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Isi Sofele has beaten out Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson and Dasarte Yarnway to earn the #2 spot. It’ll be an interesting change of pace for Cal’s running backs, who have often fit that 5’10, 190-200 pound framework. Sofele is more of a Jacquizz-type who will be tough for big tacklers to get down and someone who can run through tight blocking packages. Although to this point he’s been relied on primarily for fly sweeps out of the Wildcat/Wildbear formation, Sofele will probably be taking on a more active role to spell Shane Vereen out of the backfield.
More announcements about the depth chart and the changes in scheme can be found by following the link.
One expected result and one not-so-expected result—Cal will have two newcomers dressing up on the field on Saturday.
Tedford did jump the gun a little when he confirmed the obvious: True freshman Keenan Allen will start at one wide receiver opposite Marvin Jones, and sophomore Marc Anthony seems to have held off promising freshman Steve Williams to earn the starting left-cornerback job.
“Marc Anthony has had one of the most solid camps,” Tedford said. “He made spectacular plays, he did a good job of tackling in the open field and he did a good job on pass defense.”
Allen was expected to do great things as a Golden Bear, but I doubt any of us thought he’d win the starting job this decisively. Still there were plenty of indications he was ready to start from the summer reports, and now he’ll be lining up next to Marvin Jones.
Anthony is a little bit more surprising, especially with the emergence of Steve Williams, but it seems Anthony’s familiarity with the system and his strong performances through spring and fall practices have carried the weight.
I'm not sure which century this is, but it represents another health issue for Hill to deal with. John Crumpacker of the SF Chronicle with the story.
Instead, gout, resulting from a build-up of uric acid and causing his big toe to swell and become extremely painful. While his teammates are practicing at Memorial Stadium, Hill is hobbling around on a single crutch, mystified and chagrined at his decidedly nonfootball condition.
"That was the biggest curveball ever," Hill said. "All of a sudden, my foot swelled up on me. We're still trying to figure it out. It probably came awhile back, symptoms showing last year. My big toe swelled up last year. They thought it was turf toe.
"My big toe is a real big toe right now. It's real big and hurting."
Hill has struggled through injuries the past two seasons trying to be Cal's primary nose tackle in their 3-4 alignment, and it's kept him from achieving his full potential. If Hill is to attract the NFL buzz he's certainly worthy of, the 6'2" 308 pounder will hopefully get those feet moving soon. Because Kendrick Payne is already moving in to take his spot up front.
Talk about the bloom being off. Cal received no votes in the AP Poll for the first time since 2003, back when Tedford and the sturdy Golden Bears were considered rowdy upstarts. The Bears have indeed struggled living up to expectations (deserved or undeserved) as of late. It seems as if they’re finally getting the media burn back after the media got tired of being burned themselves.
Not that preseason polls will matter much in the end run, but how will Cal respond with no expectations after so many years of expecting to reach the top and failing to do so? It’s anyone’s guess.
Vereen participated in full team activities on Friday for the first time during the Golden Bears’ 2010 training camp that began on August 7. Vereen had been limited during the club’s first 13 days of camp with a tight hamstring but was part of the light contact team sessions Cal conducted Friday.
“It felt good to go out there and finally run around with the rest of the guys,” said Vereen. “I’m a little sore but happy to get my feet on the ground. The last couple of weeks have gone by very slow, and I was very anxious the whole time to try to get out there as quickly as possible, but at the same time be smart.”
Cal fans can breathe a sigh of relief, as now the majority of the sure starters will have seen action before the season kickoff in two weeks.
Cal's prized five star recruit was considered the best outside linebacker by Scout and one of the best defensive ends by Rivals in the 2010 recruiting class. But for whatever reason, things didn't work out early for Martin, and he's looking elsewhere to play football. Coach Jeff Tedford supports him in this decision.
"My decision to transfer definitely does not reflect on the football program or the academics at Cal," said Martin, a native of Oakland. "Rather, I feel like for me to focus and truly reach my potential I need to leave many of the distractions I have here at home in the Bay Area. I need to venture away from home and start my college career somewhere else where I don’t have those distractions."
"This is a decision that Chris and his family have made to do what they feel is in the best interest of Chris," said Tedford. "We wish Chris the best as he pursues his college football career. It is always important for young men to make the correct decisions to be able to reach their full potential. I understand his concern with the continued outside distractions he’s facing, and I support Chris and his decision to transfer. I wish him and his family all the best."
As a Cal fan, I wish Martin nothing but the best, and hopes he finds a good place. Outside of the West Coast of course (and he implied with Jonathan Okanes of BearTalk that he will not be staying on the West Coast).
Coach Jeff Tedford says Mychal Kendricks and Keith Browner have earned starting spots at OLB.
