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Cal football fall practice: Jordan Rigsbee the starting center, Caleb Coleman excels at nickelback

There was football at Memorial Stadium today. Cal won!

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Today was a shorter, very sunny practice. It marked the sixth straight day of practice, and the Bears will get a break tomorrow.

It's been made official though, Jordan Rigsbee is going to be our starting center. Per Jeff Faraudo, Rigsbee has moved over there permanently, after playing there for eight games during the 2013 season. Rigsbee has been a jack of all trades on the line, and he would have been an excellent right guard for us this season. But the dismissal of Matt Cochran left a hole that he needed to fill.

There are no complaints from Rigsbee, who started at left guard as a redshirt reshman in 2012, was moved to center for the final eight games of 2013, then to right tackle last season. He was projected at right guard this fall before need prompted another move.

"On one hand it can be frustrating," Rigsbee said of the constant shuffling. "On the other hand, center’s an important position on the O-line. So far with this coaching staff I’ve gone 1-11 and 5-7 and haven’t gone to a bowl game.

"It’s my fifth year and that’s what I plan to do. If me playing center gets us to a bowl game, then so be it. I just want to win games."

From watching practice today, it's pretty clear that Rigsbee is the starter, with Addison Ooms at the helm for the second team. Semisi Uluave started at right guard today, with Dominic Granado taking the second team reps. We will see how that changes as camp moves forward.

Some thoughts from the day:

  • It was an uppers day, ergo shoulder pads and helmets
  • Damariay Drew was out again, with what was termed a "minor illness" by Coach Dykes. Jaylinn Hawkins was out, taking mental reps. Stefan McClure was in a red jersey, but ran with the 1s during 7 on 7.
  • From the secondary, Caleb Coleman has pretty much locked down the nickel corner position. He had some excellent coverage on a Treggs seam that stood out. Perfect positioning without interfering with the receiver.
  • Darius Allensworth had a huge hit near the end of practice, busting up a screen in the last team period.
  • Defense played in the nickel for pretty much all of practice. The 1st team was Kragen, Looney, Jalil, Lopa, Nickerson, Jefferson, White, Coleman, Vanderbilt, Rubenzer and Allensworth.
  • Jonathan Johnson was in with the ones for most of the third down team session. He got solid pressure almost every time he was in.
  • There wasn't too much from the defensive side of the ball today. Westerfield and Kragen got some excellent pressure that led to a sack in the first team period. Jalil made a huge hit on Trevor Davis on a screen. That was about it.
  • On to special teams, where Cole Leininger sat out today. Harry Adolphus and Dylan Klumph got all the punting reps today. Both guys can boom it when given the opportunity. Adolphus had one big one, but remains inconsistent.
  • The kicking game remains a mystery. Noah Beito doesn't have too strong of a leg, while Matt Anderson is still a bit inconsistent. Beito missed two FG attempts from 47 out in a row. And they were not close.
  • Onto offense. Their focus today was combo routes. They ran combos during the normal 1 on 1 session. It showed more in the later team and 7 on 7 periods. There were some guys who got very open on wheel routes, Lonny Powell being one of them.
  • Maurice Harris, Austin Aaron, and Kanawai Noa were the standouts amongst the wide receivers today. Harris made a number of sideline catches, tapping his toes in on one. Aaron caught three TDs during the 7 on 7 period, no small feat. And Noa looks to be the most fluid route runner amongst the freshmen wideouts.
  • Harris has been overshadowed by Kenny Lawler in the crazy catch department, but he is just as capable of making those plays.
  • There was no Lasco today, but the rest of the RBs picked up the slack
    • Vic Enwere had a great stiff arm on Rubenzer
    • Tre Watson made one great cut, leading to a 30 yard gain
    • Khalfani Muhammad demonstrated some newfound agility, speeding to a big gain on a screen.
    • Jeffrey Coprich had a big 40 yard run near the end of practice, breaking away from the defense.
  • Goff was his normal self today, making some great throws to Jack Austin, Treggs, Lawler, Davis and more. It's a privilege to watch this guy play football. I'm half-convinced that the decimation of the 49ers roster is an elaborate ploy to keep Goff in the Bay Area for years to come. The #FallOffForGoff campaign has begun in Santa Clara.
  • There was a throw from Ross Bowers to Chad Hansen that was absolutely beautiful. Just a rainbow of 30 yards or so right into Hansen's hands in stride for a TD. Bowers has some excellent touch.

There was one scuffle during 9 on 7, where Coprich got into it with Looney, but it was quickly resolved and practice went on as usual. This is a team that is going to show the world a new view of Cal football. Fall practice takes a hiatus until Friday afternoon, but you can rest assured that CGB has you covered. Go Bears!