Cal spring practice kicked off. It wasn't quite as intense as your usual spring sessions as the players shook off the spring break cobwebs, but they'll have to get ready as the first overall scrimmage is approaching in a few days.
Thanks to Eugene (live-tweeting for Cal Rivals) and Ryan Gorcey for their observations.
- Lonny Powell had the highlight play of the day with a 90 yard touchdown run, taking one cut and bursting away. It's had to not see Powell finding his way into the play rotation for Cal this year, even if it's only in a handful of spots. The natural talent is all on display.
- Jared Goff (Heisman watch!) was his usual precise self. Kenny Lawler, Jack Austin, Stephen Anderson, and pretty much the whole crew had their share of impressive catches. At this point I'm not even sure how much I can judge this secondary for getting beaten up on 1-on-1s. Goff would give a pretty good secondary headaches.
- Of course, the best passes Goff has thrown this week were to our six year old superhero Owen Provencher!
Had a great time with my man Owen! https://t.co/OpP6Iho4ou— Jared Goff (@JaredGoff16) April 1, 2015
- Maurice Harris and Trevor Davis continue to showcase their over-the-shoulder touchdown catching abilities.
- Wide receiver Chad Hansen has worked with the starters occasionally this season. Keep an eye out for him to make some contributions this season.
- It sounds like Pierre Ingram has made a pretty natural transition to outside wide receivers coach (then again, coaching these wideouts is probably a college football dream job for an assistant). And Trevor Davis might have a future in this sports interviewing business.
- With regards to position battles, two offensive tackles have stayed in front. Vinnie Johnson has been taking reps at left tackle, and Brian Farley has been taking reps over at right tackle (Dykes has been really pleased with Farley, which is a good sign).
- Dominic Granado and Aaron Cochran are probably going to have to do some fighting to get back into the starting 1s, especially with Steven Moore to be accounted for when he returns from injury.
- Cal's goal is five defensive tackles this season. It's Mustafa Jalil and a lot of emerging talent. Dykes singled out Marcus Manley as someone who has made significant strides.
- Jalen Jefferson is being worked back from a hamstring issue and will be brought along slowly. Todd Barr is recovering from a groin injury. Ray Hudson is out of the red on Friday, but had some nice catches in practice.
- For the first time, Sonny Dykes seems pleased with the defense, and says that they're night and day from where they've been in previous years. Continuity in coaching and an extra year of experience has helped out a lot.
- In terms of best defensive performer so far at this point, Dykes had positive things to say about Kyle Kragen and Puka Lopa.
- Cal has a new punter in Harry Adolphus, who I believe was slotted into Griffindor. He plays on the Cal rugby team as a flyhalf/center.
- Giorgio Tavecchio was at practice today too, and is a skilled practitioner of fibbery.
"I wouldn't be anywhere else but watching #Cal practice with the press corps," says Tavecchio.— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) April 1, 2015
Saturday will be the first scrimmage for the Bears. Lots of situational football is expected, so Friday might not be quite as intense.