Sept. 8, 2009
BERKELEY - California junior running back Jahvid Best has moved up one spot to rank third in the first 2009 regular season HeismanPundit.com Heisman Poll released on Tuesday. Quarterback Tim Tebow of Florida maintained a slight lead over Texas quarterback Colt McCoy. Tebow garnered eight of the 13 first-place votes and totaled 60 points to edge McCoy, who had the other five first-place votes and totaled 57 points.
Best now has 35 points, nearly doubling his total from the 20 he had in last Wednesday's preseason poll after rushing for 137 yards and two touchdowns on only 10 carries to lead the Golden Bears to a 52-13 win over Maryland last Saturday. His first score came on a 73-yard run that was his ninth career rush of 60 or more yards to give Cal an early 7-0 lead. He also had a 2-yard score only 42 seconds later in the first quarter and unleashed a 40-yard run on the first play of the second half. Best added two catches for 23 yards and one kickoff return for 18.
Best moved past Oklahoma quarterback and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford, who was injured in the Sooners' season-opening loss to BYU last Saturday.
Best is a 2009 preseason All-American and on watch lists for the College Football Performance Awards Player of the Year and Running Back of the Year, Doak Walker Award, Maxwell Award and Walter Camp Award. He is the country's leading returning rusher after averaging 131.67 yards per game last year when he ran for 1,580 yards to record the second-highest single-season total ever at Cal. His 8.1 yards per carry in 2008 set a new single-season school record while his 15 rushing touchdowns tied the Bears' single-season mark. Best was a first-team All-Pac-10 selection as a running back in 2008 after earning the same honor on special teams as a true freshman the previous campaign.
The Heismanpundit.com Poll is in its fourth season and is released every week during the college football season. The poll is comprised of 13 Heisman voters from across the country.
The Golden Bears continue their 2009 campaign by hosting Eastern Washington in a contest to be televised live by Comcast SportsNet California at Memorial Stadium this Saturday, September 12 (2:30 p.m.). The best way to show your support is to attend the game in your 2009 Cal Football Official Game Day Tee.
For 2009 Cal football tickets, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO BEARS.