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Football: Brendan Bigelow makes 5 Cal juniors who intend to declare for the NFL draft

Running back Brendan Bigelow became the fifth Cal junior to announce he intends to declare for the NFL draft, the athletic department confirmed. Wednesday is the deadline for juniors to enter their name.

Bigelow burst onto the scene with a spectacular 160-yard, two touchdown rushing performance at Ohio State as a sophomore in 2012. His spinning, 81-yard sprint around left end at Columbus left Buckeyes defenders groping for air and sparked the imagination of Cal fans.

But the Fresno native couldn’t transform that performance into steady production. He was in and out of the lineup in 2012, finishing the season with 431 rushing yards and a gaudy 9.8 yards per attempt.

His junior season under new coach Sonny Dykes was no more successful. Battling the effects of offseason knee surgery early in the season, Bigelow never found a consistent rhythm and seemed often to run without confidence.

The coaching staff actually moved him to slot receiver at midseason, then returned him to running back. He wound up with 421 rushing yards — 107 of them with his only two touchdowns against Colorado in Week 11. He caught 34 passes for 202 yards.

One of the fastest players on the Cal team, Bigelow finished his career with 877 rushing yards. He will become at least the 18th junior to enter the draft.

Bigelow follows four other Cal juniors who have declared their intention to enter the draft: cornerback Kam Jackson, tight end Richard Rodgers, linebacker Khairi Fortt and defensive tackle Viliami Moala.

A Cal athletic department spokesperson said Dykes would not be available to comment.

Jeff Faraudo

  • rotfogel

    Wowsers!!! Does anything say the Cal football bears do not like their coach more than the mass exodus of players who might not even get drafted.

    Bigelow might not be drafted at all and if he is, maybe a 6th or 7th round?

    How does that reflect on the trust level the team has with Sonny D? The second a player can get out they’re out running! Literally.

  • Eric

    Playing Devil’s Advocate, one might surmise Bigelow left because he knows his playing time will be substantially curtailed with Khalfani and Lasco – both of whom showed a lot more promise – coming back, plus one, and potentially two, incoming freshman RBs. Sitting on the bench won’t improve his draft stock.

  • Eric

    I saw a report that Luke Del Rio, who had walked on at Alabama and was in the running as the QB to replace McCarron, is transferring, with Oregon State (which had offered him) as a strong possibility. if that happens, I wonder where that places Zack Kline.

  • Juancho

    Good for him. I wish him success at the combine. With a good combine showing he can get drafted. And he will be another one of those guys I like to watch on Sundays and will take pride in when they announce their school as Cal. Things never worked out for him at Cal. Another on a long long list like that.

  • Juancho

    Eric you sure that’s not Oklahoma State? I believe Del Rio was at one point committed to them – or if not they were the leader for a long time.

  • Juancho

    I just read the ESPN article. Yup they’re claiming Oregon State. Maybe Kline will transfer back with Tosh after Dykes is gone. TOTALLY JOKING EVERYONE.

  • wgward

    Just a bunch of quitters, period.

  • sunshipballoons

    The guys who are leaving are generally guys who don’t fit the new schemes they put in. It makes sense, but it’s weird more aren’t transferring rather than declaring.

  • covinared

    Too bad. He looked pretty good the last few games. He has more upside than the others coming back. Lots of juniors are declaring but ours are probably going mostly because they don’t like the new regime.

  • Chris

    Bingo! – Players are bailing left and right speaks volumes of having ZERO confidence in the coaching staff and Stormy Dykes who just coached them to a winless season.

  • Chris

    Nah – Just a bunch of young realists trying to do their best in salvaging a dream of earning NFL $ for a few years and playing on Sundays. A dream that they concluded is becoming more unrealistic and impossible with another year of losing under Stormy Dykes and Buh and the whole overpaid undertalented lots of coaches roaming the Berkeley sidelines in 2014.

  • Chris

    That’s David Shaw’s take when speaking to a TV camera yes. I’m sure the 0-11 record and 8 blowout losses has nothing to do with Bigelow’s and 6 other players decision to transfer or jump to the NFL Draft as a low round draft choice. right?

