Six Bears take stage at NFL combine

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Six Bears take stage at NFL combine

This week, NFL hopefuls will take the field in Indianapolis to prove there mettle amongst some of the best college football players in the nation in the 2012 NFL scouting combine.

RELATED: 2012 NFL scouting combine invitees

The Cal Bears will be represented by their six invitees - Marvin Jones, Mitchell Schwartz, Trevor Guyton, Mychal Kendricks, Sean Cattouse and Bryan Anger.

RELATED: Luck headlines impressive Stanford combine class

Marvin Jones 1Hometown: Fontana, CA
High School: Etiwanda HS
HeightWeight: 6-3202
Position: WR
Age: 21

Marvin Jones put up 2,260 receiving yards during his career at Cal, which puts him 6th among all-time leaders. He is also on the leader boards for 100-yard receiving games, receptions and receiving touchdowns.

In 2011 Jones earned All-American honorable mention honors midseason. He was also a two-time second-team All-Pac 12 selection. He was on the watchlist for the Biletnikoff award for 2 consecutive seasons and the Paul Warfield Award his Senior year. The ESPN.com Pac-12 Blog included Jones on thier All-Underrated team. Cal awarded him with the Cort Majors Captain Award, the Ken Harvey Award for showing special academic commitment and improvement and was also named captain for his Senior year.

Prior to the 2011 season Jones was ranked as the nation's No. 39 draft-eligible wide-receiver. His 2011 performance only helped move him up in this ranking along with his appearance and touchdown catch in the 2012 Senior Bowl.

VIDEO: Marvin Jones at the Senior Bowl

Mitchell Schwartz 72
Hometown: Pacific Palisades, CA
High School: Palisades Charter HS
HeightWeight: 6-6318
Position: OL
Age: 22

Schwartz started every game in his career at Cal between 2008-2011 after red-shirting his 2007 season. He has started at Left and Right Tackleand rounded out his senior season starting every game at Left Tackle. Schwartz stands tall at 6-6, which made him a huge presence for the Bears on the Offensive Line.

He was a first-team All-Pac 12 and Pac-12 All-Academic Selection in 2011, a second-team Pac-10 selection as a Junior and an honorable mention All-Pac 10 selection as a Sophomore. He was named honorable mention Pac 10 All-Academic in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Cal awarded him with the Brick Muller Award as Cal's Most Valuable Offensive Lineman For his 2009, 2010 and 2011 seasons as well as the Cort Majors Captains Award in 2011.

Prior to his 2011 season he was ranked as the nation's No. 24 draft-eligible tackle.
Trevor Guyton 92
Hometown: Woodinville, WA
High School: Redmond HS
HeightWeight: 6-3280
Position: DL
Age: 22

In 2011 Guyton finished as a second-team All-Pac 12 selection. A co-team leader for 4.5 Sacks resulting in a combined loss of 23 yards and 2 forced fumblesfumble recoveries resulting in a combined gain of 19 yards. He leads the defensive linemen with his 42 tackles for the year. These numbers also put him among the leaders in the Pac-12 for tackles and sacks.

He was a preseason candidate in 2011 for both the Ted Hendricks and Bill Willis Awards, which honor the nation's top defensive end and lineman.

Mychal Kendricks 30
Hometown: Fresno, CA
High School: Hoover HS
HeightWeight: 6-0240
Position: LB
Age: 21

The California native played every game in his career at Cal between 2008-2011 and started 2009-2011. In 2011 he led the team in tackles with 106, which put him 5th in the Pac-12 and 76th in the nation. Kendricks also leads Cal interceptions that he has returned for a combined 62 yards and fumbles that he has returned for a combined 33 yards.

