We've enjoyed a walk, amble, or stumble through memory lane as we've looked at many of Cal Football's seniors from this past year.
But before this series comes to a close, let's not forget about:
- Bryant Nnabuife
- Derrick Hill
- Keith Browner
- Chris Guarnero
- Jarred Price
- Alex Lageman
- Mike Constanzo
All of these young men chose Cal and were able to balance academic commitments with representing us on the gridiron. A big thanks from all of us, gentlemen. You will always be Golden Bears.
Okay, CGB - What are your favorite memories for each of these players?
atomsareenough: Constanzo... I remember the gigantic hit he delivered in the ASU game on an interception return. The pick was exciting, but I think the way he leveled that Sun Devil really pumped the team up more than anything else:
solarise: I find it really hard to talk about Mike Costanzo w/o talking about Alex Lagemann at the same time. The combo of DJ Big Red & Loggy have been taking over college campuses:
On the field, I will remember DJ Big Red for providing energy and depth from the NT position under Coach P's defense in 2010. The highlight with respect to Loggy's career on the gridiron for me was the 2009 Big Game. Loggy was Riley's go-to guy catching 3rd & long passes out of the empty set and falling down for the 1st. The chemistry Riley & Loggy had that game must've driven Furd D nuts.
atomsareenough: Yeah, after seeing Loggy make catch after important catch in 2009, I was surprised that he was essentially not a factor in 2010. He never seemed to get yards after the catch, more due to the fact that he was always having to make diving catches for first downs rather than being hit in stride, but he seemed to have good hands, so we were hoping he could be useful in 2010, but somewhere along the way I guess he decided he'd rather be Loggy the rapper full time than concentrate on football. More power to him, and I wish him the best of luck in the future, but I can't help but wonder if he could've been helpful to the Bears last year.
Kodiak: I think Loggy in '10 might have been a victim of our Oline. We didn't dare go to multiple WR sets because we needed to go max-protect w/ 22 personnel a lot.
Before his knees failed him, I think Derrick Hill had a shot at the league. When healthy, he was a powerful force clogging up the middle and letting our LBs fly to the ball. It's no coincidence that we struggled against the power run game when he wasn't able to go, or was limited.
For Jarred Price, I loved the "swing the axe" sack celebration. I wish we could have seen a lot more of that. Nate Solder will have nightmares about Price coming tearing off the edge for the rest of his life. I thought it was the perfect example of the coaching staff exploiting a mismatch and maximizing a player's skillset.
I remember Guarnero earning early PT at both guard and center. With his mobility, he might have been better at guard. But, I could see that the coaches would value his steadiness in the center of the line. He was at his best getting out in space and pulling. We were able to do a lot of creative things in the run game because of his agility.
OhioBear: My memories of each:
1. Bryant Nnabuife -- I will remember him making a play in the right corner of the end zone on 1st and goal for Stanfurd with under 2 minutes left in the 2009 Big Game. Nnabuife did a little pose - I was scared he'd get a flag, but he didn't. The play gave me a chance to exhale. Anyone remember what happened on 2nd down?
2. Derrick Hill -- I will remember him as the big dude in the middle of the D-line. But there are two plays I'll always remember specifically: his unforgettable trifecta in the Oregon game in 2010 (sack, forced fumble, fumble recovery, touchdown to bring us to within 2 points of the mighty Ducks). (Wait, I guess that's a quadfecta!) And then there was the end zone interception he made to thwart a Colorado State drive in 2007, his freshman year.
3 Keith Browner -- Browner is a player that kind of left me wanting more. Maybe it was the Browner name, but I kind of expected stardom from Keith that never materialized. One memory I have is that Browner, for some reason, switched mid-game from number 57 to number 47 and confused the hell out of Joe Starkey.
4. Chris Guarnero -- I'll remember Chris as the guy who had to replace Alex Mack and Marvin Philip as the two guys who immediately preceded him at the center position. Cal fans were kind of tough on Guarnero, I thought, probably because of the guys he followed.
5. Jarred Price -- The guy who made me wonder why Nate Solder was considered a 1st round NFL draft pick. Price beat Solder like a rented mule in the 2010 Colorado game. I liked Price a lot -- athletic speed rush guy off the end. He never got to the Pain Train level of productivity (or intensity), but I will likely never forget that game he had vs. Colorado.
6. Alex Lagemann -- He seemed to have a knack for giving us a first down catch, especially in the 2009 Big Game. I was sorry he decided to give up football.
7. Mike Costanzo -- What else? The hit on the poor unsuspecting ASU tight end in the 2010 game. As they say (used to say?) on ESPN Monday Night Countdown: "he got..JACKED UP!"
Berkelium97: Whenever I think of Jarred Price, I always remember his stellar game against Colorado in 2010. Specifically I remember this play (video should start at 1:13). Price comes off the edge and goes right through 6'8" Nate Solder. Result? Price forces a fumble which Cal recovers. Throughout the game Price used the height disparity between himself and Solder to his advantage. He would engage Solder at such a low level that Solder could not get any leverage against him. As a result, Price consistently embarrassed the future first-rounder.
Chris Guarnero was in the unenviable position of having to replace All-Everything center Alex Mack. Guarnero certainly had promise as he was the Scout Team Player of the Year as a true freshman. He even started the first three games of the '08 season before suffering a season-ending toe injury. He started every game he played in during the 2009 and 2010 seasons and earned All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention both years. He also earned the impressive honor of being named a Pac-10 All-Academic player both those seasons. He always seemed like he was a bit undersized as a center (6'2", 270), but I can't help but wonder how much better he would have been under Coach M's tutelage all four years...
Everyone loves special teams touchdowns, right?
Bryant Nnabufie had a knack for scooping up blocked punts and returning them for TDs.