Ryan Gorcey of Scout and Fox Sports is one of the primary point man on all things Cal football, and he's been sitting down with us to discuss all the primary topics and provide useful information on all the relevant topics. Check out Ryan's coverage of spring practice by looking at the links to all his content via Scout.
We move onto the Bear Raid receivers and potential targets in this class.
9. Based on what you've seen on tape which of our receivers do you think fits the offense the best?
The great thing about this offense is that it utilizes four different types of receivers, so no matter what a particular wide out's skill set, there's going to be a place for him. That being said, two guys immediately come to mind.
The first (appropriately enough) is Bryce Treggs. We saw how good he could be at times last season, and he's only gotten better. After telling all the receivers that no one's job was safe during his first meeting with them after being hired, wide receivers coach Rob Likens took Treggs aside and basically said, "except yours." I asked Likens, point-blank, whether Treggs was the No. 1 receiver he'd seen on tape and heard about leading in to spring ball, and he gave a resounding yes. The gusto with which Treggs takes to studying the game and to perfecting his routes is a must in this kind of timing-based, execution offense, and it's shown in practice so far. He's easily one of the most consistent out there, and Likens pushes him perhaps harder than he does the others because he has such a high ceiling. Treggs loves that. He wants to be pushed. He wants to be challenged. It's how his father has coached him for his entire life.
When I first started looking at the coaching candidates and their offensive styles, I said to myself that Treggs would put up video game numbers in Tony Franklin's system. Brian Treggs says it grudgingly, but he says it: Bryce is going to not only surpass what he did at Cal, but he's going to have a great level of success at the next level.
The next guy I've been beyond impressed with has been Kenny Lawler. From the early goings of spring ball, he's caught just about everything thrown his way. His redshirt year allowed him to get bigger, stronger and faster. The fact that he didn't have as much of the old offense clogging the old noggin has allowed him to really let loose.
Likens called Lawler a "tremendous athlete," and that he doesn't have "any idea how good he can be," and after 12 practices, it's hard to argue. Whether he can be, as Likens said, "a great one," is all up to him, but he certainly has the tools and the work ethic. For a four-star wide receiver coming out of high school, Lawler had some nice offers, but not the sexy offers that most top-flight guys do. For a four-star, his recruitment looked awfully like a three-star's. My bold prediction for this season is that a lot of schools who didn't offer Lawler will regret it. I think we see out of Lawler this year what we saw out of Chris Harper last season.
10. What do you like the most of Ray Hudson?
Oh, Avinash, you do know how to get me going, don't you? How do I love Ray? Let me count the ways. Is it his sparkling baby blues? His chiseled features? His winning smile? Seriously, though, the kid is a stud in every walk of life. He's one of the hardest-working young men I've ever come across in any sport, regardless of level, rivaling only Tony Renda (and that's tough for me to say). He's a hardhat-and-lunch-pail kind of dude, who will run through a brick wall for his teammates and his school. He's a spectacular student, very bright and extremely perceptive.
There was one place he always wanted to be, even early in the recruiting process, and he didn't stop working his tail off until they put him out for a minor knee surgery about a month ago. Even when he feared for his spot with the new staff coming in, and during the uncertainty leading up to the announcement of that new staff, he still held the recruiting class together with all his heart. When the new staff saw his tape, Dykes immediately called him and told him that not only was his spot safe, but that he was a perfect fit for this offense.
While practicing for the Cal State Game in Visalia, Calif., this past December, one of the coaches on-hand asked if he'd ever played wide receiver before. He was listed as a tight end, but the North had him splitting out wide more often than not. He and I shared a knowing glance, because never once in high school has he played with his hand in the dirt as a classic tight end. Despite that fact, he earned a scholarship from the old staff based off of two days of camp, where he proved to Jeff Tedford and Jeff Genyk that not only could he play with his hand in the dirt, but he could block and hit with the best of ‘em.
I remember in January of 2012, I was in San Antonio covering the US Army All-American Bowl for my former employers, and as we were doing combine registration, in walked this decently-built kid who was a bit bulky and slow to be a wide receiver, but not quite big enough to be a tight end. He must have been all of 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. A fellow Cal alum - Peter Bauman - who worked at California Strength (the same gym that brought you Zach Kline) had told me to look out for his boy Ray, who hadn't gotten a scholarship offer yet, but would love to play for Cal. Ray was still playing baseball at the time, so he had my attention. I watched him in the Alamodome running routes and catching balls, and I could see there was something there, but he just wasn't big enough or fast enough. Just over a year later, I took him aside on the Cal sideline and pulled out my phone to show him the video I took that day, and we shared a smile. "What a difference a year makes, eh?" I said. He laughed. Between that day and now, Hudson sprouted to a legit 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, and while he gained size, he also gained speed. He re-made his body by sheer force of will and determination. If it's not at all obvious by this point, he's my man-crush in this class, clearly.