|July 23||3:43 PM|
- The Two-Deep
Some notable spots on the depth chart Cal released: No Jordan Rigsbee on the center list. Instead, it's Chris Adcock, Matt Cochran and J.D. Hinnant.
Rigsbee is listed at right tackle, followed by Dominic Granado and Christian Okafor.
Left guard is Chris Borrayo, then Vincent Johnson, Myles (formerly Erik) Bunte and freshman Kamryn Bennett.
Left tackle is Steven Moore, followed by Brian Farley and Aaron Cochran.
There is no deeper single position than running back, with Muhammad, Lasco, Coprich, Enwere, John Porchivina and Tre Watson listed. It's notable that Porchivina is listed as a running back, and not a a linebacker, where Dykes said he'd play last time he spoke with reporters.
There is no "BONE" position listed. Instead, it's just straight-up "FB," for fullback. Not shocking: Lucus Gingold is listed first, there. Kind of shocking: Fabiano Hale, who was involved in a locker room dust-up last year, is listed as the second fullback, at 6-foot, 235.
The top four receivers: Trevor Davis, Stephen Anderson, Bryce Treggs and Kenny Lawler. Harper is listed behind Davis at the X, for the moment.
Marcus Manley and Harrison Wilfley are listed as the two starters on the inside, though with Jalil in the wings, that likely won't last too long. He's listed behind Wilfley.
Your starting linebackers as of now: Jalen Jefferson at the SAM, Nathan Broussard at the MIKE and Michael Barton at the WILL, with freshman Devante Downs listed as the backup WILL and sophomore Edward Tandy listed as the second MIKE. No mention of Hardy Nickerson, Jr.
The safeties, again, for the moment, are Michael Lowe (SS, followed by Avery Sebastian) and Stefan McClure (FS, followed by Griffin Piatt). The starting corners are Darius Allensworth and Cameron Walker.
Lots of talent at defensive end. Brennan Scarlett is followed on one side by Todd Barr and Antione Davis, while Kyle Kragen takes the other end, followed by Puka Lopa and JuCo transfer Jonathan Johnson.
There is no clarity on the placekicking gig. James Langford, Noah Beito and Matt Anderson are competing for field goals, while Langford will likely take kickoff duties given his strong leg. Dykes said he's not a fan of splitting field goals by leg strength, but he will if he has to.
|July 23||3:12 PM|
- The Latest on Looney
Dykes said that he wouldn't expect to have anything substantive on whether defensive tackle James Looney would be available immediately to play this season, "for a while," possibly until the middle of training camp, at the earliest. The Wake Forest transfer, however, can practice with the Bears in the meantime, like any other potential redshirt would practice.
"It's hard to say right now," how much of an impact Looney could have, Dykes said. "Based on his film at Wake Forest, I would say, 'Quite a bit,' but he's an unknown right now, because we've never really seen what he can do, completely. Him working out in the weight room and stuff, he's going to be an impact player for us. We hope it's this year. If not, it'll be in the future."
|July 23||3:08 PM|
- Drew Update
Safety Damariay Drew, as we mentioned earlier, is not on the roster. Dykes said: "Nothing new. Just wait-and-see. Still pending."
What is the staff waiting on: "Just to get some information."
|July 23||2:46 PM|
- Injury Report
Mustafa Jalil will be a full-go for fall camp. "He got fully cleared," said Dykes, who has not seen Moose in action since last spring, his first as head coach.
"We couldn't block him," Dykes said.
Jalil's knee is well enough for him to be participating in team runs, but, Dykes said, he still needs to "get in football shape." Dykes did say that Jalil's return would make an impact: "Substantially." Dykes went on to say that Jalil could "potentially" be the Bears' best defensive tackle.
Trevor Kelly -- another player expected to have a substantial role on the interior of the defensive line -- has dropped the 10-15 pounds Dykes wanted him to drop. He is now down under 300 pounds, "in the mid-290s."
Middle linebacker Hardy Nickerson is still a bit of a question mark.
“Nickerson is going to be fully cleared, but he’s got a funny injury," Dykes said. "He had that lisfranc surgery, some guys come back from that very quickly, other guys, it takes a while. He’s running straight ahead very well. He’s still hobbled a little bit from side to side. I think that by the first ballgame, he’ll be in a good place. I’m not a doctor, and our doctors don’t know for sure, either.”
