DAY NINE: How did the Cal D respond?

Without several starters due to academic obligations, and without starting free safety Avery Sebastian, how did the defense cope on Day Nine of fall camp? Jacobi Hunter certainly had a nice day, but who else stood out?

BERKELEY -- School is still out for most students across the country, but California football players aren't like most students, and as a result, a laundry list of players including Brennan Scarlett, Chris McCain, Jalen Jefferson, and Todd Barr were either not at practice on day nine of fall camp, or had to leave early.

"There were some guys missing," head coach Sonny Dykes said. "We've got finals this week. A couple guys finishing papers, getting their college writing portfolios done. The last couple of days we've had some guys that have missed [practice], but they way they've practiced so far it's okay."

Dykes also said that barring a disastrous summer school performance (noting Mustafa Jalil and McCain, in particular), every player should be in good academic shape come the fall.

With several defensive starters hitting the books, some freshmen defensive linemen had the opportunity to get increased playing time in 11-on-11's. Both Ray Davison and Jacobi Hunter got extended time with the second-team defense, and made the most of it. Davison showed good speed off the edge in touch-sacking Jared Goff, while Hunter sacked Zach Kline and was constantly penetrating into the defensive backfield.

Damariay Drew had the difficult task of filling in for injured free safety Avery Sebastian, but the redshirt freshman didn't look overwhelmed playing with the first-team defense. He had a nice tackle on Jonah Hodges during 11-on-11's, and also broke up a pass in the end zone intended for Darius Powe during 7-on-7's.

"I thought he had a good day," Dykes said. "He showed up a lot more. Damariay's one of those guys who gets better and better the more reps he gets. This is his opportunity to make a name for himself."

Instead of stepping up in Sebastian's absence, several upperclassmen in the secondary -- Kameron Jackson, Michael Lowe and Isaac Lapite -- had pretty rough days. Sophomore receiver Bryce Treggs separated from both Lowe and Jackson on the same play to haul in a 25-yard pass from Kline, and Lapite struggled both shedding blocks and in coverage, where he was beaten over the middle on a pass from Goff to inside receiver Richard Rodgers.

Absent from that list is projected starting strong safety Alex Logan. The senior returned to the field today in limited action, but Dykes liked what he saw.

"It was good to have him back," Dykes said. "He was obviously chomping at the bit to practice. It was good to get him out there today, saw him move around, and I thought he looked pretty comfortable. "

NOTEBOOK
-- WILL linebacker Khairi Fortt didn't practice due to a sore knee.

-- With Fortt and Jefferson out, and Forbes running with the second team, Michael Barton, Hardy Nickerson and Nathan Broussard were the first-team linebackers on Tuesday.

Barton showed solid coverage, but really excelled in tackling. He absolutely nailed Jeffrey Coprich on a screen pass from Goff over the middle, and in general displayed good speed in hanging with the running backs.

-- Dykes said that defensive back Trevellous Cheek has a "pretty significant hamstring injury" and will probably be out at least a week.

-- Deandre Coleman -- the focus of several NFL scouts on hand at Tuesday's practice -- had a sack on Goff in 11-on-11's.

-- Cornerback Adrian Lee was not at practice on Tuesday.

-- Defensive lineman Harrison Wilfley did not play in 11-on-11's due to a shoulder injury.

-- After being held out of Monday's scrimmage cornerback Stefan McClure was back at practice, and playing with the first team defense. I don't believe a single pass was completed on him all day, and he nearly came up with an interception on an underthrown pass from Kline.

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