CGB Hall of Fame: Desean Jackson vs Jahvid Best

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What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July with two of the most dazzling Golden Bears ever to play at Memorial clashing in the Sweet 16? Vote now!

Desean's road: beat Milica Vukadinovic 170-57, beat Theo Robertson 206-82.
Jahvid's road: first round bye, beat Deltha O'Neal 151-73.

Voting ends Friday at noon PT. Click here to view the full bracket.

MinerNiner presents the case for Desean.

Perhaps no other skill player in Cal history instilled as much fear and respect into opposing defenses and special teams coverages as DeSean Jackson. Opening day starter as a true freshman. His first two career touches went for touchdowns against Sacramento State. Led the Bears in receiving as a sophmore with 59 catches for 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns as set a Cal record with four punt returns for touchdowns. Perhaps his greatest play was a 77 yard punt return against Tennessee in 2007 that went for a touchdown. Some consider him an enigma during his Junior year, in which the Cal football team collapsed in the second half of the season, however, his overall body of work is not to be ignored. He departed holding Pac-10 records for punts returned for a touchdown both in a season (four), and in a career (six). Jackson ranks third all-time at California for receiving yards with 2,423 and receiving touchdowns with 22. He is sixth in receptions (162). Jackson finished with 52 career plays of 20 yards or more, making up 23 percent of his 226 touches.

There's not much need to introduce Jahvid to you, but we'll do it anyway. Here's what some random dope wrote about him.

Best seems to always have one mode: Fast. He ran fast. He cut fast. He caught fast. He leapt fast. He even interviewed fast. He's the prototypical Internet-generation athlete!

He was a one man instrument of warfare, like that sniper in Saving Private Ryan. In a blink of an eye, he took teams out of games. We can count the games, the names, the teams he left burning on the turf in his wake. CSU '08. Wazzu '08. Furd '08. Washington '08. Miami '08. Maryland '09. Minnesota '09. UCLA '09. Opposing fans probably felt a little helpless once the Jet found the seams and broke loose--it was hardly a fair fight once Xs and Os crumbled into the 100 m dash.

I don't think I've ever seen a football player take over a football game by himself the way Jahvid did with the liabilities he had to nurse from everyone. He was hampered with a generally weak offensive line (especially in the interior) and a terribly hamstrung quarterback situation. Even Desean had a fairly accurate Longshore throwing to him much of his career. Best had to win many games on his own (and when I say on his own, he generated around 70 to 80% of their meaningful offense, sometimes even more). The only Bear who had to burden that much of the load in modern times was probably Deltha, and those teams still stunk. One player can't make a team great; it's to Jahvid's credit that he kept the offense running alright  with minimal help (Ta'ufo'ou, Mack and Malele in '08, and mmmaybe Summers-Gavin in '09).

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