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Cal Football Spring Practice: Projecting the Depth Chart

Let's take a way-too-early look at Cal's depth chart for 2016!

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

Spring practice is officially on, which means it's time to get a first look at our depth for 2016. Is it too soon to predict a depth chart? Yes, absolutely. A lot will change between now and August 27th. But that won't stop us from making some educated guesses as to who will see playing time come fall.

1s are starters, 2s backups, and so on down the depth chart...


1. Chase Forrest — After a year as Jared Goff's backup, Forrest should be ready to step up. He doesn't have the job locked down yet, but he does have Sonny's confidence and an inside track on the job.

2. Luke Rubenzer — He's back taking reps at QB now that the situation at safety is a bit clearer. Rubenzer could reprise his role as wildcat/short yardage QB if Coach Spavital wants to incorporate that wrinkle into the offense.

3. Ross Bowers — Bowers could be another option if the coaches want to have some speed at the quarterback position. He's got four years of eligibility after redshirting in 2015.

4. Max Gilliam — Here's where the competition gets really interesting. The true freshman will have a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to earn the starting job, but his name comes up too often to rule him out. That said, the depth here makes it entirely possible that he'll redshirt.

Also up for consideration are the returning Zach Kline and freshman Victor Viramontes.

Running Back

1. Tre Watson — Daniel Lasco's injuries last season gave us a preview of this year's competition at running back. I'd expect these guys to share the workload once again, but Watson is a good bet for the #1 back.

2. Khalfani Muhammad — It's fun to watch this kid run. He led the team with 586 rush yards last season, so we'll be seeing plenty of him. Muhammad was also the biggest receiving threat of the bunch.

3. Vic Enwere — Enwere saw the most touches of all the running backs last season so, again, we'll see plenty of him. At 235 pounds he'll be our power back.

4. Derrick Clark — He's an early enrollee so he'll have plenty of time to get acclimated to the offense, but the three guys above should be enough to force Clark into a redshirt year.

Inside Wide Receivers

Y1. Greyson Bankhead — The stream of departures at WR have opened the door for Bankhead and a number of other young guys to climb the depth chart. He's a good route runner and could make a big impression this fall.

Y2. Jordan Veasy — The JuCo transfer is big, makes nice catches, and is already on campus.

H1. Raymond Hudson — Hudson gets the nod with Stephen Anderson's departure. He should be capable of slotting in quickly.

H2. Melquise Stovall — Here's another guy who's getting his name mentioned a lot. He's the star of this recruiting class, and the sense is he'll find his way on to the field very soon.

Outside Wide Receivers

X1. Kanawai Noa — Noa saw playing time as a freshman despite the logjam at WR. He should be well positioned to take over the starting job from Trevor Davis.

X2. Jordan Duncan — He's impressing early at camp, so he could be one of the young guys to break through (unless it's Carlos Strickland or Vic Wharton or someone else).

Z1. Chad Hansen — Hansen leads the returners with 19 catches last year. He should get the nod.

Z2. Brandon Singleton — He's fast. Very fast.

Offensive Line

Left Tackle: 1. Aaron Cochran, 2. Vincent Johnson — Finally, some continuity! The offensive line should be pretty much settled, barring any surprises.

Left Guard: 1. Chris Borrayo, 2. Patrick Mekari

Center: 1. Dominic Granado, 2. Addison Ooms — After some questions last fall, Granado started all 13 games and should do so again.

Right Guard: 1. Dwayne Wallace, 2. Semisi Uluave — Jordan Rigsbee's departure makes this an interesting battle. JuCo transfer Dwayne Wallace gets the spot for now but this is pretty wide open.

Right Tackle: 1. Steven Moore, 2. Kamryn Bennett

Defensive Line

Defensive End: 1. Cameron Saffle, 2. Noah Westerfield — Reports from camp say Saffle is looking healthy and explosive. These two should bump up the depth chart.

Defensive Tackle: 1. James Looney, 2. Luc Becquette — Early enrollee Luc Becquette could benefit from the lack of experienced depth at DT.

Defensive Tackle: 1. Tony Mekari, 2. Marcus Manley

Defensive End: 1. DeVante Wilson, 2. Zeandae Johnson


1s. Hardy Nickerson, Ray Davison — This position is a bit of a mess, considering Jake Kearney's retirement. Nickerson and Davison are settled as starters, but the rest of the depth chart is up for grabs.

2s. Derron Brown, Aisea Tongilava — Devante Downs and Hamilton Anoa'i will also be returning from knee surgeries, but both are sitting out this spring.

Defensive Backs

Cornerback: 1. Darius Allensworth, 2. Malik Psalms — CB should follow pretty consistently from last year's depth chart, headed by junior Darius Allensworth.

Cornerback: 1. Antoine Albert, 2. De'Zhon Grace

Nickel: 1. Cameron Walker, 2. Tre Turner, 3. Caleb Coleman

Free Safety: 1. Damariay Drew, 2. Evan Rambo — Both Evan Rambo and Khari Vanderbilt could make moves for the starting jobs at SS, but Griffin Piatt should have a clear path to the starting job if he can stay healthy.

Strong Safety: 1. Griffin Piatt, 2. Khari Vanderbilt