Here we go. Last practice before full pads. No frills, Lets jump right in.
Rob's Practice Notebook:
- Davis Webb took most of the 1st team snaps followed by Chase Forrest, Ross Bowers and Max Gilliam (in that order). Davis looked very comfortable and confident in his throwing after the news that he was the starter broke early Thursday.
- Davis Webb mentioned after practice that he was always a team player and he did the high fives, jumps as early as when he was a ball boy for his Dad's team. He also mentioned he gave full effort on everything he can control which he linked to being the best teammate he could be.
- An example of that was when he threw a perfect long pass to Matt Rockett who caught in stride for a TD. Webb walked from center field out to the sideline to greet Rockett jogging back to give him a high five and pat on the helmet.
- RBs took time today to work on their blocking. It was great to see them take time away from their usual routine of working on pass-catching and run vision.
- Jordan Duncan has arguably the best hands on the team. Any ball thrown in his catch radius is caught. Very soft hands when catching the ball. I daresay his catching is reminiscent of French Soccer great Zinedine Zidane.
- WR Justin Dunn made some noise today. In a WR battle with some big names, Dunn made some solid catches and made good decisions after the catch.
- Brandon Singleton is looking more and more like a Speed and Possession threat WR. On a come back route the ball was thrown over his right shoulder, but he made the full extension coming out of his break and made the catch.Although, he couldn't drag his toes in time to keep it in bounds.
- Patrick Worstell has been playing efficiently but quietly. No flashy plays but making the smart and solid ones. Coach Dykes mentioned in his interview that if the season started tomorrow, Worstell would be the starter at the X.
- Demetris Robertson is making strides as a WR everyday. His athleticism is definitely there but his route running and pass catching ability is slowly catching up to that. He dropped some easy ones today and also made so errors coming out of his breaks on certain routes. It'll be interesting to watch his development going forward.
- AND YET he shows moments where it all comes together. One instance he's matched up against Antoine Albert. Albert played textbook defense but Robertson managed to make the catch at what seemed like an impossible situation.
- Darius Allensworth may just be the shutdown/ballhawk corner we have been wanting all these years. He's made constant plays on the ball through INTs and PBUs, but also made the right adjustments in coverage to not be called for PIs or holds. Easily has had the best fall camp out of the defense so far.
- Melquise Stovall may have the biggest impact on this team as a freshman. His ability to make people miss is going to go a long way for us this season. His footwork is amazing, but don't be surprised by his great acceleration. He's already a decent route runner but he comes out his breaks with a great burst and can accelerate quickly to gain good separation from his defenders. Stovall hauled in a TD thrown by Webb on a corner route using his acceleration out of the break.
- Vic Wharton had the ankle-breaking play of the day. He juked Camryn Bynum by going outside then inside with two steps. Bynum got his feet tangled up and Vic went right by him for an easy catch to a TD.
- Traveon Beck is one of the freshman DBs who has worked hard on his game and it is starting to show in his ability to create PBUs. His timing, body control, and awareness of the ball and the WR is adjusting well to the college game.
- Antoine Albert is establishing himself as the other CB starter opposite of Allensworth. He got a PBU on D-Rob and also forced a fumble on Dunn by catching up to him and punching the ball out his grasp. He's always in the hunt to make plays.
- Chad Hansen has easily solidified one of the starting WR positions. He's an all-around WR who does everything well. He topped the day off by a 70-yard TD from Davis Webb. 40 of which were on the throw.
- Center is still a position of contention, although Coach Jones did tell us today that Addison Ooms is slightly ahead of Dominic Granado. Coach Jones mentioned he's looking for a vocal guy to play that spot, and is looking for the five guys who he feels give our offense the best shot at moving the ball.
- It's becoming more and more evident that Jordan Veasy and Carlos Strickland are the two biggest match-up nightmares this offense has to offer. Their size, speed, and catching prowess is sure to be taken advantage of on smaller DBs.
- Yesterday, Devante Downs talked up Derron Brown as a new LB addition and Derron showed why the LBs were high on the new S-turned-LB today. He ran a simple outside blitz, but his quickness of the edge provided something from that position that we haven't had in a while. The fact he was a safety will also help in his recovery speed to make tackles and help out his teammates.
- And of course, what notebook would be complete without a Luke Rubenzer highlight. The team's returning lead tackler (H/T Connor Letourneau) had a Pick-6 off of Ross Bowers after the ball was tipped by Derron Brown. Luke has a knack for doing this in camp (He did it a couple times against Jared)—let's hope it translates to a real game.
- Russel Ude is one to keep an eye on. He's quick off the line, times the snap really well, and has the athleticism and size to bat balls down. He swatted one of Max Gilliam's throws like it was a volleyball. He also inherited the number of THE KRAGEN.
- Speaking of Gilliam, we knew the kid could run but he's faster than any QB we've had in recent memory, very good with his legs and his running vision is solid. He had gains of 5 and 20 on two runs.
- Vic Enwere made a broken play into a 35-yard gain. He seems to have a knack for that. Anyone remember WSU last year?
- A final freshman name to keep an eye on? Evan Weaver. DE. He will become a household name at Cal. Dare I say he makes it into the echelons of Cameron Jordan? Only time will tell.
Some fun tidbits:
- Evan Rambo was in punt coverage and running at the return man as gunner. He stopped short with his hands up in the air. The punt smacked him in the back of the helmet. Perfect timing and place. Team burst out laughing.
- Cameron Saffle went up against Stephen Moore in OL vs. DL. At first, I thought it would be a battle... until Moore threw him to the floor.
- How fitting when Work From Home started playing when Davis Webb got is first reps at QB in 7s.
- Some of you may be wondering why the title of this notebook is The Bourne Supremacy. Well. In the Jason Bourne movie series, Jason Bourne's real name is David Webb. If you think its cheesy that fine. I wanted to use the link at least once after someone sent me an email about that for the podcast.
- If you have the time watch Davis Webb's interview, I really like what he had to say and how he talks about the team.
California Love. California Rising