The only player not cleared for action going into fall camp is cornerback Joel Willis. Chris Adcock has been cleared, but is being brought along slowly.
Sione Sina, Chris Harper and Austin Clark are all good to go.
|July 23||2:40 PM|
When Jared Goff came to Cal, he says, he was 185 pounds, soaking wet. Now, he's a robust 205, and, he says, there were sacks that he took last year, "where I went down with just an arm tackle," that he won't take this year, because of the added bulk.
Goff gushed about his receivers: "How many guys get to say they can throw one pass to Chris Harper, the next to Kenny Lawler, the next to Bryce Treggs, and then on and on for about eight guys?" he mused. "We're so deep there. They're the best group in the conference, if not the nation."
Goff described incoming running back Vic Enwere as "physically impressive ... He's huge." So far, both he and Tre Watson have gotten rave reviews from both sides of the ball during summer work.
"Vic’s a very strong, powerful guy. He’s similar to Lasco, I think, but a little bigger, but they’re both big, strong dudes who can run downhill, and I think Khalfani’s obviously the fastest kid on our team, if not in the state of California," Goff said of his running backs. "He can fly. Tre is kind of a mixture. He’s fast, but I think he’s strong, too. He’s got good moves, and Jeff Coprich, you saw what he did in the spring. He brings something to the table, as well.”
|July 23||2:29 PM|
- The Offensive Line
Just finished marathon one-on-ones with Dykes, McClure and Goff, and a hot topic was the big uglies.
Goff spoke glowingly about Chris Adcock's performance during the summer.
"We've done offseason stuff and run plays, and he's been the center every time," Goff said. "He's done a great job."
Dykes said that the senior-to-be will play center when fall camp starts. What does that mean for the rest of the line?
“I’d like to be able to play Adcock at center and we’ll play around with playing [Jordan] Rigsbee at right tackle," Dykes said. “That’s the one spot that’s a little unsettled, but we’ve got some candidates between [Dominic] Granado coming in and Rigsbee and [Brian] Farley, who’s somebody we keep waiting to take the next step.”
Adcock, Dykes said, will be ready by Northwestern.
|July 23||1:16 PM|
- Short-term memory
McClure elaborated on the change in staffs, and the defense's need to put last year behind them.
“I’ve got a good feeling about this staff, and I’m excited about getting ready to work for them this season, and go to work this camp," McClure said. “It’s really hard, especially because we had a whole new coaching change, so right when you’re trying to develop some of those relationships with the coaches that we do have, we get another coaching change. . It’s just like DB: You’ve got to have short-term memory, so that’s what it is, now. We’ve got to forget about the past – learn from it, take lessons from it – but get that bitter taste out of our mouth. It’s really just, ‘Go to work, learn from this new staff,’ and try to learn everything you can, and be a unit.”
|July 23||1:06 PM|
- More on defense
Nathan Broussard was brought up several times during Dykes' initial roundtable, despite not doing much this spring.
"When you look at linebacker [last year], we never had Nathan Broussard who we think has a chance to be a very good football player," Dykes said.
As for the guys who did participate in spring, Dykes was complimentary of several players who figure to compete for starting jobs, at the very least."Yeah, I think when you look at the play of our offensive line, Steven Moore in particular, I thought he had a very solid spring," Dykes said. "I think defensively there were so many moving parts trying to get guys adjusted to the new scheme. I thought Todd Barr had a really productive spring. I was glad to see him start to improve and get better and better. You know, Nathan Broussard was limited this spring, but liked a lot of the stuff that he started to do for us during the spring. I thought Mike Lowe had a really good spring as well, and got a lot better. Cameron Walker is another one that comes to mind. So when you sit down and look at it overall, Stephen Anderson thought he was solid this spring as well. Had a quiet spring, but a solid spring. So all of those are guys that I thought really made a move and expect him to continue to make that move."
|July 23||12:54 PM|
- A word on the defensive backfield
One of the reasons Cal may play McClure at safety is to allow Cameron Walker to get back to playing corner, his natural position. He'll have a head of steam coming into camp, but he'll also have some competition.
Darius White brings a lot of size and athleticism, and has had a very intense air about him during my interactions with him this offseason.
