Cal Head Coach Sonny Dykes Talks Depth Chart

BERKELEY -- Sonny Dykes discusses the first depth chart of fall camp, which flips cornerbacks, shuffles Dwayne Wallace and Jeremiah Stuckey and sees one player flip sides of the ball.

BERKELEY -- What has Marloshawn Franklin done to earn the top spot on the cornerback depth chart opposite Darius Allensworth? How did Dwayne Wallace take over the top spot at right guard? He discusses that and more after Monday's morning session.

On Antoine Albert switching cornerback spots, listed third, and Marloshawn Franklin taking the starting spot across from Darius Allensworth: "I think we're just playing the best guys. It's nothing other than just felt like some other guys had performed better. It's fluid. It may be different tomorrow. It's something that's where your last practice is, so I wouldn't make too much out of it."

When did he move Albert to that side: "He's played both. Both the corner positions are interchangeable."

With the guard spots, will you continue to rotate Dwayne WallaceJeremiah Stuckey and Chris Borrayo: "We'll see how it goes, same old deal. There's a bunch of guys inside that are performing pretty well right now. We've got a lot of options. [Dominic] Granado can work some in there, too. Stuckey's certainly done some good things in camp, and Dwayne's gotten better. The good thing is, we want to have eight different guys, nine different guys, 10 different guys that we can play, and we've got some depth. We'll rotate them and see."

How much better has Wallace gotten since the beginning of camp? "A lot better. He's gotten better since spring. He's a guy that has just rapidly improved and just gets more and more consistent every day." 

Demetris Robertson returned a long kickoff today, and has done kickoff return throughout camp, yet he's not listed as a kickoff returner: "We need to have backups, and need to get those guys work. That's one thing that we've had some issues with in the past. We've run out of punt returners and we've run out of kickoff returners in some games, some guys getting dinged up and banged up, so we want to make sure we feel like we've got six good kickoff returners and four or five good punt returners."

What has Marloshawn Franklin shown you: "He's competitive. He's eager. He's a good athlete. He can change directions and he can run. But, I think the thing that stands out for me is that he's worked really hard, and he's eager to learn. He wants to be good. It's important to him. He's competitive. That's a position where probably the most important attribute that you can have at corner is competitiveness. He's very, very competitive, and he battles. He has an ability to move on if something good doesn't happen." do you feel about the secondary right now: "Good. We've got more depth than we've had. I'm excited about that. I think we'll be able to play with more guys. We've had some issues around here with starters getting fatigued, and all of the sudden, we're playing with guys that aren't ready to play. I think this group right here has enough depth to be able to go in there. We can play with some two's, and even some three's that are capable and can help us win."

On Patrick Laird as the fourth running back behind Vic EnwereTre Watson and Khalfani Muhammad: "He's been a guy that has, at times, kind of shown up. If you go back and you look at the previous couple years, he's shown up at times, and then has kind of disappeared, at other times. I think the thing that he's done this camp is he's been consistent. He's just been there every day, doing what w ask him to do, does it with a lot of confidence and strength. He's had a good, solid camp."

Does Cameron Saffle being at the top DE spot have a lot to do with Noah Westerfield missing time? "Yeah, yeah. Same old deal. It's hard to start if you're not playing and not practicing. Westerfield missed some time, and there'll be good competition with those guys. We'll play 10 D-linemen."

You're pretty loaded at X, with Brandon Singleton, Robertson, Patrick Worstell and Justin Dunn: "It's good. It's been good. Those guys are a little worn out. All our receivers are a little bit worn out. We've got to try to rest those guys up a little bit. We've got a lot of guys playing on [special] teams. It's been good. Brandon Singleton has, the last week, has really been good. He's exactly what we need him to be, and that's consistent. He's playing fast. He's competing hard all the time. That's the step that he needed to make. The talent's certainly been there. He can run, and now, I think he's competing at the level that we need for him to compete at to become a great player. He's certainly capable of doing that.

"Demetris is a young guy, who's learning. He's trying to catch up a little bit, just in terms of his knowledge, but certainly, the athleticism is there. He's very physical, and the eagerness is there and the speed is certainly there. With those guys, and then Worstell being the steady guy, it gives us a lot of different options. I think it's a pretty good position."

Matthew Rockett, who's the No. 4 at the Y, missed most of last year, but he's come on the last few days: "Yeah, he has. Matt's, it's good to see him back healthy. He battled some injury stuff last week, good to see him back out there and contributing. He's a savvy guy, he's very quick and can get out of his breaks well, and I think the quarterbacks are starting to develop a sense of timing with him."

On H receiver Ray Hudson, who is listed a an -OR- with Jordan Veasy"He's versatile. The good thing about Ray is that he can line up in the backfield, put his hand in the ground, he can play in the slot, so that gives our offense a lot of versatility, and capability to do different things. When you have guys like that, it really does give you more options."

What kind of camp has Devante Downs (listed as first WILL linebacker) had: "Really good. Devante's been very solid. When you look at our linebackers, we've just improved so much, in terms of our size and strength and athleticism. We're running the ball better than we have before. Devante's playing with a lot of confidence, playing very physical, and it's been fun to watch him develop."

On Kennedy Emesibe's transition to fullback (listed fourth behind Malik McMorris, former offensive lineman J.D. Hinnant, and Kyle Wells): "I think the thing I like about our offense -- and really, our defense, for that matter -- the way we scheme the two things is that there's a role for everybody. Everybody can find a role for themselves on this football team. Kennedy was down the depth chart a little bit as a defensive end, and probably didn't have the twitch as an end, but thought he might grow into a tackle, but hadn't done that yet. So, he's got a lot of explosive power, he's physical, so we thought we'd move him to fullback. He's done a good job for us. He's still learning the position, but he's got some pop, and he's not afraid to play physical. That gives us a little bit different dimension."

On Russell Ude being listed as a defensive tackle (fourth, behind Tony MekariMarcus Manley and Russell Becker): "We're going to move him around a little bit, and see how it goes. He's going to play mostly D-end."

Chibuzo Nwokocha keeps showing up, and he's second at cornerback behind Franklin: "He's one of those guys that's just matured. He's got some length, and he runs pretty good. He just kept working. He's one of those kids that just works. If you look at our depth chart, we've got a lot of guys that are like him -- unheralded guys who came in and worked themselves into competing for starting jobs. You go right down the list of [starting center] Addison OomsChad Hansen, there's just a lot of guys, guys that are going to be big contributors for us -- Jacob Anderson [listed as the third field safety behind Khari Vanderbilt and Malik Psalms] -- you can go right down the list -- Ashtyn Davis [listed as Allensworth's backup]. All those are kids who have been in the program and showed up and keep working hard and have turned themselves into good football players."

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