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Golden Nuggets: Aaron Rodgers, and What Could Have Been For 49ers

Meanwhile, both Men's Basketball and Football embark on preseason programs with the weight of expectations.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Men's Soccer

California Golden Bears sophomore forward Paul Salcedo was announced as a member of the inaugural Preseason All-Pac-12 team, the Conference office announced on Wednesday

The No. 16 California Golden Bears men's soccer program opened preseason camp on Wednesday morning at Golden Bear Field, as the 2015 season approaches.

Field Hockey

The Cal field hockey team opened preseason camp Wednesday, beginning a new era as the newest members of the America East Conference.


Former Tennessee softball players Aldrete, Koenig land at Cal

Women's Crew

Independent Spirit: Rower Vanessa Gerber Follows Her Environmental Passion To Oxford

BERKELEY - When faced with one of the toughest decisions she'll ever have to make in life, Vanessa Gerber burst out laughing.

That'll happen when you can't go wrong with whatever decision you ultimately make.

Gerber, who received her degree last spring in Conservation and Resource Studies and was a four-year member of Cal's women's crew, had the rare and once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of choosing between graduate programs at both Oxford and Cambridge - two of the most prestigious universities on the planet.

"Both times I found out I was by myself in the CRS lab working on my research, checking my e-mail to get data," Gerber said. "When I got the (acceptance letter) from Cambridge, I started crying. People were looking at me wondering what was going on. When I got the one from Oxford, I just kind of started laughing. I just thought, ‘this can't be real.'"

Men's Gymnastics

Two current and two former California Golden Bearswere in action on day one of the P&G Championships on Friday evening at the Banker's Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Women's Basketball

Meet the Freshmen: MaAne' "Mo" Mosley

BERKELEY -- Next up in women's basketball's Meet the Freshmen series is a local newcomer whose talents off the court are equally as impressive. With an interest in spoken word poetry and her sights set on a career in law, 5-11 MaAne' "Mo" Mosley adds another unique perspective to the Golden Bears and the Berkeley campus.

Men's Basketball

Cal freshman Ivan Rabb apparently is Captain America

The California Golden Bears finished the 2014-15 season with an 18-15 record. They ranked 10th in the Pac-12 in per-possession offense and defense. They lost their most experienced player, center David Kravish, to graduation. And, just last week, they ranked No. 12 in our No Longer Way-Too-Early Top 25.

The above sentences shouldn't compute. But it does, for two reasons. The first is Jaylen Brown, the No. 4 player in the class of 2015. The second is Ivan Rabb, who ranks No. 8.

Both players chose California over a number of other higher-profile destinations, giving second-year coach Cuonzo Martin arguably the best one-two recruiting punch in Bears' hoops history and immediately foisting major expectations -- from a return to the NCAA tournament to the program's third Pac-12 title since 1960 -- on a previously nondescript team. To live up, Cal will need star turns from both players right away.

Fortunately for Cal, Brown is one of the most versatile, college-ready players in the class.

Rabb, meanwhile, is apparently a test subject for the U.S. military's secret Super-Soldier Project:

ESPN Insider: LSU's Ben Simmons tops ranking of likely 2016 lottery picks

The 2016 NBA draft is a little more than 10 months away, and it's time to look at the players who are the front-runners to shake Adam Silver's hand in the Barclays Center next June.

I've seen the incoming freshmen plenty throughout AAU and high school and have nine of them -- including pairs of Kentucky Wildcats and California Golden Bears -- included below. There's plenty of international flavor as well, with an Australian in the top spot.

Basketball: Bears win big in Game 1 Down Under

Freshman Jaylen Brown scored 17 points and six Cal players scored in double figures in a 100-63 win over Victoria Select as the Bears began their tour of Australia with a win Sunday at Melbourne.

Freshman Ivan Rabb had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, Jordan Mathews scored 15 points, Kameron Rooks had 14, Jabari Bird 13 and Tyrone Wallace contributed 10 points and six assists.

Brandon Chauca had a team-high seven assists.

