We all know Cal football has not been doing great. Although it pains us to admit it, the team has been playing amateurishly, and we can only hope that Sonny Dykes revitalizes the program to win back some school pride. While our team as a whole has done poorly, we can boast about some incredible athletes who have gone on to stardom in the pros. Here, we will bask in the glory of five of our greatest alumni in the NFL :

5. Jahvid Best

Jahvid (right) with his high school football coach

Best is tough. Best is explosive. Best is fast. Although he is not currently part of the NFL, he more than deserves to be on this list. One thing can be said of Best: He goes out with a bang. Those who have been following Cal football remember Best’s incredible Oregon State touchdown for the Bears in 2009, which also happened to be his last game at Cal. That touchdown gave him his second concussion in two weeks and led to his retirement from college football.

In the 2010 NFL draft, Best was the fastest running back. He joined the Detroit Lions in 2010. The few times he was healthy, Best played incredibly, even having a 75-yard touchdown reception. In 2011, he beat his personal best with an 88-yard reception. Alas, despite his sensational athleticism and his commitment to football despite countless injuries, Best finally succumbed to post-concussive symptoms and is now on the NFL’s injury reserves. He has not played for more than a year, but his achievements in his prime are staggering. Hopefully we’ll see Jahvid again, but even if we don’t, as Bob Dylan said, “It is better to burn out than to fade away.”

4. Shane Vereen

Look, we know no one likes the Patriots, but Shane Vereen is another running back out of Cal who deserves mention. With an impressive college total of 1,167 rushing yards, Vereen left Cal in three years and was drafted by the New England Patriots in 2011. There, he continued to play well, reaching a career best of an 83-yard reception. Currently, he has 308 rushing yards and four touchdowns. But these stats don’t fully explain why he’s on this hall of fame list.

Remember two Sundays ago? Patriots vs. Jets, and the Pats chief running back Danny Woodhead is injured. It’s down to veteran Stevan Ridley and third-string nobody Shane Vereen. Vereen delivers the football to the endzone three times. Yes, Tom Brady deserves some credit for some accurate passing, but Vereen really showed the world what he can do. We don’t root for the Patriots any more than you do, but there are those magical moments when Vereen makes this world a better place and the Patriots head cheater is almost tolerable.

read more »

Normally the Clog doesn’t buy into PR gimmicks, but we can never resist mocking something. When a delightfully deserving PR gimmick falls into our laps, then we’ve hit paydirt.

This week we received an e-mail from Diana, a marketing/PR coordinator for Yardbarker.com. For a moment we thought we happened upon a great tip, even better than learning of Nate Longshore’s blog:

Marshawn (Lynch) just put up his first post (on his Yardbarker blog) the other day, and, well, it’s pretty awesome. As a Cal alum, I think the students would really enjoy checking out his blog, so I’m writing again to see if we can work together to get the word out to them.

Intriguing … Diana continues with her forthrightness:
read more »

Though his team lost, Marshawn’s first NFL match was hardly a disappointment (are the Bills ever supposed to win?). Props to the dreadlocked one on ripping off 90 yards and a TD in the next level. Oh, and here’s a somewhat amusing YouTube interview with His Hyphyness.Donruss Interviews Marshawn Lynch, Buffalo Bills[YouTube]

It’s August, and that means college football training camps open up across the country. The Bears opened today and we had a few questions for this season’s Cal team.

Sure the Merc’s questions are important. They had three questions in particular:

* Who is going to replace Daymeion “I Can Intercept A Nuclear Missile” Hughes?

* Can Justin Forsett be as effective as Marshawn Lynch?

* And can the defensive line produce without guys like Brandon Mebane?

These are all great questions and all of them have to do with replacing key starters from last year. But isn’t that the case almost every year? So we pose three questions of our own and maybe you guys can answer them.

* Who will take up the title as hyphiest Cal football player?

There’s no doubt that that title went to Lynch last year. Remember this?

