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Jahvid Best has returned to Cal the football program as a student assistant coach.
Courtesy: Cal Athletics
Jahvid Best Returns to Cal
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/20/2014

BERKELEY – Former Cal All-American and NFL running back Jahvid Best has returned to the Golden Bears’ football program as a student assistant coach. Best, who will work with the team’s running backs, is enrolled as an undergraduate student at Cal for the 2014 spring semester to pursue his bachelor’s degree in African American studies.

“We are thrilled that Jahvid has returned to Cal to get his degree,” head coach Sonny Dykes said. “We are also looking forward to the knowledge and experience he will bring to the young group of running backs on our current roster. Jahvid has played football at the highest level. He’s been an All-American and a Heisman Trophy candidate. Those are things that only a select number of football players have ever accomplished, and it will be good for our players to be around him.”

“I am excited to have returned to Cal and grateful for the opportunities I have been given to finish my degree and contribute to the football program,” Best said. “I’m looking forward to helping this football program in any way I can.”

Best played in 31 games and started 19 contests during his three seasons at Cal (2007-09) in a career that included a second-team All-American selection by College Football News in 2008 and a pair of first-team All-Pac-10 honors (2007, ’08). He was also one of the nation’s top candidates for the Heisman Trophy in 2009 before his season was cut short due to injury. Through the end of the 2013 campaigns, Best continues to hold school records for the highest average gain per rush for runners with at least 100 rushes per season (7.3 ypr) and kick return average (26.3 ypr) as well as a school-record three 200-yard rushing games. He also ranks among Cal’s all-time top 10 in rushing touchdowns (No. 3T, 29), total touchdowns (No. 4T, 35), all-purpose yardage (No. 6, 4,045), 100-yard rushing games (No. 6, 13), rushing yards (No. 8, 2,668). Best had his most productive season in 2008 when he posted single-season career highs with 1,580 yards on 194 carries and a school-record-tying 15 touchdowns on the ground, with his 8.1 yards per carry also the highest ever by a Cal running back with at least 125 rushes in a season

Following his collegiate career at Cal, Best was selected in the first round of the 2010 NFL Draft with the 30th selection overall by the Detroit Lions. Best played in 22 games with 15 starts for the Lions all over the first two seasons of his three campaigns with the team from 2010-12. Best totaled 945 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the ground over 255 carries, while adding 85 receptions for 774 yards and three touchdowns. He had a memorable game in a victory over Chicago on Monday Night Football in 2011, rushing for a career-high 163 yards including a career-long 88-yard TD run. His top receiving totals came in his second career game in 2010 with nine receptions for 154 yards and a 75-yard TD against the Eagles in a contest in which he also had a season-high 78 rushing yards, a career-high-tying two rushing scores and a season-high-tying 17 carries.

Jahvid Best Cal Football Biography 

Career (2007-09)
► Played in 31 games and started 19 contests during three seasons at Cal (2007-09)
► Second-team All-American (College Football News, 2008)
► Two-time All-Pac-10 selection (2007, ’08)
► Career Record Book – Yards per rush (No. 1, 7.3 ypr), kick return (No. 1, 26.3 ypr), 200-yard rushing games (No. 1, 3), rushing touchdowns (No. 3T, 29), total touchdowns (No. 4T, 35), all-purpose yardage (No. 6, 4,045), 100-yard rushing games (No. 6, 13), rushing yards (No. 8, 2,668)

Junior (2009)
► Honorable mention All-American (Pro Football Weekly)
► Second-team All-Pac-10 (Phil Steele)
► Cal Bear Backers Offensive MVP (shared with fellow tailback Shane Vereen)
► Rushed for 867 yards on 141 carries (6.1 ypr) and scored a team-leading 16 touchdowns overall (12 rushing, 4 receiving) in nine games of action, missing the final four-plus contests due to injury
► One of nation’s leading Heisman Trophy candidates during the early stages of the campaign
► One of 16 national semifinalists for the Maxwell Award given annually to the nation’s top collegiate football before his season-ending injury in the ninth game of the campaign against Oregon State
► Scored 16 total touchdowns for second consecutive season that were one shy of Cal’s modern-era single-season record and two short of the school’s all-time single-season mark
► Scoring average of 10.67 points per game ranked second in the Pac-10 and third nationally
► Would have been among Pac-10’s per-game leaders in rushing (96.33 ypg, No. 4) and all-purpose running (122.0 ypg, No. 9) but did not participate in the required 75% of a team’s contests to qualify in the final conference and national rankings
► Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week with 131 yards rushing and a modern-era school-record-tying five touchdowns that resulted in a modern-era record 30 points on a career-high 26 carries to lead Cal to a 35-21 win at Minnesota that vaulted the Bears to a No. 6 national ranking after a 3-0 start
► Picked up College Football Performance Awards 2009 Elite Running Back Trophy and earned CFPA weekly honors on five occasions, including the only running back in the nation to earn recognition from the CFPA in each of the first three weeks of the 2009 season
► First-team preseason All-American according to Athlon, CBS Sports, ESPN, Lindy’s and Playboy

Sophomore (2008)
► Second-team All-American (College Football News)
► Posted single-season career highs with 1,580 yards on 194 carries and a school-record-tying 15 touchdowns on the ground, with his 8.1 yards per carry a school record also the most ever by a Cal running back with at least 125 rushes in a season
► Rushing yardage ranks as second-highest single-season total in school history
► Single-season school-record 2,247 all-purpose yards, adding career highs in receiving (27 receptions, 246 yards) and kick returns (16 returns, 421 yards)
► First-team All-Pac-10 selection as a running back
► Third in the country in rushing yards per game (131.67 ypg) and entered the 2009 campaign as the nation’s leading returning rusher in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for both average yards per game and average yards per carry for any player with at least 125 rushes in 2008
► Earned Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Week honors three times and also tied for the conference lead in scoring with an average of 8.0 points per game
► Paced the Pac-10 in kick return average (26.3 ypr)
► Set Cal single-game record when he rushed for 311 yards on 19 carries while adding four rushing touchdowns in a victory over Washington in the regular-season finale
► Offensive MVP of the team’s Emerald Bowl win over Miami by rushing for a bowl-record 186 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries
► Had all three of his career 200-yard games, preceding his school-record effort against Washington with 201 vs. Stanford and 200 at Washington State
► Named Cal’s Most Valuable Offensive Back

Freshman (2007)
► First-team All-Pac-10 player on special teams, seeing action as a kick returner and a gunner on kick coverage
► Returned 15 kicks for 405 yards and an average of 27.0 that ranked second in the Pac-12
► Contributed 221 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries (7.6 ypc) as well as in 10 games as a backup tailback
► Cal’s Most Valuable Freshman and recipient of J. Scott Duncan Award (Cal’s Most Valuable Special Teams Player)


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