Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Oakland Tribune: Best's blockers staying grounded amid talk of Heisman, Roses

By Gary Peterson

Maybe you've heard — Jahvid Best might be pretty good this season. Fans (like the guy in your foursome with the Oski club head covers) think Cal's fast-twitch halfback will be better this season than he was last season. Experts (like the guy two bar stools over) say he could win the Heisman Trophy.

Everybody seems to think this could be the year the Golden Bears scratch a 51-year-old itch and return to the most talked-about venue in college athletics. No, not Rick Pitino's favorite restaurant. The Rose Bowl. Are you getting the picture? High hopes. XXL-sized expectations. And a lot of them ride on Best.

Oh, and those beefy guys who'll be asked to block for him.  "Of course it's exciting," senior fullback Brian Holley said Tuesday. "He's getting a lot of attention. It's a compliment to our team." But beyond the excitement, isn't there a little pressure involved in knowing the guy who's expected to lead Cal to glory is dependent upon you doing your job so he can do his?

"You can't get caught up in the hype," sixth-year senior tackle Mike Tepper said. "Each play I have someone in front of me. It doesn't matter if it's (Best) back there, or Shane (Vereen), or Covaughn (DeBoskie-Johnson), I still have to block someone." Put Holley down for that one, too. "I don't concern myself with who's lining

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