"Darius White, obviously is a guy that's a very highly-recruited cornerback coming in that we think can make a difference," Dykes said. "Just what we've seen this summer, he's very athletic, very skilled. But, you never know how he's going to make that transition from junior college to the Pac-12."
As McClure noted below, it hurt watching the Cal secondary last season, and not just for him. It's still a big question mark.
I like the depth on our football team, I really do, but the secondary is still one part of our team that we still don't have as many bodies that are ready to play yet that we need to," Dykes said. "We're trying to get that addressed and adjusted. We'll see how that plays out."
|July 23||12:35 PM|
- More RB Talk
Dykes has a pretty full backfield, potentially, what with Lasco, Muhammad, Enwere and Watson, but he also talked about Jeffrey Coprich, Jr.
"Jeff's a guy -- we're expecting a lot of good things out of Jeff," Dykes said. "He played a lot last year. [We] had a lot of injuries at the running back spot. When he got a chance to perform, we thought he performed well. he did some good things this spring. We have four or five guys that are going to be competing at that spot for the tailback position. He'll be in the mix."
|July 23||12:31 PM|
- Sonny and Scarlett
First off, just spent 15 minutes on the record with interim athletic director Mike Williams, and boy, I'd love it if he wound up being the long-term guy. He won't, but he may have some say in who will be. A TON more on that later, but know, for now, that he's signed on to do the gig for a year, so this isn't going to be a short search.
Back to football, Dykes was very positive about the addition of Brennan Scarlett to the defensive line this year.
"Brennan gives us a lot of size and athleticism at that defensive end position," Dykes said. "We weren't a very good team at rushing the passer last year. I think we'll be much improved because of Brennan. He gives us an opportunity to be more athletic. He's had a great off-season. He's a big, strong kid who is very mature. He's going to provide leadership for us as well, so we expect him to have a big year."
|July 23||11:12 AM|
- Roster Notes
Safety Damariay Drew -- who got into some legal trouble after an offseason altercation, is not on the roster released today.
Also not on the roster: Sam Atoe (as expected).
Maximo Espitia, however, after some offseason rumor-mongering, is on the roster, listed as a linebacker.
Cal has added walk-ons Nicholas White (WR, 6-2, 170), Jonathan McDonald (LB, 5-10, 175), David Ortega (LB, 5-11, 215), Joe Castignani (LB, 6-2, 215), Zach Artman (OL, 6-4, 295), Deion Oliver (OL 6-5, 285), Addison Ooms (OL, 6-4, 295), Jake Ashton (WR, 6-4, 220), Cameron Stevens (WR, 6-1, 170), Justin Dunn (WR, 6-5, 195), Kyle Wells ()WR, 6-4, 240), Nick Allard (DE, 6-4, 220), Grace De'Zhon (WR, 5-8, 170), Chibuzo Nwokocha (S, 6-0, 185), Matt Rockett (WR, 5-10, 180, greatest name ever, out of Santa Ana Mater Dei), Idaho State transfer Chad Hansen (WR, So., 6-3, 190), Chase Marshall (WR, 6-3, 240), Patrick Laird (RB, 6-0, 205) and Bug Rivera (RB, 5-8, 180, So. TR from University of San Diego)
|July 23||11:02 AM|
- Stefan McClure Ready to Play Anywhere
Nickel, left corner, right corner, strong safety, free safety -- Stefan McClure is ready to play all of them, he said.
"I'm willing to play anywhere, all five," McClure said. Where does he want he play? "We'll see," he grinned.
McClure said that his knee feels anywhere between 85-90%, and that his speed is "coming back." He'll be ready by fall camp, he said, and he "feels good, and ready."
Being injured last year hurt not just physically for McClure, but emotionally, as well. "It hurts. I want to be out there, competing," he said.
The coaching transition on defense was tough, McClure admitted, and the team has had to lear "a whole new philosophy," but, he said, that philosophy should pay off.
|July 23||10:56 AM|
- More from Sonny
Dykes talked about the sheer number of junior college guys the Bears have added this offseason, and hearkened back to his second season at Louisiana Tech.
Dykes brought in 13 junior college players in his second recruiting class in Ruston, and 12 of those "wound up starting for us at some point," he said. The JuCo kids the Bears have brought in "give us competition, depth and maturity," Dykes said.
