C.J. Anderson knows about the Cal running backs tradition well and the Oakland (Calif.) Laney College standout wanted to be a part of it. When he got his chance to commit on his official visit last weekend, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound back did not hesitate.
"It's real big," Anderson said of his pledge. "Starting back with JJ (Arrington), the last JC back was JJ and he rushed for 2,000 yards and coach (Jeff) Tedford sees the same potential in me.
'With Marshawn (Lynch) and Jahvid (Best) and Shane (Vereen) and the others, being a part of that fraternity is very huge and I don't want to disappoint anybody."
Anderson, who rushed for 1,644 yards and 18 touchdowns this past season, joins an impressive list of running backs in Cal's class.
Four-star prospect Brendon Bigelow, a former Washington pledge, has had two knee injuries but is still considered one of the best running backs on the West Coast. Three-star Texas running backs Daniel Lasco and Darren Ervin have also committed but Anderson said he's not afraid of competition.
With so many backs in the fold, Anderson isn't so much worried about playing time. Rather he's excited to be working with so many quality prospects and is sure he can compete with them for time in the backfield.
"Those guys are great high school backs," Anderson said. "They wouldn't have recruited a JUCO back unless they thought he could make a huge impact right away.
"The resume behind me is real good. They told me those kids are coming from a spread set so it might take a while to adapt. With me I'm from right up the highway where it's the same system as Cal but just different terminology.
"There is going to be competition and there are no hard feelings. We're one big group, Tailback U., RB U., we're just going to help each other get better. Our goal is to win a championship and that's what we're going to work to do."
Memphis, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State and Washington State had also offered Anderson, a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, but Cal was definitely the place for him.
'It's family-oriented up there," Anderson said of Cal. "Everybody is like a family, like a church, it's like open arms. I felt very loved and welcomed. It was like that from everybody."