Allen's recovery remains on track

With Keenan Allen sidelined for spring because of an ankle injury, defensive back Joel Willis has been moved to offense.

BERKELEY, Calif. – Almost two weeks removed from surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right ankle, California wide receiver Keenan Allen is getting used to moving around on crutches.

The junior is also getting used to being seriously hurt for the first time.

"I get out here and it's like, ‘Dang, I really got to watch for a long time,'" Allen said.

After being evaluated by team doctors, Allen, the first-team All-Pac-12 receiver who caught 98 passes for 1,343 yards and six touchdowns last season, said his recovery is on schedule.

"I talked to them today and it was about three weeks I can start rehabbing, so I should be ready to go by summer," Allen said. "I feel good. The doctor feels good about it too, so he said I'll be back and be ready."

Allen was hurt playing basketball one week before the start of spring practice, but did not believe the injury to be anything significant initially.

"Nah, I sprained it before," he said. "I heard it pop. I've heard it pop a couple times but I didn't know it was the ligaments."

The only lingering effects might be to Allen's pride, admitting he heard it a "little bit" from his coaches and parents.

Willis to Receiver
Redshirt freshman Joel Willis has moved to wide receiver on a full-time basis, Cal head coach Jeff Tedford confirmed.

Willis had been playing defensive back, but was receptive to the move, Tedford said. It also supplements the Golden Bears' limited numbers at the position this spring.

"I think that is going to be a great addition for us, a guy who can run and make plays with a lot of athleticism," Tedford said. "He has kind of been chomping at the bit to play receiver anyway and so that's a real natural fit."

As a high school senior at Garden Grove (Calif.) Pacifica, Willis caught 40 passes for 905 yards.

Pads On
The Bears practiced in full pads for the first time this spring Tuesday at Witter Rugby Field, giving coaches their first chance to really evaluate what is happening in the trenches.

Tedford has been especially pleased with the defensive line, which must replace departed starters Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu. But rising sophomore Mustafa Jalil and redshirt junior Deandre Coleman seem poised to make the transition at defensive end seamless.

"I expect for them to really step up and be leaders at that position," Tedford said. "Todd Barr made a couple nice plays today as well. I think we'll be fine there."

The Bears did everything in practice except live tackling of running backs, Tedford said.

Quick Hits
-Jalil and quarterback Zach Maynard did not practice Tuesday while attending to academics.

-The Bears will practice again Thursday before taking a week off for spring break.

After doing some installation of the offense and defense over the first four practices, Tedford cautioned it might take some time to get back on track afterwards.

"The older guys, the experienced guys will lock on, but some of the new guys you will start again and go over it," Tedford said. Top Stories