Treggs, Harper star in first scrimmage

With one week before shifting to game-planning for Nevada, freshmen wide receivers Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper impress in first scrimmage.

BERKELEY, Calif. – What was supposed to be a major test for the California offensive line instead became another showcase for freshmen wide receiver Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper.

With limited numbers once again on the defensive line, head coach Jeff Tedford elected to split the first scrimmage of fall camp into two sessions. The first 45 plays featured full contact, while the last 30 allowed focused strictly on the passing game without a defensive front.

"We had a little variation from practice because of our depth at D-line, but we were still able to get the outside guys, the skill guys, a lot of work," Tedford said. "I was really pleased with the young receivers for the most part about lining up and assignments, which you really look for their first time on the field live and in color."

Treggs, Harper and Darius Powe all received reps with the first-team offense, as junior Keenan Allen was held out to give the five freshmen receivers an extended look.

Even with the All-America candidate absent, the Bears' offense controlled the session, aside from two tipped-ball interceptions in the red zone.

"As far as the offense went, I feel like they picked it up pretty good and had the tempo going," Allen said. "From past years, the defense always usually wins against us, but this year I think the offense got them."

Tedford was more diplomatic.

"The Bears won," he said.

But the big winners were Treggs and Harper, who now appear to be locks to see significant action this season.

After several early noticeable drops, Treggs, the five-star prospect from Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, has come on strong in the past few days. Tedford attributed it to Treggs pressing initially.

"I think Treggs started out a little bit slow, not by his doing but because he didn't have a lot of action coming his way," Tedford said. "He kept working and I think he has a very good feel for what he is doing."

Harper was less heralded coming out of Encino (Calif.) Crespi, but is on an equal footing with Treggs.

"Harper is very skilled," Tedford said.

"Those two are right there together. There really is no separation between those guys."

Said quarterback Allan Bridgford: "They are both actually very similar. Rangy guys, they are quick and they can move. They both run good routes and have good hands."

Bridgford has seen the progress Harper and Treggs have made over the last few weeks, working with them during the summer to help bring them up to speed in learning the playbook.

"I was teaching them a lot of stuff, and they picked it up quick," Bridgford said. "They have absorbed it really well, coming straight from high school to learning a new playbook. I would definitely credit that to the extra time they put in off the field in the summer with me."

With one week left before Cal begins to focus on its season-opener against Nevada, Tedford will begin to cut the practice rotation down to "probably eight" receivers. Harper and Treggs are now right there, a credit to their talent and work ethic.

Scrimmage Standouts
Tedford identified linebacker Brennan Scarlett and defensive lineman Todd Barr as defenders that impressed during the scrimmage, while also noting a long run by redshirt freshman running back Daniel Lasco. Freshman tight end Maximo Espitia worked with the first-unit and "played well," Tedford said.

While Cal's next scrimmage is set for next Monday, Tedford said the team would do live drills before them once several injured defensive linemen return.

"We need to get the D-line back to make sure they can get some quality reps and make sure they are in shape and ready to go," he said.

Memorial Return Set for Thursday
Cal will practice in renovated Memorial Stadium on Thursday morning, giving the team its first chance to see its home stadium in nearly 20 months.

"Really we're going to try and move them around and just get used to the footing in there," Tedford said of the helmets-only session. "I'm very anxious to get in there without a doubt."

With the north tunnel still not paved, the Bears are limited in what equipment they can bring on to the field, forcing them to alternate between working in Witter Rugby Field and Memorial Stadium until August 24th.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/Scout.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


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