There may not be a more aptly named college football player than the University of California's Jahvid Best. When it comes to running backs in the Pac-10 Conference, and possibly the country, he's simply unsurpassed. "In my eyes, he probably is the best tailback in the country, if not the best," says Washington State coach Paul Wulff.
"He's more than good," says WSU running back James Montgomery, a former Cal teammate. "From the first day I saw him, I knew he was good. He's the best." "He's a very, very well-versed back," says USC coach Pete Carroll, who compares him to Heisman winner Reggie Bush. "He's got the magic because he's got that great speed, and he's a very consistent player, too." If all you knew of the 5-foot-10, 195-pound Best is his performance in last year's game against the Cougars, you might think he is the greatest running back in the history of college football. On the first play of Cal's 66-3 rout — the first Pullman game of Wulff's tenure — Best took a handoff from quarterback Kevin Riley and burst through a hole in the center of the WSU line. Up came sophomore Chima Nwachukwu, making just his second start at safety. Best juked to the inside, Nwachukwu bit and Best exploded to the outside. Eighty yards and 11 seconds later, it was 7-0 Cal.