Zach Maynard looks pretty assured of being the California Golden Bears starting quarterback come opening day at Candlestick Park against Fresno State. The question now turns to who will take his place if he gets injured.
Jonathan Okanes of the Contra Costa Times talked to Cal football head coach Jeff Tedford, and things are not looking so good for Brock Mansion. The Cal starting quarterback at the end of last season has fallen back to third-string duties on the eve of the 2011 college football season, with sophomore Allan Bridgford winning the battle of the coveted #2 pick. Bridgford hails originally from Mission Viejo and was considered a top-level (if not elite) quarterback recruit. His accuracy was his greatest strength in high school, and it's certainly a strength that'll endear him to a place in the rotation. Mansion is going to have to fight hard to get back up in the rotation.
Other news and notes:
- Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson will be the second string tailback behind Isi Sofele, but says Laney JuCo transfer C.J. Anderson is already starting to make a charge at the position. With Anderson only just now getting himself adapted to Cal camps, you have to figure that there's a good chance he can work his way into the top two given adequate preparation and practice time.
- The weakside outside linebacker (the traditional pass rushing LB in a 3-4) spot is a three-way battle between Chris McCain, Ryan Davis and Cecil Whiteside. McCain shows all the flashes of being a force as a pass rusher, but Davis does have more experience and might be less prone to making mental errors. And don't count out Whiteside, who has plenty of his own natural talent. Expect all of them to make a charge to start, or at the very least rotate around.
- Freshman to play: Whiteside, McCain, nose tackle Villami Moala, safety Avery Walls and cornerback Stefan McClure, all of whom should help make Cal's defense one of the deepest in the Pac-12 in terms of pure up-and-coming talent. Tight end Richard Rodgers is also a possibility if Spencer Ladner struggles to get back on the field.
- As reported earlier, the potentially spectacular Brendan Bigelow is likely to redshirt. Bigelow showed bursts of brilliance in fall camp, but it's going to take a little bit longer before he's ready to suit up and play in a game.
- Michael Calvin still remains perched at the #3 spot, with Coleman Edmond close behind. The lack of depth in the receiving corps has to be troubling, with both Kaelin Clay and Maurice Harris having to sit out with injuries. It could limit the formations the Bears run on offense this season.
For more on Cal football, go to the California Golden Blogs.