Cal’s senior tight end Stephen Anderson had himself a breakout 2014 season, and he seems to be hitting his stride as Cal is putting together a good season in Pac-12 play. Other players having a role in Cal’s offense may have had lofty expectations coming out of high school. Anderson has had to work to make a name for himself.

Anderson was recruited as a wide receiver and he flew under the radar. He redshirted his first year on Cal’s campus and played in four games in 2012 as a reserve receiver despite having a solid spring game performance. The following season Anderson made it into 10 games, including an opportunity to start five games for the Golden Bears. That season saw Anderson string together eight consecutive games with a reception, which helped set the tone for what would be a breakout season in 2014.

No receiver had a higher receiving yardage average last season, as Anderson appeared in 10 of 12 games for Cal. After missing playing time in the first two games of the season, Anderson caught two passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in a 49-45 loss to Arizona, his first game of the season. He followed that up with a career-high 136 yards the following week against Colorado, scoring his second touchdown of the season. Anderson added a second 100-yard game later in the season, against Oregon State, and he ended the season with five touchdown catches.

Other players took the lead in the passing game, but Anderson found a complimentary role that provided one more option for Jared Goff. Others took notice as well. For his efforts, Cal awarded Anderson with the team’s Ken Cotton Award, which honors a player who exhibited the most courage during the season. He also received some All-Pac-12 mentions by the Pac-12 coaches and College Sports Madness.

Last week in a loss at Utah, Anderson hauled in a season-high six passes for 99 yards. He has yet to enter the end zone, but he has fit well in Cal’s Air-Raid offensive system and his patience will eventually pay off.

Whether or not Anderson has a career in football ahead of him remains to be seen, but he is already making sure he is prepared to leave an impact in his community when football is done. Majoring in public health, Anderson has spent time interning at Children’s Hospital in Oakland. It looks to be pretty clear Anderson has his goals set, and leaving an impact in the community with those in need appears to be it. Cal has a good character player in Anderson.

Cal Senior Spotlight Series:

Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

Kevin McGuire is a Philadelphia area sports writer covering the Philadelphia Eagles and college football. McGuire is a member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. Follow McGuire on Twitter @KevinOnCFB. His work can be found on Examiner.com.

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