With 31 active NFL players, Cal ranks among the top 10 in pro-producing colleges in the nation and second among Pac-12 Conference teams.
On Thursday night, both the Seattle Seahawks (5-7) and the visiting Philadelphia Eagles (4-8) were eager to shake off Week 12 losses. Cal alum Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks got the job done by finishing off struggling DeSean Jackson and the Philadelphia Eagles, 31-14.
Lynch built on recent success with 22 carries for a total of 148 yards and two touchdowns. His former Cal teammate Jackson caught four passes for 34 yards—not exactly the birthday gift Jackson was hoping for, who turned 25 Thursday.
The Seahawks jumped on the Michael Vick-less Eagles with an early 14-0 lead in the first half, with Lynch’s 15- and 40-yard touchdown runs. The Eagles showed some signs of life in the fourth quarter to come within 10 points, but backup quarterback Vince Young threw an interception with four minutes left to spoil the possibility of a comeback.
Lynch outperformed Jackson in this matchup, but both young Cal alumni have had impressive NFL careers thus far. Since entering the NFL in 2008, Jackson has already racked up 3,822 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns. His recent slump with the Eagles this season is just one hiccup in what will be an exceptionally prosperous career.
Since entering the NFL in 2007, Lynch has recorded 4,192 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns, tying his career high this season with eight touchdowns. And there is still plenty of football to be played. He has yet to reach his full potential as an NFL running back and his improvement will be vital to the success of the Seahawks in the long run. Expect a generous sum going to Lynch as he approaches free agency at the end of this season.
While devoted Cal football fans may feel dissatisfied with their current 7-5 Holiday Bowl-bound Golden Bears, at least they have talented alumni making an impact in the NFL. Lynch and Jackson aside, other exceptional Cal alumni include Patriots running back Shane Vereen and Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez.
And, of course, the Super Bowl success of household name Aaron Rodgers speaks for itself.