Nov. 8, 2006
[This story originally appeared in the November 4 issue of "Kickoff," the official California game day program]
A three-year starter at cornerback, California senior Tim Mixon suffered a knee injury in preseason camp and has missed the entire season. Despite the injury, Mixon remains a key part of the team, helping the defensive backs by sharing his own experiences and supporting the team every day on the field.
What has your overall college experience been like?
It has been great. I came here as a youngster and now that I am older and mature I've learned a lot of knowledge that I didn't learn in high school. Things like how to be independent and stuff like that. College definitely teaches you how to be independent.
How has it been balancing class work and football during your four years?
It's been kind of tough. You just have to get used to managing your time. It's different from high school. In high school you just go home and don't have to worry about anything. Everything is right in front of you. Here at Cal I've learned to utilize my resources and once you do that everything will be fine.
How difficult has it been to watch the team this season knowing you can't play?
It has been very difficult, especially with the injury. I am still taking classes and still rehabbing at the same time. It's hard to watch the team practice and not be out there because I am so used to being out there. It is difficult.
What kind of knee rehab have you been doing?
I rehab five days a week. I usually work out using my own body weight now, doing resistance things.
What is your major at Cal?
My major is interdisciplinary studies. It is where you choose a field, for example my field is business. You take several classes that relate to business such as a psychology class. It can be in a different field as long as it relates to business. So you pick a focus and take classes towards that focus.
What do you intend to use your major for when you leave Cal?
My dad is trying to open his own business, he does mechanical engineering, and maybe I can use the skills that I've learned here and go there and translate them to his business.
What have you told the younger players who are filling your shoes this season?
I try to tell Syd [Syd'Quan Thompson] when you are playing just stay focus, don't really worry about the crowd or making mistakes. Playing corner you have to have a short memory because you play an average 60 downs a game and you don't catch a ball. So you have to have a short memory. As far as DeSean [Jackson] and punt returns goes, I tell him to focus on catching the ball and don't worry about the defenders running down the field.
What has been your best football memory here at Cal?
During the 2004 season when we played Arizona State. I ran back an interception return for 56 yards and a touchdown. That was my best moment because I scored and shook the quarterback [ASU's Andrew Walter] and almost broke his knees.
Who has been your biggest support this season?
I would have to say [graduate assistant coach and former player] Tosh Lupoi. He went through a similar situation like mine, as far as injuries. He got hurt his last year here too. He's been telling me to keep my head up.
With the team's success this season, what do you think you've contributed from the sideline?
Just knowing that I don't play, I can be just as beneficial to the team as playing. Because knowledge is something that you just don't have; you have to share it with through the other players. One thing I've learned is even if I don't play; I can participate with the team and be a part of the team.