Kyle Reed

I can’t say I’m surprised that Kyle Reed has decided to leave Cal. The Bears obviously have a logjam at quarterback and Reed may never have seen the field, at least in meaningful situations, during his career.

It was kind of surreal to walk into the stadium Wednesday and see Kyle sitting in the bleachers watching practice. Just a few days earlier, he said he wasn’t considering transferring. But I think the reality set in after a couple of days passed, and Reed had to think long and hard about his future.

I didn’t get to know Kyle all that well, but I did get a chance to speak with him a handful of times during the past month. He strikes me as a sincere, good-hearted kid who is well-liked by a lot of people. I think it was sincerely a tough decision for him to leave, but one that makes the most sense.

You could see how visibly disappointed Kyle was last Thursday when coach Jeff Tedford named Kevin Riley the backup to Nate Longshore. He walked off the field off after practice with his head down, and politely declined to be interviewed. But after an off-day Friday, he spoke to me and Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle on Saturday, and did so with poise and eloquence. He was candid, but not critical. That’s when he said he wasn’t considering transferring, but admittedly he didn’t say so with great vigor. That’s another reason I’m not surprised he ultimately made this decision.

Reed’s situation is a reflection of one of the good problems Tedford has now that his program has reached such an elite status: Great players want to come to Cal, and sometimes you wind up with too many quality players at the same position. Reed was sought after by a lot of major programs, but so was Longshore, Riley and true freshman Brock Mansion. Next season, Beau Sweeney, who received offers from several Pac-10 schools, will also be at Cal.

With that in mind, I’m interested to see what happens to Cal’s running backs over the next year or two. Justin Forsett will be gone next season, but James Montgomery, Tracey Slocum, Jahvid Best and Shane Vereen will all be back. All were top recruits and highly regarded. Only one will see the majority of the reps in 2008.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.