Let's extrapolate depth charts. For now we'll focus on the offensive skill spots.
Quarterbacks are quarterbacks. Nothing has changed with regard to the top two in the rotation. Maynard still seems fairly fit to serve with the ones, Bridgford does his work with the twos, and Hinder, Boehm and Kline round it out.
But some hints have started to emerge about who might be in line to be the third-stringer. Gorcey reports that with Maynard going to class and Bridgford taking over starting reps, Boehm is working primarily with the twos.
I've always liked Boehm's potential a lot, and it appears he's starting to make his charge in his redshirt freshman season. He can really uncork the football, something our offense has sorely been needing the past few seasons. Riley was inconsistent, but he could occasionally uncork a deep ball out there that would really super-charge the offense and give us a cheap touchdown or two that would turn a close game into a blowout. That's one thing Boehm could bring.
Earning the third-string honors could be big, since that means Boehm could be in line to be the scout team quarterback this fall. That would allow him to get more familiarity with the position and develop even further while Maynard and Bridgford hold the fort this season.
Cal Football: Spring Practice Recap 4/10/2012 (via calathletics)
Running backs: Kodiak covered the banged-up nature of RBs yesterday; a good sign is the return of C.J. Anderson to practice. The fact that he can play with a huge cast on his hand and still be effective bodes well to his resiliency on the field.
While Sofele likely pencilled in to start, Anderson's development is crucial to give Cal a two-back rotation that can run, pass-catch and pass-protect effectively (Bigelow is our dynamo option). Against the better teams, Anderson struggled to see the field because he was generally a one-option player: He was going to run between the tackles. But when he started catching passes near the end of last season, it really made the offense more robust. Get him to learn how to identify the pass rusher, and he's bound to get more reps.
Anderson definitely has the physical strength to get as many reps as Sofele. But he still has to display completeness and toughness as an all-around back, and it's still pretty clear Isi's got everyone licked there.
It's going to be tough for Lasco to crack the rotation this season, particularly with injuries limiting him in spring action. Special teams might be a good spot for him to see the field.
Cal Football: C.J. Anderson - 4/10/12 (via calathletics)
RB: Sofele (20-25 reps), Anderson (10-15 reps), Bigelow (4-8 reps), Yarnway (short-yardage?)
FB: Stevens, Yarnway, who knows. Might see a lot more one-back formations next year if Stevens isn't healthy.
Wide receiver: When Jackson Bouza came out of nowhere to haul in a couple of Big Game catches, we were all like "whoaaa???" But he did well there, and he might be emerging as one of those tough slot receivers the Bears could really use.
Tedford is singling out Bouza for his contributions, which is always a good sign. Maurice Harris is clearly more talented and a candidate for the second WR spot, but having a guy like Bouza who can line up inside and go over the middle and get tough catches (whether inside as the safety valve or outside in changing pace) as that 3rd WR could also be valuable. Bouza and Bryce McGovern will both be fighting hard to get that roster spot before the young receivers come in and try and make their mark.
It's nice to see Joel Willis play as the fourth guy, but from Tedford's comments it's clear he's still adjusting to the other side of the ball. We'll have to continue the story on him this summer most likely.
Other notes + wishful thinking/Discussion questions
- Jason Gibson is starting to make his mark at ILB, and Dave Wilkerson figures to be the other starter when he comes back from injury. Between Gibson, Forbes, Mullins and Hurrell, that's a lot of depth to pair up with Wilk on the inside. Whoever wins that other spot (particularly if it's one of the youngsters) could lock down the spot for quite some time.
- Avery Sebastian is described by Tedford as a "one speed"/"very physical" type of player, making him sound like an ideal candidate to be the gunner along with being the backup free safety to Josh Hill.
- With Cal holding a revolving door at fullback (Yarnway's trying it out right now) and Eric Stevens, how would the Bears be best suited in running the majority of their plays? More shotgun? More aces (one-back, under center)?
- Alex Logan seems pencilled in as the main strong safety right now, which is a concern considering how little playing time he's seen. Is strong safety the biggest concern on defense this year?
- Which of the true freshmen (it'll probably be only one or two) do you think can come in and challenge for a starting spot? Who do you think should fill in the roles on special teams at punt returner/kick returner/gunner?
- The lack of coverage of Richard Rodgers punting the football is disconcerting. This is a singularity in the football continuum. You could sell coverage of this event to Facebook for way more than whatever Instagram hustled them out of.
Cal Football: Jeff Tedford - 4/10/12 (via calathletics)