With all of the offense fully healthy going into spring ball, who do you think makes the biggest impact from the players that did not play a full season last year? (e.g. D-Rob, Melquise Stovall, Ray Hudson, etc.)
TwistNHook: I am looking at Demetris Robertson. He was a great player two years ago and it is unfortunate that his year last year was cut short due to injury. A key part of the problems last year stemmed from injuries that minimized speed on the offensive side. He is key part of that speed that we need to excel this year. So, to me, I am looking at Robertson. May he stay healthy!
Piotr Le: Hudson. I have always been believer that a good TE can mean a difference between going 3/12 on 3rd downs and 7/12. With him back in the line-up and the rest of the guys having more time to learn the position, I think he will make a big impact as the safety blanket for any QB. He has the quickness and savvy to make best of Y-stick routes and can be a threat on seam routes. He also adds the ability to be a capable run blocker, thus his appearance on the line of scrimmage does not tip the opposing defenses about what type of play Cal may run.
boomtho: Cop-out answer: they’re all going to have massive impacts on the team this year (D-Rob, Stovall, and Hudson), if they’re able to stay healthy. My alternative answer: Brandon McIlwain may end up having by far the biggest impact on the team, assuming he wins the starting job. I know it wasn’t health that kept him out (but rather the transfer rules), but I think the answer still holds based on the way the question was worded :)
Nick Kranz: I’ve gotta go with Demetris Robertson. The most obvious deficiency of the Cal offense last year was an inability to stretch the field and make explosive plays. Cal finished 95th in S&P’s explosiveness metric, and I think Cal’s lack of a deep threat also impacted their ability to churn out consistent short gains, since the defense could safely play closer to the line without fear of being beaten over the top. Having a (potentially) premier speed/deep threat back in the offense might open things up in every spot on the field.
Rob Hwang: I’d have to say Stovall here. The dude is going to be a monster in the slot with all that space to operate. Imagine having Kanawai Noa and Melquise Stovall running crossing routes over the middle. As a linebacker, whom do you decide to cover? We didn’t have enough shiftiness and explosive ability after the catch this past season and he will definitely will bring some of that to the wide receiver corps.