On the eve of the last game of the season, there was quite a bit of news coming from Cal.

First and foremost, coach Jeff Tedford announced that wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Robert Jordan, as well as free safety Thomas DeCoud, will not start today’s Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force because they violated team rules. Tedford didn’t elaborate but said it wasn’t a major violation. He said the three players still will play but didn’t know how long they would stay on the bench at the beginning of the game.

It’s got to be a blow to DeCoud and Jordan, who are seniors playing in their final games. It also could be another sign that Jackson is indeed leaving for the NFL after the season.

Tedford also said that backup quarterback Kevin Riley will see some limited playing time today. Tedford said Riley will probably play a series or two, because he wants to get him some experience in a bowl game. This news follows Saturday’s news that Tedford is going to open up all spots in spring practice, including quarterback. Tedford said Riley definitely will play no matter what is going on in the game.

The Armed Forces Bowl held its day-before press conference today. It got off to a light-hearted start when linebacker Greg Van Hoesen toppled over when he tried to sit down at the podium. Van Hoesen raised his arm above the podium and said “I’m all right.” After he picked himself back up, he looked to the back of the room where the television cameras were and said, “Did you get that?” “Could you do it again?” a camera operator joked back.

One thing that makes me chuckle is that this is the Armed Forces Bowl, and Cal’s opponent is none other than one of the armed forces. Doesn’t seem fair, does it? Tedford spoke at the press conference of the meaning of playing in this game.

“We’re going to make sure we play this game in honor of the people who fight for our country and keep us safe on a daily basis,” he said. “We’ve made that a big priority to know that not only is this a football game, but it’s much more than that.”

Van Hoesen said his cousin, John Cortez, is in the army and currently serving in Iraq. “With everything going on around the world these days, it’s hard not to take the Armed Forces Bowl seriously.”

Van Hoesen has been a little bit of a rock star around here. He unveiled his art exhibit in the lobby of the team hotel, a collection of 13 portraits that made up his senior project. Van Hoesen, a fine arts major, hopes to sell them after the game to make money for his future. Van Hoesen can’t start selling them while he’s still a collegiate athlete.

A lot of Cal fans who are here stopped in their tracks to look at the portraits Sunday, and many of Van Hoesen’s teammates did the same after they returned from walk-through. Jordan took a bunch of pictures of the one of him.

Van Hoesen did portraits of Jordan, Justin Forsett, Justin Moye, Andrew Larson, Lavelle Hawkins, Nate Longshore, Anthony Felder, DeCoud, Mika Kane, Zack Follett, Jackson, Syd’Quan Thompson, Craig Stevens and Tedford. The one of Follett and and Thompson are especially striking. Follett has his tiger-striped haircut while Thompson is shaking his hair. As it should be, Tedford is holding his handy play card in his hand.

Forsett spent the morning speaking to about 5,000 children at The Potter’s House, a ministry in Dallas where his father, Rodney, is on staff. Forsett is from nearby Arlington.

“I just talked about my faith and how I’ve come along at Cal and grown as a person,” Forsett said. “That I came from a small school and grew as a person, spiritually and personally.”

 That’s it for now. The next time you hear from me, I’ll be at the stadium during pregame. I’ll check in then.

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.

  • Tyler Jacobson

    even the team leaders are violating rules…..all the more reason for this season to end and all that are leaving need to leave so cal can start fresh.


    good to here you had safe travels to Texas from California. So hows’ the hospitality in Texas? Are they treating you the way we treat people in Berkeley? Hopefully, but I just wanted to drop a line about the informative job you’ve done all season long. I was writing to ask how come the Bears don’t allow fans to watch or be accesible to the players at the stadium? I was able to watch SC practice earlier this year and they allow everyone in the community to be around. Parents of the players have invited me to watch practice because normanl fans aren’t allowed Why isn’t that same opportunity afforded for the Cal people?

    Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for the great coverage and I’ll see you in the spring at Memorial? Any idea about the spring game date?

  • FedUpBear

    JO>>It also could be another sign that Jackson is indeed leaving for the NFL after the season.<>and all that are leaving need to leave so cal can start fresh.<<

    Unfortunately, those who need to leave so Cal can start fresh aren’t the ones who will be leaving…Tedford will still be there with his big giant board that somehow contains only about 5 plays & Longshore will still be his guy…if NL’s performance this year didn’t provoke a change, it’s hard to see how NL could do ANYTHING to provoke a change.

  • FedUpBear

    how about that … guess you can’t add more than 1 set of >> << marks.

  • Mike Wilson

    So DeSean Jackson has violated a team rule ( could be a curfew violation ) and you then conclude that this is yet “another sign that Jackson is indeed leaving for the NFL after this season”?

    I’m sorry, but that just isn’t professional journalism.
    You really need to check yourself on that one, Mr. Okanes.

  • margaret stava

    Hmmm, I hate to say this, but after watching the Joe Ayoob years, and blaming Ayoob, now watching Longshore, who had a strong year last year, granted, he has an injury this year,and watching him spiral downwards, I’m thinking the problem might be more in the coaching than the quarterback. The track record says that Cal is getting qb’s with good reputations, and it almost looks like Cal is ruining them.