Best Opts for NFL

Jahvid Best

The 2009 season started with much promise for Cal junior RB Jahvid Best. He was a Heisman frontrunner alongside the three finalists from the year prior. But consecutive pedestrian performances at Oregon and versus USC all but eliminated him from the race. A freakish concussion suffered against Oregon State on Nov. 7 ended his season. On Saturday, he announced he's entering the NFL Draft…

Jahvid Best will enter the 2010 NFL Draft, he announced on Saturday afternoon in a teleconference.

"It was a fast couple of weeks, and over the last month, my family and I have been offered an opportunity to enter the NFL. And that was our decision," said Best.

"It wasn't a heated decision. It took a lot of thought and gathered a lot of advice from coaches, Coach [Jeff] Tedford, my running back coach (Ron Gould), friends, a lot of advice from everybody. We sat down with Coach Tedford and talked about the pros and cons of the situation and after weighing out the pros and cons, we decided to enter the draft and forgo my senior season at Cal."

"I want to say thank you the university for giving me the opportunity to play college football and also for the education. An education I plan to finish after I'm done playing football. But this is an opportunity I can't pass up and have to take advantage of it."

Best has not chosen an agent in turn he doesn't have an idea where he will be training in the offseason as he prepares for Cal's pro day and the NFL Combine. He is projected as a mid to late first round pick by many draft prognosticators. ESPN ranks him second overall at his position and the 22nd best overall prospect in the 2010 draft. "I've heard as high as the first round and as low as the third round," Best added.

Best was on pace for a second consecutive 1,000-yard rushing season before suffering a concussion after falling on the turf on a seven-yard touchdown run against Oregon State at Memorial Stadium on Nov. 7.

"I'm still not 100% but I'm very optimistic," Best said of recovery. He says he has no doubt that he will be ready to work out and perform in the NFL Combine. "[My injuries] played a small factor in my decision," he added.

Despite missing the final three regular-season games of 2009, and the Poinsettia Bowl, Best finished the 2009 season with 867 yards rushing, 12 rushing touchdowns and added four receiving touchdowns. He earned second-team All-Pac-10 honors and shared Cal's team MVP award.

Best did not play or practice the remainder of the season, including bowl preparation. The injury required medical personal to attend to him on the field and transport him to Highland General Hospital in Oakland for an overnight stay. He was released the following day.

In 31 games and 18 starts over his three seasons at Cal, he ranks among the school's all-time leaders in various categories.

  • 200-yard rushing games (3, No. 1)
  • Rushing touchdowns (29, No. 3-T)
  • All-purpose running yards (4,045, No. 5)
  • 100-yard rushing games (13, No. 6)
  • Rushing yardage (2,668, No. 7)
  • Touchdowns (35, No. 8)
  • Scoring (210, No. 9)

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