After suffering from turf toe and then tearing his ACL during 2008, Michael Calvin has struggled to live up to the potential he displayed in high school and on the scout team. As one of only four receivers on the team, he knows he needs to take advantage of every opportunity to become a starter again.
"I feel like I have to seize the opportunity," Calvin said. "This spring ball is going to make or break me. I just have to come out here and compete."
Verran Tucker and Nyan Boateng have exhausted their eligibility, and Charles Satchell has moved from wide receiver to safety. That leaves Calvin, Marvin Jones, Jeremy Ross and Alex Lagemann as the only scholarship receivers left. The Bears signed five wide receivers in February and will welcome them to Berkeley in the fall.
Cal coach Jeff Tedford said the incoming group of receivers will compete for immediate playing time, but their inexperience makes them an obvious uncertainty. That's why now, more than ever, Calvin must prove he has finally overcome the hangover of his torn anterior cruciate ligament in the fall of 2008.
"Hopefully, he can stay healthy and play all through the spring," Tedford said. "There's no question he should be in the (rotation) when fall comes."
Calvin was an All-American receiver at San Lorenzo High and showed enormous promise as a scout team player in 2007. But a sprained toe limited him during the early stages of 2008 before his season came to an abrupt end when he tore the ACL in his right knee while running a post-corner route during practice.
Calvin was healthy for most of last season but said he never regained full confidence in his knee. It was a mental block that contributed to his getting buried on the depth chart. He caught just one pass for 9 yards.
Calvin suffered some swelling in his knee near the end of last season and underwent arthroscopic surgery about five weeks ago to have it cleaned up. He said he feels completely healthy again and is ready to move forward.
"You have to put it out of your mind. If you don't, you're going to come out here and second-guess yourself," Calvin said. "You're going to second-guess your technique and you're going to second-guess everything you do on the football field. I personally can't afford it. I have a spot to work for."
Calvin said he still feels like he can do everything on the field that he could before his knee injury; it has just been a matter of getting past the mental barriers. To that end, Calvin has gone to a clean slate this fall, turning in his No. 84 for No. 11. He hopes to start playing like a more famous No. 11 in the NFL — Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
After the jump Cal loses a thriller to Washington then draws a first-round matchup against Louisville in Jacksonville, FL, women's bball likely ended its season with a loss to Stanford, football hires a pair of assistants, and more.
- Former NFL players Akili Smith and Ronnie Bradford have joined the team as offensive and defensive assistants, respectively. Smith played for Tedford's offense at Oregon and Bradford was a defensive assistant at Kansas City under Pendergast's defense.
- 8th-seeded Cal will head out to Jacksonville, FL to play 9th-seed Louisville on Friday.
- Faraudo follows the back-and-forth game, full of lead changes and runs. Cal doesn't have time to dwell on the loss to Washington and Boykin says the team's confidence is still very high.
- During the post-game press conference Monty said playing three games in three nights appeared to catch up with his team, as they looked physically and mentally tired.
- Women's basketball fell 64-44 to Stanford and lost Alexis Gray-Lawson to a neck injury. Boyle visited Lexi after the game and said she's in good spirits but a little sore.