Football: Jaguars pick Bryan Anger at No. 70

Bryan Anger apparently was angry when I quoted him earlier this week saying he was “pretty much guaranteed” to be drafted.

Well, I did not misquote Mr. Anger — and he was right.

He was picked Friday in the third round, with the 70th overall pick, by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Anger is the first punter taken as early as the third round since 2005, the highest-drafted punter since 1995 and the ninth-highest punter ever drafted into the NFL.

“He’s a difference maker when it comes to punting,’’ Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey said of Anger.

Anger will compete with Jags incumbent and fellow Cal alumn Nick Harris, with whom he worked out a couple years back. The Jags obviously expect Anger to win the job or they wouldn’t have picked him, but Anger understands the assignment won’t merely be handed to him.

Not everyone is convinced spending a third-round pick on a punter is a great idea. Check out Gene Frenette’s take on Jacksonville.com.

Click here for more from the Jaguars’ website.



Football: Eagles nab Mychal Kendricks at No. 46

The Philadelphia Eagles plucked Cal linebacker and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Mychal Kendricks in the No. 46 slot. He became the second Cal player taken in the second round of the NFL draft, the fourth Bay Area played chosen on Friday.

Click here to read the Philadelphia Inquirer’s story on Kendricks and here for a story on the Eagles’ website.

“He’s instinctive,” said NFL Network’s Mike Mayock after the selection was made. “He was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. I love his production. He can run and I think he fits what the Eagles do inside.”

Kendricks entered the pre-draft evaluations facing questions because of his 5-foot-11 height. But he impressed scouts and coaches at the Senior Bowl, then at the NFL scouting combine, where his 4.41 time for 40 yards was the fastest by a linebacker at the event in 12 years.

“I can play anywhere I need to play. I’m versatile,” Kendricks said on a conference call. “I just play big and shut them up that way.”

At Cal, Kendricks totaled 259 career tackles, including 36 1/2 for losses, and had 11 takeaways. He thrived as as senior in 2011 when moved to inside linebacker.


Football: Browns select Mitchell Schwartz

Offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz was the first Cal player selected in Friday’s second round of the NFL draft, going to the Cleveland Browns with the 37th overall pick.

Schwartz will join ex-Cal star Alex Mack, starting center for the Browns, and will help block for first-round draft pick Trent Richardson of Alabama. He is projected to compete for the starting right tackle spot.

Schwartz said on a conference call that Mack texted him congratulations — and a list of the top restaurants in Cleveland.

Schwartz is equally excited to pave the way for new running back teammate Richardson.

“He was just an animal at Alabama. You don’t have too many backs like that on college — that big, that thick,” Schwartz said. “I’m sure he’ll make me look pretty good and I’ll make him look pretty good.”

Click here for a transcript of Schwartz’s media teleconference call with the Browns.

Schwartz, a 6-foot-5, 318-pounder, was a first-team all-Pac-12 selection last fall. He is the Bears’ first offensive lineman to be drafted since Mack went in the first round in 2009.

He was the third tackle picked in the 2012 draft.

“A very smart guy, a guy who’s big and athletic,” Cal coach Jeff Tedford recently said of Schwartz. “You’re not going to find a guy who is more prepared than him as far as the intelligence, understanding concepts. I don’t care if we did something his freshman year — he remembers everything. He’s just very bright and analytical.”



Football: No Bears on Day 1 — No surprise

As expected, no Cal player was selected in Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft.

It marked the first time in four years the Bears weren’t represented in the first round of the draft, just the second time in six years.

But Friday figures to be a busy day for Cal. Rounds 2 and 3 will be selected, and the Bears could 2 or 3 players. Expect LB Mychal Kendricks to go in Round 2, and OT Mitchell Schwartz and WR Marvin Jones likely will be picked in the second or third.

Stay tuned.



Basketball: Kamp, Gutierrez sweep awards

Seniors Harper Kamp and Jorge Gutierrez swept the major awards Wednesday night at Cal’s team banquet.
Kamp was named team MVP, an award named after legendary former Cal coach Nibs Price.
Gutierrez earned Defensive Player of the Year honors for the fourth consecutive year. No previous Cal player had won the award more than twice.
The two shared the 2012 Pete Newell Coach’s Award and were co-winners of the team’s Senior Award.
Sophomore guard Allen Crabbe earned the Darrall Imhoff Award as the Bears’ top rebounder (5.7) and the Free Throw Award (.843).
Sophomore Justin Cobbs was honored with the Jason Kidd Award as the team’s assist leader (4.9) amd junior Robert Thurman claimed the Field Goal Percentate Award (.638).


Basketball: Arizona’s Jesse Perry arrested

Arizona forward Jesse Perry was arrested by Tucson police on a felony domestic violence charge. The incident involves Perry allegedly assaulting a woman with whom he had a former relationship.

Perry’s attorney told the Arizona Daily Star his client is looking forward to his day in court and the chance to clear his name.

Perry averaged 12.2 points and 7.5 rebounds as a junior for the Wildcats last season.


Football: A busy draft week for ex-Cal stars

Cal won’t have four players picked in Thursday’s first round of the NFL draft, as rival Stanford might. But the Bears will be well-represented during the three-day selection process.

Linebacker Mychal Kendricks, offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz and wide receiver Marvin Jones could go as high as the second round. Bryan Anger could be that rare punter actually drafted.

Others — including defensive ends Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu, linebacker D.J. Holt, and safeties D.J. Campbell and Sean Cattouse — could be selected.

Here are my pre-draft profiles on KendricksJones and Anger.


Softball: Arioto hits 20th home to break school record as Bears bounce back vs. Oregon

Valerie Arioto broke her own single-season record with her 20th home run and No. 1 Cal (42-3, 13-2 Pac-12) rebounded from a loss the day before with a 10-0 romp at No. 14/18 Oregon (21-11, 9-7).

Ashley Decker hit a 2-run homer and RBI single and Breana Kostreba also homered.

Arioto (Foothill HS-Pleasanton), who homered 19 times last season, now has 51 for her career. She is four home runs shy of the Cal career record of 55, set by Veronica Nelson (2000-03).

Jolene Henderson pitched a 3-hitter with six strikeouts, improving to 24-1 on the season.

— BASEBALL: The Bears (23-15, 7-8) posted a 5-2 win over Utah (10-28, 5-13) to complete a weekend sweep at Evans Diamond and win their fourth game overall.  Cal has won six of seven and has climbed from last place to eighth in the 11-team Pac-12 standings.

Junior left-hander pitched his 22nd career victory and Chad Bunting homered, his third in the series.


Baseball: Bears blank Utes for third win in a row

Senior Matt Flemer pitched eight shutout innings and got home runs from Chadd Krist and Andrew Knapp in a 9-0 win over Utah at Evans Diamond. Knapp has homered in three straight games and Cal has played errorless ball in all three.

As a result, the Bears (22-15, 6-8 Pac-12) have won three in a row and five of six.

Flemer improved to 6-2 and dropped his earned run average to 1.95. He struck out eight and scattered five hits.

Cal goes for a series sweep of Utah (10-27, 5-12) on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game.

— SOFTBALL: The top-ranked Cal women (41-3, 12-2 Pac-12) managed just four hits and lost 1-0 at Oregon (31-11, 9-6). The Bears are now even in the loss column with second-place Arizona State (37-5, 9-2 entering its game Saturday night against Stanford).

Valerie Arioto allowed just five hits and blanked Oregon for five innings before the Ducks scored the game’s only run on a two-out RBI single by Kailee Cuico in the sixth. Jessica Moore struck out eight and improved to 22-7 for Oregon.