April 6, 2013
DAVIS, Calif. - UC Davis football players, working hard through their third spring football practice on Saturday morning at Aggie Stadium, got a surprise when head coach Ron Gould introduced NFL running back Jahvid Best to speak to them at its conclusion.
Best, who starred at Cal when Gould was running backs and associate head coach, is now a member of the Detroit Lions. He talked to the team about the importance of working hard and trying to get just a little bit better everyday.
He related a story from his days with the Bears when Gould called him into his office. Best thought he might've done something wrong, but instead, Gould gave him a challenge.
"He looked me in the eye and he said, 'I'm going to push you and I'm going to test you everyday, no matter what. You can either embrace that or you can fight it," Best told the UC Davis team.
Best said he decided to embrace the challenge and it resulted in a prolific Cal career that featured 2,668 rushing yards, 35 touchdowns, a trio of All-Pac-10 selections from 2007-09 and a first-round NFL selection by the Lions in 2010.
He was joined at the Aggies' practice on Saturday by former Cal fullback Eric Stevens who is preparing for his own NFL career in the coming months. Stevens is another protege of Gould from Gould's days with Cal.
Best is one in a long line of outstanding running backs developed by Gould. Marshawn Lynch (Seattle Seahawks), Shane Vereen (New England Patriots), Justin Forsett (Houston Texans) and Will Ta'ufo'ou (Jacksonville Jaguars).
UC Davis completed its first week of spring practice on Saturday and will continue with drills on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings through the remainder of April.