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Cal depth chart breakdown, backfield edition: RBs solid, QBs a mystery

Still work to be done.

California v San Diego State Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

We didn’t break down the depth chart thoroughly when it was released. Let’s do that now, starting with the offense, particularly focusing on quarterback and running back.

It’s hard to see the California Golden Bears regressing heavily from their top ten efficient offense in college football in 2017. Their running back corps returns mostly intact. Their young wide receiving corps is a year seasoned and ready to really cook. And their offensive line retains the bulk of their talent.

But quarterback is a mystery. And it’s hard to see whoever replacing Davis Webb being just as productive and ready as him, as the battle for the position remains protracted. The strength of Cal’s offense hinges entirely on the effectiveness of whoever gets the role to execute Beau Baldwin’s scheme.

Let’s roll down the offensive positions.


T-1) Chase Forrest (junior) OR Ross Bowers (sophomore). Who to pick? Do you go with experience or ride with youth? Neither seemed to garner that much separation.

3) Victor Viramontes (redshirt freshman). With Max Gilliam transferring, the dynamic Viramontes should be in a position to try and jockey for snaps this season. Could he be used in special packages for special plays? Viramontes has decided to transfer.

4) Colin Moore (freshman). If Cal is using Moore we are in serious trouble.

5) Chase Garbers (freshman) or Brandon McIlwain (transfer). McIlwain isn’t playing this year, so I’m guessing Garbers will only play if it’s a designated survivor situation.

Running back

1) Tre Watson (senior) seems to have taken on the official starting role in his final campaign. It remains to be seen if he can handle feature back responsibilities. You’d have to guess that the winner of the second back position will share the workload with him. Watson carried the ball only 88 times his sophomore season and leapt up to 143 in junior year, but he still trailed Khalfani Muhammad.

T-2) Vic Enwere (senior) or Patrick Laird (junior) look like they’ll jostle for the secondary back snaps. Enwere figures to win out, but Laird has made a push despite seeing only eight snaps last season. Enwere had developed a good pace in 2016 but went down with a broken bone in his foot midyear. Whether he’s back at 100% remains to be seon.

4) Zion Echols (redshirt freshman). Is Echols ready to take the leap as a special weapon, or is there more development needed for him?

Jostling: Billy McCrary (junior) and Derrick Clark (redshirt freshman). With no one in this backfield really impressing with the snaps they’ve been given up to this point (if any), Cal must really be thinking hard about who they can find for the 2018 running back recruiting class.

Redshirt: Biaggio Ali-Walsh can chill for a year. Maybe two. Lots of battles are ahead for him to try and win, but there’s too much depth for him to consider burning his redshirt away.


1) Malik McMorris (junior). No surprise McMorris leads this category, as he was Cal’s leading Bone player in the Bear Raid (their version of fullback). It’ll be interesting to see if McMorris can transition to a full-scale pro-style quarterback scheme. He’s definitely capable.

T-2) Fabiano Hale (senior) and Justin Norbeck (junior). I know a lot about Cal football. All I can tell you about these two players is one of them was involved in a brouhaha of sorts. That is all.