Junior running back departs for pros

BearTerritory has learned tonight from the Cal football program that Bears junior running back Shane Vereen has decided to enter the 2011 NFL Draft.
"Over the past month my family and I have been discussing a very tough decision," said Vereen. "After much thought and deliberation we decided that this was the best time for us to move forward and enter the 2011 NFL Draft. I cherish my time at Cal and wouldn't trade it for anything. This was one of the toughest decisions I have made, but feel like I will always be a part of the Cal family. I leave Cal with a degree and great memories."
In choosing to forgo his senior season, Vereen ends his career in Berkeley having registered 556 carries for 2,834 yards. In his three years of play, Vereen scored 29 touchdowns on the ground.
Vereen also had 74 catches over his career for 674 yards and six touchdowns.
"Shane Vereen had a tremendous career at Cal both on the football field and in the classroom," said Cal head coach Jeff Tedford. "He is a talented football player, and we wish him all the best as he embarks on his professional career."
2010 was Vereen's best year as a Bear. With his 23-carry, 106-yard performance against Washington in the season finale, Vereen finished off a season in which he posted career-bests in almost every category. He finished with 1,167 rushing yards (ninth all-time on the Cal single-season charts) and 13 touchdowns on 231 carries for a 5.05-yard-per-carry average. Vereen leaves a mile-long swath through the school record book, with 29 rushing TDs (tied for third) and 4,076 all-purpose yards (fifth). His 2,834 rushing yards rank seventh all-time, as do his 11 100-yard rushing games. Vereen's 210 career points are tied for ninth on the all-time Cal rolls.
Vereen recorded multiple TDs in 10 games over his career and had at least one reception in 37 of his 38 career games, including 33 in a row-the longest by a FBS running back.
Before the season started, Vereen was named the No. 23 draft-eligible running back by Phil Steele, and was ranked as Lindy's No. 18 running back nationally. After his final campaign, Steele named Vereen First-Team All-Pac-10. At the end of the regular season, Vereen ranked fourth in the conference and 25th nationally with an average of 97.25 rushing yards per game. His 96 total points on 16 touchdowns put him in a tie for fifth in the Pac-10 and 42nd nationally with an average of 8.00 points per game.
Vereen's 114.67 all-purpose yards per game (1,376 total yards) placed him fifth in the conference and 55th nationally in that category.
In 2009, Vereen earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors while serving mostly as a backup to Jahvid Best. Vereen replaced the injured Best as the No. 1 back for the last four games of the season, and posted totals of 952 rushing yards and 12 TDs. His 1,757 all-purpose yards that season ranks sixth on the all-time, single-season list for the Bears.
In 2008, Vereen posted 12 rushing touchdowns, tied for eighth all-time for single-season production.
Vereen officially graduated from Cal in December of 2010 with a bachelor's degree in Media Studies.