(8) Bryan Anger
CAL FOOTBALL 2010 - Bryan Anger Feature (via calbearsgobig)
iVinishe: The first football game I had ever watched was 2008 Michigan State @ Cal. I had absolutely no idea how football worked; in fact, I remember wondering why we kept giving the ball to that Best guy when he clearly wasn't scoring. This game was also Cal's introduction to Bryan Anger, punter extraordinaire. To my naive mind, Anger was clearly the best guy on our team.
Over the next 4 years, Anger went on to become the most outstanding punter in the nation. Other punters occasionally averaged a yard more for a season here and there, but only Anger had the ability to make an entire stadium go "WOW." From 2009-2011, Anger garnered First Team All-Pac-10/12 honors for three straight seasons, and set the all-time Cal single season punting record with an average of 43.5 yards/punt.
This spring, he goes into the NFL Draft as one of the top punters of his class.
Before that fall day, I had no idea people could kick balls that high, or that far. To this day, I'm still not sure people can. I've watched quite a bit of football at all levels since that day, and I still haven't seen anyone who can match a well-placed Anger bomb. He is, quite literally, a game-changer, and there has been some element of truth to jokes of our punter being the best (or at least, most outstanding), player on our team for the past 4 years
California Punter Bryan Anger Draft Profile (via ProFootballWeekly)
Anger ended up being taken in the 3rd round of the draft by the Jacksonville Jaguars and had a stellar rookie season, averaging over 47 yards per punt and also demonstrating his tackiling ability by taking down Houston Texans return man Keshawn Martin on a 71-yard runback to save a touchdown. Of course, national sports media had a lot of fun with that one, but it only reinforced what we Golden Bear fans already knew, which was that this guy is a legit athlete.
Cal Mens Basketball 1998-99. Highlights from NIT Championship Year (via DubOutfit)
For Lampley, as Ohio Bear, said, 4 years at Cal and a Pac-10 POTY. The second leading scorer in Cal history, whose career was mirrored almost to a key by the new scoring leader in Randle. He was balling in Melbourne, Australia, last I checked (well, before he spent much of this season with front row tickets at Haas nervously watching Jerome break his scoring record. He didn't seem too bummed about it though.). Also he and Dennis Gates were best buds.
Twist: It was so many years ago, I struggle to remember, but I feel reasonably confident that I attended the game where Lampley broke the Cal scoring record. I remember nothing about it. I just have this feeling. Man, I'm probably making it all up. But if I was there (I was, dammit!) I saw Cal beat WSU and march towards the first NCAA bid in many years.
It was a move that Sean Lampley had made a zillion times in his four years at Cal.
Receiving the ball on the right block, the senior forward spun around his defender and banked a quick shot from the edge of the lane.
But this basket was far from ordinary. With 10:03 left in the game and the noise-level at Haas Pavilion approaching unbearable, Lampley's bucket pushed his career-point total to 1,689-one more than Lamond Murray's 1,688-and gave Lampley the prestigious honor of being Cal's all-time leading scorer.
Yes, Sean Lampley, who would have a rough career in the NBA before going to the Australian Basketball Association. But at Cal, he's still the best. Note this from his Wikipedia page: Lampley ended his career as the only player in school history to rank in the top 10 in points (1,776, 1st), rebounds (889, 4th) and assists (295, 10th).