Aug. 9, 2007
Berkeley - College Football News revealed on Thursday its annual unit-by-unit rankings, and it graded California's special teams group as the best in the nation. The Golden Bears, according to CFN, also received top 10 rankings with their receiving corps (No. 6), offense (No. 6) and offensive line (No. 9).
Cal also had another 30-period session in shells in Memorial Stadium on Thursday, mixing in 7-on-7 and11-on-11 drills. The running back corps looked sharp on the afternoon, as Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best and James Montgomery all found nice holes to run through for good yardage. Another freshman, Shane Vereen, also had a few nice cutbacks on his long run in the 11-on-11s.
Defensively, John Allen and Cameron Jordan recorded back-to-back sacks in the 11-on-11 tutorials. Other defensive highlights included a Syd'Quan Thompson interception, and a Darian Hagan forced fumble (Shea McIntyre recovery).
Quarterback Nate Longshore and his receiving corps also looked precise, as he hooked up with Robert Jordan for sizeable gains on a few occasions. Jeremy Ross and Drew Glover also made several nice catches in several of the drills as well.
Cal continues practice tomorrow in pads for the first time. As a reminder, all California football practices are CLOSED to the public.
Jordan also received high praise from Rivals.com in their top-positional rankings. The 5-11 senior wide out was rated as the No. 1 slot receiver in the country. "Jordan has caught at least one pass in each of the last 30 games he has played, which ranks as the fourth-longest streak in the nation," said Rivals.com writer Steve Megargee. "He earned honorable mention all-Pac-10 honors last year after catching 46 passes for 579 yards and four touchdowns. Jordan has started 26 games and has collected 109 receptions over the last three years. He teams up with Biletnikoff Award candidate Jackson and Hawkins to give California arguably the nation's top receiving corps."
"With DeSean Jackson electrifying on punt returns, and Andrew Larson and Tom Schneider handling the kicking game, the Cal special teams unit will have few peers in the country in 2007," read the CFN clip. "The Bears return all of the key pieces of a top-tier special teams unit, needing only to decide on a kick returner between seniors Justin Forsett and Lavelle Hawkins, and redshirt freshman Montgomery. Cal, on the other hand, is set at punt returner with Jackson, a human dynamo that took four back for scores to set a Pac-10 single-season record."
Jackson was also rated as the No. 1 wide receiver in the country according to Heismanpundit.com. "There's only one receiver out there who can win the Heisman this year and this guy is it," said the site. "He's lightning in the open field and the most exciting player in college football."
California opens the 2007 season on Saturday, Sept. 1, hosting Tennessee at Memorial Stadium in a 5 p.m. contest. Season tickets are currently available by visiting www.CalBears.com or by calling 1-800-GO-BEARS.