Jahvid Best: College Football's Most Impressive Player in Week Three
There was a reported sighting of Superman this past Saturday afternoon in Minnesota.
Before you say to yourself that that's just absurd, and ask who this person I claim to be Superman is, allow me to point you in the direction of 5'10", 195 lb. junior California Golden Bears' tailback, Jahvid Best.
His best impersonation of the "Man of Steel" came Saturday against the Minnesota Gophers on the Bears opening drive, when he leaped into the end zone, capping off a 33-yard dash and blowing by defenders on his way there. The speed in which he ran with didn't even seem fair to the Gophers defense, as Best made them look like passengers at a train stop watching the train speed by.
The aforementioned leap by Best made him look as if he should have been wearing a cape while he dived in the air and, just for a moment in time, made him seem to be wearing an "S" on his chest.
Jahvid would not only display Superman qualities by making amazing plays, but he took on the role as well. Jahvid scored five rushing TDs, which were all of Cal's 35 points versus the Gophers, and he finished the game with 26 carries for 131 yards.
Remember, Cal has only won five times in their last 16 away games. The game was over when Best capped off a terrific day by racing to the corner of the end zone, scoring a two-yard TD and giving the Bears their 35-21 win.
In his early years, Jahvid attended Salesian High School in Richmond, CA, and in his senior season, he rushed for 3,325 yards and 48 TDs, making for two Bay Area single-season records.
In his 2008 sophmore season at Cal, he would rush for 311 yards against Washington, which is the most yards in a game by a Cal running back, and earn the second highest single-season rushing record with 1,580 yards (behind J.J. Arrington's 2,018 in 2004).
The successful season would also bring him the most all-purpose yards in a season, with 2,247 total yards, and 186 rushing yards in the Emerald Bowl, setting that bowl's record. On Saturday, his ability to amass records would continue with his five TDs, tying the school rushing record for a single game.
From Jahvid's true freshman year, when he was selected as the team's most valuable freshman and most valuable special teams player, it's very clear that he's been making leaps not only into end zones, but throughout his career with the Bears. His carry and rushing numbers have climbed dramatically from his freshman year as well, along with Best turning into a reliable receiving back.
No wonder talks of a legitimate Heisman run are surfacing.
Currently at ESPN, Jahvid is only behind Tim Tebow in the analysts' Heisman watch and, interestingly enough, one analyst has said about Jahvid Best, "If Best puts up impressive numbers against Oregon and USC, and Cal wins both games, he will erase the term 'dark horse' next to his candidacy."
With those two nationally televised games presenting challenges in the Golden Bears' young season, I couldn't agree more. Those two wins would not only help Best's case, but would put his team at 5-0, and what better way would there be to convince a very critical Bowl Committee that a possible big time Bowl is in your future?
Ultimately the deciding factor for a talented Cal to make serious strides this year and advance past another Emerald Bowl, as well as Jahvid still being considered a serious Heisman candidate by the end of the season, will be measured by their toughness on defense and ability to be physical with those teams who will try to expose their finesse style of offense.
Watch Jahvid Best and the California Golden Bears travel to Oregon to take on the Ducks at 3:30 p.m. EDT on ABC.
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