Fall Camp 2010: Edmond Takes Road Less Traveled
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Category: Sports > Fall > Football
On the final day of fall training camp, the Cal football team piled back into the locker room. The players were given speeches to They rushed out of the tunnel again to a mock-up of the real thing, complete with crowd noise.
"Got a little chill, but I'm sure it'll be different on gameday," junior transfer Coleman Edmond said.
If there's anything Edmond knows, it's "different." When the Kingston, N.Y., native finally puts on his pads in a game for Cal, he'll be wearing the third uniform of his college career.
The wide receiver was barely recruited out of high school, so he ended up playing FCS ball for Wagner College, a Staten Island campus of just 2,400 students. He wasn't satisfied staying so close to home -- college football isn't "taken seriously" in New York, he said -- so he started reaching out to bigger programs after one redshirt season.
"I called everybody," Edmond said. "You name them, I called them. I was proactive. I had garbage bags full of phone calls and notes and call backs and e-mails and transcripts. Everybody."
While "everybody" didn't include Cal, his list featured schools such as USC, South Carolina, North Carolina, Texas and Miami. UCLA ended up answering his calls, and he transferred there to run track last spring, competing in 15 events.
But when he tried to switch over to football last summer, things didn't go quite as smoothly.
"Some stuff mixed up with the NCAA where I couldn't play that year, so I couldn't go to camp," Edmond said. "I just ended up having to leave because I couldn't afford to stay there anymore. I don't know. Basically, I just couldn't go to camp. You know how busy coaches are at camp time and I guess they didn't want to deal with it.
"I just had to do what I had to do."
The Bruins didn't extend him a scholarship, and so his time with them ended after just two quarters. There was a $48,000 difference between staying and going to a junior college, so he enrolled at Pierce College in nearby Woodland Hills, Calif., to continue chasing a chance at a bigger pond.
Even though he missed training camp -- he waited on UCLA until the very end -- he easily outclassed his competition with the Brahmas. Edmond racked up 1,584 all-purpose yards and nine touchdown receptions.
A coach at Pierce was a former teammate of Cal wide receivers coach Kevin Daft, and Edmond's play began to drum up interest. Other schools began looking at him as well, including UCLA, which offered him a scholarship this time around. Once Cal head coach Jeff Tedford flew to New York to meet his parents, however, his decision was sealed.
There are no hard feelings towards the Bruins, he said, but he likes it here now too -- despite the sometimes strange weather.
"I'm really focused on football, so we could be on the moon and it wouldn't really matter to me," Edmond said. "Just as long as I'm learning and getting better every day, it doesn't really matter where I am."
The former JUCO standout is expected to be part of the wide receiver rotation this fall, but acknowledges that he's relied too much on his athleticism in the past. He hasn't gotten too many reps as a returner yet, but with his track history, it's a possibility.
And, as always, he's dreaming big -- and no, not about a trip to Pasadena.
"The Rose Bowl's a big West Coast thing," Edmond said. "I think the national championship's at Arizona this year. I'd like to play in Arizona. I don't really care about the Rose Bowl.
"That's a West Coast, Pac-10 thing. I want to go to the top; I want to be in the big game."
--Coach Jeff Tedford said freshman Keenan Allen is still expected to start at wide receiver opposite Marvin Jones, and will be the only new recruit not relegated to the bench. Cornerback Marc Anthony may also earn the starting cornerback spot over redshirt freshman Steve Williams; the former moved up to take first-team reps during practice. The depth chart will be released on Thursday.
--Kevin Riley was held out of practice yesterday to rest. Tailback Shane Vereen practiced, but was still shaking off the rust after sitting out most of fall camp with a pulled hamstring. The Bears have a two-day break until practice resumes.
Contact Jack Wang at email@example.com.
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