Coach Jim Schwartz said Best popped up on his radar after offensive coordinator Scott Linehan mentioned how he had been dazzled after watching Best on television.
"We were having dinner the night before one of the games," Schwartz said, "and Scott said, 'Wow, have you seen that running back from Cal?'
" 'No. They have a running back?' "
"He said, 'Man, what I would do for a running back like that. That guy's just really - I don't know if he's coming out, what he would do in the draft, but I just watched him play a game and that guy is everything we're looking for.'"
Schwartz said he quickly fired up Best's highlights on YouTube and Google and also was amazed.
"When you put a game on," Schwartz said, "he was dominating that game, whether it was in the passing game - he's got great hands - whether it's as a receiver, whether it's as a running back, running inside, running outside, wildcat, whatever it is, he was the best player on the field, and it was against good competition."
Best said he did not know how the Lions plan to use him, but he was ready and willing to do anything. Even though he's known best for his speed as a former prep track sprinting champ, Best said he considered something else his best feature as a running back.
"I'd say my biggest strength is vision and as a running back if you don't have vision you're not going to be successful," Best said. "You can be the strongest guy in the world or the fastest guy in the world, but if you don't have vision you're never going to hit the hole. So I feel that's my strongest asset."
After the jump Jacksonville and Detroit coaches/media talk about draft day, Alualu and Best talk about being drafted, three Bears sign with the Dallas Cowboys, the football team wraps up spring practice, and more.
- Syd was the third and final Bear drafted, going to the Denver Broncos in the seventh round (225th overall).
- Though Jacksonville fans weren't happy with the first-round pick of Alualu, the Jags' OT Eben Britton thinks Alualu is a great pickup. Britton, a former Arizona O-lineman, played against Alualu and calls him "what you want in a D-lineman." Vito Stellino of The Florida Times-Union tells Jags fans to let Tyson get on the field before they get too upset.
- Alualu was humbled to be chosen so early in the draft, especially before his former teammate Best. He thought New England was going to draft him late in the first round, so the phone call he received was a complete shock.
- Honolulu Adviser has a good story on the excitement around Tyson and his family after he was picked.
- Best was also surprised to receive his phone call, as it wasn't even Detroit's turn to make a selection in the draft. Detroit's fans and press seem happy with the decision to draft Best.
- Detroit's coach and GM talked about drafting Best. They talk about moving up in the draft to choose Best, where Best fits into their plans on offense, and how his injuries affected their decision to draft him. More on choosing Best.
- Free agent signings: Brett Johnson was the first Bear to sign a free agent contract, joining the Buffalo Bills. Next to sign was Mike Tepper, who has signed with the Dallas Cowboys. Chet Teofilo and Verran Tucker will also join Dallas. He has not been offered a contract, but Marcus Ezeff has been invited to work out for the New York Jets. The four players talk about their ability to play at the next level.
- Back on campus, Riley says this year's team wants to prove that it deserved to be among the names in contention for the Pac-10 crown.
- JO has some post-practice quotes from Tedford and Pendergast.
- As a surprise to many, Theo Robertson was named the team MVP. The seniors swept the rest of the team awards with one exception: Jorge won--not surprisingly--defensive player of the year.
- No. 17/13 softball routed no. 1 Washington in a 9-1 upset.
- No. 1 women's crew retained the Simpson Cup by defeating Washington. Meanwhile the no. 2 men's team was swept by no. 1 Washington, who earned the Schoch Cup.
- Women's lacrosse outscored St Mary's 8-1 in the second half to take a 12-4 victory.
- Steve Sodaro became the sixth Bear ever to run a sub-4:00 mile.