of the tools the local NFL team uses in preparation for the NFL Draft, which will take place Thursday-Saturday, Apr. 28-30, 2011, from Radio City Music Hall in New York City.
Cal has made a strong showing in the NFL Draft over the years with 25 former Bears being selected in the first round, including the only two first-round picks from the Pac-10 in 2010 with the selections of defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (10th overall, Jacksonville Jaguars) and running back Jahvid Best (30th overall, Detroit Lions). The Bears have had six first-round picks and 32 overall selections since Jeff Tedford became the Cal's head coach in 2002.
After playing the last 88 seasons and every home game at Memorial Stadium since the facility opened for the 1923 Big Game, Cal will host its home games outside of Berkeley for the first time in 2011 while Memorial Stadium undergoes an extensive renovation and retrofit.
Cal begins its 2011 season against Fresno State on Saturday, Sept. 3 in a neutral-site game at Candlestick Park that is not part of the season-ticket package. Single-game tickets for the contest are available now at CalBears.com or by calling the Cal Athletic Ticket Office at (800) GO BEARS.
Visit CalFootballSF.com for more information on 2011 Cal football at AT&T Park. For updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium as well as the Memorial Stadium webcam, visit stadium.berkeley.edu.
2011 REGULAR-SEASON CAL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Day, Date - Opponent (Time, TV)
^Sat., Sept. 3 - Fresno State (TBA)
Sat., Sept. 10 - at Colorado (TBA)
Sat., Sept. 17 - Presbyterian (TBA)
*Sat., Sept. 24 - at Washington (TBA)
*Thu., Oct. 6 - at Oregon (6 p.m. PT, ESPN)
*#Thu., Oct. 13 - USC (6 p.m. PT, ESPN)
*Sat., Oct. 22 - Utah (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 29 - at UCLA (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 5 - Washington State (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 12 - Oregon State (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 19 - at Stanford (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 26 - at Arizona State (TBA)
!Sat., Dec. 3 - Pac-12 Championship Game (FSN)
Home Games in Bold at AT&T Park, San Francisco, Calif.; ^Neutral-Site Game at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.; *Pac-12 Game;!Pac-12 Championship at Home Site of Regular-Season Champion; #Homecoming