Feb. 17, 2009
BERKELEY - California tailback Jahvid Best was picked as the nation's most explosive player according to Rivals.com 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.