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Our second match-up of the weekend comes out of the Joe Kapp Region and features all-world-shoulda-won-the-Heisman RB Russell White taking on fan favorite and all-around utility back Will Ta'ufo'ou. This is a tough match-up for Will, as Russell is pretty universally loved, but this is the CGB Hall of Fame, anything can and does happen!
We'll take a closer look at both of them and then you can cast your vote to decide who moves on. You can take a look at the whole bracket here and voting will end Friday at noon.
Cal Football: Russell White - Where Are They Now? (Cal Alumni Association) (via calathletics)
LeonPowe: Superman. One of the 3 best running backs (some would argue the best ever) to play at Cal. Finished in the top 5 in Heisman as a junior. Carried Cal to a #7 National ranking at the end of the 1991 season. Hurdled a Purdue player well before anyone else did it.
Kodiak: Took it to the house on a 100yd kickoff return first time he touched the ball in a Cal uniform. Had some crazy reverse-the-field oh-no-he-didn't runs that were Marshawn-esque before Marshawn. Put up huge #'s while still sharing the ball with another 1000-yd rusher (Anthony Wallace).
Freaky athlete. He hurdled a guy once and got penalized for it...because the guy was still standing. (yes, not diving, not tackling, not kneeling/crouching.)
For you younguns: A little taller/faster than Forsett, similar vision. Not quite as powerful as Marshawn, but similiar wiggle/athleticism.
Cal's all-time leading rusher was perhaps the biggest recruiting coup in school history. Controversy surrounded White's decision to move from Crespi HS to Berkeley, since he was a Prop 48 student who had not achieved a qualifying SAT score. A summer of tutoring revealed that Russell was dyslexic, and he would go on to earn his degree in social welfare in four years with a B average.
He would also go on to become Cal's all-time leading rusher, behind 1,000 yard efforts in 1991 and 1992. Fifteen times he rushed for at least 100 yards in a game, including a 229-yard effort in Cal's record setting 52-30 beatdown of USC in 1991. With White, the Bears reversed a decade of futility and won back-to-back bowls in 1990 and 1991. His '91 season, with 1,177 yards rushing and fourteen touchdowns earned White first-team All-America honors from the Walter Camp Foundation and the FWAA. Now thanks to Prd74, we all get to bask in Russell's greatness a little; his freshman campaign in 1990 had some great moments, including a 99 yard kickoff return against Miami in the first video and an utterly insane run starting at 4:24 in the second vid.
When Coach K gave the word, I did my best to "burst" off of the line. In my peripheral vision, I saw that Will didn't move when Coach K the word. He paused for perhaps half a second to give me a head start. How kind of Will.
With my head start, I could feel myself putting space between me and Will as I was approaching my top speed and Will was still getting up to his top speed. After passing the first 20 yards, I could hear Will laboring behind me and catching up. For a moment, I thought there was a good chance I might hold him off for the final stretch. But then slowly, I could see Will to my right peripheral right next to me... and then pass me up. It was then, that I was started laughing at myself and pulled up short. Will finished out the 40 and was also laughing at the comedy of the situation. Here we had me, someone who was easily outweighed by Will by a good 80 pounds or so, get beat handidly on a 40 yard dash with a half second head start or so. I mean, by the time I had run 30 yards, Will had already caught up to me and surpassed me. Embarassing? Some might say yes, but I wasn't embarassed or ashamed at all.
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