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Cal football practice report: Semisi Uluave, Luke Rubenzer, DeVante Wilson aim to start

The DBs get good coverage and great PBUs, RBs have some solid runs, and Kenny Lawler does Kenny Lawler things

Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

The team was back in full pads again today, doing a pretty good mix of drills. 11 vs. 11 with full pads is always fun to watch, but there were insights to be gained all around. Here are the basics:

As far as the offense goes, I unfortunately only put down the players on the first team OL, missed the 2nd team, and left the other units blank (because we rotate receivers so frequently and RBs as well). So yeah, idiocy on my part... But I'll make sure to mark it down on Sunday.

Offense depth chart

First team OL was Brian Farley, Chris Borrayo, Jordan Rigsbee, Semisi Uluave, and Steven Moore. So the tackles were switched up today. Coach said that it was just an experiment to see what works best in terms of finding the most mobile pass protectors.

Daniel Lasco was out today with what Sonny Dykes said was a sore back, so they are resting him. The first guy on the field was Vic Enwere and I believe the 2nd was Tre Watson, but the rest was a mix of Khalifani Muhammad, Jeffrey Coprich, and Lonny Powell.

Jared Goff is still the #1 QB, Chase Forrest is #2, and Ross Bowers #3. Not much changed there.

Defensive depth chart:

1st team D: Kyle Kragen, James Looney, Mustafa Jalil, DeVante Wilson, Hardy Nickerson, Jalen Jefferson, Darius Allensworth, Luke Rubenzer, Derron Brown, Caleb Coleman, Darius White

2nd team D: Todd Barr, David Davis, Tony Mekari (I think), Jonathan Johnson, Devante Downs, Trey Turner, Antoine Albert, Evan Rambo, De'Zhon Grace, and Cameron Walker.

Wilson continues to be finding his way onto the first team. You have to feel like he's finally asserting himself and showcasing the form we all expected him as an impact JUCO player. Wilson and a recovered Kragen could form an underrated defensive end tag-team in time. Puka Lopa and Noah Westerfield also should be in the rotation.

Offensive line

A few quick player notes on who looked good.

  • Uluave just looks like a rock holding down the right side, and I wouldn't be surprised if he stays with the first team.
  • Rigsbee appears to be pencilled in at center. He did have a low snap or two.
  • As I mentioned above, Farley and Moore switched spots. Dykes said they were just experimenting to see what works best.
  • Dykes continues to mention Aaron Cochran as pushing for a starting spot. Steven Moore is going to start, but Dykes says they are flipping him to see if they can get Cochran on the blind side in a comfortable spot.
  • More from Gorcey: ""The goal is 320, 315," Cochran said. "Hopefully, by the end of camp, I’ll be closer to 320. I’m not dragging a small child on me anymore, like when I first got here and I was 370.""
  • Can Semisi Uluave actually win the right guard spot? ""I think he and Dom (Dominic Granado) are kind of bouncing back and forth," Dykes said of the right guard spot. "They will be, for a while."" (HT Gorcey)


The unit Dykes highlighted the most this afternoon was the secondary, and particularly the development from the safeties.

Luke Rubenzer is still playing plenty in the safety rotation but Dykes does say he has work to do. Jeff Faraudo:

Rubenzer was moved to defense in the spring, mostly at his request, because Cal was short-handed at the position. "Honestly, I just want to see the field," he said after Friday’s practice.

Coach Sonny Dykes said Rubenzer is doing a good job.

"He still needs reps – he’s still not smooth in some of the technical things – btut he sees things well, he’s got good instincts," Dykes said. "He’s not afraid to stick his head in there."

The secondary continues to showcase nice ball skills with good pass breakups from Rubenzer, Caleb Coleman, Malik Psalms, Stefan McClure and Darius White (HT Cal Rivals). Tre Turner also got a pick the end zone when the 2nd team was on the field during 11s.

Damariay Drew sat out another practice, but Dykes expects him to return soon.

Bear Raid (QB/WR)

There were also a couple spectacular touchdowns: Goff made a great pass to Bryce Treggs over the top of Darius White for one, another to Ray Hudson, and the highlight of practice: Kenny Lawler had a full-height jump, full vertical extension one-handed grab, pulling it in and gaining possession just before he went out the back of the end zone. If it was a televised game, it easily would have been SC Top 10.

Forrest continues to draw praise from Tony Franklin. More from Faraudo.

At the same time, Forrest is ahead of schedule. "Chase’s level of play has been beyond what I could have imagined," offensive coordinator Tony Franklin said.


Outside of the Lawler one-handed catch, I'd say that the 2nd-best practice highlight was a 20-yard touchdown run by Coprich during 11s. Coprich had an earlier touchdown as well and continues to make some of the most impressive plays in fall camp.

Both Vic Enwere and Lonny Powell had signature plays. Powell brought a lot of power with his plays while Enwere showed good cutting agility on their nice runs. I wouldn't be surprised to see Powell play in certain situations, and Vic is definitely showing how tough he's going to deal with if he bursts through the line. It's really reassuring to see the depth and diversity of the running back crew - each of them has a great skill set and could be used in unique ways.

Daniel Lasco did not participate in contact drills today because of a strained back.

Special Teams

  • Noah Beito did well with kickoffs, booming one into the end zone. If I had to pick an opening kickoff starter today, he'd be the one. Matt Anderson isn't going to give up yet, as the two push each other.

  • Harry Adolphus is also a potential kicker who is also super tough--coming from Cal rugby, Adolphus would ensure that kick returners would have to fear even the placekicker. Dylan Klumph also seems to show the greatest potential.
  • Antoine Albert spent some time returning kicks.

Nothing too much more to write down. The next practice is Sunday at 10:15 AM, I'll be there again doing the usual thing. Go Bears!