Cal Golden Bears junior running back Brendan Bigelow will skip his final season in Berkeley and declare for the NFL Draft.
Jeremy Fowler of CBSSports.com announced the decision via Twitter on Wednesday:
Cal RB Brendan Bigelow is declaring for the NFL draft
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerCBS) January 15, 2014
The salient question at this point would be: Why?
Bigelow arrived at Cal as a four-star recruit in 2011 and is leaving as the second-string tailback for a that went 1-11 in 2013. Bigelow rushed for 421 yards and two touchdowns as a junior and had 877 yards and five scores in his three-year career. He also scored a touchdown on a kickoff return, averaging 22 yards a return on 62 attempts over his career.
In part because no one expected Bigelow to come out, he is not listed on any of the pre-draft evaluation boards, so it’s hard to get a handle on when (or more likely, if) he’ll be selected in May.
Bigelow actually spent some of 2013 playing slot receiver before being moved back to running back. His best game as a junior was against Colorado, when he ran for 107 yards and his only two touchdowns of the season.
Bigelow’s biggest game as a Golden Bear came in 2012, when he ran for 160 yards and two touchdowns at Ohio State, with an 81-yard run included in the outburst. But he was never able to put it together consistently at Cal.
He is the fifth Golden Bear to declare, joining cornerback Kam Jackson, tight end Richard Rodgers, linebacker Khairi Fortt and defensive tackle Viliami Moala.