Football: More on Vereen


I had a chance to speak with Shane Vereen this evening about his decision to leave Cal for the NFL draft. He didn’t say too much more than he did to his hometown paper.

One thing I asked him about was whether he felt he could improve his draft stock by returning for his senior season, considering the uncertainty surrounding the offense.

“I can see both perspectives,” Vereen said. “My stock might be who I am right now. I might not be able to change that. But at the same time, I feel like I always can improve and get better. Whether that was going to happen at Cal or not, who knows? But I always feel like I can improve and do better.”

Vereen said he truly did not think about the decision until after the season because he wanted his sole focus to be on the team. And he said although he believes this is the right timing for him to leave, he said the way last season went made him think strongly about coming back.

“That definitely almost brought me back,” Vereen said. “I would love to help Cal get back to where it should be.”

Vereen said the feedback from the NFL is that he should be a second or third round pick, but Vereen said his decision was based mostly on a gut feeling. He said no matter where he is projected, he feels like now is the time to leave.

“Regardless of the information I got, it was just a gut feeling,” he said. “Nothing is for sure. You never know until the draft actually happens. If I get drafted lower, I’ll just have to work my way up.”

Vereen said he has talked a lot with former Cal running back Jahvid Best in recent weeks, mostly to get advice on agents. He has also sought counsel from former running back Justin Forsett.

Vereen has already received his degree in media studies, graduating in 3 1/2 years. He is going to be training in Southern California as he prepares for Cal’s pro timing day, individual workouts and likely an invitation to the NFL scouting combine.




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.

  • HungryCalBear

    What a fine young man. Thank you Vereen for giving your all to Cal. Good luck in the NFL. We’ll be rooting for you wherever you go.

  • RD

    He always left his heart on the field, a great competitor. I hope he gets an opportunity in the pros.
    He is a Bear through and through.

  • David

    What a great guy… But the timing may be off with the impending lockout

  • uh oh

    No doubt in anyone’s mind – he should go for it!
    He’s already graduated? Damn!

    As physical as the game is, player’s simply have a shelf life. Injuries are a process of subtraction on the body. If Vereen came back to Cal, his body would absorb more bruises and subtraction, which would worsen his chances in the pros. His body is fully physically grown and developed. He’s not an 18 year old. And RB’s are in their prime with quickness at this age.

    He’s one hit (and knee injury) away from missing his chance.
    Now is a great time! Make some money while continuing to improve yourself on a pro roster.

  • Calduke

    Whew!! Good move Shane.
    I was concerned someone might convince you to stay another year. Your career starts soon.

    The football season was a downer and it appears the basketball season could be worse.

    I can’t wait for baseball.

  • Steve W

    I predict that Vereen will make a better back in the NFL than Best. He is almost as fast, and certainly stronger and more durable. The young man has his degree and has nothing left to prove at Cal.

    The void he leaves behind is palpable. Look at that roster and tell me if you see anything close to a 1,000 yard back in Cal’s offensive scheme. This is a perfect time to change the pro style offense and adapt to the spread. Sofele might peform better in a spread offense, and maybe one of the new quarterbacks like Hinder is just born to run it. But will Tedford change anything?…..Nah.

  • Calduke

    Where are the recruits. The blackout period and LOI day quickly approaching.

  • Meep.

    @Steve – If you discount the true freshmen next year, it’s Sofele, Yarnway, Briggs, and DeBoskie. Briggs looks like he could definitely be a 1,000 yard rusher, while the others would rotate in depending on the situation; some are better for spread offenses, other for 4th and 1, etc.

  • milo

    Hey the kid did it all…got his degree, gave it his all. I wish him the very best. He represents Cal very well.

    p.s. I think the true Tailback U continues. There’s a LOT of talent at RB at Cal.

  • toohandy

    Steve, Cal does not have to go to the spread to be successful. Stanford, USC, Washington, etc., use the pro style offense and are very successful. It (pro set) also better prepares players for the next level.

  • Good luck to him. Anyone watching the Steelers game? Still 0-0 🙁