Football: C.J. Anderson signs with Broncos

Former Cal tailback C.J. Anderson, undrafted by the NFL this week, signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos, according to the team’s website.

Anderson, who came to Cal from Laney College, rushed for 1,135 yards in two seasons. He averaged 5.7 yards per carrry and scored a total of 14 touchdowns.



Rugby: Bears roar into national finals

No surprise here. Cal’s unbeaten (21-0) and top-ranked rugby 15s team blasted Navy 74-6 at Witter Rugby Field to advance to the finals of the Varsity Cup National Championships.

The Bears will meet BYU next Saturday at Provo, Utah for the Varsity Cup crown.

Navy (9-2) trailed just 12-6 in the semifinal match when the Bears used a 62-0 run to turn the game into a rout.

“We know what they do, but we weren’t prepared for them to do it quite as
well as they did,” said Navy head coach Mike Flanagan.



Football: Titans pick Schwenke in fourth round, tell him he could be a rookie starter

One year after trying the center position for the first time, Cal’s Brian Schwenke will get the chance to compete for the starting job with the Tennessee Titans.

Schwenke was the 10th player chosen in the fourth round on Day 3 of the NFL draft Saturday.

“They believe I can be the starting center next year — that’s what they told me,” Schwenke said on a media teleconference. “The position isn’t going to be handed to me. I have to earn it. I look forward to the challenge.”

Meanwhile, cornerback Steve Williams went 145th to the San Diego Chargers in the fifth round and cornerback Marc Anthony was chosen in the seven round by Super Bowl champion Baltimore with the 247th overall pick.

Their selection marked the first time Cal has had two corners picked in the same draft.

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Football: It took a while, but Keenan Allen finally goes to Chargers with the 76th pick of draft

Keenan Allen didn’t know quite what to say or how to feel.

After finally being taken by the San Diego Chargers with the 76th overall pick in the NFL draft — deep into the third round — the former Cal wide receiver’s emotions leaned more to relief than joy.

“I’m not sure what happened,” he said. “I was in the dark like you guys.”

Six months ago, Allen was being projected as the top receiver prospect in the draft, a sure first-rounder. He wound up as just the eighth wideout taken.

“Every time another receiver was taken, it was like another dagger,” said former Cal coach Jeff Tedford. “I could imagine how he felt because I was feeling it for him and with him. Knowing Keenan, this will just add fuel to the fire.”

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Rugby: Cal’s national semifinal match Saturday vs. Navy to be streamed live on Pac-12 Networks

The top-ranked Cal (20-0) rugby 15s team will take on Navy (9-1) in the semifinals of the Varsity Cup National Championships on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley.

The winner advances to the tournament championship game May 4 at Provo, Utah, against either BYU (10-2) or Central Washington (10-1).

Cal has won 26 of 33 national titles since 1980, but BYU captured the 2012 crown.

Navy has 10 collegiate championship final four appearances since 1980, but never has beaten the powerhouse Bears. Cal is 33-1 all-time vs. the military academies, its only defeat coming against Air Force in the 2003 collegiate national semifinals.

The Bears and Midshipmen clashed most recently in a postseason match in the 2007 national collegiate semifinals, with Cal prevailing 63-31.

Adult tickets are $10 and admission for kids 12-and-over and seniors is $5. Youth under 12 and all military personnel with ID are free. Gates open at 12:30 p.m.

The game will be streamed live over the Pac-12 Networks via:  http://pac-12.com/live/calbears.aspx.



Football: Keenan Allen, Bay Area college players locked out of NFL draft’s first day

A year after Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck was the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, the Bay Area was shut out in Thursday’s first round.

No local player was expected to make the splash that Luck did when he was taken at the top of the draft by the Indianpolis Colts.

But at least two players — Cal wide receiver Keenan Allen and Stanford tight end Zach Ertz — figured to be in the mix to be selected late in the first round.

Neither was taken, marking the first time since 2008 that Bay Area schools failed to produce a first-round draft pick.

Allen tried to stay upbeat Thursday night, tweeting: Competitively disturbed!!! But it’s all good somebody gonna hit the lotto! #headshigh #noworries

Allen and Ertz figure to be chosen Friday, when the draft resumes at 3:30 p.m. with the second and third rounds. The 49ers have the second pick of the second round, giving coach Jim Harbaugh the chance to consider taking Ertz, a player he recruited to Stanford.

Allen, who became Cal’s career receptions leader in less than three full seasons, was pegged as the top receiver prospect in the nation last fall. Then he sprained the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and not only missed the Bears’ final three games, but could not work out at the NFL combine in February.

His draft stock dipped as a result, and he also was the subject of an anonymously sourced ESPN report that his drug test at the combine was red-flagged. Allen’s agent refuted the report, explaining his client was only called back for a combine re-check of the ankle he broke more than a year ago.

Allen finally worked out for NFL scouts in North Carolina several weeks ago, impressing with his good hands and polished skills, but also clocking mediocre 40-yard dash times.