Stage Presence: Gimbel Prize Caps Special Cal Experience For David Kravish

When David Kravish attended his first class and his first basketball practice at the University of California in the fall of 2011, the Lee's Summit, Mo., native wasn't exactly positive what the future would hold for him nearly 2,000 miles away from his home.

Four years later, Kravish has since graduated, left his imprint on the Golden Bears' men's basketball program as Cal's all-time leader in games played and blocked shots, and became engaged to be married.

He completed his collegiate career as the only Golden Bear in school history with at least 1,000 points, 800 rebounds, and 200 blocks.


Maurice Harris: Getting The Job Done All On His Own

Don't sleep on Maurice Harris.

Most Cal fans know all about highly-touted wide receivers like Kenny Lawler and Bryce Treggs, but the Golden Bears also have the advantage of solid depth at the position and Harris is definitely in that mix as one of seven of the team's top eight receivers from 2014 who are back for this season.

Having so many mouths to feed is a good problem for Cal standout quarterback Jared Goff to have, but Harris is always somebody he's looking for on the field.

"Since the spring he's gotten a lot better all the way through this past summer," Goff said. "Now, he's gotten off to a good start with fall camp. I'm excited to see what he can do this year. He's definitely grown into a No. 1 wide receiver on any team in the country. He works hard. He doesn't talk a lot, but he's still a good communicator with me. He's always trying to get better and he's always working hard. He's one of my favorite targets."

DBs On A Mission: The Defensive Backs Are Off To A Strong Start At Training Camp

Wide receiver Trevor Davis walked off the field with a look of exhaustion after working on one-on-one drills with cornerback Darius Allensworth.

Taking his knee to catch his breath, Davis was asked how much the defensive backs have improved from last year. The short-of-breath Davis replied, "As you can see, they're making us work more now."

Through the first week of Cal football training camp, the defensive backs have shown improvement, making some big plays in 11-on-11 drills. A big part of the reason why the cornerbacks and safeties are playing with a new mindset and confidence is due to the fact that there is a lot more depth at the position than the Golden Bears have had in past years.

"The biggest thing for us now is we have depth, and quality depth," defensive coordinator Art Kaufman said. "All of the young guys we brought in plus all of the guys from last year have produced good competition. With this kind of depth, we don't have guys getting as fatigued. Right now our defensive backs are by committee. There's nobody out there having to be like a warrior, but also, nobody is at the bottom of the list either."

Cal football: Backup quarterback situation in flux

BERKELEY -- Luke Rubenzer understands the No. 1 reality of Cal football when it comes to playing quarterback. "Obviously, they're pretty comfortable with the guy they have now," he said, referring to junior honors candidate Jared Goff.

The rest of the Bears' quarterback picture has far less clarity.

Rubenzer was the backup a year ago as a true freshman, and provided 207 rushing yards and three touchdowns as a change-of-pace substitute.

Right now, however, redshirt freshman Chase Forrest is No. 2 and Rubenzer is vying for a starting job at safety. But that is by no means set in stone.

National Football League

What Could Have Been with Aaron Rodgers?

A little more than ten years ago, the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers were at a crossroads, albeit for different reasons.

The Niners entered the 2005 NFL Draft having suffered one of their worst seasons in franchise history. They were an abysmal 2-14 and were terrible at the quarterback position. Luckily, that terrible season earned them the number one pick, and as a huge Niners and Cal Bears fan, I was chomping at the bit for the Niners to select Cal star, Aaron Rodgers. The days of starting Tim Rattay and Ken Dorsey would be over.

The Packers on the other hand, were a perennial playoff team with their future Hall of Fame quarterback, Brett Favre. Although Favre would turn 36 in the 2005 season, the plan was never to draft a successor. Favre was an ironman and was amidst a consecutive start record that would last nineteen years.

Of course, the Niners famously passed on Rodgers after selecting Utah quarterback Alex Smith, and Rodgers fell into the lap of the Packers with the 24th pick. The rest as they say, is history. And that history is still being written as we speak. Any my tears are still flowing, too.