Golden Nuggets: Kendrick Payne hopes to catch on in the CFL

Ezra Shaw

Defensive lineman Kendrick Payne finished his Cal football career following the 2012 season. He recently had a tryout with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.

Former Cal defensive lineman Kendrick Payne was in Seattle recently for a tryout with the CFL's B.C. Lions. Payne, who graduated from Cal last year with a degree in social welfare, hopes to continue his football career north of the border.

Many of the players at Saturday's B.C. Lions' free-agent camp in Seattle were from Washington or surrounding states, but defensive lineman Kendrick Payne's football journey has taken him farther afield. Payne grew up in Houston, Texas, but went to Berkeley to play college football at Cal, where he entered as a two-star recruit but went on to beat more highly-touted players. He started eight games for the Golden Bears in 2012, co-led the squad with a career-high 3.5 sacks and earned the team's Bob Tessier Award as its most improved defensive lineman. Now, he's hoping his career will take him to Canada. Payne impressed all day in workouts and was one of the last players left. He said he was happy with his showing at the tryout.

"I feel like it went pretty well for me," Payne said. "I moved well today, I ran pretty good times. It's an exciting opportunity, especially the thought of getting the chance to go to Canada. It's amazing."

...

One of the main differences between American and Canadian football is the one-yard neutral zone between offensive and defensive linemen at the start of a CFL play (unlike American football where the lines start together), but Payne said he thinks it's not going to be too hard for him to adapt. In fact, he said that change may even help his game.

"Football is football," he said. "As far as the yard off the ball because I'm a defensive lineman, I'll get used to it. A lot of times, you give me a little space...extra space is good for me."

FOOTBALL

In 2004, J.J. Arrington had one of the great seasons for a running back in Cal football history. Before that, he was a recruit coveted by Oregon. Oregon's letter-of-intent scandal in the Ducks' recruitment of Arrington is relevant again in the NCAA's investigation of Oregon's football program.

Keenan Allen was a third-round draft choice of the San Diego Chargers in last month's NFL Draft. So, naturally, Allen caused quite a stir when he posted a photo of himself wearing a Raiders hat. Allen deleted the photo and apologized to Chargers fans via Twitter.

TENNIS

Zsofi Susanyi and Klara Fabikova won their first round matches at the NCAA Women's Tennis Singles Championship to advance to the round of 32. Fellow Bear Anett Schutting, however, lost her first-round match.

Cal's Ben McLachlan and Campbell Johnson lost in the round of 64 of the NCAA Men's Tennis Singles Championship.

CREW

The No. 2 ranked Cal women's crew team, which won its sixth straight Pac-12 title over the weekend, earned its 15th consecutive bid to the NCAA Rowing Championships. The championships will be in Indianapolis on May 31 to June 2.

The Cal men will compete in the IRA National Championships at Gold River in Lake Natoma, May 31 to June 2.

TRACK AND FIELD

Cal is competing in the West Regionals this weekend with NCAA championship berths at stake. More than 30 Golden Bears will participate in the event, being held today through Sunday in Austin, TX.

GOLF

Cal's Michael Kim appeared in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" feature in the May 27 issue.

Former Cal golfer Emily Childs qualified for the 2013 U.S. Women's Open by finishing second at the Northern California sectional qualifier.

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