Spring Glances Part II – The California Schools

We continue with our Spring Glances article series. By taking a look at the California schools in the Pac-10.

Stanford Cardinal

2004 Record: 4-7

Buddy Teevens was fired in favor of former Pitt head coach Walt Harris. Tom Hayes is the new Defensive Coordinator and brings over 30 years of coaching experience at various stops, such as, Oklahoma, UCLA, and Kansas.


Key Losses: TE Alex Smith, RB Kenneth Tolon, WR Greg Camarillo
Key Returners: QB Trent Edwards, WR Evan Moore, WR Mark Bradford, WR Justin McCullum, RB JR Lemon, OT Jeff Edwards, OG Ismail Simpson, C Brian Head, OT Jon Cochran, K Michael Sgroi

Storyline(s) of Interest: Running Back. With many components back on offense, including the entire offensive line, the Cardinal look to have one of their better offensive units since the days of Troy Walters. Edwards will miss his #1 target in TE Alex Smith but they like Matt Traverso to fill in along with all the returning lettermen at WR. The ground game is still in need of quite a bit of improvement, however. JR Lemon is back but certainly not above reproach should another back surface. If they can run the ball with more consistency, Stanford may have one of the more underrated offenses in the Pac-10 in 2005.


Key Losses: S Oshiomogho Atogwe, CB Leigh Torrence, CB Stanley Wilson, LB Jared Newberry, DE Will Svitek, LB David Bergeron
Key Returners: NT Babatunde Oshinowo, DT Julian Jenkins, LB Kevin Schimmelmann, DE Jon Alston, CB T.J. Rushing, S Trevor Hooper, P Jay Ottovegio

Storyline(s) of Interest: Secondary. Stanford saw a marked improvement in defense this last year compared to the 2003 version. The anchors are return up front but with Atogwe's departure, the secondary loses its leader. Cornerback will be the position of most interest.

Cal Bears

2004 Record: 10-2, Holiday Bowl loss to Texas Tech

Cal has been rather quiet on the news front so far this off-season. Jeff Tedford's contract was extended after speculation he may leave. After years of talk, firm plans to revitalize Memorial Stadium have surfaced at the request of Tedford.


Key Losses: RB J.J. Arrington, QB Aaron Rodgers, WR Geoff McArthur, WR Chase Lyman, WR Jonathan Makonnen, TE Garrett Cross, WR Burl Toler, OG Jonathan Giesel
Key Returners: RB Marshawn Lynch, OT Ryan O'Callaghan, C Marvin Phillip, OG Aaron Merz, WR Sam DeSa, FB Chris Manderino, LT Andrew Cameron, K David Lonie

Storyline(s) of Interest: QB and WR. The Bears are hopeful JUCO transfer Joseph Ayoob can continue the magic under Center after Aaron Rodgers declared for the NFL draft. A couple of factors in his favor are a great returning nucleus up front on the Offensive Line and a budding star in RB Marshawn Lynch. Unfortunately, Cal lost a lot of experience at Wide Receiver. Sam DeSa and David Gray will be looking to get a leg up this Spring on a few of the young WR recruits joining the team in the Fall.


Key Losses: DE Ryan Riddle, DT Lorenzo Alexander, LB Joe Maningo, LB Wendell Hunter, DE Tosh Lupoi, DT Tom Sverchek, LB Sid Slater, S Matt Giordano, S Ryan Gutierrez
Key Returners: DT Brandon Mebane, DT Matt Malele, CB Tim Mixon, DB Donnie McCleskey, CB Daymeion Hughes

Storyline(s) of Interest: DL and LB. The Bears had a Senior-laden defense in 2004 and it was one of the biggest reasons why they nearly made it to a BCS bowl. Cal loses virtually their entire front seven after the spectacular campaign in 2004. Brandon Mebane and Matt Malele will see a lot of playing time on the interior of the line now and Steve Kelly will be looking to position himself in the Spring amongst the Linebackers.

USC Trojans

2004 Record: 13-0, Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma

Offensive Coordinator Norm Chow's departure to the NFL has opened up a spot for Lane Kiffin to cut his teeth at OC. Steve Sarkisian has returned to USC in the capacity of Quarterbacks coach but will also have input in the offensive play calling duties. Pete Carroll also named Pat Ruel as the new OL coach


Key Losses: TE Alex Holmes, K Ryan Killeen
Key Returners: QB Matt Leinart, RB Reggie Bush, WR Dwayne Jarrett, RB LenDale White, OT Taitusi Lutui, TE Dominique Byrd, C Ryan Kalil, WR Steve Smith,

Storyline(s) of Interest: OC and Kicker. There isn't much to contemplate on the Trojan offense as most everybody returns. Lane Kiffin will have the luxury of a Heisman winning QB and the versatile Reggie Bush to work with. Unless he hasn't learned a thing, Kiffin should be fine this year with all the talent at his disposal. Ryan Killeen has graduated and left a vacancy at Kicker. Mario Danelo will be his replacement.


Key Losses: DT Mike Patterson, DE/T Shaun Cody, LB Lofa Tatupu, LB Matt Grootegoed, CB Kevin Arbet, CB Ronald Nunn, S Jason Leach
Key Returners: LB Dallas Sartz, S Darnell Bing, P Tom Malone, DE Frostee Rucker, DE Jeff Schweiger

Storyline(s) of Interest: DL and LB. The Trojans lose all-everything Shaun Cody and the monster motor of Mike Patterson on the DL. Jeff Schweiger had a nice season as a true freshman and Lawrence Jackson will be in the new mix as well at DE. While Grootegoed got the most publicity among the LBs, Lofa Tatupu will be greatly missed in the middle after leaving early for the NFL.

UCLA Bruins

2004 Record: 6-6, Las Vegas Bowl loss to Wyoming UCLA is the first conference team to get underway with Spring practices, which began February 23rd. Head Coach Karl Dorrell's contract was extended two more years, putting him under contract through 2010. Dorrell recently named Thurmond Moore the new Defensive Line coach, replacing Don Johnson.


Key Losses: RB Manny White, WR Craig Bragg, WR Tab Perry, OL Steven Vieira, OL Paul Mociler
Key Returners: TE Mercedes Lewis, RB Maurice Drew, WR Junior Taylor, QB Drew Olson, C Mike McCloskey, OG Shannon Tevaga, RB Chris Markey, OT Ed Blanton, K Justin Medlock

Storyline(s) of Interest: QB. Even though starting Quarterback Drew Olson returns, a controversy has already begun at the position with former blue-chipper Ben Olson joining the QB derby. Since Drew won't be available for spring practices, Drew will be taking advantage of the snaps during spring ball to ready himself for fall camp. Will it be enough to overtake Drew Olson?


Key Losses: CB Matt Clark, S Ben Emanuel II, P Chris Kluwe
Key Returners: LB Spencer Havner, LB Justin London, LB Wesley Walker, S Jarrad Page, DE Brigham Harwell, DE Kyle Morgan, DT Kevin Brown, DT CJ Niusulu, CB Marcus Cassell, S Eric McNeal

Storyline(s) of Interest: Secondary. With the nucleus of the front seven returning for the Bruins, attention will be turned toward the secondary in the Spring with a couple of spots open. Safety Jarrad Page is currently participating in baseball, opening up more opportunities for some of the young Safeties like Chris Horton and Dennis Keyes to get more reps. Trey Brown and Marcus Cassell will be competing at the corner spots.

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