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Football: Trajuan Briggs quotables

Because of all the coverage of the NCAA Tournament and a declining news hole, there won’t be much in the paper this week about Cal football. Ah, thankfully we have the blogosphere. I’ve been trying to get a notebook in the paper about new running back Trajuan Briggs, but that’s on hold for awhile. In the meantime, here is what Briggs had to say in our conversation after the first day of spring practice last week.

On finally getting back on to the field (after missing all but one quarter of his senior season in high school because of a fractured ankle):

“It was exciting. There was a lot of adrenaline going today. That’s the first time I’ve had a helmet on since August. For it being such a long time, I felt like I was out there for my senior year. But also, that’s why I came here early.”

 

On why he enrolled early at Cal:

“I came here early for football, for the chance to play, but also be on top of my academics. Even if I choose to leave early, I’ll leave with a degree.”

 

On why he switched his commitment from USC to Cal:

“I felt it in my spirit. It started out as just a house visit with Coach Tedford and Coach Gould, just to catch up. They changed my mind. I honestly deep down wanted to do it, but it was so late that I just felt like I couldn’t do that.

“I remember telling Coach Gould that night, ‘ I’m sorry, good luck with the season.’ My mother told me that I’m always doing something to make other people happy. Why don’t you make a decision to make yourself happy? I started thinking about it. If I was going to do something to make me happy, I would come to Cal. I called Coach Gould around 6:30 the next morning. He was about to get on the plane. If he hadn’t answered that phone, I’d be at Southern Cal right now.”

 

On what happened on his visit to Cal

“I came up that morning. I told him I wanted to come and he got  me a ticket. I took an official visit by myself. I felt like after being here two or three days, I could call this place home. I loved the palyers. It was so down to earth. I felt like I didn’t have to put on a front or be super-serious about anything. They know when it’s about business and when it’s not.”

 

On how Tedford and Gould “changed his mind.”

“Talking to Coach Tedford and Coach Gould, I honesty realized deep down that I had a way stronger relationshiyp with Cal than SC, even being a commit there. Me and Coach Gould would talk on the phone for hours. The running backs coach at SC, we never talked on the phone. If we did, it would be a flat conversation. I started wondering if I could really talk to this man for the next four years.

“The coaches here just speak to you, about life and anything. I really learned that relationship is a big deal in anything you do. That’s what really changed my mind. I noticed that my mother and my grandmother loved them, they really enjoyed their company. It felt good inside.”

 

On Cal’s logjam at running back:

“Being up here, I felt like every running back that we have contributes something different. Everybody has their own special set of skills that contributres greatly on the field. I felt like being around a bunch of great running backs is going to make me even better. I’m learning from them and also learning the same things they are learning.”

 

On how often he’s heard the comparisons to Marshawn Lynch:

“A lot. I was walking down the street one time. I have a sweatshirt that says ‘Beast.’ This guy was like, ‘Marshawn Lynch.?’ I was like, ‘No.’ Everybody says I’m just like Marshawn Lynch. Those are some big shoes to fill. He’s bigger than me. Honestly, I feel there is some comparison of the physical running. I feel like we probably have that physical brut running. There are some comparisons.”

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.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    On how Tedford and Gould “changed his mind.”

    “Talking to Coach Tedford and Coach Gould, I honesty realized deep down that I had a way stronger relationshiyp with Cal than SC, even being a commit there. Me and Coach Gould would talk on the phone for hours. The running backs coach at SC, we never talked on the phone. If we did, it would be a flat conversation. I started wondering if I could really talk to this man for the next four years.

    ______________________________________________________

    And that’s what happens when there are 10 five star All American runningbacks. You can’t hold their hands and play checkers with them all day long.

  • uh oh.

    wow. sounds like a really cool kid.
    thanks, JO

  • Cal93

    And that’s how Cal cares more about the people that represent the University and shows that there is more to life than just football.

  • dball

    Cal93: “And that’s how Cal cares more about the people that represent the University and shows that there is more to life than just football.”

    Nailed it!

  • Rocko

    Considering that you get 80 scholarships, 10 R/B’s would be 1/8 of your team. Perhaps the real reason USC ended up in the Emerald Bowl last year.

  • Juancho

    Everyone please abide by the ignore-the-troll policy.

    This kid sounds awesome. This type of stuff makes you proud about the type of program Tedford has built.

  • Easy Ed

    Hey Moron,

    Maybe the kid realized which school regularly produces 1000 yard running backs. It sure ain’t that dump off of Figueroa Street!

  • jpf

    Indeed the class with which Cal’s players and coaches comport themselves is truly impressive in this day and age. It speaks volumes about the work Sandy Barbour and Tedford have done over the past 8 years. For old and young blues alike it speaks true to the deep meaning of Berkeley and Cal. GO BEARS!

  • abe

    Juancho: I have learned of three certainties in life, death, takes and no convincing of my fellow Cal fans to ignore our little friend from ‘SC. If Bear fans had found the strength to resist the urge to respond to this individual as soon as we all learned that he/she is only interested attacking our school at every opportunity and nothing more, he/she would have disappeared from our beloved blog a long time ago. But then again we don’t exactly exist in a time when people can still exercise any meaningful self control, now do we?

  • Rocko

    Let’s get one thing straight! The one who will remain nameless is not from SC but went to a JC.

  • milo

    Great write-up JO. Nice to read about a kid that has a sense of himself and wants to be somewhere based on more then the usual. For Briggs to realize a lot of it’s about the relationships shows maturity.

  • CruzinBears

    SOunds like a really solid kid, and a great fit for the team! Welcome to Cal Trajuan, we know you’ll work hard and do great…

    I really like his comment about making sure he gets his degree too, shows he has a good head on his shoulders

  • jpf

    You know it would be nice if the blog comment section had a way to log in. Not so that certain people who shall remain ignored be prevent from posting (I do believe in free speech afterall), but rather so that the rest of us who do not wish to deal with immature griping can click on an ignore button. I don’t read this blog as often as I would like because of this simple lack of feature. Please send the word up, JO!