Monday, October 30, 2006

Contra Costa Times: Freshmen are forced to wait for their turn

There are plenty of talented first-year players at Cal, but for now they sit and watch the games

By Jay Heater

BERKELEY - It's almost November and everything about this time screams football for running back James Montgomery.  After all, Montgomery was a Parade, SuperPrep and PrepStar All American at Cordova High School in Rancho Cordova, where he rushed for 4,900 yards and 82 touchdowns.  At Cal, though, the freshman is a scout team player, the guy who dons the colors of the opposing team and does his best to prepare Cal's defense for the challenge on Saturday. Then on Saturday, with the fans screaming, the band playing and the nation watching, he stands in the background.

"It's hardest on game day," said Montgomery, the heir apparent to Cal tailback Marshawn Lynch. "You walk out in front of that crowd ... "  And sit.

Cal coach Jeff Tedford knows that the first semester for every one of his freshmen is the toughest. Like any freshman at the university, he deals with separation from family and friends. Then there is the freedom of college where mom and dad aren't guiding each step. The academic requirements at Cal can be a tremendous burden and eye-opener.

Read the entire article here.

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