Scrimmage reports are out, and what we heard in the days leading up to this event has only been amplified: Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper are the two frosh Bears likeliest to hit the offensive depth chart. Darius Powe also has a decent shot.
With those positions being settled, I think it's time to take a look at what the two-deep will look like going into fall before we actually get official announcements. Here are my early predictions. Make your own in the comments.
1) Zach Maynard - This was over quickly. Maynard looks heads and shoulders better than he did at the start of fall camp. His command is stronger, his footwork looks MILES ahead of where it was last season, and he seems more fit to deal with Tedford's vision of him in his offense. If he can mesh both the pro and spread elements of the game, then Cal might start looking like its old self offensively.
2) Allan Bridgford - The reports are that Bridgford is also going to be a capable backup, perhaps one of the most capable backups in the conference. Bridgford struggled with staying healthy early in his career, and his durability was an issue going into this season. Right now he looks fairly confident and is the prohibitive favorite to start his senior season.
3) Everyone else - I doubt we're going to get a clear answer here unless (1) or (2) get hurt. There have been good things said about Austin Hinder, Kyle Boehm and Zach Kline at various points, and I'd say Hinder has probably gotten the most praise of all three of them, but no hands have been tipped as to who the scout team QB is (I'd guess there will be a lot of rotating). There's no reason for Tedford to reveal anything here, not when these guys will all be competitors from next year onward.
1a) Isi Sofele
1b) C.J. Anderson
I touched on this earlier in camp. With Anderson now caught up to the offense, the separation between the two is probably smaller than ever. Either back could be a feature back if given the opportunity, and Anderson's upside is something to watch out for.
Cal's own version of De'Anthony Thomas. Someone who only needs to see the field 10-15 times a game at most, but those 5-8 touches he does get could be something spectacular to watch. We haven't even gotten to the affect he can have with field position as a kick returner.
4) Daniel Lasco
My dream of a four-back platoon a la Furd could be coming true this season. Lasco might have trouble finding space in the rotation, but I expect him to be the feature back during our blowout sessions, so we might see him sometime during the first two weeks.
5) Darren Ervin
Probably a special teams player this season. He's not that far behind the top four though.
1) Eric Stevens
Stevens getting hurt last season was such an underrated aspect of last year. Our run-blocking never really recovered and Cal just didn't look comfortable at all at I-formation (they were capable, but outside of maybe one or two games never could really establish the ground). A healthy Stevens being back adds an element of versatility to the run attack and can compensate for O-line hiccups.
I'm sure he's capable, but he's never played a snap. Let's just hope Stevens doesn't get hurt.
Rodgers must either be banged up or really established, because Tedford has sat him out a week after getting bruised up. Tedford seems really confident in him. I've heard him talk about Richard in glowing terms reserved for guys like Allen, DeSean, Jahvid and Marshawn. So I'm excited to see what he's got.
2) Spencer Hagan (also H-back)
The second tight end that Tedford is hoping can really cause matchup problems. Hagan is a critical element here. Can he step up and absorb blocks while also playing out of the backfield to catch passes?
3) Jacob Wark
Could be one heck of a solid short-yardage/goal-line option to rely on.
4a) Harrison Wilfley
4b) Maximo Espitia
Tedford seems to like these guys, and they just got here. So that give us five tight end options to work with down the line. Well then.
X: Keenan Allen
I could write ten words on this, so I will.
Y: Maurice Harris
The pass-catcher extraordinaire. The only concern I have is that he might replicate Allen too much in terms of size and strength, so we might have trouble vertically stretching the field, so I'd like to have Harris or Allen in the slot to create mismatches with the other playing split end. That would leave the flanker position to...
Z: Bryce Treggs
I don't know if he's ready for the position, but he's the most natural fit on this team until the young guys catch up. Treggs runs crisp routes and has solid open-field speed; he needs to be on one of the outside holes to do that. If anyone could fit in and play flanker early, it's him.
It's possible (perhaps even likely) that Harris is the Z, which would push Treggs probably to the second-unit on the two-deep (where I'd think he'd back up Harris). I'm guessing Treggs wins this spot though, because (1) he's the most talented and skilled player ready to go and (2) it really complicates this depth chart projection if he doesn't win the flanker spot (Jackson Bouza the starting slot receiver???)
Jackson Bouza/Bryce McGovern/Stephen Anderson
Walk-on party! Bouza and McGovern played a bit last season and performed well. I think they could play as the fourth or fifth receiver when Cal needs to go hurry-up or decides to go pass heavy. Their development intrigues me.
A potential backup for Treggs at flanker to get again a skilled route runner on the field who can stretch it depe before the catch at all times.
Like him to backup either Allen or Harris as a pure possession receiver.
PS: Offensive line I'm glossing over because I've only seen one guy in the same position as last year, so I don't really know who goes up top. It looks like Rigsbees (Tyler & Jordan), Brian Schwenke, one of Geoffrey Gibson or Chris Adcock, and Matt Summers-Gavin from left to right. I like Gibson's size inside, but perhaps his agility isn't there yet, which opens the door for Adcock.
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