At the start of fall football practices the Cal Golden Bears' freshman running back Brendan Bigelow was looking like a leading candidate to be a backfield mainstay during the 2011 season, but may now decide to redshirt instead according to Jonathan Okanes of the San Jose Mercury News.
Jeff Tedford and his coaching staff has been trying to ease Bigelow into their system, giving him limited reps along the way. Tedford believes that Bigelow is still grasping the game at the college level:
"He's still learning," Tedford said. "You can't ever count him out. But there are a lot of backs, and he's still learning. He's still getting comfortable with his legs. We'll see how it goes. There is still a long time until we start game-planning. Every day we'll see how they are doing and see who deserves the most reps."
Bigelow, a Fresno native, is looking long term with his time at Cal, and feels that redshirting is a option that will only help his career:
"Redshirting is only going to make me better," Bigelow said. "That's the way I think about it. If I do redshirt, I'm going to take everything I know and apply it to next year. I'll be satisfied either way. My legs are working. I'm not injured. Either way, I'm happy."
Junior Isi Sofele has seemed to lock down the starting role at RB, while junior Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson is on the verge of becoming the official backup, leaving Bigelow in a possible battle for the third RB on the depth chart. Bigelow did not play his senior year in high school due to an ACL injury, and if he redshirts in 2011, will effectively have missed two seasons of football before coming back in 2012.
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