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Five former walk-ons earn scholarships for 2017!

Congrats to five hard-working Bears!

NCAA Football: California at Arizona State
Jacob Anderson breaks up a pass in 2016 against ASU.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Per former CGBear Trace Travers and Cal Rivals, there are five walk-on California Golden Bears who are no longer walk-ons.

Two of the Bears are in the offensive backfield. Despite Vic Enwere and Tre Watson having great performances in 2016 with ample playing time, RB Patrick Laird (R-Jr) is looking to break up that party and was listed in the post-spring depth chart as splitting time as second-string back with Enwere. FB Fabiano Hale (R-Sr) will likely be sharing snaps with Justin Norbeck behind the big man—Malik McMorris.

As with the re-debut of the fullback in the Justin Wilcox era, another position making a comeback is tight end. This is where R-Jr Kyle Wells has made some noise after spending the last two years with participation time in a handful of contests.

Let’s transition from the offensive side of the football with a player who was once on the offensive side of the football. S De’Zhon Grace (R-Sr) spent his freshman year as a starting wide receiver at Willamette—Go Bear(cat)s!—before transferring to his hometown school in Cal. Here, he’s played the last two years as a cornerback, nickleback, and on special teams. Another defensive back who earned a scholly is S Jacob Anderson (R-Sr) who came on hot late last season, in part due to a wealth of injuries, in his first year of eligibility at Cal. (No, this is not the same Jacob Anderson who plays Grey Worm on Game of Thrones, but I’m okay with getting some Westerosi clicks.)

Rivals is reporting that this fills 84 of our 85-scholarship limit for 2017.

Congratulations to these five who earned their scholarships after a helluva lot of hard work!