CGB Hall Of Fame Round Of 32: JJ Arrington v. Dante Hughes


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And now after the red hot voting matchups earlier this week, we continue the California Golden Blogs Hall Of Fame.  Let's be clear here, this isn't the OFFICIAL Cal Hall Of Fame, just our own internet version.  But we still love it.  This is the Pappy Waldorf Bracket, Round of 32, JJ Arrington v. Dante Hughes

For each athlete, you can vote in the poll; it closes a week from today at midnight.  After the jump, you can read the athlete profiles written up by our commenters, and discuss in the comments your memories of each athlete and which one deserves to move on. (Check out the full bracket here. To check out the original nomination thread, click here. For those who want to track the CGB Hall of Fame posts exclusively, click here or right next to the timestamp above where it says "Hall of Fame".)

 

#3 J.J Arrington

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via i.a.cnn.net

 

Tightwad Hill encapsulated Arrington's 2004 season perfectly. 

Cal fans were understandably anxious to see what Arrington would do carrying the full workload in 2004. What he did was have the greatest season by any player in the history of Cal football. That’s right. The greatest season ever.

In each of his 12 games, Arrington hit for at least 100 yards – the only back in America to make that claim. Against Air Force in the opener, he scored three times including an 89-yard run that set a Cal record. 3 more scores against NMSU, and then a couple of off games – 108 yards and a TD v Oregon State and 112 in the heartbreak loss to SC. Then J.J. got serious.

 

The first 1:19 are the only Cal highlights I could find of JJ. The run at :49 is my favorite. Nice tackling Ducks.

 



 

We haven't even discussed his 31 carry, 261 yard, 2 TD performance in Hattiesburg with the Rose Bowl starting to become a huge question mark. People would probably remember JJ's season more if we punched our tickets to Pasadena the next day, but so it goes. We didn't even mention he was a two star recruit. Not too shabby.

 

#6 Dante Hughes

 

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via cache.daylife.com

Daymeion, or as he’d later be known, Dante Hughes was one of the most dominant if not the most dominant cover corner Cal had ever seen.  Many multi-year players in college show vast swings in their ability from year to year, or have careers rendered moot and inconsistent by injury or other distraction.  With a steady progression from solid to spectacular over his four years at Cal, Daymeion showed none of this. 

 

A highly lauded dual threat recruit, Daymeion was equally dangerous rushing and passing.  His stellar D in addition to the 15 TDs and yardage totals he chalked up landed him as the #41 player in the nation coming out of Crenshaw High School in LA. 

 

Starting as a true freshman in the oh-so-innocent Tedford days of 2003, he won team freshman of the year, and in a sign of things to come, intercepted his first pass for a 72 yard TD vs. Oregon State.  His sophomore year brought continued development, starting in 11 games and honing his approach and tackle skills.

 

Daymeion truly started to shine in 2005, his junior year, in a vein not seen since Deltha O’Neal.  With five interceptions, 16th nationally, for a massive 159 return yards, DelthaDaymeion effectively shut down half the field for opposing QBs, and along with Tim Mixon was a major force in the (mostly) rock solid 2005 D.  His play also led to two of the more inventive facebook groups to be created for Cal football players (Group 1 & Group 2 here, click on them!).

 

His senior season was stunning.  Eight interceptions for a hundred and then some yards and two more for TDs, seventeen pass breakups, and 72 tackles.  QBs hardly dared throw near him.  With his partner in defense Tim Mixon out of Cal with untimely injury problems, Daymeion found time to tutor an up-and-coming freshman named Syd’Quan Thompson.  It appears to have worked.  His hard work was well rewarded.  In addition to the Lott trophy, Hughes was an AP first-team All American and the Pac-10 player of the year.  He was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts and continues to play for them under the new persona of Dante Hughes. 

 

Thank you for your hard work Daymeion!

 

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via graphics.fansonly.com

 




People might remember Greg Van Hoesen being big on art, but Dante was his quiet counterpart.

 

Daymeion Hughes Highlights from ken livingston on Vimeo.

He was really good at this football thing too.

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