Updated: Cal Releases First Depth Chart

BERKELEY -- Freshman Kanawai Noa takes the top punt returning spot, and other surprises from the first depth chart of the 2015 season ...



BERKELEY -- After announcing the starting offensive line on Monday, California head coach Sonny Dykes released the full depth chart on Tuesday at noon, with very few surprises.

One of the biggest shocks is the placement of true freshman receiver Kanawai Noa as the leading punt returner, followed by veterans Trevor Davis (in addition to his kickoff returning duties), Bryce Treggs and Kenny Lawler.

[MEMBERS: Picks and More from Tuesday's Practice]

UPDATE: Dykes said that Noa is one of four that the Bears will rotate into the punt return role.

"We've got three guys that we're comfortable with returning punts," Dykes said. "Trevor Davis has done it and is good at it. Bryce Treggs has done it and is good at it, and Kanawai, I think, can be very good at it. Those are the three guys. We need to find a fourth, right now. We've been a little bit inconsistent finding that fourth punt returner, and that's something that we've got to find the rest of this week, and as we get into game prep."

Cal will use two returners on punts, and Dykes wants to have two primary returners, and two backups.

"We ran into a situation last year in the Oregon game where basically every one of our receivers got hurt, so we need to make we've got four or five, six, seven guys that we can put back there that can field punts," Dykes said.

Noa's inexperience returning punts is not a concern, as he's distinguished himself during camp.

"Heck, he's as natural and as good as anybody I've been around," Dykes said. "He just doesn't need many reps. He really judges the ball incredibly well. He's kind of always in the right place. He does a really good job."


Noa is also third in line for the X-receiver spot, behind Davis and senior Maurice Harris.

UPDATE: "I think he's probably the freshman right now that we think has the best opportunity to play at the wide receiver position," Dykes said. "We'll see how the other guys come along." True freshman Brandon Singleton is also in the conversation for the X-receiver rotation, behind Noa and Patrick Worstell, who returns to receiver this year after spending last season as a safety.

UPDATE: Worstell went up the ladder to make a grab during seven-on-seven work on Tuesday, and took a big hit at the sideline, but held on.

Dykes on Singleton: "I think Brandon Singleton has shown flashes, but we've got to see that consistency. It's good to see Carlos [Strickland] get back healthy, and Austin Aaron has had some good days as well, but we've got some good depth at that position."


The receiving corps returns four starters with significant starting experience, in Treggs, Lawler, Davis and Stephen Anderson, as well as Harris, who is listed on a slash with Davis.

The starting line remains the same as it was on Monday.

Behind starting quarterback Jared Goff is redshirt freshman Chase Forrest, followed by true freshman Ross Bowers.

UPDATE: Dykes said that Forrest will get in games late, if the score dictates.

"I think it's important to get your backup quarterback some live action," Dykes said. "I've always believed that, any time you can do that, that helps you, just for the future. He's played well enough for us to be able to put him in, and we feel comfortable putting him in a ballgame. He makes some mistakes that young quarterbacks make, from time to time. He made one today -- threw an interception -- but he's really coming along probably ahead of schedule, in a lot of ways. If we think he's ready to play, we're not going to hesitate putting him in."


Redshirt junior Jeffrey Coprich has earned his way up to fourth running back, behind Daniel Lasco, Vic Enwere and Tre Watson.



Defensive tackle Trevor Kelly is still listed on the depth chart (third, behind Mustafa Jalil and Tony Mekari) despite not having practiced with the team at all this fall.

UPDATE: Kelly was working on conditioning off to the side, in a jersey, while the Bears were in uppers and helmets on Tuesday.

"Trevor's back with us, and should be full practice tomorrow," Dykes said. "He's been doing conditioning and stuff on his own."

Kelly had missed all of fall camp due to "personal issues."


Jake Kearney -- who’s been injured for the majority of fall camp, and remains in a limited roll, is listed as the starting SAM linebacker, followed by Aisea Tongilava, though that position may often be deleted with the addition of nickel and dime backs. The top two linebackers are Hardy Nickerson, Jr. (MIKE) and Jalen Jefferson (WILL).

UPDATE: Dykes said that Jefferson and Barton will play "the same amount of snaps."

"We're going to try to play a lot of guys that deserve to play, and try to keep them fresh. They're both playing pretty well for us right now," Dykes said. "I think they're both going to have a good year."

Nathan Broussard was listed as the fourth MIKE linebacker, and had his first interception ruing 11-on-11 work.


As far as the nickel and dime backs are concerned, only the nickel was listed, with Caleb Coleman taking the top spot, followed by Cameron Walker and newcomer DePriest Turner. Dykes said that the nickel and dime backs will be pulled from the same pool.

UPDATE: "We're still looking," Dykes said of the dime. "If we played today, it would probably be Cam Walker, but Trey Turner is kind of competing for that spot, and has shown up a lot. Between Caleb Coleman playing nickel and Trey and Cam Walker playing dime, those are three guys we think can be good nickels, with the other guys working in the dime."

There are plenty of new names in the defensive backfield, with veterans Stefan McClure and Damariay Drew as the starting boundary and field safeties, respectively, followed by former quarterback Luke Rubenzer and JuCo transfer Derron Brown at boundary, and JuCo transfer Khari Vanderbilt and Evan Rambo at field.

UPDATE: Rubenzer will be a full-tie safety this year, and will not cameo at quarterback, as he did last season.

"Coming into the year, we think we have one of the premier quarterbacks in the country in Jared, and we didn't want to mess with his rhythm," Dykes said. "We thought, coming in, that, if [Rubenzer] wasn't going to be somebody that was going to log minutes, then there would be the potential opportunity to redshirt, if he was going to stay on offense, and if he could help us on defense, he wants to help us win. If he's going to play defense, he's going to play defense."

Rubenzer has "a little bit of a pulled quad" and will be out two to three days.

As for Drew, who left Cal last spring due to legal issues, spent last season with Butte Community College doing community service and taking anger management classes. His return as a starter has been one of the pleasant surprises of camp.

"I've been very pleased," Dykes said of Drew, who was very good and physical in coverage on Tuesday, helping to break up a pass to Lawler in the end zone. "I think Damariay has done everything we've asked him to do, and then some. I think he's like every young person -- he wants a second opportunity to prove himself and do right. We have full confidence he will."

The "field" and "boundary" designations, Dykes said, are defined as field covering "more ground" and the boundary safety being more of a "free safety" position, while the "boundary" is more of a strong safety.


Behind the two Dariuses -- Darius White and Darius Allensworth -- at cornerback, there are also some new names sprinkled in. Freshmen Malik Psalms and Jaylinn Hawkins are both the fourth option at either corner, while JuCo transfer Antoine Albert is second behind Allensworth.



As of now, Noah Beito is tabbed for kickoff and placekicking duties, followed by Matt Anderson. In a mild surprise, after starting punter Cole Leininger, JuCo transfer Dylan Klumph is the second punter, followed by former rugby player Harry Adolphus.

UPDATE: Dykes commented on the kicking situation: "Well, that'll be whoever we send out for the first kick on Saturday against Grambling. I don't have any idea who it's going to be, yet, who kind of gets hot. I would expect that to be the case up until Saturday, and until we get really settled at that position. It's going to depend. Same thing with the punters. Whoever's punting the best, and is the most consistent, will be the person."

Matt Anderson hit a 37-yarded near the end of practice, and Beito hit a 35-yarder.



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