Cal football: Replacing Kameron Jackson, Richard Rodgers, Khairi Fortt & more

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Of the players that Cal has lost to transfer and the draft, who do you think will be the hardest to replace and make it most difficult to bounce back in 2014?

Nick Kranz: He's not a transfer, but Richard Rodgers is the single most talented player who could have been on the roster next year that decided to leave. I suppose the good news is that he's leaving a unit that is a comparative area of depth and strength.

I suppose I'll go with Johnny Ragin, in that he was perhaps the best defensive recruit in his class, and thus a potential future anchor of the defense. Two years down the road, if we have to write posts analyzing why Cal's defense is struggling, we'll point to his attrition as one cause.

God, I'm sounding way too depressed and pessimistic. There's a reason I've been trying to only write about basketball this year.

Avinash Kunnath: Richard Rodgers is a tough loss, but I'm not sure he ever really fit this offense (no tight ends, remember?), so I don't think it's a big loss.

The bigger issue is Fortt, Ragin, and Whitener. We have no linebacking depth next year. None. We lose one of Nickerson, Barton or Jefferson and I have no idea where we're going to find anyone to replace these guys. Andy Buh had to at least make an effort to keep these guys. How can I be convinced this is our defensive coordinator of the future if his linebackers are deserting him en masse?

Ruey Yen: Yeah, this is rather depressing. I think the massive exodus is going to effectively delay the return of Cal Football to prominence by at least an year. Given how it takes football players typically more than a year in the program to start contributing (not everyone is Jared Goff), it is hard to see the Bears become a possibly good and mature enough until possibly 2015. The question is, once Sonny has his guys, how long does he actually have to show that he can coach in the Pac-12?

Scott Chong: None. I'm not missing any of the transfers for what they brought on the field. I think it's mildly ridiculous to start panicking and succumb to rampant speculation about what the departures mean. Kids leave for a variety of reasons. That's college football. I appreciate their initial commitment to Cal, and wish them well as they move on.

I'd rather have a team full of players who want to be here, who are proud to wear the blue and gold, and who embrace the challenge of rebuilding our program.


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