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Golden Nuggets: Walk-on Running Back Mike Manuel Shines During Cal's First Spring Scrimmage

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If Mike Manuel keeps impressing the coaches like he did yesterday, the walk-on running back will earn his scholarship.  Manuel only played three games his senior season and was going to sign with Cincinatti until Tedford offered him a walk-on role with Cal.  Tedford told Manuel that if he competed every day and worked hard, the scholarship situation would sort itself out.

Despite all the current Cal tailbacks who came to Berkeley as top recruits, a walk-on who barely played his senior year of high school is making the biggest impact this spring.

Mike Manuel, a transfer from Golden West Community College, has opened the eyes of the coaching staff and is in the mix to be in the playing rotation this fall.

Manuel showed good burst on a 35-yard run during the Bears' first scrimmage of the spring Saturday at Grant High. He also scored on a short touchdown run.

"He continues to impress," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "He runs with great balance. He's very hard to knock off his feet. It's very hard for one guy to bring him down. He runs through tackles. He's solid."

Sophomore Dasarte Yarnway and redshirt freshman Trajuan Briggs each came to Cal with press clippings, but Yarnway is sitting out this spring as he recovers from ACL surgery and Briggs is behind Manuel on the depth chart. Briggs is also battling back from ankle and back injuries. The Bears also have junior Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, who chose Cal over many suitors out of high school.

After the jump JO reports from practice, Sandy Barbour begins the search for Joanne Boyle's replacement, and Bears past and present react to baseball's reinstatement.

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  • Assistant coach Tom Billups and the freshmen-sophomore team faced a stiff challenge against Santa Rosa Junior College.  The Bears prevailed 31-21.
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