FORT WORTH, Tex. -- California head coach Sonny Dykes updated the health of his roster heading into the final day of practice before the Golden Bears take on Air Force in the Lockheed-Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 29, with the headliner of course being Texas-born running back Daniel Lasco.
"He's not moving around great," Dykes said. "He'll probably play some special teams stuff, a little bit. He's probably not going to play a whole lot of running back. He's still not full-speed. We're hoping to get him to play some teams."
The last time Lasco played was against Oregon State, when he got his ankle rolled up on, and sprained. He rushed four times for 38 yards that night. This season, Lasco has rushed 65 times for 331 yards, after having rushed for 1,115 yards, with 356 yards receiving last season.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1626027-cal-armed-forces-b... In his stead, sophomore Tre Watson is expected to get the lion's share of the reps, and he's ready to handle the load.
"Honestly, it's just being more comfortable with the system, and everything slowed down for me," says Watson. "I practiced hard all year. Every week, I just practice my butt off, so when I got to the game, I'd be prepared to play. These last three games, it's paid off, and it shows, so that's what I've been doing."
Over the first nine games, Watson didn't break double digits for carries, and never ran for more than 37 yards, rushing for 30 or more yards four times. Over the final three games of the regular season, Watson averaged 90.3 yards and 13 carries per game.
"We had a couple days off [last] week, so it definitely helped us get our legs back, and I was feeling a little beat up after the past three games, playing a lot, getting more carries and stuff like that," Watson says. "My body's starting to adapt to it, and I did this in high school, so it's the same exact thing.
"I feel faster than I've ever felt in my life. Everything's slowed down for me. My cuts are stronger than ever. My decision making is better than ever, so I just feel ready to play."
Beyond Watson, the Bears also have another Texas native in Vic Enwere, and speedy Khalfani Muhammad. Over the course of the season, Muhammad has 559 yards on 78 carries for a team-best 6.9 yards per carry. Enwere has been the team's workhorse, rushing 98 times for 510 yards and a team-best seven touchdowns. A big part of the consistency of the run game in the latter half of the season is due to the offensive line, and left tackle Aaron Cochran, for whom, Dykes said, the light has turned on.
"It's exciting to go and play in front of my family and friends again," says Enwere, who grew up in the Houston area. "It's great that I get two opportunities in one year to do so."
Enwere's childhood home is "not close," he said, to Amon G. Carter Stadium, but, he says, it's "close enough," especially for his family.
"I've got some sisters that live in Dallas, and my family will make the trip, of course, and a lot of friends from back home will, too. As long as it's in my state, it's a go for me," Enwere smiles. "My sisters live there, and I've got a lot of cousins up there. Growing up, I would go up there often, on holidays and at least maybe three times to four times a year, I would go to the Dallas-Forth Worth-Arlington area. I'm very familiar with the area, actually."
So, being an expert in the area, where should Cal fans go to get some grub if they're in town?
"Torchy's Tacos, you have Whataburger, of course, which is my favorite," Enwere says. "You have Texas Steakhouse, you have Chuy's, you have we have a lot of places. We have Raising Cane's. This is just Texas, in generally, really."
Dykes confirmed that freshman wide receiver Austin Aaron broke his collar bone last week. He has not seen action this year, as he was redshirting. He had surgery, and is with the team on the trip. He is expected to be back for spring football.
Safety Damariay Drew was under the weather on Friday with a fever, but was back in practice on Saturday.
"He's going to be fine for the game," Dykes said.
Dykes made a point of mentioning that Trevor Davis and Kenny Lawler both look healthy, and that senior safety Stefan McClure is "moving around good," as he readies for his first bowl game, after having sat out the 2011 Holiday Bowl with tears in his ACL, MCL and meniscus (look for a feature on McClure coming soon).
"As a group, we're the healthiest we've been in a while," Dykes said.
Odds and Ends
Dykes also talks about Patrick Worstell, who told Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle that he one day wants to become a Navy SEAL. Cal's Special Teams MVP "always knows where the ball is," and owns one of the top GPAs on the team.
"He's one of those kids that, whatever he decides to do, he's going to do it 100 percent," Dykes said. "I can definitely see him doing something like that. He's an unselfish guy, and somebody who seems to have a higher calling. To me, the SEALs would be lucky to have him."
Not a BearTerritory.net member? Sign up now and you'll get a seven day FREE trial! Join the BearTerritory family, and get all the great information from Cal football practices, Cal football games, access to Oski's Premium Lounge, plus the latest on football, basketball and baseball, and all of the premium recruiting updates on BearTerritory.net. Become a member today!