In 2011 Kendricks won the most awards of any player at Cal starting with Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-Conference for the Pac-12. He received second-team, third-team and honorable mention All-American honors. He was on preseason watch lists for the Bednarik Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Butkus Award, College Football Performance Awards Linebacker Trophy, Lott IMPACT Trophy and Rotary Lombardi Award. Cal awarded him with the Bear-Backers Co-MVP Award and Berkeley Breakfast Club Award as the Outstanding Player in the Big Game on the defensive side.

Prior to his 2011 season he was named the nation's No. 9 outside linebacker and No. 30 draft-eligible outside linebacker.

Sean Cattouse 11
Hometown: Chicago, IL
High School: Hubbard HS
HeightWeight: 6-3218
Position: DB
Age: 23

Cattousse leads Cal for interceptions and pass breakups, while ranking third in tackles. His Senior year he picked up two interceptions for 20 yards and 2 fumbles.

He was a candidate for the Jim Thorpe Award and Tatum Award given to the nation's top defensive back in 2011. He picked up honorable mention All-Pac 10 honors his Sophomore and Junior seasons and Cal awarded him with the Stub Allison Award his Sophomore year, which is given to Cal's Most Inspirational Player.

Prior to his 2011 season he was named a third-team All-American, first-team All-Pac 12 selection and listed as the nation's No. 5 draft-eligible safety.

Bryan Anger 19
Hometown: Camarillo, CA
High School: Camarillo HS
HeightWeight: 6-4208
Position: P
Age: 23

Anger started every game possible in his career at Cal. He holds a single-season record for average punt yards and holds this top spot for 3 of the top 6 seasons for Cal punters. He has four of the 12 longest punts in school history, which includes a career-long and fourth All-time at Cal punt of 76 yards. Cal's starting punter was a semifinalist for the Ray Guy Award given annually to the nation's top punter in 2008 and 2010. During his career he was selected as the Pac-10 Special Teams Player of the Week three times.

He is the second player in Cal history after Alex Mack to earn first-team All-Conference honors for three consecutive seasons in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In these three seasons he was also awarded with the J. Scott Duncan Award as Cal's Most Valuable Special Teams Player. Anger was named the College Football Performance Awards' Elite Punter Trophy for his combined performance during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

Prior to his 2011 season he was named the nation's No. 3 punter and No. 3 draft-eligible punter.

New Cal coach Wyking Jones ready to prove critics wrong amid changes

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AP

New Cal coach Wyking Jones ready to prove critics wrong amid changes

Even the most passionate Cal fan might struggle to name a single player on the current basketball roster. The team's top five leading scorers from last season have all departed. Ivan Rabb and Jabari Bird moved on to the NBA, Grant Mullins graduated, and both Charlie Moore and Kameron Rooks elected to transfer.

But perhaps the most significant change is on the sideline. Out is Cuonzo Martin, who agreed to a massive seven-year contract with Missouri, worth a reported $21 million. Replacing him is 44-year-old Wyking Jones, a longtime assistant coach, who spent the past two seasons as Martin's top aide in Berkeley.

Jones' promotion was met with heavy criticism from many in the media, both locally and nationally. Skeptics believe Cal settled for the cheap option, rather than the best option. But why can't both be true? There's no denying that salary played a factor in the hire - the athletic department's financial troubles have been well documented in recent years. But Jones impressed Athletic Director Mike Williams in other areas too, reportedly acing his job interview with a detailed plan for the program moving forward. And unlike the other candidates, Jones already has direct experience dealing with Cal's unique set of circumstances.

“It's not something that you can walk into and just get a really good grasp of,” Jones explained. “It's a learning curve that, if you walk into this situation for the first time, it would take you a tremendous amount of time. Knowing who to go to when you need things, who's in charge of this, who's in charge of that, just having a familiarity of how to really get things done around here.”

Jones also discovered the challenges of recruiting at a school like Cal, where not every athlete can qualify academically. While many coaches would view that as a negative, Jones chooses to embrace it.

