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Cal Football Spring Practice Recap: The Finale


It's finished.
It's finished.
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The last open practice of Spring Ball concluded with some memorable moments along with a lot of walkthroughs with fully out-fitted players. Let's take a look into our notebook.

Final Practice Notebook:

  • Practice started off with positional drills and lots of walkthroughs at half-speed. The offense went through specific plays and sets. Then the team moved on to 1-on-1s.
  • Greyson Bankhead has been getting better all throughout camp. He showed off his route running and catch radius with a great full extension grab at the sidelines after running a corner route. He caught the ball at the sidelines jumping off one foot. It was very impressive.
  • Trey Turner has been a defensive player that has shown a lot of promise these last few weeks. He started off the day with a PBU in 1-on-1s.
  • Vic Wharton is going to be a snaps headache for the coaches. The transfer WR has been getting the separation from DBs and getting to the spots QBs want to throw to him. He has the speed and athleticism to be threats both in the passing game and in the return game.
  • Melquise Stovall has had the best camp out of the Wide Receiver Corps. He is most definitely a lock to start in the slot and is the most impact-ready freshman. His first step, burst, and explosion out of the break is second to none and can gain separation from any defender. He beat Rambo on a 1-on-1 to make a great catch over the shoulder on the sidelines.
  • Austin Aaron is making a name for himself as a red-zone threat. The rising sophomore looks fully fit and healthy and looks to be gaining confidence in every practice.
  • Jordan Duncan has the best hands in the class. He's great at tracking the ball and pinpointing where he needs to make the catch. In 1-on-1s, Jordan beat his defender on a post route and jumped up to snatch the ball out of the air and brought it to his chest immediately. Those types of habits are hard to teach.
  • Matt Anderson and Noah Beito handled the place kicking duties. Beito finished 6/6. Anderson was 5/6—he shanked one badly from 37 yards out.
  • Cal started 7-on-7 work focused on the short passing game. Max Gilliam got the first reps at QB. He started off with a great throw to Bug Rivera throwing it over a defender in the flat to hit Bug near the sidelines. He also made a great throw to Singleton along the sidelines perfectly into his outstretched hands.
  • The Bears then got in some live-tackling scrimmage. Chase Forrest got the first go at QB, followed by Zach Kline, Ross Bowers, and lastly Max Gilliam.
  • Evan Rambo has been solid playing S and had another PBU during scrimmage after a couple during 1-on-1s.
  • DeVante Wilson got a sack on Bowers and is looking more comfortable in the pass rush.
  • Billy McCrary III may be the most exciting player to watch right now purely because of his growth at a position he did not play last year. He is now playing RB for the Bears and his been pulling off highlight-reel runs regularly. His highlight of the day was a run to the right side, juking past three defenders and stiff-arming another on his way to an easy 7 or 8 yards.
  • Chad Hansen is weirdly the elder of the WR group and you can see his experience in some of the catches he makes. He adjusts well to QBs and their throws and makes sure to reel in the catch. He caught a 40-yard bomb from Bowers, but made sure to drag his back foot to get the catch inbounds.
  • Ross Bowers made some impressive throws but also made some really bad ones as well. He threw one way behind Austin Aaron on a post route and just prior to that threw an inside ball on an outside comeback route. It could have been a pick-6 in a real game.
  • Max Gilliam is very impressive with his feet, but has yet to have the same impact with his throws. He made a great 7-yard gain off of a collapsed play, but also threw a pass directly at S Evan Rambo, who didn't get the INT because it came off the numbers on his shell.
  • The team also did some overtime situational work.
  • Cameron Saffle got credited with a sack on Kline and was very good off the line in getting to him.
  • Antoine Albert has stepped his game up immensely over the last couple of practices. He had a HUGE hit on Bankhead, dislodging the ball and scooping it up and running it for a TD—he timed it absolutely perfectly. Albert followed that up with a PBU a few plays later.
  • Ross Bowers made a great throw to Bug Rivera who cut across the field and was brought down at the 5-yard line.
  • Chad Hansen topped off his day with a 15-yard TD grab. He caught the ball in the air and spun 180 degrees to make sure the defender could not get a hand on the ball.
  • Melquise Stovall capped off another amazing day with a 35-yard TD catch thrown by Max Gilliam.
  • Greyson Bankhead had the biggest juke move of the day. After the catch, he stepped forward with his right foot to look like he was going forward and pushed off that planted foot to cut back infield. It was a jaw-dropping step and run.
  • Carlos Strickland will be a very important wide receiver moving forward and his ability to catch balls over defenders has been very impressive, along with his catch radius.
  • Visitors: Bryce Treggs, Stefan McClure, Nathan Broussard was at practice talking to the players. Treggs was talking to the WR and getting them pumped up and celebrated a few of the TDs and great catches.
That did it for the last spring practice of the year. Come chat with us on Saturday for coverage of the Spring Game!