CGB HoF Round of 32: Aaron Rodgers vs Justin Forsett



Aaronr

We conclude with two of Cal's modern football players, one who had the golden arm, the other having to grind through the blues of the trenches.

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".)

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron_rodgers_cal_medium

via www.greenbaypackersticket.net

norcalnick provides one more fantastic profile about one of Cal's greatest quarterbacks.

Because I am also a San Francisco 49er fan, I tuned into the 2005 NFL draft very much hoping that Aaron Rodgers would complete his destiny as a childhood Joe Montana fan and don the Red and Gold as our franchise quarterback.  Four years later and I’m still not sure if I wished that had happened. 

Rodgers only had about a season and a half to make an impression as a starter for the Golden Bears, and he wasted very little time.  Taking over as starting QB midway through the ’03 season, Rodgers led a late season charge for a bowl berth in a year that was expected to be a rebuilding year.  He then had perhaps the best performance ever by a Cal QB in a bowl game, sending expectations for 2004 sky-high in a thrilling, crazy 52-49 victory over Virginia Tech in the Insight Bowl.  He threw for 394 yards and 2 TDs. 

His 2005 season can almost be described as disappointing, although none of the fault would fall to Rodgers.  How can a 10-2 season be disappointing?  How about when hard-luck injuries gradually hamper the passing game as the team slowly puts the offensive burden on the legs of JJ Arrington?  Or when those receiver injuries haunt Cal by essentially preventing any chance at a comeback in a painful loss to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl?  And most of all, how about when your QB puts together one of the most impressive single game efforts in a losing effort to the eventual national champs?  Never have I been surer of something football related in my life than when Cal had first and goal at the USC 9 with less than two minutes to go.  Cal was going to score.  Aaron Rodgers was 29-31.  There is no way we don’t take the lead.  I just sat numb in my chair when Jonathan Makonnen slipped on 4th down, not comprehending that I was wrong. 

Sp_biggame_0818_kr_medium

via www.sfgate.com

Go to Hell, BCS!  You go to Hell and you DIE! 

Sadly, the peak of Rodger’s passing attack at Cal was probably reached in Corvallis in the game just before Cal’s loss to USC.  In that game Rodgers, Chase Lyman, and Geoff MacArthur absolutely blitzed Oregon State in a 49-7 victory.    Next week Lyman would go down with a knee injury that would essentially end is football career.  Makonnen would miss most of the games that year with a variety of nagging ailments and MacArthur played through various problems that limited his abilities before going down with a freak injury in practice before the Holiday Bowl.  It’s a testament to Rodger’s talent and Tedford’s coaching that Cal’s passing attack didn’t completely disappear. 

Aaron-rodgers-mustache_medium

via www.midwestsportsfans.com

Despite a rocky start, Rodgers came to embrace Green Bay fans, culture and moustaches. 

Rodgers intelligently declared for the draft in a down year for quarterbacks.  In one of the most unbelievable displays of NFL draft skullduggery he somehow slid to the end of the first round to the Green Bay Packers.  Rodgers suffered through Brett Favre’s chronic indecisiveness and is now the unquestioned starter for a perennial playoff contender.  Meanwhile, Alex Smith is for some reason still considered a viable starting quarterback contender for the 49ers.  I said above that I don’t know if I’m still upset that the 49ers drafted Smith over Rodgers.  That’s because I wouldn’t wish the 49er’s dysfunction on a Cal quarterback as clearly talented as Rodgers is, even if that means he has to play for a team that knocked out my 49ers every damned year in the late 90s.  When everything is done many expect Rodgers to finish his NFL career as the most decorated quarterback ever to come out of Cal.  I’ll remember him as the player that vaulted Cal from feel-good mid-conference team to perennial Pac-10 title contender.

 Justin Forsett

Forsett_medium

via cdn3.sbnation.com

From Wikipedia:

With a deep depth chart at running back, it appeared Forsett would redshirt his freshman year, but an impressive performance in fall camp kept Forsett on the active roster. In the season opener, Forsett had 34 yards rushing and a touchdown in Cal's victory over Air Force. Forsett played mostly as a backup during his first 3 years at California, playing behind J.J. Arrington and Marshawn Lynch. Nevertheless, he managed to amass a good amount of playing time. During his freshman year, Forsett was used primarily on special teams, retuning one kickoff for 11 yards but usually blocking for Marshawn Lynch. On coverage units, he made 3 tackles and blocked a punt in the endzone for a touchdown against Washington.[3]

During his sophomore year, Forsett became second on the Cal depth chart at running back. He filled in when Lynch was injured in the early-season and ran for 235 yards against New Mexico State, good for the fourth highest single game rushing effort in school history.[2] In Forsett's junior year, he continued his role as backup. He ran for over 100-yards against Oregon when injuries sidelined Lynch and in Cal's rout of Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl.[2]

As a starter his senior year, Forsett rushed for 1,546 yards on 305 carries, and scored 15 touchdowns. He opened the season with 156 yards rushing and a touchdown against University of Tennessee. His 15 touchdowns led all rushers in the Pac-10, and his 1,546 rushing yards finished second, behind only Oregon tailback Jonathan Stewart. Forsett's efforts earned him a selection to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team.[5] Forsett ended his college career on a high note, rushing for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns in a 42-36 Cal victory over Air Force in the 2007 Armed Forces Bowl.

 

 

Justin Forsett Extended Highlights 01 from bob gregory on Vimeo.



Justin Forsett Extended Highlights 3 from bob gregory on Vimeo.

 

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