Football: More on Best

Here is more from my conversation with Jahvid Best, discussing the upcoming NFL scouting combine.

  • On the timeline of his rehab: “A couple weeks after the injury, I was just doing simple things — stretching my back, little exercises and resting to clear myself from the concussion. It was just simple things. We just wanted to rest and make sure everything healed up correctly.

“Around the bowl game was the first time I started doing more physical things. I went to Pittsburgh and saw Dr. (Michael) Collins. He gave me the green light to exercise and see how I respond to exercising and things like that. That’s when I really started picking up the rehab and started to get back in shape.”

  • Best said after he started really doing more physical rehab, he had to back off for about a week and a half because his back stiffened up and he experienced occassional dizziness. That happened over the holidays when Cal’s training staff really wasn’t available anyway. He resumed rehab shortly after that and then headed to Boca Raton, Florida to train at Xtreme Performance Enhancement with several other players preparing for the NFL draft.
  • Best has been able to do the same exercises as everyone else while at the facility in Florida, while also continuing to rehab work three times a week to continue to strengthen his back.

“I haven’t had any problems with the concussion,” he said. “I’m doing everything that they are doing. I’ve been doing really well. There hasn’t been any change in the lifting or running or anything like that. I’m doing everything now like a normal athlete. I’ve been doing the normal training that everybody goes through, but three times a week on top of the training I do my rehab and physical therapy.”

  • On his experience at XPE: “I feel like I’m getting faster. All the training I’m doing, I’m learning new things about running. I feel like I’m almost in the best shape of my life right now.”
  • On whether he’ll ever hurdle a player again: “It’s not like I thought about it. It was just a reaction. Hopefully, I can make a conscious effort to stay on the ground to prevent that from happening in the future.”

Here’s more from Best’s agent, Tony Fleming:

  • On Best’s preparations for the combine: “Jahvid is such a good kid. He’s such a hard worker. Things are going really well. Physically, he’s progressing. We expect him to be 100 percent.”
  • On Best’s decision to leave school after his junior year: “They went through all the proper steps. They consulted with the physician, they consulted with the trainers, they petitioned the NFL to see what his draft status would be. After talking to all the doctors and so on and so forth, they felt like talent-wise he is definitely ready. All that mattered was whether he was healthy or not.”
  • On reassuring NFL teams Best is healthy: “What it comes down to is making sure that the teams have updated information directly from the doctors. We make sure each team has all the medical reports and things like that. It was an ugly incident, but they are going to put him through physicals and have their own people look at him. You have to make sure everybody is on the same page.”
  • On what role NFL teams see him Best fulfilling: “I get the feeling they think he’s a running back in the NFL. He’s not a specialty back, he’s not a third down guy. He’s a running back. He has good vision. He can run between the tackles.”

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.