Update: There is a moderate chance that Syd won't play Wednesday. If he does play, it sounds like he won't play as much as he normally does. Hill is still out with his shoulder injury, leaving Cal very thin at cornerback this week.
Henry Young - whose older son, Sean, played wide receiver at Cal - began gathering video about six years ago, as Eddie and his prep teammates worked out or interacted with teachers and counselors. Henry and his camera became omnipresent at bustling Berkeley High.
There were nearly 3,000 students at the school, more than those teachers and counselors sometimes could handle. Henry Young saw kids slipping through the system, prompting him to get involved in more than merely Eddie's life.
He often personally escorted student-athletes to guidance counselors - and made sure they asked the right questions.
"A lot of kids were ineligible and didn't have anyone at home to support them," Henry Young said. "I was basically trying to give the kids some tools they could use. I was trying to tell them, 'Listen, you're in charge here. If you don't take control of your life, you're not going to be successful.' "
His filmmaking journey stretched into Eddie's time at Cal. One prime figure is former Bears wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, now with the Tennessee Titans. Hawkins was raised by his grandmother in housing projects in Stockton - a "pretty rough" environment, as Henry Young put it - but emerged to make it through Cal and reach the NFL.
Young interviewed Hawkins' grandmother, uncle and brother in an effort to portray the difficult circumstances he faced.
The piece ultimately will touch on many people and many issues, taking a broader scope than "Hoop Dreams" did in shadowing two aspiring basketball players through their inner-city youth in Chicago. Young hopes his film drives home several messages, from reminding athletes of the long odds of going pro to showing them coaches are not always mentors to illustrating the value of embracing schoolwork, rather than simply trying to stay eligible.
After the jump we have a recap yesterday's bowl events (with pictures!) including the zoo visit and Make-A-Wish Foundation visit, practice/injury updates, Ted Miller's bowl prediction, Cal-Kansas info, and more.
- Nyan Boateng wishes he could have done more in his career at Cal and hopes to have a shot at the NFL. He is frustrated, but embraces every opportunity he gets. His next big opportunity is the combine in February.
- Tedford didn't accompany JRoss, Best, and others on their trip to the zoo yesterday. "You've seen one elephant, you've seen them all" he said. Others like Marvin Jones missed the visit in favor of catching up on some sleep. Because practice was earlier than originally scheduled, JO wasn't able to see any of it. He found out that Matt Summers-Gavin will miss the game, however. Syd continues to rest his ankle, but he should play Wednesday.
- Click here for a photo gallery of the Bears' trip to the zoo. When else can you see a cheetah, a golden retriever, and Tepper in a single photo?
- Here's a photo gallery from the visit to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. MSG, Best, Spencer Hagan, Allan Bridgford, and Tad Smith were present at the event. They handed out souvenirs, signed autographs, and posed for photos. Great job, guys!
- CalBears.com recaps yesterday's events: the zoo trip, Make-A-Wish visit, and practice.
- Ted Miller predicts a 28-24 Cal victory. He thinks they will bounce back and avenge their loss to Washington.
- DJ Seeley is not making the trip to Kansas. He will miss the game to attend the funeral of his great aunt. Everyone else is healthy and ready to play in Lawrence.
- Though Cal gets no love from the human polls, the computers give the team some love. With the toughest strength-of-schedule in the land, Cal comes in at 11th in the CollegeRPI.com rankings and 14th in the Sagarin ratings.