About what many of us expected with Chris Martin gone and Cecil Whiteside greyshirting--the incumbents were the long favorites to take the jobs, and this is just a confirmation of that. Kendricks will probably be asked to be the main pass rusher this season, which is one of the many question marks on a Cal team that had plenty of trouble generating pressure against the better offensive lines.
So much for getting the practice reps in. Cal’s head coach says that the Golden Bear receiver of the future is ready to start right now. He is likely to be the only freshman who will outright start, as Tedford told Jim McGill of Bear Insider.
One of the more interesting revelations on the day was Cal Head Coach Jeff Tedford’s admission that, “as of right now,” freshman receiver Keenan Allen will start heading into the season.
As far as the likelihood of any other frosh starting, Tedford noted: “We won’t know till the end of camp, but all of them are right there. I’m not worried about them physically, but there’s always a learning curve there. They’re doing really well in practice. But you can never control (or plan for) all the game situations, so no matter how hard you work in practice, everything you can think of working on, something always pops up in a game. I’m sure the learning curve will decrease as the year goes on and guys get more comfortable.”
Considering how close current No. 1 Marvin Jones and Allen already are, this has to be a fortuitous development for Cal fans, who must be excited at finally having a dynamic duo back in the receiving corps.
Cal left guard Matt Summers-Gavin became something of a barometer for the Bears in 2009. In the nine games he played in Cal went 8-1. In the four games he missed with injury? 0-4. So Cal fans were understandably worried when he left practice this weekend with an unknown knee injury.
Bear backers can all breath a huge sigh of relief because after some tests on Monday he was diagnosed with a bone bruise which should sideline him about two weeks. Considering that some feared a season-ending injury this comes as welcome tidings.
Fall camp began this weekend in Berkeley and Cal’s newest group of wideouts impressed:
Among the new players, much of the focus was on the wide receivers. There are five of them, and at least a couple of them should have a strong chance of making a run at playing time this season. The headliner is Keenan Allen, one of the top recruits in the country. Coach Jeff Tedford said earlier this week that Allen is as “ready-made” as any receiver he’s ever coached, and he sure looks the part — 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, moves well and looks natural catching the ball.
One player that stood out to me during the limited time we could watch practice is Kaelin Clay, the freshman from Long Beach Poly. He appeared to run smooth routes and catch balls nicely in stride, and certainly looks athletic. Tevin Carter and Coleman Edmond also look like they have potential.
With the sudden departure of Chris Martin, Keenan Allen has become the marque star of Cal’s incoming recruiting class. Allen was considered a safety out of high school, but with his impressive athleticism Tedford sees him primarily as a receiver. But his talent is such that he could see the field as a defensive back in nickel and dime packages. The Chronicle took a closer look at what Allen may bring to the Bears:
As a prep senior in Greensboro, N.C., last year, the versatile Allen scored a startling 53 offensive touchdowns and also had eight interceptions.
Note to the head coach: Get this chap on the field, fast.
“He’s about as ready-made as anyone we have at receiver,” Tedford said. “He’s a good-looking guy. He’s really put together. He has great range and leaping ability.”
Ted Miller reports the Golden Bears finished third in the conference. All Pac-10 schools made the cutoff line.
1. Stanford: 975.
2. USC: 971.
3. California: 963.
4. Oregon State: 962
5. Arizona: 961.
6. Washington State: 953.
7. Oregon: 949.
8. UCLA: 943.
9. Washington: 934.
10. Arizona State: 925
After a rough 2007-08 camapign on the field and in the classroom, it looks as is if Tedford's players stabled out and returned to form. No doubt having the top football athlete-scholar couldn't have hurt!
The Cal Golden Bears will star the 2010 season with a bit less pressure than last season courtesy of the first Coaches’ Poll of the new season. Last year Cal started the season 12th in the country before stumbling through Pac-10 play and finishing the season with a tough loss in the Poinsettia Bowl.
This year, Cal receives 6 votes total in the poll. They are also receiving 6 votes in the inaugural AP Poll. Maybe lowered expectations will help Cal roll up some bigger wins in 2010.
“Kevin is the starter. Kevin’s the starter, unless he gets beat out. Kevin is the starter, you can write that down,” Tedford said. “I didn’t say ‘until,’ I said ‘unless.’ The top three will get, in the beginning (of camp), very equal reps. And then, as camp moves on, it will be whittled down where the ones will get more.”
Tedford expressed in no uncertain terms the most confidence that he has had this offseason in senior quarterback Kevin Riley, while leaving just enough wiggle room should the unforeseen unseat the veteran signal-caller.
