April 27, 2009
BERKELEY - Three former Cal football players signed undrafted NFL rookie free agent contracts as the inking of DE Rulon Davis (Denver Broncos), LB Anthony Felder (San Diego Chargers) and FB Will Ta'ufo'ou (Chicago Bears) were announced by their respective teams on Monday.
Davis impressed the Broncos enough to sign a rookie free agent deal despite missing 18 of 39 possible games (10 starts) over his three seasons at Cal due to injuries. He finished his collegiate career with 40 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks to go with three forced fumbles, three pass break-ups and a blocked kick. He had his best year as a senior when he earned the team's Bob Tessier Award given to Cal's most improved defensive lineman. Davis was healthy enough in his final collegiate season in 2008 to record several career-highs, including games played (9), starts (7), tackles (20), tackles for loss (5.5) and sacks (4.0).
Felder capped off a tremendous four-year career at Cal in 2008 by leading the team with 93 stops and ranking eighth in the Pac-10 with his average of 7.2 tackles per game. He also recorded 5.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks, while forcing a fumble and picking off a pass as a senior to earn honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors and the team's Ken Cotton Award for the most courageous player on defense. Felder's biggest season came in 2007 when he made a career-high 101 tackles (No. 12 Pac-10, 7.8 per game) to go with 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception. He was also named a first-team freshman All-American by Rivals.com in 2005 when he made 39 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and 1.0 sack. Felder's four-year totals at Cal included 251 tackles to rank ninth on the school's all-time list, as well as 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, two interceptions and four pass break-ups over 51 games played and 31 starts.
Ta'ufo'ou helped pave the way for some of the best rushers in Cal history during his four seasons as a fullback for the Bears as he helped running backs Jahvid Best (1,580 yards in 2008), Justin Forsett (1,546 yards in 2007) and Marshawn Lynch (1,356 yards in 2006) record the second, third and fifth highest all-time single-season rushing totals for the Bears. He played in 48 games with 14 starts and added 15 rushes of his own for 83 yards, while catching 13 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. In the classroom, he was an honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic choice in both his junior and senior seasons. He also won the team's Joe Roth Award as a senior.
Stay tuned to calbears.com over the upcoming days to learn of any more former Cal players signing undrafted NFL rookie free agent contracts.