Best Reels in Offer From Cal

The Cal Bears offered their first local East Bay recruit this week in speedy Salesian (Richmond) High School tailback Jahvid Best. The 5-10/185 Best is also the first non-qb skill position player to be offered by the Bears, as well.

The lighting quick tailback ran for 1439 yards to go along with 271 yards in receptions and 20 total td's for the 12-1 BCAL and Class A CIF North Coast Section champion Chieftains in 2005 and had an astounding 10 carries for more than 50 yards during the season. Best averaged 10.4 yards per carry on the year.

"I've had some quick athletes before, but never anyone like Jahvid," said Salesian Head Coach Chad Nightingale, who is a Cal grad himself. Guys tend to overrate their 40 times quite a bit and like to toss out 4.5 or 4.6 times all the time. But I had a legitimate 4.6 runner before who pulled away from guys on runs all the time. That doesn't even begin to describe Jahvid.

"I don't usually time my guys, but recently we timed Jahvid in the forty and he ran a 4.39 –in tennis shoes," said Nightingale, laughing. "I've never seen anything like him. He's a bona fide track star, too. Last year at a meet in Arcadia, his blocks were crooked and he had a terrible, stumbling start and still ran a 21.3. And he was only .04 off the national record at the Junior Olympics, too."

Best plans to run track and play football wherever he goes. He's already been offered track scholarships at USC and UCLA as well as an opportunity to play football for each. His offer from Cal, however is for football, although Cal Head Track Coach Chris Huffins would love to get his hands on Best as well.

"Jahvid's a fine young man, too," noted Nightingale. If you talk to him, you'd never know he's a star athlete like he is. That's a testament to his parents, who are fine people themselves. They're always there for Jahvid and always at his games and his meets and are his biggest supporters.

Would playing for hometown fans and in proximity to his parents play a role in Best's decision?

"I can definitely see that factoring into Jahvid's decision," said Nightingale. "But ultimately, he'll play wherever it's the best fit for him."

Best received his offer Wednesday evening after observing spring practice on an unofficial visit to Berkeley.


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