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Cam Bynum to Declare for NFL Draft

September 6, 2020
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Cal football is losing another of its top players for the upcoming season. Senior cornerback Cam Bynum, who served as one of the team captains for 2019 and was a second-team All-Pac-12 selection, announced Sunday night that he would forego his final year of eligibility and enter the 2021 NFL draft.

Bynum’s departure follows those of defensive lineman Luc Bequette who transferred to Boston College and wide receiver Ricky Walker III, who is heading for Oregon State.

Bynum had considered leaving immediately after the 2019 season but chose to return. Circumstances changed when the pandemic hit and forced Cal to at least postpone the 2021 season.

“The decision has been made probably for a couple of weeks now,” Bynum said in a Zoom call with the media Sunday night. “ I have been thinking about it. It was a tough decision, just knowing that I came back for my senior season because I wanted to play with my team one more year. With the whole pandemic having everything pushed back I thought I would bet on myself and start preparing for the draft.”

Bynum, who is on schedule to graduate in December, said he would not have considered playing in the spring, a possibility that the Pac-12 and Cal are considering. “We kind of expected it (the season) to be canceled so we had a plan for every scenario possible,” Bynum said. “If we were able to play in the fall everything would have been normal. But if the season were to be canceled or postponed it would have interfered with my training. Preparing for the combine, the Senior Bowl and all that is the most important thing for me right now. ….After talking to my parents and everybody I think this is the best decision for me.” 

Bynum, a three-year starter at corner, was third on the Bears with 63 tackles last fall, had a team-best nine pass breakups and one interception.

“It has been a pleasure to coach and get to know Cam these last three seasons," head coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “Cam is an excellent football player who has a relentless work ethic and is constantly improving his craft. Even more importantly, he is a tremendous person and a great representative of our university. He treats everyone he is around with respect and dignity, and he was very well-liked and respected by everyone involved in our program. I wish him all the best as he pursues his professional football career. Cam will always be a Golden Bear and more than welcome to come back and visit us anytime down the road." 

As to how high he might go in the draft which begins April 29, Bynum said he hasn’t done a lot of research. 

“I have had some feedback but haven’t really paid attention to it,” he said, “I just asked my coaches for advice, whether to stay or go. I haven’t focused on what round they were telling me or anything. I still haven’t reached out to anybody for feedback, because at the end of the day I need to prepare.

Two draft experts with Pro Football Network figured Bynum would go in the middle rounds. Matthew Valdinos predicts him to be second-to-last pick of the third round and Oliver Hodgkinson has him going four picks into the fourth round.”

Bynum repeatedly said how much he enjoyed his time in Berkeley. “The whole Cal community, everybody up at Cal, all the fans the people on staff at school and at the stadium for the last five years of my life, for sure the best times of my life I  want to say, ‘Thank you.’”

With Bynum the Bears felt confident enough in their depth at corner to move fellow three-year starter Elijah Hicks to safety. Senior Josh Drayden, junior Branden Smith and redshirt sophomore Chigozie Anusiem are the most experienced of the Cal corners. Four freshmen (three of them redshirts) also give the Bears some depth.

Bynum said the Bears will be fine without him. “Overall the DB corps next year is going to turn a lot of heads,” Bynum said.

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Cam Bynum to Declare for NFL Draft

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