"I just want to touch dirt, plant things and watch them grow."
That's one of the many ways in which academic advisor Nick McNeil has described himself during a recent afternoon at his office in Cal's Athletic Study Center. It applies to a recent interest in growing his own food - including the majority of his lunch that day - as well as to McNeil's general outlook on life.
McNeil and his gardenAbout to begin his sixth year at the Athletic Study Center, McNeil, 32, provides academic guidance to the Golden Bears when he isn't catching a wave, shushing down slopes, mountain biking or scaling a mountain. That guidance includes helping the Golden Bears choose courses and majors, adhere to school and NCAA policies, and develop time-management skills.
Swimming and Diving
With 22 swimmers and two coaches traveling to Kazan, Russia, for the upcoming FINA World Championships, the number of Golden Bears who will be on site for the Aug. 2-9 event is large enough to represent a good-sized country.
Of the nearly two dozen Cal affiliates at the meet, 10 swimmers will be members of Team USA, with others suiting up for their home countries around the globe. Cal men's coach David Duren will lead the USA men's team, while women's coach Teri McKeever is an assistant for the U.S. women's staff.
Forward Stefano Bonomo signs with New York Red Bulls II, after being drafted 39th overall by NYRB in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The scout said that the best pro prospect playing in the CCL is Lucas Erceg, a lefty third baseman for the Cal Golden Bears and the CCL's Neptune Beach Pearl who also throws a 94 mph fastball.
"He's really got a chance to make it," the scout said adding Erceg will be looked at more for his abilities on the mound.
Along with a three-man recruiting class featuring five-star small forward Jaylen Brown and five-star power forward Ivan Rabb came a renewed sense of optimism and anticipation for the California Golden Bears basketball program.
For the past two seasons, Cal has missed the NCAA Tournament after accruing an 18-15 record in 2014-15 and a 21-14 record in 2013-14. But reason for such optimism comes from Brown — the Golden Bears' most highly touted incoming freshman and supremely confident Georgia native — setting the bar high with some lofty expectations for his inaugural season in the Golden State.
Per ibabuzz.com, Brown believes Cal has the right pieces to become the last team standing and win the national championship.
"I have very high expectations. I think we can win it all," Brown said Thursday in his first interaction with Bay Area media. "We have a lot of work to do, but we have very good pieces."
We dedicated a nice chunk to previewing this game in the 2015 Texas Football Prospectus and we noted many of the same match-ups. If you haven't bought the preview yet, just know that Cal QB Jared Goff is a highly intelligent player who throws a great ball and he has a loaded group of proven receivers. He's expected to the be the first QB taken in the 2016 NFL draft.
Cal's ability to run the ball will really be determined what we do with formation and personnel. There's no question that Strong and Bedford will have to pick their poison in the Cal running or passing game and hope that Sonny Dykes pulls a Kliff Kingsbury and keeps throwing it every down irrespective of our personnel and formation.
Straight up shutting Cal down isn't going to happen. Texas will need to force some turnovers, hold up in the red zone, turn touchdowns into field goals and generally scrap.
Oh yeah, and SwoopesHeardTreyHoltz better put up some points. It's not like the Cal defense minds.