Perhaps no other skill player in Cal history instilled as much fear and respect into opposing defenses and special teams coverages as DeSean Jackson. Opening day starter as a true freshman. His first two career touches went for touchdowns against Sacramento State. Led the Bears in receiving as a sophmore with 59 catches for 1,060 yards and nine touchdowns as set a Cal record with four punt returns for touchdowns. Perhaps his greatest play was a 77 yard punt return against Tennessee in 2007 that went for a touchdown. Some consider him an enigma during his Junior year, in which the Cal football team collapsed in the second half of the season, however, his overall body of work is not to be ignored. He departed holding Pac-10 records for punts returned for a touchdown both in a season (four), and in a career (six). Jackson ranks third all-time at California for receiving yards with 2,423 and receiving touchdowns with 22. He is sixth in receptions (162). Jackson finished with 52 career plays of 20 yards or more, making up 23 percent of his 226 touches.
These hall of fame bios are supposed to be relatively succinct. I am incapable of being succinct when I get talking about Brittany Boyd. Just to start with, she was the final piece of Cal's Final Four puzzle. The Bears had everything they needed to be a great team except for an elite, two-way point guard, but those aren't necessarily easy to find. The got one within walking distance of campus.
Cal got so much from Brittany Boyd. They got a brilliant on-ball defender who occasionally took over games on the defensive end like few players ever have. They got an elite passer who broke down defenses and set up her teammates in ways both subtle and spectacular. The got a fierce competitor who relished throwing her body around the court for 40 minutes every game, who put more effort into every 40 minutes than anybody else. They got a beloved teammate. I loved hearing about Boyd's mentee-mentor relationship with Layshia Clarendon and her clairvoyant relationship with the cornflakes to her milk (or was is the milk to her cornflakes), Reshanda Gray. I love how Lindsay Gottlieb has trouble talking about Boyd without shedding a few tears because that's how much Boyd has meant to the program.
From a fan perspective, it's simple: Brittany Boyd is perhaps the single most entertaining, fun, compelling, thrilling athletes I've ever watched.