California running back Jahvid Best on Wednesday spoke to the media for the first time since being knocked out Nov. 7 against Oregon State.
Best has not played in a game or practiced since suffering a severe concussion after he was flipped and landed on his head following a touchdown run. He was carted off the field on a gurney and was transported to Highland General Hospital. He stayed overnight before being released the following day. CT scans and X-rays came back normal. No timetable has been set for his return to games or practices, though Best said he'd like to try to play in the season finale at Washington Dec. 5.
Following are selected comments of what Best had to say, courtesy of the Cal sports information department.
On taking in practice as a spectator and hanging around with his teammates.
“It means a lot. Just being out here on the practice field [watching practice] is good for me.”
On how he’s feeling physically.
“Right now, it just feels like my back’s sore. We’re taking it day by day to see how it goes. I’m just praying and hoping for the best.”
On whether the concussion symptoms have gone away.
“Yeah, it took maybe about a week.”
On how much he remembers about the play he was injured on vs. Oregon State.
“I remember everything up until it happened, and then when it happened, I just remember waking up in the hospital.”
On whether he woke up while still at Memorial Stadium after being injured.
“They told me I did, but my memory is kind of fuzzy.”
On whether he remembers his reaction when he woke up in the hospital.
“I don’t remember.”
On how scared he was.
“I was actually pretty calm. It didn’t faze me too much, but my mom, a couple of my friends and everybody else was pretty scared.”
On how scared he was when he saw what happened on tape.
“Again, I was pretty calm when I saw it. It was an unfortunate incident, but it didn’t look too bad to me.”
On whether he’s allowed himself to plan beyond this Saturday’s game at Stanford, which he will miss.
“Not really, I’m just trying to take it day by day and hoping for the best. Every day I feel a little bit better, so I just hope that keeps progressing that way, and I will be out here pretty soon.”
On whether he is back to normal on the Baseline Concussion Test.
“Yeah, a couple of days ago.”
On whether he was surprised about the reaction to his injury across the country.
“Anytime somebody gets taken off the field in a stretcher, it always gets taken pretty seriously. But, I’m a blessed person and thank God it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.”
On the concern for his welfare.
“I was shown a lot of love from people across the Bay Area, people from my high school, everybody basically.”
On whether he rethinks football after the injury.
“It doesn’t make me rethink football at all. Football is a violent game and stuff like this happens all the time.”
On how much he’s followed concussions.
“I haven’t followed it much. This is my first year having concussions, so it’s something new to me.”
On whether he’s talked to Cal FB Brian Holley, who is doing a senior thesis related to concussions.
“I had a couple of conversations about it. Hopefully, he isn’t using me as a resource for his paper [laughter], but I’ve talked to him a couple of times about it.”
On whether Holley had talked to him about possible long-term effects from concussions.
“He just told me to be smart about it. That was his main message. You never know. You can’t play with your brain. He was just telling me to be smart. That’s what he was telling me."
On how hard it was being on the sideline against Arizona last Saturday instead of playing in the game.
“It was hard, but at the same time I was glad to be out there [on the sideline].”
On missing this Saturday’s Big Game at Stanford.
“It’s going to be tough for me to miss this one, but I feel like my guys are ready, so they’ll go out there and we’ll keep The Axe.”
On whether there was anyone he heard from after being injured vs. Oregon State that surprised him.
“Not really, just the number of people I heard from surprised me. I had well over 50 text messages and well over 50 calls.”
On when he realized he was taken off the field by a stretcher.
“My mom informed me of everything that happened.”
On whether he has rethought about leaping after the play he was injured on vs. Oregon State.
“No, I don’t because from my vantage point there’s a guy coming to tackle me low that I didn’t see [and then] the other guy that hit me, and pushed me, and knocked off my balance. I didn’t see him, so if it were to ever happen again, I’d still jump over the corner.”
On how many times he’s seen the play he was injured on.
“I’ve seen it about twice.”
On whether he turns away when he sees the play he was injured on.
“It still doesn’t look that bad to me.”