“Here’s the deal: competition is very good. There’s still going to be competition,” Tedford said. “Kevin is our starter, and he will be our starter, but there will still be strong competition with the other people. He will be our starter unless something happens, or unless someone plays better than him.”
At least for once, we won’t be wringing our hands over the Cal starting quarterback position going into fall. Right?
Tedford had a chance to talk with Jim McGill of ESPN’s Bear Insider about what happened with Chris Martin’s sudden and shocking departure. (HT California Golden Blogs)
“This wasn’t just homesickness. There was a long list of distractions. I’m not going to get into specifics, but you can imagine for us to not put up more resistance to him transferring, how long that list was. It was evident when he got here that he didn’t want to be here. He wanted to do other things. He wanted to run around with his ex-buddies and do all that. There wasn’t a lot of dedication to school, football and everything like all the other players had.”
“…I wanted him to go and find a place where he could be happy and the rest of our guys would want to be here and be focused and productive.”
For those of used to Tedford’s robotic and diplomatic answers over the years, this is a pretty clear-cut criticism of Martin. It’ll be interesting to see whether he can develop himself well enough to contribute in the deep Florida Gator stable.
In additional news, Cecil Whiteside will greyshirt, meaning the two outside linebackers from the prized 2010 Cal defensive class will not be seeing any action…yet.
Jonathan Okanes from Bay Area News Group has the full list of quotes. Click through for the entire list, and parse through Tedford’s opening statement below!
Walking down that tunnel and seeing the green grass really puts you in the mood to play some football. We are ready to get back to camp and get the team back together. The guys have been working very hard here in the offseason. We want to get to work on a new season.
Very excited about the new season. I think we have a great nucleus of guys and leaders. Some people tell me we are not ranked as highly this season as we have in the past, but we are not going to focus on that. We have to really focus on our internal expectations and competitive excellence. We feel very good, we have two new coaches that will be key to our success. We need to get better on the special teams side of things to get !eld position. Defensively we have a new defensive coordinator with Clancy Pendergast who a couple years ago he was on the verge of winning a Super Bowl with the Cardinals. We are going to be much better on defense. A goal for our is to really put pressure on the quarterback.
Offensively we feel like we have some !re power. The quarterback is the question of the time. We are going to have great competition at the quarterback position, but Kevin is the guy who takes the first snaps. Kevin is the active leader in the Pac-10 win wins, touchdown passes and starts. We are really hoping that his experience will really help us and translate to more success on the football field. The team has a lot of con!dence in him. He has worked very, very hard and he feels that is his team.
Fortunate to have Mike Mohamed here. He is a great young man. Conference leader in tackles last year. He is a great young man and will graduate in business in the fall. He has been a great representative of our program and a great leader with us."
Classy as always. UPDATE: This isn't the full transcript but rather the official transcript, because I'm pretty sure the question we asked isn't there. Oh well, we'll let you know when the full transcript arrives!
Tedford brought his star linebacker to Pac-10 Media Day, and the California Golden Blogs were there to cover it. Here are the Tweets regarding what Tedford had to say.
Tedford pleased with talent at DB. Says williams is as good as any DB they've had. Expects big improvement with secondary [Golden Blogs asked this question!!!]
Cal linebacker Mike Mohamed on expectations: "I'm aware of all the preseason accolades, but at the same time, my main focus is the team. I want to win the Pac-10, I want to go to the Rose Bowl. I know I need to go out and play like I did last year."
Mohamed on USC sanctions: "It's definitely tough for the players, especially when all this is coming down on them who had no part in it at all. I definitely feel for the players."
Follow all the Pac-10 Media Day action here in the California Golden Blogs open thread! We'll have a more comprehensive recap later on.
The 2010 Cal football season-opener against UC Davis will kick off at 1 p.m. from Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 4, and be televised live by Comcast SportsNet California.
The announcement brings the total of scheduled television broadcasts on the Golden Bears’ 2010 slate to five, with additional game times and television information for other contests expected to be announced at later dates.
Chris Martin, one of the most sought-after linebackers this past recruiting cycle, will transfer to Florida.
The Grandview graduate who announced his transfer from Cal on Tuesday, wrote on his Facebook page this morning that he has settled on Florida.
“God has granted me a second chance. A chance I cannot mess up,” Martin wrote. “With that said. Go Gators. Thank You to everyone and all the coaches who showed interest in me.”
Grandview coach John Schultz confirmed Martin will transfer to Florida. He said Martin sent him a text message with his decision: “Gators.”
It’s uncertain whether Martin will be eligible to play this season, but with significant depth at defensive end, it’s very likely that he’ll redshirt in either case.
To read reaction from the Cal perspective, check out the California Golden Blogs for their piece on Martin’s departure and how it affects the team going forward.
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