Football: Thursday reading/quotables

Here’s a notebook I wrote for today, focusing on the logjam for the backup running back spot.

I chatted with redshirt freshman Dasarte Yarnway about the competition for playing time. Here is some of what he had to say:

On recovering from his toe surgery last season:

“It’s just a blessing to be out there doing what I love to do. There are no lingering effects from the surgery.”

On his chances  to get playing time next season:

“I feel like I have a very, very good opportunity. We all have opportunities to compete in practice. It’s kind of hard right now to know where we stand. I feel like everybody has an opportunity and I feel very confident about my own ability and what I can bring to the team. It will all play out in the next couple of weeks with the scrimmages.”

On getting hurt in training camp last season:

“I started so fast and then I had nothing. It was a character building experience, not being out there.  The whole experience really made me a stronger athlete and a stronger person. I don’t regret getting hurt. I don’t have any animosity. It happened. I grew from it, and now it’s time to show what I can do.”

 On competing with all the other running backs:

“We all help each other. Just because it’s a competition doesn’t mean it’s not a brotherhood. It’s good to have quality people to compete with and still have a genuine brotherhood within the group. You know they are quality players. If you weren’t a quality player, you wouldn’t be in that meeting room.”

On Cal’s legacy of producing top-flight running backs: 

“It’s definitely something to be proud of. I feel like everybody has a chance. It’s just a matter of what you do with that opportunity. You cant dwell on being the next guy. It’s about working and what’s important now. You have to win every day.”

On being a more bruising back than the others at Cal: 

“When I first came here, I felt I had a different dimension to add to the Cal running back corps. Being able to make people miss, being able to dip the shoulder and have contact, that’s what I like. I like getting my nose bloody in there and taking on the business.”

On not changing his style: 

“I have to be me. Seeing Jahvid and some of the guys, I thought that’s what they want. I  thought maybe I need to shake and bake a little more. But there’s nothing wrong with having your own unique style and being able to do everything. That’s what I strive for every practice, just to be complete. I’m working my way up to being that complete back.”

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.

  • Brian

    Any word on rumor that Gould is leaving?

  • BobBear

    Nice post. This is a pretty exciting group of running backs, and the offensive line looks solid and deep. Lots of potential for the running game.

  • rollonubears

    gould is gone. to the raiders. that’s a pretty big loss, i think.

  • BlueNGold
  • Davidson

    My source says Tedford to the Raiders as O-Coordinator. Confirmed.

  • BearFanInLA

    I hope the Coach Gould rumor is an April Fools Day joke…

  • abe

    these better be jokes or i am going to start weeping uncontrollably like a little girl.

  • abe

    On a more serious note, i think the logjam in the back field will shake out with Briggs red shirting, Sofele continuing with spot duty (reverses, end arounds, special teams, etc)with Yarnway and DeBoskie sharing back up duties, Yarnway perhaps playing a bigger role in goal line and short down situations.

  • Juancho

    Really cool post. This kid sounds like he has a great head on his shoulders. Especially with his comment about how the injury helped him grow as a person.

    Tedford deserves a lot of credit for building a program with these types of folks. Even though I’ve often criticized his recently conservative approach, I’ve never put in question his awesome ability to build a proud program and give us alumni something to look forward to on Saturdays.

    That Gould thing is a joke right?