INDIANAPOLIS -- Shane Vereen has no idea what to expect other than at some point he'll become the sixth Cal running back to be drafted in the past eight years.

"I don't know if it's pressure," Vereen said Friday at the NFL scouting combine. "I think it's more of a responsibility that you take over being a Cal running back. You know what's expected of you, and you don't want to do anything less than what is expected."

Vereen (5-foot-10, 210 pounds) has been trading texts and phone calls with former teammate Jahvid Best, taken in the first round (No. 30 overall) by Detroit last year.

"He's given me a heads up on some things," Vereen said.

The other Cal backs who are part of the club are Justin Forsett (seventh round, No. 233 overall by Seattle in 2008), Marshawn Lynch (first round, No. 12 overall by Buffalo in 2007), J.J. Arrington (second round, No. 44 overall by Arizona in 2005) and Adimchinobe Echemandu (seventh round, No. 208 overall by Cleveland in 2004).

All were prepared by Cal running backs coach Ron Gould. "He's produced numerous, numerous backs, and he's going to continue to do that," Vereen said.

Most draft projections have Vereen as a third- or fourth-round selection. He said he's heard everything from second to fifth. A lot will depend on a 40-yard dash time he hopes will be in the 4.4 range when he runs Sunday.


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"Teams have a lot of questions about me speedwise, and sizewise," Vereen said. "I don't know if they know exactly how big I was or how fast I can be. I'm looking forward to going out there and showing them the type of player I really am."

  • Stanford wide receiver Ryan Whalen (Monte Vista High) hopes to get his 40-yard dash time in the 4.5-second range and prove he can succeed as an athletic possession receiver after honing his skills in a sophisticated Cardinal offense. "I'm not star-struck by anyone," Whalen said. "I feel confident about the body of work that I've put in, and I believe I'm going to match up fine, and I feel excited to go out and do that on Sunday and show my athletic ability and what I can do."

  • With the possibility of a lockout on the horizon, cornerback Stanford Routt was happy to pass up the chance at free agency when the Raiders made him a big offer to stay off the open market. He agreed to a three-year, $31.5 million deal and will be guaranteed $20 million over the first two years. "It's a great feeling to go back to a place you're familiar with and not have to deal with the 'unknowns' and 'uncertainties,' " he said.

  • Chicago gave coach Lovie Smith a two-year contract extension through the 2013 season.

  • Seattle hired Carl Smith as quarterbacks coach. Smith and coach Pete Carroll worked together at New England in the late 1990s and again at USC.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.