Cal Camp Standouts

Cal's one-day camp on Sunday had a few big names, but the biggest might have been sitting in the stands. Four-star Encinitas (Calif.) La Costa Canyon WR Kenny Stills made a surprise unofficial visit to Berkeley on Sunday to see the campus and meet with the coaches. He didn't compete, but there were still a few who stood out to us…

Kenny Stills (6-2, 190) was not expecting to be in Berkeley on Sunday. He took an unofficial to Fresno State on Saturday before deciding to visit California the following day. He will visit UCLA on Monday.

"I just sprung up on me," Stills said of his Sunday visit to Cal. He says hamstring is still a bit tight from last week; therefore, he did not compete at Cal's camp.

Stills recently named the Golden Bears among his top 10 schools, but he told us last week at the Sports Regional Combine in Los Angeles that USC and Penn State were the two offers that stood out to him. But that was before Florida, Oklahoma and Tennessee offered days after the combine.

While he likes Cal, he has expressed interest in leaving the state for college. Before his last slew of offers, he felt he wouldn't receive too many more out-of-state offers until he visited the respective schools. Now, with the Gators, Volunteers, and Sooners offering, he may get more of those out-of-state offers sooner than expected. One such school intrigues him at the moment.

"Ricky Williams is the only person I know from San Diego to play there," Stills said of his interest in Texas. "It would be cool to get that offer."

Regardless, he remains open. He has stated numerous times, he is in no hurry to make a decision.

With Stills in the stands, here were the prospects that impressed us on Sunday.

Markeith Ambles
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Markeith Ambles

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound native of McDonough, Georgia, no doubt has the size to be a top tier wideout, but Sunday's Cal camp at Berkeley's Memorial Stadium showed that Ambles still has a ways to go.

His footwork is probably the area that needs the most improvement, as he lacks confidence moving through drills, keeping his feet underneath him while keeping his head up. His route running skills are not great either. Perhaps it is because he's had a lot of activity during his West Coast trip, but Ambles looked tired and slow off the line and out of breaks. The fact that he does not have world-class speed has been noted before, but even his cuts were nonchalant. Ambles struggled to hold onto the football as well, dropping two balls that he'd usually catch in his sleep.

All that said, Ambles is still someone to keep an eye on. While he may not be the most athletic receiver in the country, his combination of size and aggressiveness makes him a giant threat down field. He will out-jump, out-muscle, and out-scrape anyone that stands between him and the pass. And here lies Ambles' biggest strength: he has an innate ability to go up and catch footballs in traffic – the type of guy you look for on third downs or when you want to throw a fade in the corner of the end zone.

Eric Kendricks
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Eric Kendricks

Even if his older brother Mychal wasn't already on the Cal roster, Fresno (Calif.) Hoover linebacker Eric Kendricks would have still gotten all the attention Sunday.

At 6-foot-1, 205 lbs., Kendricks has a great frame that could really be built upon, and he combines that size with great speed. He outran all other linebackers and won the "middle-guy" race (compiled of all quarterbacks, linebackers and tight ends) at the end of camp. His competitiveness was second to none.

In the second-to-last heat of the race, Kendricks pulled up a little lame in his hamstring. But he ran the final heat anyway and eventually won it. In addition, his footwork was arguably the best out of any group on the day, including running backs, receivers and defensive backs.

Marcus McDade
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Marcus McDade

Cal is not expected to sign another quarterback in the 2010 class, but McDade was too eye-catching to not mention.

We first saw Stockton (Calif.) St. Mary's quarterback Marcus McDade showcase his rocket arm at the Cal-hosted Elite 11 regional quarterback camp in mid-May. Clearly, McDade's arm strength hasn't yielded.

In a small group of unheralded signal callers, McDade was undoubtedly the lone standout. He maintained the velocity we saw a few weeks ago, but also displayed much more accuracy than he had at the Stanford Nike Camp that same weekend. Again, his footwork could be better, but McDade's passes were making every receiver look like a five-star.

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