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A closer look at Luc Bequette

In which there isn't a practice report.

Thearon W. Henderson

Note: because the team had a light and shortened practice, there was pretty much nothing worth reporting on Friday. I mean, I could have put something together if I tried, but it was really a lot of scout team, 2s versus 3s type work. I'm guessing that they wanted to take it light before the scheduled off-day on Saturday SCRIMMAGE on Saturday and off-day Sunday, which is understandable. Given my need to give you at least something resembling substance in the 3AM slot, though, we're running this look at recent commitment Luc Bequette, instead.

I've been told in the past that the staff would prefer to lock up local talent exclusively if they could, but the reality is that the type of scholar-athletes Cal wants can come from anywhere at all -- not to mention that we no longer have first claim on the Golden State, with the program still needing some positive momentum in the worst way.

Sorry, but that's the truth. Maybe it won't be in the near future, but right now, it is.

Really though, I don't have a preference either way, as long as the guys arriving are fits for this program and its vision. That brings us to Luc Bequette, who is a bit of an interesting example of this tension at work. Coming from a big football playing family -- one that has boasted more than a few Arkansas Razorbacks, mind you -- and a figure skater mother, our new defensive lineman has instead opted for college ball all the way out west, serving as further evidence that we will look absolutely anywhere for "our" guys.

All of the above already signals that athleticism runs in the Bequette family, but we can also see it on the field as well, where he spends time on both the offensive and defensive line, just like fellow Southerner Ryan Gibson. As I think Rugbear would probably confirm, that's a lot easier sounding than it actually is in practice, and it points at the very least to some effective athletic ability and mobility. Indeed, an emphasis on movement and athleticism up front has gotten increasingly noticeable in these last two classes -- if memory serves, one or both of Michael Trani and Kam Bennett wrestled in high school, for example.

If you're watching his tape in full, I suggest you begin at :57, because there's not that much useful film available from his sophomore year.

My general thoughts:

  • Strong, but needs to get more explosive -- he isn't notably quick off the line in a lot of these clips.
  • Reasonably mobile -- my favorite clip of him showing this is him snapping on a punt at 1:40, then being the first guy down the field, beating even the gunners. He'll do it again and again over the next 6 minutes, which I simply love, because it looks like he actually wants to play there. Always, always love your special teamers.
  • Worth noting that unlike Gibson, he's not yet fast enough to actually blow them up.He lists himself as a timed 4.97 from the Auburn camp. Doubtful that's completely legit.
  • It's more apparent on his offensive clips than his defensive ones, but Bequette does have that nasty, aggressive streak we're looking for up front, hunting down guys after plays or continuing to drive them back down the field on blocks, looking for that extra work after the ball's already gone. He'll also chase the play from behind a lot, too (7:15 being a great example), even if he's a tad slow. Effort matters, and granted, that usually does show up on highlight tape, but a live look is the only way to know how consistent it really is altogether.
  • If his weight does check out at 270, that's already up to Scarlett level weight, so he should help immensely in the future at the point of attack playing strong-side DE, even moreso S&C and all that. The main difference between them is in athletic ability and Scarlett's length.
  • For how Bequette holds up against the run, check out 2:07, where he's matched up outside of the right tackle. Never gets pushed back, holds ground just fine, then uses his hands to shed the block to get the runner trying to go off tackle. Great play. His hands are active again at 2:27 -- he throws off the blocker trying to engage him at the snap almost effortlessly. The explosiveness to turn this into a loss isn't quite there yet, but if we keep in mind that his body is going to change dramatically over the next 2-3 years, that may still yet come. The raw skill with his hands is still there, and I suspect this is in part because he plays line already.
  • No real pass rush moves in the arsenal that can be spotted, save for this spin at 8:22. That's something to build on.
  • Most of the film, however, is on his offensive tape, and like Lonny Powell and Zeandae Johnson, I'd like to see what they accomplish this fall after another year of physical maturation and more time at the position they'll play for Cal.
  • 26 on the ACT is about 1190/1600, or 1785/2400 equivalent on the SAT (yes, I'm assuming that he's equally good at all the parts, blahblahblah. I also realize that these are not the be-all, end-all predictors to academic success, of course, but they do show he should be able to cut it here at Cal, which is one of the top things the staff insists upon now.)