We thought we should go senior by senior and take a gander at their Cal career. Some photos. Some videos. Some stats. And if HydroTech has any personal stories of his time with the team, he'd share them. We did Nate Longshore months ago, because Twist screwed up the scheduling. Also, he's so dreamy! And we just did Alex Mack. And, then, Will Ta'ufo'ou. And then Jordan Kay.
Today, we do Anthony Felder.
First, we have some memories of Anthony Felder from HydroTech and then, after that, a Roundtable.
I really don't have a lot of memories of Felder. My one memory isn't so much a specific instance but just the fact that he always wore these big stud earrings. I don't know if they were CZs or real diamonds, but they were huge.
One day during off-season conditioning, he happened to be near me. I approached him and told him to take off those earrings. He appeared puzzled. I explained that with the 40-yard dash testing coming up that he had no chance at running a decent time with such huge and heavy rocks on his ears. He laughed. He then explained how he was still getting over a nagging injury. I can't remember what specifically was his injury, but it was something in the legs which was keeping him out of lots of heavy running.
Felder was generally a quiet guy. He wasn't nearly as loud as some of the other linebackers such as Follett or Williams. Perhaps that's why I really don't have many memories of him. Despite his quiet personality he always seemed polite and respectful when he did speak. Strangely, despite my personal interactions with him, the most emotion I ever saw out of Felder was when I would see him on TV making a big tackle.
TwistNHook: My favorite memory of Felder comes from this past Big Game. We had just beaten Stanford to regain the Axe, always an exciting time to be alive. We rushed the field in enjoyment of our recent victory. And who should I stumble upon but Anthony Felder!
You can read more about that here, if you so desire.
Felder will always be remembered as one of the great LBs who kept this team afloat in 2008. When there were problems with the offense, the D kept that team in the game. Who was the engine of that team, but the LBs and, in specific, Felder, Williams, and Pain Train. Pain Train and Williams have their moments in the sun (esp. the sack, scoop, and score against Tenn in 07), so sometimes Felder was the 3rd wheel. Of course, not when it came to dressing. He could out-dress anybody.
Especially when it came to playing his hometown Washington Huskies. Note his sartorial sense here:
"It was really an embarrassment for us," said Cal linebacker Anthony Felder, who is from Seattle and showed up to last year’s game wearing a purple suit.
Felder, by the way, said he plans on wearing the purple suit again Saturday.
I remember seeing video of that suit. It's a solid suit. Too many buttons, though. But I guess when you are rocking purple, the amount of buttons is the least of your worries.
HydroTech: I remember watching both Follett's and Felder's highschool videos back in the day. I was highly impressed by both of them and knew we had two potential great players coming to Cal. Without a doubt, Felder and Follett have been one of Tedford's greatest LBs thus far aside from Desmond Bishop. I think Felder's career might have been even more successful if he hadn't been injured for a while which kept him out of some games.
TwistNHook: Lets take a look at Felder's numbers here. Similar to Worrell Williams, Anthony Felder tackles decreased somewhat from 2007-2008. Not as extreme a decrease as with Williams, but still a decrease.
Also, his percentage of unassisted and assisted skewed towards assisted. Guess our guys are working together!
Avinash: Felder probably attracted the least attention of our linebackers, probably because he never did anything spectacular. He gathered tackles, then went back to the trenches. He will probably fill a similar role in the NFL if he gets there, but his inability to pass rush or do well in coverage might hurt his visibility (conversely, these are abilities that both Follett and Williams both have).
Does anyone have a key play they can remember Anthony by?
HydroTech: Anthony had a great pass deflection in the Emerald Bowl. I think it was early on in the game. Perhaps it was on Miami's first possession. That's the one thing that I can remember about him. Along with his big face paint. He usually put big black inverted triangles under his eyes.
CBKWit: During the CSU game in 2007 (when we still thought we were good), Cal held only a 3 point lead going into the second half. Felder came free on a strong side blitz and leveled the CSU QB, forcing a fumble which was recovered by Cal. It was the Cal defense in the second half, starting with Felder's play, that took control of the game (until Darian Hagan tried to give it back).
I remember Felder putting a monster hit on the ASU runningback (Nance?) this year, meeting him in the hole and collapsing on him for a short loss. Felder had a couple of big tackles in this game; once again, it was the Cal defense that gave the Bears the victory.
Cal beat WSU 21-3 back in 2006. The critical juncture in the game was Syd'Boner Thompson racing across the field to tackle the WSU runningback at the 5 yard-line, saving a touchdown. The Bears followed that up with a goal-line stand (one of two in the game), as WSU failed to punch it in on four downs. What may not be remembered from that sequence is Anthony Felder's contribution. On the long WSU run to the Cal 5, Anthony Felder was in good position to make a tackle and end the play after a few yards...only he slightly over-pursued and the WSU back cut right around him. It's a tackle Felder would usually make, but his leg injury during his sophomore season significantly limited his playing time and mobility. His was largely ineffective, sometimes (as in this case) a liability, and one has to wonder if he shouldn't have taken a redshirt year. As good as his career was, 2006 was not a strong year for Felder, and I would much rather be losing only 2 linebackers to graduation right now.
Avinash: He also had that INT in the Oregon game last season that let Forsett run in the winning TD. But I'm not sure how much of that was a misread by Dixon.
He always seemed to have good days against USC, but that was probably because the O-linemen held Cal's D-linemen in check both times and there were more open field tackles to make.
HydroTech: I think Dixon just plain didn't see Felder on that throw. Nevertheless, Felder read the route and put himself in the right spot.
TwistNHook: Felder was the type of guy who was all over the field, leading the team in tackles this year, even if there aren't a lot of highly remembered moments. He made the extraordinary seem ordinary.
Also, lets talk pro prospects. Where do you see Felder going?
Avinash: Undrafted. Sadly. But he'll get his chances in camps afterward.
HydroTech: I agree with Avi. More than likely I think he'll go undrafted. But I suppose there is a small outside chance a team throws out a 7th round pick on him.
CBKWit: I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Felder. He was not only a very good linebacker for Cal as frosh all-american and two year starter, but a fellow western Washington product (he was one year ahead of Taylor Mays at O'dea, in Seattle) as well. As such, I often ran into Felder at the Oakland or SeaTac airports around the holidays. The first time I introduced myself, wearing my Cal Band sweatshirt at the SeaTac baggage claim, I asked him why he decided on Berkeley - he had offers from Ohio State, Notre Dame, and UW, and only the biggest recruiting nerds had any indication he was considering Cal. His committment was one of Tedford's first big recruiting surprises, to be followed a few months later by DeSean.
He told me that he liked and respected coach Tedford, and that Cal's academic prowess played a major role in his decision. Cal recruits often cite academics as a big point of emphasis by Tedford and an important factor in their decision, but saying this to reporters is one thing; I was just a fellow student and band nerd, definitely not someone worth impressing, and I was struck by his honest, genuine answer. For a program that some claim is lowering its academic standards in the pursuit of success, it sure didn't seem like that in talking candidly, off the record, to one of our biggest recruits.
I saw and spoke with Felder a handful of times over the last 4 years, often simply exchanging a "Go Bears!" in passing. Then I, separate from Twist, found Felder on the field after our Big Game victory this year. I hadn't seen him in a year or two, but he remembered me and smiled as I thanked him on a great career at Cal. For a good guy and good player, thanks again, Tony.