Brandon Jones expects to have more rotation on the Cal offensive line than ever before because of quality depth

BERKELEY -- Cal's offensive line rotated frequently on Wednesday, as Jaylinn Hawkins gets some licks in during the Bears' first practice after the first double day of fall camp.

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BERKELEY -- California offensive line coach Brandon Jones wasn't thrilled about how his unit came off of Tuesday's first double day of fall camp, and after the offense lost five of six 11-on-11 drives, arguably the strongest unit on the team was running across the south end zone.

"I thought it was pretty spotty," said Jones. "I thought, after the two-a-day, we didn't really respond as well as we should."

"It wasn't great, early," said head coach Sonny Dykes.

The linebackers in particular showed good gap fits against the run game, with Ray Davison nearly coming up with a sack against Davis Webb in the early goings, as the defense stacked up the run game on the first drive, and sniffed out a screen to Vic Wharton, who had another strong day.

Davison also came up with his second pick-six (and third interception) of fall camp, also against Webb, on a route intended for Ray Hudson.

Marcus Manley and Evan Weaver teamed up for a sack on Ross Bowers, while Luc Bequette kept showing up against the run in the middle, particularly in third-down situations. Another repeat performer was Jaylinn Hawkins, who came up to stop Zion Echols cold on third down with a massive hit, one drive after Echols found a second and then a third gear, pulling away from the defense for a 44-yard touchdown run.

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1681815-countdown-to-kicko...Trevor Howard added a tackle for loss on Echols, and got a sack on Bowers later on in the drive, thanks to some pressure from Russell UdeQuentin Tartabull also stopped Patrick Laird for a loss in the second 11-on-11 drive with the second-team offensive line.

David Garner provided the unlikely highlight of practice, breaking hard before the snap and knifing through the offensive line just in time to come up with a sack on Bowers late in 11-on-11 work.

"I thought defensively, I thought we really played well in the team period," said Dykes. "That's good to see. It took us a little while to get started. We were a little sloppy early in practice, but I thought the guys responded well."

The offensive line on Wednesday was a revolving door at nearly every position, as Cal would work both Dominic Granado and Addison Ooms at center, rotate Jeremiah Stuckey and Dwayne Wallace at right guard, and spell right tackle Steven Moore with Kamryn Bennett.

Wallace had been running behind Stuckey for much of camp, but over the last three days, he's made a comeback, and, Jones said, is the favorite to start.

"I just think the spring really helped him quite a bit," Jones said. "My big plan was to roll Jeremiah at left and right, with Chris [Borrayo]'s durability issues. I think that's the best thing for the team."

Stuckey had been slated to be the starting center as late as the spring, but the fact that he's not quite as vocal as Ooms or Granado -- who started at center last season -- changed those plans. That said, he will still get a lot of snaps.

http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1696516-practice-12-wharto..."I think I'll just roll [the guards] every series," Jones said. 

Jones -- like many offensive line coaches -- isn't fond of rotating. The ideal is to have a starting five that play together for an entire season -- as Stanford has had the last two years.

"I just feel so good about the depth," Jones said. "Just being an up-tempo offense, I think it's important that you keep guys fresh. They roll every five plays, and it's good, because there's not going to be significant drop off. There's no need for me not to play the top six, seven guys."

At no spot is that more apparent than at left tackle. When 6-foot-8, 350-pound Aaron Cochran went down, Jones didn't bat an eyelash. Patrick Mekari -- whose story we detailed earlier in camp -- has come in and been a stalwart on the blind side.

Without hesitation, Jones said that he will rotate more than he ever has in his coaching career.

"Especially when Aaron gets back," he said. "Patrick, as I told you before, is extremely valuable to us. Having two quality centers, I feel pretty good about both of those guys, so I think it's going to be really key. It's just like how we'll do with the running backs, who are thriving."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niA2QtMUcQw

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http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1689352-countdown-to-kicko... Hawkins's stop of Echols wasn't the only big play he made on the day. In his first day really going full-bore, in full pads, Hawkins -- who sat out last season with a shoulder injury -- cracked the pads several times, and since moving from corner to safety/nickel, looks like he may very well be an effective weapon on defense sooner rather than later. A big hitter is especially needed, since Damariay Drew tore his ACL in the spring, and, according to Dykes, will not be able to get a sixth year.