Yeah. Lynch ghost-riding a golf cart.

We’re going to suggest Lynch’s cousin, Robert Jordan. Just look at those teeth.

* Will Thomas DeCoud lay anyone else out with a bone-crunching hit?

Does anyone remember that hit DeCoud laid on UCLA’s Korey Bosworth last year? Yeah. Yeah. More of that this year, maybe?

If you don’t remember, here it is:

* And the question of the highest importance, which uniform will the Bears wear against Tennessee on Sept. 1?

We’re going to say that Cal has to go with the gold uniforms. Why you ask? One, they’re pretty classy. Two, the Bears are undefeated wearing the gold tops—Cal defeated Oregon, UCLA and Texas A&M last year wearing the gold unis.

Image Sources: Ben Gallup & Shamim Pakzad, Daily Cal
Longshore Trims Down, Bears Speeding Up [Daily Cal]
Replacements key to roses [Mercury-News]

So rumor has it Marshawn Lynch will get a Madden 2008 rookie rating of 83. We’re down with the 93 juke rating, but only 91 speed?! And an elusiveness of 82 is a damned insult. Come on, he deserves much better than that.

OK, the Clog just scared itself with its own game nerdiness. We’re just going to say that the man deserves a 100 “ultimate hyphy ability” and get out of here.

Oh, and the video above has zilch to do with the Madden rating. We just thought you might want to see it again.

Three rounds of the NFL Draft has come and gone. That’s 99 different college football players that have been chosen, including “compensatory picks” given at the end of round three.

And of those 99 college football players, three of them played in our backyard.

As mentioned earlier, Marshawn Lynch went to the Buffalo Bills with the 12th overall pick in this year’s draft.

Defensive tackle Brandon Mebane was drafted by Seattle with the 85th pick overall.

The third Cal player to be taken was Daymeion “I Can Intercept a Nuclear Missile”. Hughes. The Super Bowl champs, the Colts, nabbed Hughes with 95th overall pick in the draft.

These are all good fits for all three players. Lynch should be an automatic start with Buffalo. Mebane will get playing time in the attacking Seahawks defense. And Hughes, whose draft stock took a major hit after running a horrible 4.65 in the 40 in this year’s NFL combine, should be perfect for Tony Dungy’s cover 2 system.

An even more interesting note is who the Bills drafted in the third round to go along with Lynch. It was none other than often-injured Stanfurd quarterback Trent Edwards.

Now, we think Trent’s a good guy. But will Lynch and Edwards be able to put their differences aside?

Our answer: It should be simple, since Trent won’t see playing time and Marshawn will. It’s guaranteed.

Seahawks wait, choose small, fast CB/KR Josh Wilson and DT Brandon Mebane [CBC]
Colts grab corner in third round [Scout.com]
Earlier: “Lynch Going To Bring the Hyphy to Buffalo

As much as we wanted Marshawn Lynch to pair up with our Golden Boy, Aaron Rodgers, in Green Bay, we’re still happy to see Lynch going to the Bills.

With the 12th pick in this years draft, Lynch was selected by Buffalo.

It would have been great to see Rodgers and Lynch in the same backfield again, but the Bills got to Lynch first. And it’s probably a perfect fit with the Bills for Marshawn.

It was a pretty simple pick for Buffalo. Willis McGahee is gone. They have a young quarterback in J.P. Losman, and they had a gaping hole at running. Plug Marshawn in and he can do everything for you. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He can carry the ball 30 times a game. He’s a nice pressure release for Losman and the Bills. Expect him to get immediate playing time.

Oh, and another plus. The general manager of the Bills is none other than former Cal coach Marv Levy.

Yeah, so you don’t think that he’s going to grab Lynch – a now former Bears? Looks like the Old Blues look out for other Old Blues.

Our question is, does Marshawn get to drive the medical carts after games in Buffalo?

Willis McGahee Is Easily Replaced [Deadspin]