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Golden Nuggets: Shane Vereen Poised to Become A Household Name

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Rivals looks at five players who will be household names by November.  They flourished in their part-time roles last year and are ready for breakout seasons this year.  Among them is our own Shane Vereen.

Vereen nearly kept the [1000 yard] streak alive when he ran for 952 yards and earned honorable mention all-Pac-10 honors despite starting just four games. He spent most of the season backing up Jahvid Best, who entered the year as a Heisman contender before running into injury problems.

Vereen played well enough for California to feel confident in its rushing attack even without Best, who entered the NFL draft after the season and went to the Detroit Lions with the 30th overall selection.

"Shane Vereen is coming back, and he can carry the load," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "I think he has proven that."

Vereen, a junior, proved his ability to carry the load with his performances in the final four games of the 2009 season. He rushed for a combined 566 yards on 108 carries against Arizona, Stanford, Washington and Utah. He gained at least 92 yards in each of those games.

He even outdueled Heisman runner-up Toby Gerhart in Cal's 34-28 victory over Stanford.

Gerhart was sensational that day, as he rushed for 136 yards and four touchdowns. Vereen was better. He ran the ball 42 times -- the most carries by any Cal player in eight years -- for 193 yards and three touchdowns. 

After the jump Jahvid Best becomes a millionaire, JO wonders if there really is a QB competition at fall camp, several media outlets review Pac-10 Media Day, and more.

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