"He's going to play safety for us, and maybe potentially nickel, as well," Dykes said of Hawkins, a former four-star two-way recruit. "He's a guy that we like what he can do. He made a bunch of plays today. He hadn't been completely healthy, so we wanted to go live, see how he tackled, and I thought he showed up a bunch today, so it was good to see him do that. I think Jaylinn's a young player that has a chance. He's had some bad luck with some injuries, but it was good to see him out there live today, and running around, making plays."

Hawkins popped freshman Derrick Clark for a gain of one, as well, halting a back who got the lion's share of carries on Wednesday in full-contact work. Clark carried the ball six times for 31 yards, including runs of 10 and 8 yards in the final drive.

"Derrick got a bunch of carries, which is good, and I thought we ran the ball pretty well," Dykes said.

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http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1697232-how-many-will-trav...Freshman receiver Drew Kobayashi had a bit of a bi-polar day. In one-on-one work, he had several drops, but in 11-on-11, Bowers found him deep against Antoine Albert, and put the ball where only the leaping 6-foot-3 Hawaiian could get it for a 41-yard grab.

Kobayashi then took a five-yard pass from Bowers over the middle and dragged three defenders for another six yards, and three drives later, hauled in a 10-yarder on the sideline for a first down. In the final 11-on-11 drive, he also reeled in a nine-yard grab on a dump-off. 

Kobayashi's fellow freshman Logan Gamble also had a Jeckyll-and-Hyde day, catching three passes for 29 yards, but also seeing one ball from Chase Forrest go right through his hands on third down. Later, he broke free for a 21-yard strike from Forrest, and got open for Bowers -- pressured by Howard -- for a five-yard catch.

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Forrest went 6-for-10 on the day in 11-on-11, for 57 yards. Bowers went 4-for-6 for 68 yards, while Webb went 5-for-7 for 45 yards and one interception.

In seven-on-seven work, Webb dropped a 30-yard dime to Patrick Worstell.

Webb also tossed an effortless pass 35 yards in the air for a 59-yard scoring strike to Chad Hansen against  Khari Vanderbilt. Webb also found Wharton for a jumping grab on a quick slant. Wharton has had four strong days in a row, with his hands, lateral quickness and footwork improving every practice. He looks very much ready to go after an uneven week and a half to start camp.

Forrest also had several quality throws during seven-on-seven, including an up-the-seam missive to Jack Austin for a 59-yard score. He did, however, nearly get picked by Jordan Kunaszyk, who settled for a breakup on a pass to Matthew Rockett.

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In full kickoff return work, Demetris Robertson took a return out of the end zone, followed a block from Melquise Stovall, cut back to his right and got a block from Ray Hudson and got to the 50 before the play was stopped. His next rep, though, he dropped the ball, so he has some work to do. That said, veteran returner Muhammad also took one off his chest, but recovered for a 35-yard return.

In other special teams work, Matt Anderson missed two straight 47-yard field goals from the left hash.

Punter Dylan Klumph popped a 50-yard boot with 4.66 seconds of hang time, and then hit another 3.95-second hang time bomb for 50-plus yards. He's much more consistent than he's ever been, though he did have one shank.

Klumph also booted three four-second hang time 50-yarders from inside his own end zone, one of which was fielded by Wharton, who was stopped by gunner Robertson.

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Former receiver and running back Alex Netherda has been added to camp, as a linebacker with the scout team.

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Scouts from the San Diego Chargers and Tennessee Titans were at practice, watching Borrayo, DeVante Wilson and Steven Moore. Moore had one notable rep in pass rush, re-directing lengthy Chinedu Udeogu. Borrayo, working on the inside against Weaver, frustrated the freshman defensive lineman.

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