Sweeney, Sofele Highlight Day Four

If day four of fall camp at Memorial Stadium taught us anything, it's that, while No. 12 Cal may be just as talented as any team in the country on the offensive side of the ball, the Bears' battle with consistency remains an ongoing one.

Yes, Cal has only been in camp for four days and yes, the Bears have stepped up their conditioning regime (way up) from years past, but rarely has Cal's offense been as eye-popping good and cover-your-eyes bad with just minutes in between.

In the Bears' first-team installment of 7-on-7 action, junior quarterback Kevin Riley struggled. His first pass attempt looked like it was intended for the hash mark on the three-yard line, as no Cal receiver was within ten yards of the lob. His second attempt wasn't much better, as Riley looked for sophomore wideout Alex Lagemann in the corner of the endzone, but instead found safety Marcus Ezeff.

Brock Mansion faired better against the first team.

After connecting with Michael Calvin for a score from five yards out, Mansion made what was at the time the throw of the day (see Beau Sweeney later), lofting a 22-yarder to the corner of the end zone and into the hands of an outstretched Verran Tucker.

But while Riley came back to find Tad Smith for a five-yard score later, neither Mansion nor the Portland, Ore., native could best redshirt freshman quarterback Beau Sweeney.

Sweeney made a statement in his first play from scrimmage.

After recording a dead-on pre snap read, Sweeney looked off his safety and delivered a liner down the middle of the field, where Charles Satchell, surprised that Sweeney threaded the needle through two defenders, juggled and eventually hauled in the score.

Sweeney them completed balls to Tucker, converted tight end Jarrett Sparks, tailback Covaughn Deboskie and, from the five, delivered a dart back to a diving Tucker for six.

But the Bears would soon return back to stagnation.

In 11-on-11 drills, Cal's receivers had more dropped balls than catches, recording four drops in a six-play span.

Just three plays, including a Jahvid Best run and a 25-plus yard completion from Riley to Jeremy Ross, went for double-digit yards against a Bears' defense that was giving up the 8-10 yard hitches.

The third play to finish in double-digit yardage, however, was from a lesser-known yet quickly-budding star.

True freshman Isi Sofele may not be DeSean Jackson, but the Salt Lake City product may be just as dangerous on the wide receiver screen—just ask redshirt freshman DB Marc Anthony, who felt Sofele's stuttered step first hand.

In high school, Sofele was clocked with a 4.44 time in the 40, but looks even faster on the field.

Sofele told me after practice that he's not sure what Cal's coaching staff has in store for him—whether he'll redshirt or not—but the general sentiment among the media that frequent Memorial Stadium is that the 5-foot-7 athlete will see the field in 2009.

Much like Cal utilized a young Best, don't be surprised if Sofele gets two or three touches a game THIS season.


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