Cal receivers Chad Hansen and Demetris Robertson will give opposing defenses headaches

BERKELEY -- This week's breakdown video will analyze the five biggest takeaways from California's fall camp scrimmage on Saturday. Next up: The wide receivers.

Takeaway 2: Receivers

Scrimmage Live Thread (members)

Fall Camp Central

Ten different players caught passes for California during Saturday's scrimmage, but all eyes were on two: Demetris Robertson and Chad Hansen.

Robertson caught two passes -- one for 41 yards and one for 43 -- while Hansen grabbed a team-high five for 112 total yards, including a 24-yard touchdown. "Chad's had a pretty solid fall camp," said head coach Sonny Dykes. "The big thing with him is, we've got to get him reps and keep him healthy. He and Davis [Webb] are still getting on the same page, but we're closer."

While Robertson started the day off in the second rotation, he's going to spell Patrick Worstell at the X spot, wth Hansen at the Z. The two both have plus speed, size and athleticism, but they're very different receivers. Robertson is still raw, and doesn't quite have the finer points of route running down, but he's almost always (with one exception) the last man on the field after each practice. He's a sponge for knowledge, and has talked extensively with Bryce Treggs. As far as models for route running go, he could do a lot worse.

"Oh my goodness, oh my goodness, Robertson is a different breed," said tailback Tre Watson. "He's by far one of the fastest guys I've ever seen. We're definitely excited for a young guy to come out and be ready. I mean, he came in hot and he's been rolling ever since. Every day he's getting better, so we're excited to see what he's going to do for us."

Hansen, Dykes has said, is regarded by scouts as the best pro receiving prospect on the team, and he showed why today. He had catches of eight, 24, five, 23 and 52 yards on the day, at all three levels of the defense, each using a different skill. He showed the ability to shed blocks with his hands, his change of direction and the way he comes out of breaks is so crisp, that Jordan Duncan has tried to model himself after Hansen in that regard. Then, there's the straight speed. Hansen is a perfect fit for this offense, particularly when it goes up-tempo, because he's going to have cornerbacks sucking wind.

"He's faster than ever," said Watson. "He's definitely picking up on his experience from last year. It's helping him take his game to the next level. He's definitely looking like he's going to be a big factor, make big plays for us."

As for that pace, it was blistering. This spring, Ross Bowers -- who went 3-for-4 with a 14-yard touchdown pass to Drew Kobayashi -- said that offensive coordinator Jake Spavital's offense felt like "hyperdrive." Seeing it now, in full flower, it's hard to disagree. The Bears got over 70 plays in, in under two hours, including breaks for halftime and special teams work.

"It's fast. It's good," Dykes said. "We're not where we need to be yet, but I think we'll be better. We're still working on substitutions and signals and getting stuff in fast, but we need to be a little crisper than we were. I'd like to see the pace faster. There are some signs that it's headed in the right direction, for sure."

More than the speed, it seemed like the offense was loose, and a lot of that can be traced to Spavital. After the scrimmage, while Watson was addressing the media, Spavital peeked over the camera and mugged for Watson. "You do this to me every single time," he grinned. One can't discount Spavital's youth when talking about this offense. As one of the five youngest coordinators in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Spavital is creative, and at the cutting edge of the game. This isn't the final form of this offense by any means. It's going to evolve, and with three years of Robertson, Melquise StovallLogan GambleDrew KobayashiJordan Duncan and Matt Laris, it's going to get more exciting.

"The offense came out hot and ready to go," Watson said. "Davis [Webb] is out there, audible-ing at the line, changing all different things with different movements. We came out and put on a show."

Watson said that the offense was "no doubt" further along than it was in the spring.

"We never get to go full-on like this during practice," Watson said. "Going out here today and being able to get a game-time experience, it shows how ahead we are, and how ready we are to go out there in Australia and show the fans what we've been working for ... Man, oh, man, I'm starting to lose sleep now. I'm so excited about it. I dream about it every night, going out there and proving everybody wrong. You see we lost all those guys, and everybody's doubting us, so we want to go out there and show them that Cal football isn't backing down to no one."

Unofficial Receiving Stats:


Takeaway 1: The Run Game

Takeaway 3: Secondary, Rambo and Anderson (members)

Quotable"Jacob's done a good job for us. He's been one of the real surprises of camp. I think he played corner for us last year, and I think the move to safety fits him. He's a good athlete, he's physical, he's willing to tackle. He shows up a lot. He plays really fast. He has a real knack for being in the right place at the right time, and I've been very, very pleased with him. I think he's one of those guys -- there's always two or three players who really make a jump from one year to the next. It's just about finding the right position, and getting comfortable, and, physically, he's changed his body. He's a good athlete, so he's starting to show up a bunch." -- Sonny Dykes on Jacob Anderson

Takeaway 4: The Defensive Front (members)

Quotable: "A lot of the guys didn't play much. We played with some young D-linemen quite a bit. Looney and some of those older guys -- DeVante Wilson -- they didn't play a lot of snaps. So, we're trying to keep them healthy. We've been banging on them pretty good. We've just got to make sure, again, when we blitz, we get things shored up, get the guys in the right gap. Somebody gets out of a gap, and all of the sudden, you look up and there's a big play." -- Sonny Dykes on the Cal defense

Takeaway 5: Linebackers? (coming soon)

QuotableI think the big thing is the older two guys who are playing – Devante Downs is way ahead of where he’s ever been. I think Ray Davison is taking a leadership role, coming along, and then everyone else is kind of in a developmental stage. I’ve got to get them as much work as I can.” -- Defensive coordinator Art Kaufman

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