CGB didn't have anyone at practice today, but it was a pretty brief day of open practice as the morning was spent practicing in the heat. It was the first two-a-day of the year for the Bears, who will do several more this week before the conclusion of open practice (I do not know the practice schedule beyond this week).
The highlight of the day was probably the actual closed practice Cal ran inland. The Bears tripped on Sunday away from the Bay to practice at De La Salle Monday morning in sweltering 100 degree heat. Michael Barton got to come on home!
After today's workout at his alma mater De La Salle @michaelbarton08 checks in #camplife #gobears pic.twitter.com/xGUFLe8uE2— Cal Football (@CalFootball) August 18, 2015
It was a nice "kill two birds with one stone" practice. Cal was able to prep for the incoming heat they can expect to feel on a Saturday night in Austin. Sonny Dykes stressed the need for the Bears to get acclimated for playing in hot conditions this weekend, and it definitely delivered this week.
It also helps the Bears get some additional chances to recruit local prospects, particularly from the East Bay powerhouse. Cal currently has two top local De La Salle targets on their radar on defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa and tight end Devin Asiasi. Both players have a host of national offers from the Pac-12 and beyond (including Alabama, where former Cal assistant and De La Salle alum Tosh Lupoi is trying to make his claim), so it might take a very special season to earn the commitment of either of these two.
Some brief open practice notes.
The tinkering continues on the offensive line. Steven Moore (pencilled in as the starting left tackles) took a rest day so Aaron Cochran could take a lot of reps with the 1st and 2nd team. Moore is not losing his spot, and it doesn't look like Brian Farley is either, but Cochran could make a push to get additional pull. Cochran would be nice in jumbo formations and seems like a player Sonny Dykes really wants to see in the rotation at some point. The main thing with him is cutting down on negative plays.
Dominic Granado continues to take snaps as the starting center while Jordan Rigsbee plays right guard. Ideally, Sonny would probably love to have Rigsbee at guard and Granado somewhere in the starting lineup--as good as Semisi Uluave might be one day, it's a dicey proposition to entrust such a key position to a true frosh. We'll see
In the secondary, Billy McCrary saw some action with the 1s.
The only real competition in the afternoon happened at special teams. Dykes seems to want more out of the punting game. I'm beginning to wonder if Cal might have situational punters aside from Cole Leninger, like for punting to pin offenses near their end zone, or attempting more rugby style punts that allow for more directional coverage. Dylan Klumph and Harry Adolphus keep on battling to improve.
More positive developments are happening at kicker between Noah Beito and Matt Anderson. Sonny is generally pleased here.
Super thrilling. Some quick look at player features to wrap us up here.
DeVante Wilson had a slow spring but seems to be getting back into the swing of things. More from Ryan Gorcey:
The JuCo transfer gained too much weight during the spring, when he got access to a real Division I weight lifting program, getting up to 275 pounds by the spring game, before getting back down, and he’s seen large gains in speed, quickness and mobility. "Having the whole summer got me in great shape," Wilson said. "My strength went up, definitely, and I lost some weight, so I’m able to move a little bit better. This is the normal weight that I’m used to playing at –250, around there – and I feel way lighter out there. I feel like I’m just moving differently in the spring."
Here's a part of a feature the San Francisco Chronicle did with Mustafa Jalil. Premium content from the Chronicle.
If you’re ever at the Kabul West restaurant in San Diego, Mustafa Jalil says, try the quabli palow, also known as kablifalou.
Here's Gorcey with more on Jalil and James Looney.
The aptly-named James Looney, on the other hand, when asked who has the best hair on the team, spreads the corners of his mouth, and without batting an eye, chirps, "Oh, definitely me, no question." He plucks at one of the light mocha springs that make up the Seussian truffula tree atop his head. "You can’t beat these curls."
When the two first met, Jalil says, "I didn’t like him. I didn’t like the look on his face." His eyes twinkle. "The haircut rubbed me the wrong way. It still does, a little bit."
And Cal football players interview a few freshmen. Here's Bryce Treggs interviewing Carlos Strickland...
And Jordan Rigsbee interviewing Ryan Gibson.