“In my mind, that's what makes this place special,” he said. “It's the number one public institution in the world for a reason. Your recruiting pool shrinks quite a bit, but that's okay because typically what happens is if you get a kid who has a lot of discipline on and off the court, you're not going to run into troubles on the weekends when they're in the dorms. They're usually kids who have a lot of respect for the community and other students.”

From a coaching standpoint, Jones has unquestionably paid his dues in the world of college basketball. Prior to joining Cal as an assistant in 2015, he made stops at Louisville, New Mexico, Pepperdine, and Loyola Marymount, where he also played from 1991-95. Now, after nearly 15 years in collegiate coaching, Wyking Jones is a head coach.

“I think initially it's very exciting to have an opportunity to coach, have your own program at a storied program like Cal, to follow in the footsteps of some great coaches,” he said, smiling. “But now the smoke has cleared and it's time to get to work.”

That work has already begun. As previously mentioned, Jones will have to replace his top five scorers from a year ago, who accounted for nearly 56 points per game. The Bears will count on increased production from senior center Kingsley Okoroh and junior guard Don Coleman. They will also rely heavily on redshirt senior forward Marcus Lee, who sat out last season after transferring from Kentucky.

“It's an adjustment, for sure,” Jones admitted. “But you have 13 scholarships for a reason. It's just an opportunity for the guys who are still here to earn their scholarship. It's an opportunity for them to make a name for themselves and have an impact on this program.”

Under Cuonzo Martin, Cal established itself as one of the best defensive teams in the country. Last season, the Bears ranked 18th in the nation in scoring defense, allowing just 63.4 points per game. Jones hopes to continue that trend while also implementing a full-court pressure defense, similar to the one he coached at Louisville, which resulted in a national championship in 2013.

“It's a process,” he acknowledged. “In year one, hopefully we can be good at it. In year two, look to improve. In year three, hope to be great at it... It's a type of defense, when you're talking about pressing, it's reading all the other guys on the court. It's never scripted. It's being able to read when is the right time to go trap, when is the right time to go switch, when is the right time to bluff and stunt at a guy to slow him down. So there's a learning curve in it.”

Jones knows there will also be a learning curve for him personally as a head coach, especially with such a young and inexperienced roster. He expects his team to be overlooked and undervalued by much of the college basketball world, but that's just fine with him.

“I think a lot of people will probably guess that we won't be very good, and that's motivation right there. That's motivation for my staff, for our managers, for the support staff. It's motivation for everybody that's a part of this program to exceed those expectations. So I think that makes for an exciting season.”

Stanford star McCaffrey boosts NFL Draft stock with special teams skills

Stanford star McCaffrey boosts NFL Draft stock with special teams skills

INDIANAPOLIS -- More and more college coaches are putting their starters and even their stars on special teams as they seek to pile up every possible point in an era of pedal-to-the-metal shootouts and never-safe leads.

Fading fast are the days when superstars would catch their breath on the sideline when the kicker or punter trotted onto the field with the scrubs.

NFL teams love it.

Watching how players handle themselves as a blocker, gunner or returner provides a glimpse into a prospect's range, selflessness and versatility. It also delivers a sneak peek into how coachable he'll be, says Phil Savage, the SiriusXM NFL Radio host who spent two decades as an NFL coach, scout and executive and now oversees the Senior Bowl.

"I think because of the landscape of college football where scoring is at a premium, you've got to figure out a way to put points on the board not only on offense but through your special teams and defensively, as well," Savage says. "These coaches want to get these young players on the field as soon as possible, and a way to do that is utilize them on special teams."

These tapes provide a bonus to pro scouts.

"Now you have a vision of what that player might forecast to in the NFL as a young player and, specifically, as a rookie," Savage said.

Offensive and defensive coaches have a better idea of the types of players they're integrating into their schemes, and special teams coaches no longer get blank stares and blank canvases from the rookie class.

"Not only do you like the fact that they come in and have experience doing it, but you love the mentality if you're a coach and a decision maker that this guy isn't a diva, he's got no ego about it, he understands the team and puts team before self," says ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay.

