We interrupt your basketball recruiting coverage with a Cal football practice mini-report. But first, in case you've had zero access to the Interwebs in the past 24 hours:
Hey guys, might be a spoiler but I'm excited to announce I just got off the phone with Ivan Rabb and he committed to play WR for us #GoBears— Not Tony Franklin (@nottonyfranklin) April 13, 2015
With Ivan Rabb's commitment to Cal the big news of the day, the Cal football team held a shorter-than-usual practice on Monday afternoon. Practice began 15 minutes earlier than originally planned but lasted a little over an hour and a half, rather than the typical two full hours. The most newsworthy development was QB/S Luke Rubenzer taking *some* snaps at quarterback, for the first time this spring [HT Grant Marek & Ryan Gorcey for their live observations]:
.@lukerubenzer8 taking snaps with the offense now, his first that we've seen of spring.— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) April 14, 2015
Best day for the backup QBs today so far? Safety @lukerubenzer8.— Cal Rivals (@CalRivals) April 14, 2015
While the team dressed in full pads, Jared Goff took limited reps -- which allowed Rubenzer, Chase Forrest, and Ross Bowers to take more snaps, particularly in 7s and full 11s. Goff's work was apparently limited to warmups, drills, and 1-on-1s. By all accounts, the 3 backup QBs primarily led the 2nd & 3rd team offense in situational scrimmage (11-on-11) situations. 4th string QB Cole Webb received some full team snaps as well.
Some of the scrimmage highlights included:
- Vic Enwere with a bruising 20+ yard run
- Kyle Kragen logging a sack [netting a stop for the defense]
- Ray Davison forcing a fumble, with Cam Walker recovering [another stop for the D]
- Chase Forrest with a 60+ yard TD pass to Kenny Portera
- Devante Wilson with a pressure, allowing Marcus Manley to clean up for a sack
- Jack Austin with 2 big catches, of 30-plus and 40-plus yards
- Luke Rubenzer with a 20+ yard TD run on a QB keeper (Lonny Powell with a huge block)
- Jon Johnson with a sack on Ross Bowers
- Cole Webb with a 70+ yard TD pass to Bug Rivera
The consensus among today's media observers -- the 1st team D outperformed the 2nd team O, as to be expected:
#Cal offense (2nd and 3rd team): 2 FGs, 1 fumble (poss. lost), and one drive stopped scoreless.— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) April 14, 2015
Head Coach Sonny Dykes said after practice that holding many of the offensive players out was planned. He added that the defense has been playing with "more confidence" and is continuing to improve, and that Rubenzer looked "okay" -- considering that it was his first live action at QB this spring.
A few other post-practice comments:
- The team ran about 60 total plays during the two full team periods.
- The spring game is expected to be around 100 plays, mostly scripted situational scrimmage work.
- Coach noted that Forrest has been completing over 70-75% of his passes this spring, which has allowed the staff to give Rubenzer a look at safety. He didn't say definitively whether the move to safety is permanent; rather, he alluded that Luke *could* play both ways -- i.e. situational snaps on both sides of the ball:
Dykes said they'll sit down and talk to Luke, reevaluate spring & decide what to do with him. "Just going to depend." Could play both ways.— Cal Rivals (@CalRivals) April 14, 2015
Rubenzer playing S will not preclude him from playing QB situationally— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) April 14, 2015
- Sonny added that the offensive line has been the most improved group on offense this spring.
- Stephen Anderson (illness) is out for the rest of the week, including the spring game; Tre Watson has a hamstring tweak.
Lastly, Sonny Dykes and Jared Goff will be live chatting with fans on the Cal Athletics Facebook page at 2pm on Tuesday (Dykes) & Thursday (Goff):