Another Day. Another Practice. The team was back at memorial in just helmets (no shells or pads), in what was some amazing weather. No better way that my first day watching camp could've happened. The highlight reel plays, the number changes, heck even no longer seeing #16 in gold out on the field was something new. Let's get into the details!
- I thought I saw #16....never mind. I'm seeing things.
- The freshmen this year do not look like freshmen. Evan Weaver, Melquise Stovall, Demetris Robertson, Jordan Duncan are just four of the freshmen who past the eye test with flying colors.
- Not much has changed when the offense is on the field in regards to how practice is run. (Though there might be some change between tTFS and Coach Spav.)
- Our biggest question the last couple of seasons used to be who would be the starters on the O-Line, but it seems that's the least of our worries this year. Center is the only question mark, but between Dominic Granado, Addison Ooms and Jeremiah Stuckey, any of the three seem to be more than qualified to be the starter.
- Melquise Stovall and Demetris Robertson have LEGIT speed. Stovall had a TD in 1-on-1s against Luke Rubenzer by feinting inside to cut out then up--Rubenzer just could not catch up to him. Robertson caught a deep TD down the sideline thrown perfectly in stride by Davis Webb. Robertson also ran past fellow freshman Josh Drayden. No juke moves--nothing--just simply running straight and fast.
- Darius Allensworth had himself a day, grabbing two interceptions off of Max Gilliam and Davis Webb along with a few great pass break ups.
- Out of the "experienced" WRs, redshirt freshman Brandon Singleton had a monster day. He had the highlight play of the day catching a 45-yard bomb by Davis Webb, right inside of the endzone pylon and getting both feet in.
- Carlos Strickland is another redshirt freshman who most Cal fans are very excited for. He had himself a great day as well, making an insane one-handed cradle grab down the sidelines. Very reminiscent of Kenny Lawler against Grambling State.
- The Punt Return Unit consisted of Stovall, Robertson, Singleton, Bug Rivera, Zion Echols, and Vic Wharton.
- In 7-on-7s, QBs Ross Bowers and Chase Forrest seemed to show some growth from the spring, with great throws on the run and also showing great touch to drift balls perfectly over the linebacker into space before the safety.
- Coach Peeler called Jordan Duncan a possession receiver and he couldn't have been more right. He gets AT LEAST a hand on every ball thrown to him such that he gives himself a chance to reel it in. Today he almost pulled an OBJ-type catch on a mere 10-yard play, but was too far beyond the sideline.
- Chase Forrest showed improvement in non-tackling 11s. He overthrew a couple of his targets, but his ball had more velocity and he had better arc on his deep balls. His short to intermediate passes have been on point--very solid throws and in the right spots.
- Surprise fourth-string RB Billy McCrary had a quiet day. He's getting better at reading the line and knowing when to bounce outside or stay inside. Along with Zion Echols and Derrick Clark, the three will be a huge in providing depth and speed when they take the occasional snap.
- D-ROB continued his improvement and ability to beat people with just his athleticism alone. He ended the day with a long TD down the sidelines, outrunning Traveon Beck.
Some Miscellaneous Notes:
- Chase Forrest, Punter. He flipped the field from his own 40 to the opposing 10. With a spiral on his kick. With hangtime.
- Coach Dykes announced that nickelback Caleb Coleman will be medically retiring.
- The D-Line looks to have a lot of fun when they are not on the field. Lots of dancing and joking around--great to see them enjoying anything together as a unit.
California Love. California Rising.