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Cal football spring depth chart battles coming at running back, offensive guard, punter


Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports

The California Golden Bears have a few position battles to sort out heading into spring. Sonny Dykes mentioned a couple in his winter teleconference. Via Ryan Gorcey, here are some of them.

Running back

The Golden Bears have several great options to look at, and have a three pronged attack they can go with in 2016 with Khalfani Muhammad, Vic Enwere and Tre Watson. Muhammad had a surprisingly impressive 2015 rebound campaign, Enwere proved to be an effective short yardage back, and Watson came on late to look like the most promising of the bunch. Cal will also have Derrick Clark coming in the spring, but I'd imagine the big battle will be between the three established backs.

"They each bring a little something different to the table. I like that at running back. I like that when guys can do different things, because it gives you a little bit more versatility. I don't know who the starter is going to be, but if I had to pencil somebody in based on performance at the end of the year, it might be Tre, but I was pleased with all of them. I thought Khalfani had a good year, I thought Vic had a good year, but we'll see what the two new additions will do, coming in. We anticipate signing two guys. Derrick will be here, going through spring football, and we anticipate signing one more running back. They'll get in the mix and see what happens."

Offensive guard

Cal will actually not have to worry about replacing too many offensive linemen--they'll go into 2016 knowing Aaron Cochran, Chris Borrayo, Dominic Granado and Steven Moore will probably be four of their top five.

A few underclassmen competing from last year for the spot that Jordan Rigsbee vacates will be Patrick Mekari and Kamryn Bennett, as well as Semisi Uluave, who is not going on his mission this spring.

Also mentioned is Vinnie Johnson. It's quite possible that JUCO commit Dwayne Wallace could get in there as well. More from Gorcey.

"We're always moving guys around and trying to figure out the best place for people to play. We'll see," Dykes said. "The good thing is, we've got more depth than we've had. We have these freshmen coming in. We'll see how they do, and some of them, physically, are probably a little bit bigger than we've actually recruited in the past, which, when they're bigger, that usually means that they might have a bit better chance to get on the field early, but we'll see how that plays out, as well. As I said, the good thing is, when you sit down and look at our roster, we feel like we've got eight, maybe nine linemen in the spring, that have an opportunity to be pretty good players for us."


One position Dykes feels pretty comfortable in is punter. Dykes seems to think that Dylan Klumph is the natural target to come in and replace Cole Leninger as the starter here.

"I think Dylan has the talent to be an elite punter. He's got a big leg, he came in and he needed to get in a little bit better shape. He's done that, so we expect Dylan to win the job. Now, he's got to go out and do it, but we recruited him with the idea that he has tremendous upside, he's got good size, he's got good strength, he can really punt."