  • Eric

    Certainly a possibility. Lots of possibilities to explain. Five of the six had mediocre to poor seasons, including being benched in favor of younger players, which is usually a legitimate reason to leave the program – whether by declaring for the NFL or transferring. That certainly explains Kline, Tagaloa, and Ragin. And it is worth noting that, except for Rodgers, none of the players who played a lot and/or well before injury – Sebastian, Lawler, Treggs, Harper, Muhammed, Forbes, McClure, Goff, Borrayo, Scarlett, for example – has transferred or declared, even though they were on the field quite a bit for the same 0-11 record and 8 blowout losses you cite. Presumably your point would have a lot more force if these guys were the ones abandoning ship.
    Has Moron/Woj resurfaced?

  • Chris

    A much stronger possibility is that I’m again spot on and Cal = 2-10 or worse in 2014. Next season’s results will simply shred your theories to mere hopes and bolster what I’m saying. The transfers/bailing is as close a non confidence vote as players can give to their present coaching staff.
    Stop it with the name calling you 15 year old.

  • Eric

    Ah, Woj. Didn’t want to keep the original name, I guess.

    The statement, “Stop it with the name calling you 15 year old,” is, in addition to being self-contradictory, nonsensical. I asked if either the Moron or Woj had resurfaced. The answer is, apparently, yes.
    You also failed to dispute the point that undercuts what you are saying. If transfers/declarations are evidence of player votes of no confidence, then it would be the best players – the ones who have the likelihood of continuing to play meaningful minutes at Cal – who should have left the team, not the ones who have every reason personal to them to leave. Goff didn’t transfer – Kline did. Muhammed didn’t transfer – Bigelow declared. Sebastian didn’t transfer or declare – Jackson declared. The only one who is contrary to this is Rodgers, and he owes a lot of thanks to Dykes for featuring far more in the offense.

  • wgward

    Could be grades, too, or a lack of “enthusiasm” for the classroom, but we will never know.

  • wgward

    Well, ask the players who are still Cal Bears….

  • Chris

    I can’t match wits with someone who’s vocabulary hasn’t eliminated ‘moron’ from it. You don’t agree with someone – fine by me. But to throw out moron or nitwit or the 15 other synonyms for that useless word instead of staying on point speaks to your intelligence not mine. You like 1-11 season Dykes delivered and 0-11 against FBS teams and myriad of players bailing to other schools and the NFL to escape Dykes’ coaching and program, then fine, you ought to really like the 2014 season where Cal will endure much more losing with many in routs than winning. If Cal wins 3 games in 2014 I’d personally be shocked as any realist would. The best Norcal U.C. playing football team in 2014 will be in Davis not Berkeley as was the case in 2013. I wish Davis had Berkeley on its 2014 schedule. Ags would beat Cal like they did Stanford in 2005.

  • Eric

    A little sensitive, aren’t we Chris? I think you’ll have to make sure to mention this quote: “But to throw out moron or nitwit or the 15 other synonyms for that useless word instead of staying on point speaks to your intelligence not mine” every time our favorite USC troll decides to bash the University of California on this blog just for the sake of it. Suince you surfaced before the 2013 football season, you have agreed with “Morencsarecoming” virtually every time, notwithstanding the near constant vitriolic ad hominem attacks that accompany that person’s posts. Why? Do you agree that social welfare should be removed from the majors the school offers? Do you agree that the university should change its name to “Cal State East Bay” and do you wonder whether the reference to “Cal State” is intended to be an insult?

    There is a reason that person has always responded to “Moron.”

    A month or two ago, you said Cal would not win two games next season. Now you have said it would be shocking if Cal wins three. If Cal wins three or more, will you leave this blog permanently? If not, will you admit everything you have said was wrong? If not, why not?

    During the season, you said on this blog on at least two occasions that Cal was no longer the highest ranked public university according to US News & World Report. You did so with the purpose of trying to suggest that apologists or defenders of Sonny Dykes were analogous to individuals who continued to think Cal was the best public university. Since your statement was factually wrong, have you admitted it? if not, why not?

