Sunday, February 3, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Football?

Excuse Ron Gould if his office doesn't feel like home yet. With the whirlwind of activity that's enveloped him over the last six weeks, he's probably not sure where home is.

Since being named head football coach in December, Gould has been immersed in recruiting, assembling a coaching staff, recruiting, meeting his team, more recruiting, and learning his way around campus.

But while his office may not have all the personal touches of home yet, it does have one thing that says all you need to know about him - TRUST. It's the fuel for his car. The word, in bold capital letters, is pasted to his door, sits on his conference table and even has a place on top of his mini-fridge.

So as we get set for the Gould's first national letter of intent signing day with the Aggies on Wednesday, those that are worried Gould and his staff haven't had enough time to put together a strong recruiting class need to remember that word - TRUST.

I've had several interactions with Coach Gould since he's come on board and each time I've walked away wishing the season started tomorrow. His enthusiasm, vision and work ethic will get the job done. TRUST me.

You'll be able to meet that recruiting class on Wednesday and we'll have it covered for you. Follow us on Twitter (@UCDavisAggies) and you'll be the first to know who's been signed, sealed and delivered. You can even join in the conversation using #UCDavisNLI.

Hop on over to Signing Day Central on which will be live on Wednesday and you can watch the recruiting class get built, get the 411 on all the newest Aggies, and even get some behind-the-scenes looks into Coach Gould and his staff's day.

The Aggies' actual fax machine was not available for a photo. 
This is his cousin.

I tried to get a photo of the our fax machine but it's being souped up, tuned up and hauled over to be in tip-top shape for Wednesday. Field hockey, track and field, cross country, soccer and men's water polo will also welcome new Aggies on Wednesday. The fax machine will certainly be churning and burning. 

Ejiro Evero was an outstanding safety for the Aggies' defense during some of the program's best years from 1999-2003. A two-time team captain, he was a part of two teams that went to the NCAA Div. II Semifinals.

Evero earned numerous honors during his junior season, including All-America honorable mention accolades while leading the team in tackles. As a senior, he was the Aggies' MVP.

Off the field he was as good a representative of UC Davis as we've had. He later coached with the Aggies, volunteered at Davis High School and for one season helped at the University of Redlands.

Evero spent three years as a defensive quality control assistant for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but, today, he reaches the ultimate goal for any player or coach who's laced 'em up. He'll be at the Super Bowl as an offensive assistant coach with the San Francisco 49ers.

He joined San Francisco as a quality control coach two years ago but today will represent the Aggies on football's biggest stage.

Ejiro Evero
He's not the only Aggie in New Orleans with the Niners' contingent. Michael Slap, who seemingly did everything, all the time as a game event manager for UC Davis Athletics from 2008-12, is a team logistics assistant for San Francisco. Basically, he's dotting all the "i's" and crossing the "t's" for all things related to team travel and much more. 

He's helping making sure the San Francisco 49ers' needn't worry about anything but getting ready for the game.

Interestingly, had the New England Patriots been able to turn back the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship two weeks ago, UC Davis would've been represented on both sidelines. 

Daniel Fells, a key part of the Aggies' football program from 2001-05, joined the Patriots as a tight end this season, helping give the team one of the best groups at that position in the NFL. Fells broke in with Atlanta in 2006, played three years with the St. Louis Rams and was part of all the Tim Tebow hoopla in Denver last year.

Fells has managed to visit Aggie Stadium during bye weeks to watch his alma mater in recent seasons. He started four games for New England this year and has more than 1,000 career receiving yards.

Associate Athletics Director Mike Bazemore is crunching a different set of numbers this week from the ones he's usually does as business manager for the Aggies.

For the 13th consecutive season, he'll end his season the way all NFL players wish they could - with a trip the Super Bowl. Serving as a spotter and statistician - something he's done for various radio and TV networks for 18 years - Bazemore will work alongside Kevin Harlan, Boomer Esiason, Jim Gray, Mark Malone and James Lofton as part of Dial Global's radio coverage of the game.

"To be asked to work the Super Bowl each of the past 13 seasons has been a great honor," Bazemore said. "This never gets old. I still get that adrenaline rush and butterflies before kickoff. But being able to work alongside some of the great people I've worked with and make a small contribution has been a blessing."

This weekend's crew is different than the one he's usually teamed with. Since 2001, he's worked almost exclusively with veteran broadcaster Marv Albert whether Marv has been on radio or, most recently, as part of CBS's coverage of the AFC. 

That's meant a lot of regular work weeks at UC Davis followed by a cross-country flight for an NFL game on Sunday, only to catch a late flight back to Sacramento for another Aggie week on Monday. He had back-to-back trips to Florida this year, along with trips to Washington, D.C., New York and other locales. 

His behind-the-scenes stats career began in 1995 when he was living in Jacksonville, Fla., and the Jaguars came into being. It's been a regular gig since.

And having Marv Albert respect your work so much that he wants you on HIS team each week is a plus as well.

Mike Robles is Assistant Athletics Director and has no rooting interest in Sunday's game, and hasn't had one since his Minnesota Vikings last played in the game when he was 12. He doesn't hold any grudges against Vikings' kicker Gary Anderson (1999) or Brett Favre (2010) for their roles in NFC Championship games that have kept it that way.

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