Thursday, April 03, 2008

SF Chronicle: Buzz up!Cal's Best further allays fears, taking field for two plays

Rusty Simmons

Soon-to-be sophomore Jahvid Best made another positive stride in his return from a hip injury Wednesday, appearing for two plays with the first-team offense.  Best returned to the field Monday for the first time since his Nov. 10 injury. He participated only in individual drills Monday, and by Wednesday, he was able to take a very limited role in team sessions.  "He's going to do some ball-handling and he's going to run some, but we're not going to bang him," coach Jeff Tedford said.

For more than a month after the injury, it looked like Best might require surgery. He was a supposed lock to miss the entirety of spring ball, and he even admitted to being fearful that his career was in jeopardy. He has quieted each concern and appears to be running and cutting with ease.  "I'll admit that I was a little surprised to see him out here" Monday, running backs coach Ron Gould said, "but I guess I shouldn't have been, because that's just Jahvid."  As a high school junior, Best placed in two state sprint events on a broken foot. Ever since the Cal medical staff put Best on crutches, he's been clamoring to get off them and get back on the field.  "Just being out here watching, I don't know if I'll be able to take it," Best said Monday. "I'm just going to have to live with it and get ready for the fall."

That plan lasted only two days.  "Actually, I think he did sneak in on a couple of plays" Wednesday, Tedford said.  On his first 47 collegiate touches, Best recorded 19 plays of 10 yards or more, and he was first-team all-Pac-10 as a special-teams player. More than 25 percent of Best's 91 high school touchdowns went for more than 50 yards, and his senior year at Salesian High-Richmond was one of the most prolific seasons in Bay Area history: 3,325 yards and 48 touchdowns.

Read the entire article here.

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