    I am also trying to understand the logic of this sentence: “You like 1-11 season Dykes delivered and 0-11 against FBS teams and myriad of players bailing to other schools and the NFL to escape Dykes’ coaching and program, then fine, you ought to really like the 2014 season where Cal will endure much more losing with many in routs than winning.” I’ll put aside the typo, but, as basically argument rules suggest, why do you assume facts not in evidence?

  • Eric

    Apparently Chris knows – there is only answer, and that answer is “myriad of players bailing to other schools and the NFL to escape Dykes’ coaching and program.” Anyone who thinks differently will be shot, tovarisch.

  • covinared

    I agree.

  • Juancho

    Not on defense. Wilkerson. Mccain. Ragin. Moala. Jackson. Whitener.

  • Eric

    Chris Low of ESPN.com has an interesting article on the draft declarants – winners and losers. This year had a record 95 declarants. Think of this last point he makes:

    LOSER: Players who get bad advice

    Every year, players leave early who have absolutely no business leaving early. A year ago, of the 73 players declaring for the draft, 21 weren’t selected. Sometimes, players leave because they’re asked to leave. Others are flunking out academically and don’t really have a choice. But more times than not, there’s somebody in their ear telling them that they need to go get paid, and the sad truth is that very few of them ever get paid to play football and have no degree to fall back on.

  • Larry

    No Comment…

  • Chris

    Wow, long post. But with 0 wins over FBS schools in 2013 I suppose a 3 page term paper is necessary to try and defend keeping Dykes for even a second year. Results for 2013 speak for themselves- Cal = 0 FBS wins and 8 blowout losses + 6 players bolting the program + zero 4star and zero 5star recruits to improve the team quickly talent wise.

    Nice try though – You inserted ‘public’ into my earlier statement when I said Cal is no longer the highest ranked university. And it’s not and it’s not close. Using your own U.S. News and World Report rankings – http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-colleges/rankings/national-universities
    Berkeley in the 1960s and 1970s pre-quotas used to be top 5 nationally period regardless of public/private breakdown. Now, they aren’t, period. Berkeley is 20th and the school Cal thinks their superior too academically, USC is #23 tied with UCLA. For reference, Stanford is #4.

  • Eric

    Wrong – twice you made the assertion “public” during the season and other posters actually you out on it. Now you are back-tracking.
    And, sadly, you have totally missed the point of my original post on this thread, in response to someone else. Nowhere do I defend Dykes or this past season. That’s why I called my first line, playing devil’s advocate. I hope that wherever you went to college you learned the meaning of this phrase.
    Goes back to my notation that you missed – assuming facts not in evidence. You have assumed I have been, or am, defending Dykes for this past season. Yet, as you no doubt know or should know, several posters asked me to give my year end assessment, which I did on January 1, and I was quite critical of Sonny Dykes (who you routinely insult by calling, “Stormy,” part of why you are entirely hypocritical when you exhibit sensitivity of calling the Moron the Moron). But you have seemed to make it your mission at every turn to take every thing and blame it on Dykes and Buh. Every time. It has become annoying, mainly because it is repetitive and usually pointless. Even here, your only explanation is that the players are leaving because of the poor coaching this past year. Nothing else. Not money. Not family. Not grades. Not losing out to better and younger players. Which is why I am going to respond, and made the very obvious point that if your theory were correct, the best players, not the worst, would be the ones leaving in droves. That’s why I quoted Chris Low, who demonstrates that there can be numerous, defensible, and even sensible reasons why kids leave college early or transfer.
    You’ve already backed off in your basketball post about using inappropriate fora to launch your attacks. Let’s see if you can take your foot of the gas with the ad hominem attacks until at least the 2014 season starts. I argue for a living, and have been extraordinarily successful, thanks in large part due to the measily 20th ranked school (according to USN&WR, as compared to the many other rankings out there considering Cal on the world stage). I enjoy the toying that you bring on.