(4) Cameron Jordan
"Jordan is an athletic marvel, with incredible arms he can whip around offensive linemen. He's prototypically perfect, the type of defensive linemen you could put on any front and he'd probably succeed. Perhaps Jordan's greatest assets are his arms, those million dollar arms. If he manages to make contact with you on your side when pass-rushing, he will utilize that deadly swim move, cycle that arm around, and get into the backfield and make a play. You have to defeat him and lock him up early. And when he finds you and tries to make a tackle? Might as well get your mind set for the next play, because you're not escaping."
NorCalNick: I loved many things about Cameron Jordan. For one thing, he went to more Cal games than I did. Cal vs. Stanford rugby at Witter field? Cam was there. Cal women's basketball versus, well, a bunch of teams? Cam was there. And he always showed up pretty noticeably at football games too. College fans have this ideal that the players they root for love their university as much as they do, and it's not a realistic or fair ideal most of the time. I'm pretty sure that it describes Cameron Jordan.
Solarise: I think Cam was an ideal teammate. You can tell from his easy smile that he just enjoys playing football. Coaches asked Cam to bring more intensity his senior year and he delivered. Cam was dynamic crashing through the line pursuing QBs, even earning a LIFE photo for his heroic harassment of Nick Foles in a bitter loss.
(13) Mike Tepper
As an offensive tackle, there are no impressive stats to highlight Mike Tepper's career. In his time at Cal, he played in 39 games, 26 of which saw him as our starter. In 2007, as our starting right tackle, our offensive line allowed a mere 11 sacks (the fewest in the conference and third lowest in the entire nation) while paving the way for Justin Forsett's 1500-yard season. In 2009, as a sixth-year senior, he protected QB Kevin Riley's blindside as our starting left tackle and earned a variety of pre-, mid-, and post-season all-conference awards.
Plus, he got to live out the dreams of O-linemen everywhere with this play:
However, Mike Tepper is probably most notable, and most deserving of a place in the ultra prestigious CGB HOF, for his character and courage. In the summer of 2005, as a 19-year-old kid who just finished up his first year of college, Tepper was struck and run over twice by a car. Walking down Telegraph in Berkeley with his female friend, they encountered a group of convicted felons who taunted her and tried to pull her into their car. When Tepper stood up for her, things turned ugly.
"The guy in the driver's seat punched the gas in reverse," he said. "The front end swung out and clipped me, got my [right] leg caught in the wheel well. I was dragged for about 30 feet and got run over going forward."
The result was gruesome. Tepper suffered four breaks of his lower leg, with the shattered fibula protruding from his skin, as well as a torn shoulder muscle.
The damage was so severe, the doctors considered amputation. It would be a wonder if he would even walk.
Tepper was up and jogging in four months.
As if we needed proof of Tepper's courage, in 2009, he received the Ken Cotton Award as our Most Courageous Player on offense. Senior draft analyst Rob Rang said "The reality is he's going to be making a transition to the highest level of football. The fact that he's overcome those type of injuries and made it through that traumatic situation speaks to his mental toughness, perseverance and determination."
Tepper proved this by first signing with the Dallas Cowboys in 2010, playing for the Indianapolis Colts in 2011, and most recently signing with Kansas City.