The California Golden Bears have a lot of kinks to work out before Pac-12 play starts, and one of the biggest kinks is in the run game. Isi Sofele has proven to be a capable first-string tailback who can unleash some big-time runs and also deal out punishing blocks in pass protection, but he cannot produce the same efficient yardage on a per-down basis the way his predecessors could. Senior Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson, expected to be the #2 back going into the season, has only played a couple of snaps and did not see any real action in the Colorado game. Junior college transfer C.J. Anderson has supplanted him as the number two back and has provided some real bruising as power back option, but he still has some work to do in refining his technique, particularly when coming back to block for his quarterback.
Cal needs more options at running back. Thankfully for Golden Bear Nation, it looks like head coach Jeff Tedford is about to provide that important offensive spark with true freshman and potential wunderkind tailback Brendon Bigelow. Jonathan Okanes of the Bay Area News Group reports and Tedford reconfirmed it today.
Bigelow, the Bears' heralded freshman out of Fresno, was resigned to redshirting the season after a disappointing training camp in which he discovered it takes a little longer than he thought to recover from multiple knee injuries. But after standing on the sidelines at Candlestick Park and watching the Bears play Fresno State in their season opener, Bigelow decided it was time to get on the field.
Now, after a strong week of practice in which he discarded the tentativeness that plagued him during camp, Bigelow is in position to see some playing time Saturday when the Bears host Presbyterian College at AT&T Park.
"I was giving up a little bit, but I shot back up," Bigelow said. "After the Fresno State game, I realized I really wanted to play. I love the game of football. I started running real hard. I just really started working."
Of all the recruits from the 2011 class, none excited Tedford more than Bigelow. His potential was off the charts, but he hadn't played since his junior season due to multiple knee injuries. It looks like Bigelow has recovered well enough that he could be the third feature back on a Cal running attack that needs some speed to go along with power and durability.
This is Brendan Bigelow by the way.
Remind you of anyone?