SAN DIEGO — A career that was supposed to be full of playmaking comes to an end Wednesday.

Wide receiver Nyan Boateng plays his last game for Cal against No. 23 Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl, lamenting his unfulfilled potential but still hoping that an NFL team will give him a chance next fall.

"I could have done way more," Boateng said of his 41 career catches in his two seasons at Cal. "I feel like I'm better than what my stats show. I just have to keep playing and hopefully God will give me a shot at the next level."

Boateng came to Cal after transferring from Florida, where he was a highly regarded recruit expected to do big things. After experiencing some personal and legal trouble, Boateng made the trip across the country to try to get a fresh start.

After struggling to stay eligible, Boateng finally shored up his academics after sitting out a season. Although he led the team in catches in 2008, he did so with just 29 as part of an anemic passing offense that ranked 83rd in the country. Boateng hoped to make more of an impact this year, but a fractured foot in the third game against Minnesota forced him out of two games and slowed him for a few others after returning.

"It's been frustrating. I'm not going to lie about it," Boateng said. "I felt like I could have had an All-American season. It's just the way it is. Now I just have to take advantage of every opportunity I get."

Boateng said he's been invited to the NFL Scouting Combine in February.


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  • Wednesday will mark the first time Cal has played Utah since the Utes registered a 31-24 win in 2003 in Salt Lake City. That was the breakout game for former Cal star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who came off the bench to throw for 224 yards and two touchdowns. It was also the first career start for current 49ers quarterback Alex Smith. Both quarterbacks went on to become first-round NFL draft picks in 2005.

  • Cal coach Jeff Tedford said starting left guard Matt Summers-Gavin won't play in the Poinsettia Bowl. It will be the second straight game Summers-Gavin has missed because of a concussion. Summers-Gavin also missed three games earlier this season with a shoulder injury.

  • The Bears visited the San Diego Zoo on Sunday as part of the Poinsettia Bowl activities. Linebacker Mike Mohamed, who grew up two hours away in Brawley, had been to the zoo before but was still enthusiastic about his visit.

    "I had a blast," he said. "I got to feed and pet a rhino. They brought out a cheetah and I also fed a bearcat. It was great to go back there."

  • Starting cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson sat out practice as his sprained ankle continues to linger, but Tedford still expects him to play Wednesday.

  • Thompson, defensive end Tyson Alualu, left tackle Mike Tepper and wide receiver Verran Tucker have been invited to the East-West Shrine Game in Orlando, Fla., on Jan. 23.