Keenan Allen (middle) will be making his mark as a Cal wideout in his freshman year.

Isi Sofele Cal's Backup Tailback Behind Shane Vereen

This is a stream designed for discussion on all news relating to Jeff Tedford and the California Golden Bears football team this offseason!

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18 Total Updates since August 20, 2010
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Isi Sofele Will Backup Shane Vereen As Cal's Second Tailback

Tedford made the announcement at today’s March to Victory Luncheon. California Golden Blogs with the story:

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.

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Keenan Allen, Marc Anthony Earn Starting Roles At Wide Receiver And Cornerback

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.

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Cal Receives No Votes In the AP Preseason Poll

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.

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Shane Vereen Practices For First Time In Fall Camp

CalBears.com reports the good news.

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.

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Cal Getting 6 Votes In First USA Today Coaches' Poll

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.

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Chris Martin Transferring From Cal To Florida

Ryan Casey with the Denver Post:

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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