Three wideouts were picked in the first round, with St. Louis taking West Virginia’s Tavon Austin at No. 8 after a trade with Buffalo, and two more going in the late 20s.

Other local players who could be picked Friday include Cal center Brian Schwenke.


Football: Schwenke’s move to center to pay off

A year ago during spring practice at Cal, Brian Schwenke tried playing center for the first time in his football career.

This week, he expects to be drafted to play the position in the NFL.

“I’d never snapped a football. Now I feel more comfortable at center than I ever did at guard,” he said. “The way football works out, it’s what I’m more naturally built to do. Get that football out of there and go. It works for me.”

Schwenke, who started the two previous seasons at guard, was moved to center partly to benefit the team, partly because it could enhance his professional prospects.

Without the change, Schwenke admitted this week, “I probably wouldn’t be getting as much love as im getting.”

The 6-foot-3, 314-pound native of San Diego is getting enough love he anticipates being taken either Friday, when the second and third rounds are conducted, or Saturday, during the final four rounds.

The first round of the NFL draft will be held Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m.

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Football: Fujita delivers splashy NFL exit

Former Cal star Scott Fujita knows how to make an exit.

Fujita announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday after first signing a one-day contract with the New Orleans Saints, the team he helped win Super Bowl XLIV.

And he did the final paperwork from one of the world’s most spectacular settings. Check it out:

Scott Fujita signs his one-day contact with the Saints from Machu Picchu atop the Andes mountains. Photo courtesy of New Orleans Saints.
Fujita, 33, was in the Andes with former Saints teammate Steve Gleason, who is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

“What better place to reach the end of the road than here at 10,000 feet above sea level, in the Peruvian Andes overlooking Machu Picchu with my dear friend Steve Gleason?” Fujita said in a statement through the team.

Fujita, who played at Cal from 1998-2001, was one of four players suspended by the NFL in its investigation of the Saints’ bounty program. He fought to clear his name of the three-game ban and commissioner Roger Goodell later reduced Fujita’s suspension to one game before the suspensions of all players implicated were later vacated by former commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

Fujita played for five teams during his 11-year NFL career, most recently three seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He wound up with 767 tackles, 23.5 sacks, 11 forced fumbles and seven interceptions in 143 career games.

Fujita was the first player the Saints signed in 2006 after Sean Payton became coach.

“It’s been said that when you win a championship together, you walk together for the rest of your lives,” Payton said in a statement, “and that’s certainly appropriate to celebrate on a day like today.”



Golf: Three Bears named to play in Palmer Cup

Another big day for the top-ranked Cal golf team.

The Bears learned Monday they will be represented by three players at the Palmer Cup, putting the top collegiage golfers from the U.S. and Europe in a Ryder Cup-style event, June 7-9 at the Wilmington. Country Club in Wilmington, Del.

Michael Kim and Michael Weaver were selected to the 10-man U.S. squad and Joel Stalter, a native of Amneville, France, was chosen to the European team.

Cal coach Steve Desimone called the announcement “a great day for our program and certainly a wonderful day for our three players selected.”

He added, “It’s continued recognition of how well this team has played all year and the great play that all three of these players have produced throughout the season leading to us being the No. 1 team in the country. It’s a dream come true to represent your country.”

All three Cal players selected finished among the top six in the final Palmer Cup Ranking, also released Monday. The top six players for both Team USA and Team Europe in the Palmer Cup Ranking, which is in its first season of existence, automatically qualified for the Palmer Cup.

Kim was the No. 1 ranked player for Team USA, while Stalter and Weaver were both No. 6 for their respective squads. Weaver recently played in the Masters for the first time. Cal’s Brandon Hagy and Max Homa were also ranked on the Team USA list at No. 14 and No. 17, respectively.

Kim, a sophomore from Del Mar, is the nation’s No. 1 player in the latest rankings released by both Golfweek and Golfstat. He has been an individual medalist a school-record four times in 2012-13 and finished in the top 10 in all but one of his 11 regular-season events.

Cal has won a school-record nine tournaments in 11 tries this season, one shy of the unofficial NCAA record of 10 set by Oklahoma State in 1985-86.

The Bears’ next tournament is the Pac-12 Championships, April 29 through May 1 at the Los Angeles Country Club.


Track and field: Bears split in Big Meet

The Cal men’s track and field team beat Stanford 85-78 in the 119th Big Meet. Tom Blocker won the 100 and 200 meters and ran on the victorious 400 relay team as the Bears won for the first time since 2006.

Hammed Suleman swept the long and triple jumps for Cal, which leads  the all-time series 67-50-2.

Stanford won the women’s meet for the third straight season, posting a 102-61 victory. Charnell Price won the 100 and 200 for the Bears. Stanford’s women own a 23-11 series edge.

— RUGBY: Cal blasted Notre Dame 77-0 in the quarterfinals of the Varsity Cup National Championships at Annapolis, Md. The win sets up a semifinal matchup vs. Navy, which beat Dartmouth 32-0.

The Bears (20-0) and Midshipmen (8-1) will meet next Saturday at 1 p.m. at Witter Rugby Field in Berkeley.