Cal quarterback Kevin Riley has been named to the watch list for the Manning Award, given annually to the nation’s best signal-caller.
For those of you wondering about Chris Martin’s ability to play at another school this season, the answer to that question remains to be seen. Cal did release Martin from his scholarship, but Martin also had already enrolled in summer classes. So it is still unclear if Martin will have to sit out a year before he plays for another team.
Had a brief phone conversation with Chris Martin a little while ago. He didn’t want to make any further comment other than what is in the press release but reiterated that his decision was strictly personal and had nothing to do with Cal’s football program or the university itself. He also said he has already committed to another program but didn’t want to disclose what the school is just yet. He did imply that the school is not on the West Coast. Martin said he would be at the new school by the end of this week.
I talked this afternoon with ex-Cal star Jerome Randle, who sounded a bit disappointed after NBA summer league stints with Orlando and Washington, but not ready to give up on his quest to make the league.
Asked what his next step is, Randle said, “I have no idea. I’m waiting on calls.”
Undrafted last month, Randle said he’s hoping to get a free-agent invitation to the Wizards’ preseason camp, but isn’t sure if that’s coming.
He said he hasn’t yet pursued anything overseas, adding, “That’s the last thing on my mind. I’m not going to give up on my dream, whatI I’m trying to accomplish. I’ve still got a lot more time to hopefully get a call from somebody. We’ll just see what happens.”
Randle said he wasn’t satisfied with his play in the Orlando and Las Vegas summer leagues. Asked what he could have done better, he said, “A little bit of everything.”
With Washington, Randle got the chance to play with No. 1 draft pick John Wall, the point guard from Kentucky. “He’s a good player. That’s all I can say,” Randle offered.
Incoming freshman Chris Martin announced today that he will not be attending Cal and will transfer to another school to begin his college football career. Here is the press release from Cal:
Chris Martin to Transfer
(BERKELEY) – Linebacker Chris Martin, a member of Cal’s 2010 signing class, will transfer from Cal announced head coach Jeff Tedford on Tuesday.
“My decision to transfer definitely does not reflect on the football program or the academics at Cal,” said Martin, a native of Oakland. “Rather, I feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay Area. I need to venture away from home and start my college career somewhere else where I don’t have those distractions.”
“This is a decision that Chris and his family have made to do what they feel is in the best interest of Chris,” said Tedford. “We wish Chris the best as he pursues his college football career. It is always important for young men to make the correct decisions to be able to reach their full potential. I understand his concern with the continued outside distractions he’s facing, and I support Chris and his decision to transfer. I wish him and his family all the best.”
Much more to come….
***NOTE: This is the beginning of a day-by-day countdown of the ballot I submitted for the Pac-10 preseason media poll, starting from the bottom.***
No. 10: WASHINGTON STATE. When it comes to conference predictions, there doesn’t seem to be more of a slam dunk across the country than picking Washington State to finish last in the Pac-10. The Cougars have been jackstomped by virtually every opponent on the schedule during the past two years, and nothing happened at the end of last season or during the offseason to suggest that is going to change substantially in 2010.
Washington State has gone 1-17 in the Pac-10 over the past two seasons, with the only win coming against Washington in 2009. The Cougars average margin of loss during their 0-9 conference run last year was 30.8 points. The good news for WSU is that was an improvement over 2009, when they were outscored by Pac-10 foes by an average of 41.8 points per contest.
But even though they were incrementally more competitive last season, it’s hard to imagine the Cougars becoming better than any of the other nine Pac-10 teams. Washington St. has a couple of intriguing pieces, most notably quarterback Jeff Tuel, who showed promise last season. But the Cougars simply don’t have the depth and talent across the board to compete at a high enough level to consistently win in the conference.
One storyline to watch in Pullman is the status of former Cal running back James Montgomery, who suffered a potentially life-threatening leg injury last season (acute compartment syndrome). Montgomery is expected to be at full strength at the beginnig of training camp and compete for the starting job, a role he had secured last year until the injury early in the season.
The handoff of the USC athletics department will go from a former halfback to a quarterback . The Los Angeles Times is reporting that former Trojans quarterback Pat Haden — an Academic All-American and Rhodes Scholar — will replace embattled athletic director and one-time Heisman Trophy-winning running back Mike Garrett as the school’s athletic director, effective Aug. 3.
Cal apparently is interested in Juan Anderson, a 6-5 wing from Castro Valley HS, who plays for the Oakland Rebels traveling team. Anderson, a standout recently at the adidas Invitational in Indianapolis, has offers from Cal, Arizona State and San Diego State, according to Rivals.com. Also in the picture are Murray State, USF, SMU and UC Davis.
Meanwhile, Scout.com is reporting that Chasson Randle, a 6-2 PG from Rock Island, Ill., has narrowed his choices to Stanford, Purdue and Illinois. Randle, rated as the No. 7 PG prosect by Scout.com, averaged 7.0 points while helping the USA U17 team team to the World Championship. Chasson Randle is no relation to ex-Cal star Jerome Randle.
Hope everybody had a nice weekend. Beginning tomorrow, I will start revealing the ballot I sent in to the Pac-10 for the annual media poll. I will count down from No. 10 to No. 1, with one team per day. The countdown will end on July 29, when the actual media poll will be announced at Pac-10 Media Day in Pasadena.