Sometimes, in an idle moment, Shane Vereen must wonder about his timing. Even when he busts loose for the biggest day of his college career - 154 yards rushing in Cal's win over UCLA - the most popular TV highlight showed teammate Jahvid Best twisting away from tacklers on an electrifying 93-yard touchdown run. Vereen's response, essentially: Way to go, buddy.
"He's one of my best friends," Vereen said. "We're competitive on the field, of course, but we both want each other to do well." Best said, simply: "Shane's just a cool dude."
He's also way more than Best's caddie. As Vereen illustrated last Saturday at the Rose Bowl, he brings Best-like skills to the table - speed, acceleration, receiving ability, versatility. Vereen also returned kickoffs and punts, and caught two passes, against UCLA. It was a vivid reminder that the Bears' running game stretches beyond Best. He commands attention and collects accolades - understandable given his 1,580 yards rushing last season, blinding speed and dynamic moves - but Vereen is no ordinary backup.