Cal Football: Who is poised to breakout in 2013?

Ezra Shaw

Today we start a series where we count down our top 10 off-season questions for Cal Football and also look at the answers that our illustrious luminous notorious bloggers have for them. But enough about us, here's question #10 - Which players do we think might have a breakout year in 2013?

Kodiak: We need Tagaloa, Rigsbee, Cochran, Tyndall, Adcock/Gibson to have breakout years.

Considering the youth on offense, you can pretty much assume that anyone who wins a starting job is a candidate for a breakout year. I'd circle Treggs as my frontrunner to be special, however.

Unclesam22: Obvious answer is obvious here, but Bigelow has to be at the top of the list. He showed flashes of brilliance last season and this year looks to be the clear #1 RB. If the Bear Raid can open up the D and keep people from stacking the box, Biggie could run wild.

And then of course, in keeping with my obvious theme here, whomever wins the QB competition, since they are going to be heading an offense that is designed to be fast and put up gaudy numbers. I'm going to say Kline and assume he ends up looking as good as we all hope he will.

On defense I think that Kragen could make some noise at the Rush End, and I'm pretty excited to see what Fortt can do at LB.

Brendan Bigelow — 4 carries, 160 yards, 2 TDs (via TouchedTheAxeIn82)

TheScientist019: Gotta agree with you two--the wide receivers have the potential to make some noise if the Bear Raid gets executed properly. In 2012, Quinton Patton caught 104 passes for 1,392 and 13 touchdowns as a Bulldog in the Dykes/Franklin system. Compare that to Allen's stats in 2012 (61; 737; 6, respectively); even accounting for Allen missing three games due to injury, it's hard not to get excited for our young receivers when looking at numbers like that.

NorCalNick: I can't help but think that one or more players on defense will step up from being solid contributors to being all-conference level performers. Last year everybody was too injured to garner much attention on the defensive side of the ball, but assuming decent health, somebody will make a big impact.

The challenge is in narrowing down from a variety of possibilities. Nick Forbes? Avery Sebastian? Jalen Jefferson? Chris McCain? Brennan Scarlet? All of these guys showed varying flashes of the kind of talent that can lead to all-conference honors in the right circumstances. Do you value the every down consistency of a guy like Forbes, or the occasional disruptive abilities of McCain?

Who would you guys pick on the defensive side?

Kodiak: Norcalnick makes a good point. We've had a lot of feast/famine the past few years. From what I've heard, new DC Andy Buh is more about playing disciplined and making the offense work for everything they get. So for me, I'm looking to improve the middle of our defense.

Inside linebackers usually make a big jump after having a year of starting experience under their belt. With the switch to a 4-3, I could see Forbes putting up huge tackling numbers. However, the same could be said for safety, and I doubt that Sebastian will be splitting time with anyone this year.

Perhaps mis-cast as a 5-technique DE last year, I think Coleman has the potential to be tremendously disruptive at DT this year. Especially if we can pair him with a healthy Moala.

If I'm going to use blue and gold tinted glasses, I'd guess that Forbes, Sebastian, and Coleman all earn some type of all-Pac-12 honors. I wouldn't be surprised if McCain, Fortt, Scarlett, Jalil, and Jackson make some noise.

Cal Football: Avery Sebastian & Demariay Drew Post Practice (3/1/13) (via calathletics)

Atomsareenough: As with the other guys, I am pretty comfortable predicting that these guys on defense are good candidates for breakout years:

Nick Forbes, Avery Sebastian, Brennan Scarlett, Mustafa Jalil. I'd possibly add Khairi Fortt to that list, but at this point it's hard to know what we're going to get from him, without having seen him.

On offense, it's a lot more speculative, since there are so many players taking on newly important roles. My #1, under-the-radar breakout pick is Kenny Lawler. I've been really high on him ever since I saw his tape. I think he's going to be HUGE for us, at least over the course of his career, but hopefully starting this year. He's young, even for a RS Freshman, so we'll have to see how quickly he matures, but I am fairly sure we will see some flashes of brilliance. I am also hoping that Coach Dykes finds a way to make use of Richard Rodgers. After hearing Tedford gush about his physical attributes last spring and then watching him not really get utilized (and I think he was also pretty dinged up as well, which hurt his production), hopefully this year he starts to validate some of the praise he's been garnering. Obviously, if Treggs and Bigelow have breakout years, that will also help.

One thing that nobody has mentioned (probably due to the fact that we don't have a starter named), but is hugely important and worth bringing up, is that we'll need SOME type of breakout QB performance if we're going to be successful, at least compared to the last several years of QB play at Cal. Now, it's not reasonable to expect a 2004 Aaron Rodgers-level breakout, but I'd be very happy with a 2012 Brett Hundley kind of performance, and I think our young QBs are talented enough to at least hope for something like that.

So what do you think? Who do you see breaking out in 2013 for the Golden Bears?

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