Cal's Vereen Coming Into His Own

After spending two seasons backing up former Heisman candidate Jahvid Best, California's Shane Vereen is making the most of his opportunity as the Golden Bears starting running back, and he may be becoming a Heisman candidate himself.

Vereen followed up a 198-yard game against Nevada and a 102-yard performance against Arizona by shredding UCLA's defense for 151 rushing yards on Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif. The Valencia, Calif., native also caught three passes for 51 yards and scored two touchdowns, both on the ground. Behind Vereen's big game, the Bears cruised to a convincing 35-7 win over the visiting Bruins.

The Bruins defense had no answer for the shifty and speedy Vereen, who had 103 rushing yards at the half. In fact, Vereen outgained the entire UCLA offense 202-144 even after spending the latter part of the fourth quarter on the sidelines soaking in the likely win.

Vereen has proven to be a threat through the air as well as the ground, recording two receiving touchdowns to go along with his 8 rushing touchdowns. His ten total touchdowns place him among the nation's leading scorers. These are likely just a few of the many reasons why people around the country, including Phil Steele of "Phil Steele's College Football Preview" magazine call him a "Heisman possibility."

Judging from Saturday's performance against the Bruins, Cal football fans have a lot to be excited about. They played stout defense and showed offensive proficiency, particularly on the ground, particularly on the ground with Vereen. If Vereen keeps up his current pace, he will surely be heading down the same path Best did just one year ago, and he will soon find himself playing in the NFL.