Cali-Florida Future Bruins

Greg Biggins of Student Sports provides a look at each of the future Bruins in the CaliFlorida Bowl, including Matt Ware, Jibril Raymo, and Marcus Cassel...

Matt Ware- Ware was the first player mentioned by the coaches when asked who has stood out this week. He practiced sparingly yesterday after he hurt his hip flexor but was still flying around pretty good in the secondary during the 7 on 7 drills.

"He's been great," Cali Head Coach Jon Mack said. "He covers so much ground in the secondary and is just a phenomenal athlete. He's been the best player out here and should have a great game Saturday. I really love his attitude and the players all have tremendous respect for him. I can definitely see why a lot of people said he was the best player in the state last season."

Ware will start the game at free safety and may also be the emergency quarterback if both Matt Leinart and David Koral are injured.

Jibril Raymo- Raymo has also had a great week of practice and will start the game at strong safety. Along with Ware and cornerback Marcus Cassel, Raymo coined the phrase, 'The Killer Bs' for the secondary since all three will be Bruins next year.

"Jibril has been the leader of the defense from day one. He's the one who took charge right away and he's been making sure everyone is lined up properly. He's the most vocal of any of the defensive players and has been having a great week of practice. He can cover real well but he'll really be a force in the running game."

Raymo said he's in great shape and has been working out hard in hopes of coming in and playing right away at UCLA next season.

"I really think I can, both Matt and I have been told to expect to compete for time right away and that's just what I want," Raymo said. "I went to several practices and I think I can play next year. I just need to learn the defense but I'm getting there."

Marcus Cassel- Cassel has been one of the surprises of the camp and has been very impressive at cornerback.

"I think he's been the the best corner out here," fellow cornerback Dominic Robinson said. "He's got some serious skills and has really impressed the heck out of me."

Cassel is one of the fastest players on the team and that will be needed as he'll be going up against Craphonso Thorpe and Charles Frederick who are two of the nation's best wide receivers.

"Yeah, we've been hearing all week how good their receivers are so we know we have our work cut out for us," Cassel said. "I'm just going to go out there and do my best and help our team come out with a win."

Tyler Ebell- Ebell has shown his cat like quickness all week but has surprised the players and coaches with his strength and power.

"I don't know if we expected him to be such a physical runner," Coach Mack said. "He really slams it up in there and is fearless when he's carrying the ball. He has great hands and is an exciting player to watch. He's one of those guys you just can't get a good lick on."

Ebell will also be returning kickoffs in the game and is hopeful the line will open some holes for him to run through.

"The line is starting to come together," Ebell said. "They started off a little slow but every day they're a little better so I'm confident in them and still feel we'll come out with a win."

Spencer Havner- Yesterday was Havner's first day of practice as he was spending some quality vacation time in Hawaii. It didn't take him much time to get acclimated though as he was flying around the ball showing his great speed and quickness.

"Man was he impressive," Raymo said. "He has great instincts but he's just so quick. He reads the play and then he's there. I can't wait to see him play more."

Ed Blanton- Blanton struggled this week with some of the quicker California pass rushers. He's big and strong but needs a lot of work on his overall quickness and technique.

"Ed is a physical player and a tough hard working kid," Coach Mack said. "I think he just needs some work on his overall quickness and he needs some coaching but he's a tough kid."

Blanton is strong at the point of attack but if he's left on an island to try and block Florida's Willie Jones or Chauncey Davis (both headed to Florida State) one on one, the Cali quarterbacks may need an ambulance to leave the field.

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