Some of that help has been along the defensive line, and here's a big chestnut on that position: "Moose has a chance to be a pretty impactful player for us. He's moving around better than we'd expected."
Moose, of course, meaning Mustafa Jalil. The defensive tackle will be "brought along slowly," because, Dykes says, "we want him performing well in our first game, not the first scrimmage."
Dykes said that he focused on defense more last year than he ever has in his entire career. He hopes that, with the new staff, that can change, and he can go back to focusing on offense.Dykes addressed Bryce Treggs's move to the inside: "His best quality is consistency. he does what he's supposed to do the way he's supposed to do it."
The move also allows more players the chance to perform on the outside, guys with just outside skill sets.
On the death of Ted Agu: "It's been a unifying experience. When you have a tragedy like that, it forces people to come together and talk."
|July 23||10:51 AM|
- Comments from Goff
"I have to choose my words carefully," Jared Goff said ,when asked about Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald's comments that he "look(s) forward to shaking [Sonny Dykes's] hand after the game," predicting a win over the Bears in the season opener. Goff's response? "It's great bulletin board material. I look forward to shaking his hand, as well." Boom.
Goff admits that he was a little rusty at the start of spring, but feels as strong as he ever has now, and is ready for fall camp. He says he is "So much farther along," at this point this year than he was last year, and he's even watched the Northwestern tape. His response?
"I was saying, 'Why was I throwing it there? Why did I do that? Wow, that wasn't right, that was so avoidable,''" Goff said.
As for the running game? "The running backs are ready to go, and they will prove a lot of people wrong," Goff said.
Tre Watson and Vic Enwere, Goff said, are "working hard, both look good, and they have a chance to contribute."
|July 23||10:24 AM|
- Comments from Sonny
Dykes on Jason Gibson: "Jason's had a hard time staying healthy, but we expect him to compete for one of those LB jobs in fall camp."
On Khalfani Muhammad: "He was one of the bright spots," says Dykes, who goes on to say that Muhammad "needs to continue to develop as a wide receiver," and that he could be used in the slot next year, in order to get the ball in his hands.
The interior defensive line is not a concern for Dykes. "We're going to have a lot of depth," he says. "I don't know that we have a lot of superstars there, but I like that group, I really do."
Dykes says that there is a possibility that James Looney, the Wake Forest transfer, could play immediately. The waiver with the NCAA is still pending.
"We're going to file a waiver and see if we can get his immediate eligibility, so we'll see how that plays out," Dykes said.
Dykes also cited Marcus Manley as someone who "will be a good player inside," on the defensive line.
|July 23||9:42 AM|
- Rich Rodriguez, starting us off right
The Arizona head coach remarked that some teams have quarterbacks who "couldn't play dead in a Western," and was excited by the "BCS-level" metal water bottles" in the Pac-12 gift bag.
|July 23||9:39 AM|
- Opening Remarks
For the first time, not very impressed by Larry Scott.
He towed the line about resisting "professionalization" in college sports, said that there was "much more at stake," with preserving the amateurism model.
Lots was made about the move of the championship game to Levi's Stadium, a stadium which the Bears will test-drive this fall, when they play Oregon on Friday, Oct. 24, 2014. Scott very excited that it will be "in the heart of Silicon Valley."
|July 23||9:06 AM|
- We're off
Gabbed with Goff and McClure briefly before we started. Not too keen on getting asked the same question multiple times.
I had time to chat up H. Michael Williams, the interim AD. Very up-to-date with what's going on in every program. Color me impressed. I'm less-so with the Pac-12's planning accumen. The lobby of the Paramount Studios Theater is standing-room-only. There are about half as many seats as needed for the gathered press.
|July 22||9:50 PM|
- And here ... we ... go ...
Festivities should start at 9 AM on Wednesday, July 23, as Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott is scheduled to take the stage at that time, followed by Arizona at 9:30 and the California contingent -- including head coach Sonny Dykes, quarterback Jared Goff and cornerback Stefan McClure. Instead of coaches and players seated at the main stage taking questions from the media, the main interview session will take place in three separate interview areas in the press work room in the Paramount Theater Lobby.
While you're waiting for everything to begin, check out our top 10 story lines heading into the 2014 season.
And, for you message board folks, you can chime in right HERE.
Fall camp will start on August 4.