Packer Report talked to standout Cal running back Shane Vereen in our latest draft exclusive. Vereen…
"After much thought and deliberation we decided that this was the best time for us to move forward and enter the 2011 NFL Draft. I cherish my time at Cal and wouldn't trade it for anything. This was one of the toughest decisions I have made, but feel like I will always be a part of the Cal family. I leave Cal with a degree and great memories. Go Bears!"
"Shane Vereen had a tremendous career at Cal both on the football field and in the classroom," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. "He is a talented football player, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on his professional career."
Vereen placed his name all over Cal's career and single-season record books during his three seasons of action with the Golden Bears from 2008-10 after redshirting as a true freshman in 2007.
He finished his career ranked among the school's all-time leaders in rushing touchdowns (29, No. 3-T), all-purpose yards (4,069, No. 5), rushing yards (2,834, No. 7), 100-yard rushing games (11, No. 7) and scoring (210, No. 9-T). He also had multiple touchdowns in 10 games and had at least one reception in 37 of his 38 contests, including his first 33 which was the longest run by a FBS running back when it was snapped. Vereen played in all 38 games possible during his career at Cal, making 19 starts.
In the single-season record books, his 1,757 all-purpose yards in 2009 ranks sixth, the 13 rushing touchdowns he scored in 2010 are tied for sixth, the 12 rushing touchdowns he posted in 2008 are tied for eighth, and his 1,167 rushing yards and 96 points in 2010 are ninth and tied for ninth.
Vereen earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors in his final collegiate season (also first-team by Phil Steele, second-team according to Scout.com) as a junior in 2010 when he started all 12 games and finished the regular season ranked among the best in the Pac-10 and the nation in both rushing and scoring. His 1,167 rushing yards, 13 touchdowns on the ground and 231 carries were all single-season career bests, while his 5.1 yards per rush average narrowly trailed the single-season career-best 5.2 average he posted in 2009.
At the end of the regular season, Vereen ranked fourth in the Pac-10 and 25th nationally with an average of 97.25 rushing yards per game. His 96 points on 16 total touchdowns rank him tied for fifth in the Pac-10 and tied for 42nd nationally with an average of 8.00 points per game. He scored a career-high-tying three touchdowns in a game twice – vs. UC Davis (two rushing, one receiving) and at Nevada (career-high-tying three rushing) – as well as multiple touchdowns in six of 12 games. He also finished third on the team with three touchdown catches, as well as fourth with 209 receiving yards. His combination of rushing and receiving made him the Pac-10's fifth-leading all-purpose runner and 55th nationally with an average of 114.67 all-purpose yards per game (1,376 total all-purpose yards).
Vereen recorded the highest rushing total of his career at Nevada when he had 198 yards and a career-high-tying three rushing touchdowns on 19 carries, including a season-best 59-yard touchdown run.
Vereen was an honorable mention All-Pac-10 player during his 2009 sophomore campaign despite spending most of the campaign as a backup to Heisman Trophy candidate and 2010 NFL Draft first-round pick Jahvid Best.
Vereen ended up leading the Bears with 952 yards rushing and 183 carries, and was also voted by teammates as Cal's offensive Bear Backers Co-MVP along with Best. His 12 touchdowns on the ground equaled Best for the team lead, while his 14 overall ranked second to Best's 16 scores.
Vereen played in all 13 games with four starts, including three of the last four contests after Best suffered a season-ending injury vs. Oregon State. Vereen totaled 566 rushing yards on 108 carries and six rushing touchdowns over the final four contests, averaging 141.5 yards per game and 5.2 yards per carry. He finished among Pac-10 per-game leaders in rushing yards (No. 6, 73.23), all-purpose running (No. 6-T, 135.15), scoring (No.10-T, 6.46) and total offense (No. 15, 73.23), while his average of 22.96 yards per kick return was sixth in the league. Vereen added 25 receptions for 244 yards and two TDs, ranking tied for third on the team in touchdown catches, fourth in receptions and fifth in receiving yards.
He rushed for more than 150 yards three times, including his season-high 193-yard rushing effort on a career-high to lead the Bears to a 34-28 victory at Stanford to earn the team's Berkeley Breakfast Club Award as the offense's outstanding player in the Big Game, as well as Walter Camp Football Foundation BCS National Offensive Player of the Week honors, an AT&T All-America Player of the Week nomination and a Muscle Milk California Student-Athlete of the Week selection. He also had a career-high-tying three rushing touchdowns against the Cardinal as well as vs. Eastern Washington earlier in the season.
Vereen also had a strong campaign as a redshirt freshman in 2008, playing in all 13 games and starting on three occasions. He amassed 715 yards on the ground as the primary backup to Best to rank second on the club in rushing yardage, as well as 10th in the Pac-10 with an average of 55.0 rushing yards per contest. He finished with an average of 5.0 yards per rush on 142 carries and scored four touchdowns on the ground as well as five total with one receiving.
In addition, he tied for second on the team with 27 catches for 221 receiving yards and finished with 936 all-purpose yards to rank second on the team behind Best and No. 18 in the Pac-10 with a per game average of 72.0. He posted the first of his 11 100-yard rushing efforts in his collegiate debut and a starting role vs. Michigan State in the season-opener, going for 101 yards on nine carries including a game-clinching 81-yard TD run in the fourth quarter that was the longest run of his collegiate career.