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Golden Nuggets: Scouting Football’s DL and WRs, Cal Gets Great APR News

A slew of awards from the past week all rounded up here.

NCAA Football: UCLA at California Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports


(WR) Spring Surprise: Taariq Johnson

Johnson might be the one to push his way into the starting lineup, regardless of if everyone is healthy. Part of it has to be confidence, as making the jump that he’s made doesn’t come with out. The combination from changing his body, getting more reps due to injury, and making the most out of those reps makes him a target for the future. Being a redshirt freshman, he’ll have time to improve on that potential as well.

(DL) What We Learned: Size Does Matter

Going into camp, there was one thing that stood out about the group. They were listed on the roster as bigger than before. In particular, Luc Bequette was up to 300 lbs. Gabe Cherry and Rusty Becker both went up to 280. Siu Fuimaono now has nose guard size at 305 lbs. Even Zeandae Johnson, who worked some with the team but hasn’t quite healed from the knee injury that took him out in 2017, is listed at 300 lbs.

That kind of heft is what this Cal team was missing a year ago, struggling against teams that had a QB that can run. Against Oregon last year, the defensive line got pushed off the line repeatedly, which led to a backbreaking 68 yard touchdown run on a 3rd and 4.

  • Althon Sports released their preseason All-Pac-12 teams. While no Cal players made the first team, there were three Bears on the second team in Patrick Laird, Patrick Mekari, and Demetris Robertson. Jordan Kunaszyk and Vic Wharton III made the third team. There’s a fourth team as well and Kanawai Noa and Steven Coutts are on it.
  • The Lott Impact Trophy watchlist is here, and Kunaszyk is on that as well! The award is given to the best defensive player in college football, on and off the field, and gets scholarship money.


Eleven teams received perfect APR scores. Last week I told you Women’s golf, Lacrosse, Men’s and Women’s Tennis and Volleyball were honored publicly by the NCAA. However, six others received 1,000 APRs as well: Beach volleyball, Men’s cross country, Women’s Basketball, Field Hockey, Women’s Swimming & Diving, and Women’s Water Polo.

Cal set a program record with 18 out of a possible 26 teams with APRs over 980.

Now about the revenue sports. Men’s basketball had a solid 970, equal to last year, both being 31 points higher than 2014. Football posted a 976, also a big improvement from four years ago. We shall see what happens if, god forbid, the Bears go 5-7 but right now there’s a lot of teams ahead of them in the APR.

Other Awards

  • Ella Annest was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Team in Women’s Lacrosse. Seven of her teammates made the honorable mentions list: Eliza Christman, Parker Garrett, Meredith Haggerty, Lauren Hickman, Kate Mattimore, Kirsten Swanson and Kendall Swenson.
  • Sebastian Crampton, KK Limbhasut and Collin Morikawa made the Division I PING All-West Region team. Cal Men’s Golf led the Pac-12 in selections and only Pepperdine also had 3 selections.
  • Before winning the championship, Cal Women’s Crew senior Mia Croonquist made the Rowing All-Pac-12 team.

Congrats to Cal Women’s Crew!