Cal Football: Remembering the Seniors - CJ Anderson

Jason O. Watson

So how do you remember CJ Anderson and what stood out to you about his time at Cal?

HydroTech: My memories of CJ Anderson will mostly be of his jukey, powerful running style. He was never afraid of contact and seemed just as willing to dish the contact as much as receive it. What surprised me the most about CJ was also the coaching staff's use of him as a pass receiver. He's proven he can catch the ball and not just run. I think he's a fairly dynamic player, actually, and an NFL team may consider using a very late round draft pick on him. If not, I think he'd surely get a free agent contract through training camp with someone.

Berkelium97: C.J. Anderson was the kind of player who seemed like he never saw the field enough. Only three times in his career did he have more than 15 carries, and he averaged more than 7 yards per carry in each of those games. Of course, this is what happens when you have three top-quality RBs.

He was a hard, hard worker. He took it personally when he did not perform well and vowed to fix his mistakes. This post-Holiday Bowl quote stood out to me:

"I went right up to my room and closed the door," Anderson said. "I was upset about the game, upset about the way I played.

"I said (to myself), 'If you want to do something about it, change it.' And that's what I did. That was the night I figured out I had to switch it all up."

He was a different player during spring ball of 2012. With Sofele out with injury, he made the case to be the #1 back. If he were the lone starter, I would not be surprised if he put up 1200+ yards. Hopefully an NFL team recognizes his dedication and multifaceted skill set and drafts him. He could be a late-round steal.

CJ Anderson Highlight (via byron brooks)

LeonPowe: When I think of CJ Anderson, I'll think of a couple of things. One - the poor guy seemed like had more touchdowns called back for penalties than all other players combined from Cal for the last ten years. It probably was only like 4 - but if felt like the holding and illegal men downfield and various offensive penalties hurt him disproportionately than any other back or skill player during Tedford's tenure.

Another is that he seemed really to have a really good combination of speed, moves, hands and power - but he wasn't really a standout at any of those. Which may have made him a good running back, but unfortunately it makes it difficult to stand out beyond "good running back"

Lastly, at least from his interviews and his public comments - it seemed like he really cared about being at Cal, and appreciated the support of the fans and was enjoying his student athlete experience. Who knows how much of this is truth - but it certainly made me like him a lot more and want him to do well.

BlueandGold15: My favorite CJ Anderson memories have very little to do with the times he carried the ball. Don't get me wrong - he was a good running back in his time here, and definitely should have received more carries than he did in 2012. Everyone knew it even last spring - this year, CJ just looked ready to be a big contributor to the offense. Lingering injuries didn't help on that front, unfortunately.

Still, when I think about the big number 9, the first things that come to me are a pair of catches. The first - a 74 yard catch and run against Arizona State that helped give the team some much needed breathing room. Most people will recall that play to some degree, as it came during a wild Friday night shootout.

The second is a little less obvious, probably long lost in the aftermath of our heartbreaking defeat in the 2011 Big Game. When it happened, the Bears were down by 15 in the early fourth quarter, but lacked even the slightest hint of momentum. [Remember, we trailed by only one at the half, and arguably should have led. We were definitely dead in the water at that point.]

Enter Anderson, who took a desperate dumpoff from Maynard 39 yards to set up first and goal, breathing some life back into our upset bid. Even though we couldn't finish the job, I think why that play continues to stand out so much is because without it, the 2011 Big Game becomes just another disappointment, rather than a last second comeback worth reminiscing on. Thanks for that one, CJ...among my regrets of your time here is that we couldn't find out how to utilize you more often.

On the occasions I got to speak with him, CJ was definitely everything LeonPowe described him as - a guy who just seemed happy to be a Bear, and genuinely liked talking to people.

Here's to hoping he finds a landing spot somewhere in the NFL. I mean, how could you not root for his success?

C.J. Anderson - RB - California (via XOSSports)

JahvidKnowsBest: I felt frustrated for CJ throughout the later half of last season. He had clearly solidified himself as the top back, but continued to only see a marginal amount of carries. People say that dual QB systems don't work. I think a dual running back system can work, but certainly not a 3 running back system. Getting used to the feel of the game and what the defense is doing is so important for a running back to get going. It's almost impossible to really get going when you're only getting a few carries each half.

With that being said, my favorite CJ moment was probably the Arizona State catch, or his touchdown run against Colorado last year. I remember the Colorado one particularly; it was a close game, and we we're having a lot of trouble running the ball. It was one of CJ's first carries as a Bear, and he broke it for 10+ yards for a score. I was stoked. That run got the offense going, and allowed for us to get a very tight, last second win in Boulder. Other than that, CJ had definitely been one of our more consistent producers over the last 2 seasons, and I'm sad to see him go.

Unclesam22: I loved CJ's heart. He always seemed to be so invested in the games and took things personally when the Bears lost. He ran with authority and attitude and was a bruising presence between the tackles yet still maintained some nimbleness. I never felt like he played enough and yet even though we only had him for 2 years I think he made a big mark on the program and will definitely be missed, not only for his production on the field, but his leadership off the field. He was a favorite of mine from last year and I'll definitely miss seeing him on the field next season.

Kodiak: I have a lot of respect for CJ with how hard he worked to transform himself from his junior to senior year. When we saw him in person during the spring game, it was apparent that he had gotten faster and quicker. He also made himself into a complete back; besides having great hands as a receiving threat, he also became adept at pass protection. I really thought he should have seen the field more. Although he was supplanting a proven starter and 1000-yard rusher, CJ just offered more playmaking to me. Perhaps he was more nicked up than any of us knew. With the right fit, I could see him catching on somewhere in the NFL. I wish him the best.

TwistNHook: I've loved CJ Anderson ever since we interviewed him way back when.

Here is part 1

Here is part 2

I loved this answer:

How would you define your running style? What other running backs would you compare yourself to?
CJ: I'm 210lbs. I can be this power back in certain situations, but I'm more of a nifty shifty guy. I have a lot of people say that I can make you miss in a phone booth. One of my friends called me. He told me that Russell White says he loves my vision and that he loves that I can make a man miss. Russell White was a great back from Cal in the 90s, and he was comparing me to JJ and Marshawn. Hearing that from him is a huge compliment and I just don't want to let nobody down.


It's true! He wasn't just a power guy, he had some great agility, too.

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