BERKELEY -- On the first day of California football fall camp, it looks like the new kids could be making a big impact, already.
True freshman offensive lineman Semisi Uluave -- a four-star out of Honolulu (HI) Punahou has taken over the right guard spot, running the entire practice with the first team after the projected right guard -- senior Jordan Rigsbee -- has moved to center.
"He's 6-foot-5 and 340 pounds, so that's a good start," said head coach Sonny Dykes.
Uluave was mulling over taking his Mormon mission before finally enrolling at Cal, and that could very well pay off big for the Bears.
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Dykes said after practice that the Bears anticipated moving Rigsbee back to center -- where he spent the bulk of the 2013 season -- since Matt Cochran and the program parted ways, back in April.
Rigsbee moving to center means that Addison Ooms -- a redshirt freshman walk-on out of Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei -- will be in the mix for second-team reps, as he was on Friday.
Completing the starting offensive line, Steven Moore -- who, Dykes said, looked as strong as he ever has, despite having two shoulder surgeries and missing all of spring ball -- took every snap with the first team at left tackle, while Brian Farley held down the right side.
On the defensive side of the ball -- which worked out individually on Maxwell Family Field for the first time since the field was converted to a football practice surface -- Cal saw four interceptions, including two by De'Zhon Grace, while the top four cornerbacks, at least in one-on-ones with receivers, appeared to be Malik Psalms, Darius White, Jaylinn Hawkins and a resurgent Cedric Dozier.
Cornerbacks coach John Lovett said that there's a "clean slate" with regards to the depth chart, but he's excited to have so many young players to work with.
Linebacker Nathan Broussard -- who's missed the last two seasons with knee injuries suffered during camp -- took the vast majority of snaps on Friday, though that won't be the case moving forward. He and Jalen Jefferson -- who Michael Barton called "our veteran leaders," will be backed off upon occasion, as Jefferson is also seeing his first action since last season, due to a hamstring.
On the defensive line, Mustafa Jalil was also backed off during full team periods, but during individual work, defensive line coach Fred Tate told all of the younger players to pay attention to Jalil and James Looney, so they would know what proper technique looked like.
While Stefan McClure worked out during individuals with the safeties, he did not see reps in full team or seven-on-seven work. Instead, former quarterback Luke Rubenzer was playing safety with the first team. Dykes said he still wants to see Rubenzer hit, because he didn't do much of that in the spring. Dykes also said that unless Rubenzer could play 30-40 plays at safety -- i.e., be a real option at the position -- the switch from quarterback wouldn't stick. Rubenzer's new No. 17 blue jersey, and his zero passing reps during practice, though, say otherwise.
The Bears will go with helmets on Saturday, before moving to uppers and then full pads early next week.