"And he comes in with the mindset of 'What can I do to help the team and how can I contribute?' Those are the guys that seem to make it and last longer in the league because they're just willing to do different things and whatever it takes."

The prime example in this year's draft class is Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey , a "dynamic player than can do it all," according to Broncos GM John Elway.

McCaffrey gained more than 5,000 yards from scrimmage in his college career and added almost 2,000 more as a returner.

"There's just a lot of big plays open in the return game," McCaffrey says. "You see special teams have such an impact on the game today. Any time I can have the ball in my hands, I feel like I can do something dangerous, and that's really why I love the return game."

Other highly touted draft prospects who polished their resumes on special teams include Michigan safety Jabrill Peppers, LSU safety Jamal Adams, Washington wide receiver John Ross, and USC cornerback Adroee' Jackson, all of whom are projected as high selections.

McShay says "we're seeing more and more programs put an emphasis on special teams and having their key players contribute in one or more areas on special teams."

He pointed to Ohio State, where Urban Myers coaches special teams himself.

"It's a major emphasis there, and so you'll see some more guys typically lined up and contributing that are starters and stars," McShay says. "It's an honor to be on special teams."

Not a burden.

"It is not uncommon now to see people that are going to be picked in the first round having 100-plus special teams plays," suggests NFL draft consultant and former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt.

He pointed to the University of Florida, where Gators defensive backs cover kickoffs as well as they do receivers.

"Everyone's always trying to get their best guys on the field," Brandt says.

That's a change from years past when coaches feared exposing their star players to the extra hits.

The added value benefits the players, whose multiple talents allow NFL general managers to address many needs.

"We're seeing more emphasis on it in college, and I think NFL teams love to see it because if just means you're getting a bit more for your buck," McShay says.

Top talents who bolstered their value by playing special teams:

CHRISTIAN McCAFFREY , RB, STANFORD: He shined at the combine working out with the running backs and was as impressive running routes. Asked if there was anything he couldn't do, the son of former NFL wide receiver Ed McCaffrey said then: "I can't sing."

JABRILL PEPPERS , S, MICHIGAN: He worked out with safeties and linebackers at the combine, where teams talked of him playing RB and WR in addition to returning kicks. "The bottom line is I'm a ballplayer and I'm a hell of a ballplayer," Peppers said.

JOHN ROSS , WR, WASHINGTON: He caught 81 passes with 17 TDs last season but actually posted more return yards (2,069) than scrimmage yards (1,924) in his college career.

ADOREE' JACKSON , CB, USC: One of the best special teams coverage players in the NCAA, Jackson also scored eight TDs on punt and kick returns in college. His punt return averages rose from 6.0 yards to 10.5 and 15.8.

JAMAL ADAMS , S, LSU: Another star in coverage, Adams' defensive mentality extends to special teams. "I love being on the field and just playing football," said Adams, whose father, George, was a first-round pick by the Giants in 1985.

ALVIN KAMARA , RB, TENNESSEE: In a deep running back group, Kamara separates himself with his special teams acumen. "A lot of teams have been bringing up special teams," Kamara said.

DESMOND KING , CB, IOWA: He had eight interceptions as a junior and three as a senior. "I had a really good special teams season," King said. "Not being targeted as much, I still went out there and competed the best I could and was still making plays."

CHRIS WORMLEY , DE, MICHIGAN: Wormley touts playing for Jim Harbaugh as one of his attributes. "Coach Harbaugh came in and ran our program like an NFL program, like he had with the 49ers," said Wormley, who blocked three kicks his senior season.

ZAY JONES , WR, EAST CAROLINA: Like McCaffrey, he has good NFL bloodlines (son of Robert Jones, brother of Cayleb Jones). He caught 158 passes as a senior, but spent his first two seasons in college also making his mark as a returner.