Scouting the Pac 10: California 

The previous two seasons were very successful at Cal under head coach Jeff Tedford yet one must believe that after the departure of the team's most talented players the program will not be as competitive this year. Even with that there are several good prospects to watch this season.  

Offensively, three blockers stand out starting with junior tackle Andrew Cameron.  A king-sized blocker who plays as large as he looks, Cameron is quick off the snap, gets movement from run blocks and plays with a nasty attitude.  Very good with his hands, he effectively seals opponents from the action with good body positioning and is a patient lineman that stays square, making effective use of blocking angles.  Lacking adjustment, Cameron lumbers about the field and is not effective on the second level.  Already highly rated, Cameron is one to keep on the radar screen.  Senior counterpart Ryan O'Callaghan is also a massive lineman and solid position blocker that engulfs opponents at the point of attack, removing them from the action.  Powerful, he jolts defenders with his hands and blocks down well on opponents.  Also lacking adjustment, O'Callaghan is neither agile nor plays with top balance which makes it difficult for him to finish blocks.  Really restricted to a small area, he is exclusively a strong side blocker.  Center Marvin Philip is explosive on the pivot, bending his knees and blocking with leverage.  Immediately getting off the snap into opponents, he uses outstanding angles and is a superb position blocker yet lacks the dominant base, does not open up the middle of the field is not overly effective in space. 

On defense the top prospects reside in the secondary.  After being injured much of his junior campaign with a shoulder ailment, safety Donnie McCleskey returns as a prospect that could dramatically improve his draft ranking with a good senior campaign.  A smart and instinctive defensive back, McCleskey immediately picks up assignments and takes good angles to the action.  Senior cornerback Harrison Smith also displays good awareness and immediately locates the ball in pass coverage.  Solid backed off the line of scrimmage, he is fluid turning his hips and displays a nice break on the throw.  Hesitant reacting to receivers, Smith has only average playing speed and would be best in a zone system as a nickel back.  Underclassman Tim Mixon flashes skill on occasion and has the ability to run downfield with opponents, nicely positioning himself to break up the throw.  Doing a terrific job reading opposing receivers eyes, he is an instinctive cover man who makes plays on the ball.  Not afraid to mix it out, Mixon fires up the field to help out in run defense. He is a solid future prospect.


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