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Golden Nuggets: Cal’s Secondary Is The NCAA’s Best (According to SI)

Spotlights on Bynum and Goode

Washington v California Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images


  • Despite having no four or five star recruits, believes Cal has the best secondary in the nation (which hasn’t been received well on social media from LSU fans...). Check out why Ross Dellenger believes Cal has been able to make a lot out of a mainly three-star roster.

How such an underrated group has climbed to the top of college football’s secondary mountain is a lesson in the ole saying: brains beat brawn. “We call it playing above the neck,” Bynum says. “I don’t think other people know what we know about defenses and route concepts.” That white board in Bynum’s living room is at the center of it all, but so is the system in which they play. Head coach Justin Wilcox is a defensive guru who’s coordinated suffocating defenses at Boise State, Washington and Wisconsin. In keeping with the theme of this story, at the heart of Wilcox’s scheme is “smart football,” Bynum says. Wilcox humbly rejects any responsibility. “I’d love to say it’s coaching. We have a good system and coach it right, but it’s the guys,” he says. “That group of guys is different.”

  • Speaking of Bynum (the man featured in the article photo), he explains why the defense can’t be complacent because of last year’s success.

Last season, Bynum used his long arms, cover speed and eyes for the ball to emerge as the Golden Bears’ top island option – the cornerback who trapped the opponents’ top wideout and forced quarterbacks to throw away from his side.

Yet, Bynum still absorbs new fundamentals on 2227 Piedmont Avenue on the Berkeley campus. He gets new teachings from his coaches.

“Our coaches go to different coaching clinics or they visit different pro teams and they bring back different nuggets for us to learn from,” Bynum said. “We’re always adding to our game.”

  • If he can play a full season after two injuries, Cam Goode could be one of Cal’s best players, according to Nam.
  • Golden Bear Report spoke with RB coach Nick Edwards about the depth chart and how practices have been going.


  • Volleyball is back in camp, and new coach Sam Crosson likes what he’s seeing so far. There are lots of expectations for the team to end their recent stretch of losing seasons and finally get back to the postseason.
  • With immigration in the national conversation, Cal Sports Quarterly published this article earlier this summer on former Cal track star, and Dreamer, Ivan Gonzalez.

¡Vamos Osos!