BERKELEY -- We're 10 practices into Cal's fall camp, and it's been anything but predictable. Players coming and going, injuries, and setbacks to those injuries have shaken up the depth charts, and given new players the opportunity to make a move.
One of those players is linebacker Michael Barton. With injuries to Khairi Fortt (knee) and Nick Forbes (back), Barton has been making an impact with the first-team defense in 11-on-11's. He had a nice tackle in the backfield to bring down Kenny Lawler on a screen pass, and he showed good lateral movement on passes thrown over the middle. It's too early to tell if his performance is a sign of things to come, but at the very least it speaks volumes to the depth of the linebacker unit that a standout performance seems to come from a different player each day.
Speaking of Forbes, the junior was wearing street clothes at practice today, and didn't participate in any drills after playing with the second team on Tuesday. But head coach Sonny Dykes downplayed talk of a setback to the linebacker's recovery from back spasms.
"He had a doctors appointment today," Dykes said. "That's why he wasn't out there. We expect him to be out there more and more as we progress."
On the other hand, the Bears defensive line got a boost from the return of Viliami Moala. With his academics in order and his shoulder injury not seeming to be an issue, Moala immediately made an impact for the second-team defense with his ability to get into the backfield during 11-on-11s. He teamed up with Gabe King to stuff a Darren Ervin run up the middle.
"He [Moala] feels a lot better," Dykes said. "We thought today was a good time to get him back. We expect him to be physical and play explosive like he was today."
Meanwhile, another d-lineman who has impressed so far in fall camp -- Harrison Wilfley -- was held out of drills today due to a shoulder bruise. But Dykes expects him to return to practice soon, potentially tomorrow.
Free safety Alex Logan had already returned to the field Tuesday, but was held out of several contact drills. On Thursday, the senior finally participated in 11-on-11s. Dykes didn't mince words, saying Logan still has a ways to go. He was badly burned in one of his few tackling opportunities by Jeffrey Coprich, as Coprich nearly took it to the house. But Logan's return to the secondary is much needed in the aftermath of the Avery Sebastian injury.
"Alex was a little rusty, " Dykes said. "But he's a guy that's going to make some plays for us. Obviously depth for us is critical at that position, and he's a guy that we're excited about. We want to get him comfortable and develop. The last thing you want to do is mess with someone's ability to develop by moving them around too much."
-- Defensive lineman Kyle Kragen had another monster day, notching four sacks throughout the course of the day in 11-on-11s, and showing the speed that could make him tough to keep off the field this upcoming fall.
-- Redshirt freshman defensive back Dan Fadelli got time with the second-team defense at strong safety, but struggled, getting burned by Bryce Treggs for a 25-yard gain.
-- Treggs recorded two catches in a row on Cedric Dozier from Zach Kline, and would have had a third if he had kept his feet in bounds.
-- Ted Agu and Antione Davis each had a sack on the quarterback who – on Monday – was named the starter: true freshman Jared Goff.
-- Cornerback Adrian Lee had an up-and-down day, showing good instincts in intercepting a poorly-thrown Kline ball in the end zone and taking it forty yards the other way. On the other hand, he was routinely beat by Chris Harper on deep fade routes.
-- Defensive tackle Austin Clark had ACL surgery. Dykes said the plan is to eventually apply for him to have a medical redshirt with the hope that he will be granted a sixth year of eligibility.
-- Dykes expects Sione Sina to be back by the end of the week. He said defensive end Todd Barr will be back to full-contact on Friday, but Brennan Scarlett's timetable for returning to contact drills is still unknown.
-- Dykes also said that both Johnny Ragin III and Jacobi Hunter will play as true freshmen.
DAY 10: Barton Makes a Move
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