The University of California-Berkeley has the privilege of serving as a stepping stone for many talented individuals who go on to succeed across a variety of careers, only one of which is professional athletics. Fortunately, for those who are quick with their minds and feet alike, the Golden Bears storied football program has a proud history of placing successful football players in the NFL. Taking a look across today’s football landscape, former Bears players are impacting the league at an unprecedented level, with these key contributors perhaps the best of their generation to don Yale Blue and California Gold.
- Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers After laying in waiting behind Brett Favre during his first three years in Green Bay, Rodgers has become the new face of the franchise while establishing himself as one of the best young quarterbacks in the game of football. Rodgers posted an impressive 103.2 quarterback rating in 2009, throwing 30 touchdown passes for the first time in his career compared to only 7 interceptions, earning his first Pro Bowl selection in the process. Rodgers has managed to top the 4,000 yard plateau in both his seasons as the Packers’ starter.
- Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders While his name may be a mouthful for announcers, Asomugha’s coverage skills prove to be quite the handful for opposing receivers. Often forgotten in the Oakland shuffle, the Raiders’ cornerback is among the elite defensive players in the game, one of only a handful of true shut-down corners in the NFL, not to mention the highest paid DB in the league. Continue Reading »
After 3 scintillating years scooting across the California Memorial Stadium hash-marks like a greased pig hell bent on finding pay-dirt, Jahvid Best could soon burst onto the national scene with a big play ability and natural NFL aptitude rivaling that of fellow former Bear DeSean Jackson. Both players have similar upside actually. While undersized for their respective positions, Jackson at wide out and Best in the backfield, they make up for small stature with top end speed and uncanny elusiveness. Best can only hope he continues to follow Jackson’s professional trajectory, already the number 1 receiving option for the pass happy Eagles, and a Pro-Bowl selection in his second year in the league. Based on early returns, similar success seems forthcoming for Best, who quickly ascended the Lions’ depth chart this preseason, aided by incumbent starter Kevin Smith’s extended absence resulting from ACL surgery. Continue Reading »