Unanswered questions

Obviously, the news that running back James Montgomery is transferring out of Cal was a little startling. It’s not often you find a guy who is listed No. 1 on the depth chart at any position that wants out.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to reach Montgomery today so I can’t provide a whole lot of insights regarding his motivation for leaving. The only comments he has made so far were published by RealDawg.com, a fan site for the University of Washington.

Montgomery told RealDawg.com that “it never felt right, really” at Cal. Those who know Montgomery’s history are aware that he initially made an oral commitment to Washington but later changed his mind and came to Cal. But he was quoted publicly near the end of his redshirt freshman year that he was happy at Cal and was happy with his decision to come to Berkeley.

 “Cal was never my first choice,” Montgomery told RealDawg. “I didn’t feel (Cal) was a (football) school that had a lot of tradition. They were ranked sixth in the country and yet couldn’t sell out that week’s game.”

Based on these comments, the simple interpretation is that Cal just wasn’t becoming the right fit for Montgomery. I am not going to speculate about other possible reasons because I simply don’t have enough information that would support anything else.

I exchanged a few e-mails with the editor of RealDawg.com today. Her latest one to me this evening said it was her understanding that Montgomery was planning on contacting Washington, Oregon and Florida today. She also said that Montgomery told the RealDawg reporter that “Today I feel like there is a big weight off my shoulders.”

I will say that the handful of times I talked with Montgomery last season, I found him to have a real enjoyable personality. He seemed bright and always had a good attitude.

So what does this mean for the Bears? Well, the first thing it means is Jahvid Best better be healthy this fall. Yes, there are other talented running backs in the program, but none of the others have a carry to their credit in their careers. Plus, it is evident that nobody’s potential is as great as Best’s. One school of thought is maybe that is a reason for Montgomery’s departure, that he can see that, when healthy, Best is going to be the featured back. But that is purely speculation.

If nothing else, Montgomery’s exit will make things a little easier on the coaching staff to sort out the running back situation. Suddenly, Tracy Slocum and Shane Vereen are very much viable candidates to see meaningful playing time next season. That will make spring practice even more vital for them while Best sits out, recovering from his hip injury. And that’s not even mentioning incoming freshman Covaughn DeBoskie, whom the coaching staff seems very high on.

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.

  • I’m just not that broken up by Montgomery leaving. He seemed like a serviceable back, but not a spectacular one. I think Cal will be fine.


    JO, great job. Has Tedford seem affected when he’s announced, all of the departures this off-season. Like sad or dissapointed? Or is it just a weeding out of the guys that don’t truly buy in? thanks for the up to the minute updates!

    you going to be at the spring game doing interviews after it?

  • Chingon

    Montgomery was slow and couldn’t handle the fact that he had to compete for a starting role.He got his lunch eaten by Best last year and He was going to get his lunch eaten by Best,Vereen and Deboskie this year so I’m glad that puke is off the team.I hope he stays in the pac 10 so that every time we face him we put a pounding on that clown.Ohh never mind he probably won’t be starting so disregard that last comment.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Wow. Sour grapes at its best.

    Face it – Montgomery said the truth – you can’t sell our your pathetic stadium despite the media hype and unjustified ranking.

    What a joke this Berkley program is.

  • Mike W

    Montgomery is exactly the type of kid we should NOT be recruiting. If sold out stadiums are more important than the value of a UC Berkeley degree, he can transfer to Fresno State tomorrow for all I care. I hope Tedford and his staff come to the realization that not every kid is right for Cal and focusing on the focused student athletes is the way to go.

  • CBKWit

    Fact is no one (no, not even god’s chosen program sc) in the pac sells out generic (non rival or top 10 team) home games, even when highly ranked. Was the sc-stanford game sold out this year, amy? And what happened in that game, I’m having a difficult time remembering? It couldn’t have been the biggest upset and most embarrassing loss in college football history, right?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    There is a big difference between selling out 92,000 stadium where 10,000+ seats are very far away from the field AND selling out 62,000 (since Berkley puts tarps on 10,000 seats, artificially reducing capacity) for a team that isn’t ranked in top-10 very often

    No wonder you attended Berkley – you can’t see a difference.

  • CBKWit

    Answer the questions. I repeat: Was the sc-stanford game sold out this year, amy? And what happened in that game, I’m having a difficult time remembering? It couldn’t have been the biggest upset and most embarrassing loss in college football history, right?

    Michigan, PSU, and Tennessee (to name a few) sell out their home games out all the time. They have 20,000 more seats than god’s program. HOW CAN THIS BE?

  • CBKWit

    And if we’re going to get in reasons behind the lack of sell outs, let’s examine some other pieces of relevant data.

    The SF Bay area is home to 6.7 million people and 2 pro football teams.

    The LA metro area is home to 17.7 million people and 0 pro football teams.

    With 11 million (11 million!!) extra people and no other football in the area, sc can only get 20,000 more people than Cal to come to their games??? Talk about pathetic!

  • n8bear

    Hey, wasn’t it Slocum who took the hand off touchdown from Levy to end the Texas A&M Holiday bowl?

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Al, I’m sure Tedford is disappointed when it doesn’t work out with a player. N8bear, it was Bryan Schutte, not Slocum, that scored the final touchdown of the Holiday Bowl.

  • DaBears

    Anyone who leaves a program taking shots clearly had his feelings hurt at some time (or is a classless baby). We will be able to tell alot about his personality on where he transfers. If he goes to UDub, it means he wants to play and could care less about winning. If he goes to ‘sc, it means playing football and going to class was too tough so he wants to go major in Sociology at USC. Hey Amy, how many of the Trojans at this year combine were Sociology majors? I hear many of those Sociology professors are good buddies with Mr. Carroll.

    And Amy, you come in here running your mouth but what was your take when Moody transfered?

  • CalAlum97

    MoreNCsarecoming Says:
    There is a big difference between selling out 92,000 stadium where 10,000+ seats are very far away from the field AND selling out 62,000 for a team that isn’t ranked in top-10 very often

    Ahh, here’s where the excuses come out, eh Amy? Can’t handle the truth, eh? Well, excuses are like a-h*les and by the looks of it, you’re one big one!

  • Case_Study

    MoreNCs – Your contstant postings reveal your loneliness. Your pretty hatred for a football program reveals your lack of character. I’m sure your parents realize what a pathetic waste their child is.

    I weep for your parents as they weep about your life.

  • Al

    just goes to show you that he had no heart…if he would quit on his team like this just imagine what he would have done during the season…weak

  • AMy

    MoreNC, do you have any positive passions in life or do you just like to badmouth a college football program? Do you actually see how petty it is and how small you are? Do you cry yourself to sleep at night?

  • AMy

    …but I will continue to pray for you, that one day you will gain clarity and make a positive contribution to society.

  • Chingon

    Morons are coming?Your name explains it all,you are a moron and a queer for posting your gay insight on this blog.I think you’re a Cal fan in denial but then again you guys still got crushed by the FURD in your own house.SC stands for Sucking cock so go do your thing you HOMO!

  • paul

    screw Montgomery…roll on you bears!

  • I love amy’s comments. Lets see if amy has any amusing comments when the NCAA hits USC with Probation for the Bush debacle.