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Five former walk-ons earn scholarships!

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Congrats to five faithful Sons of California!

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

With football right around the corner for the California Golden Bears, head coach Justin Wilcox notified five players that they would no longer be members of the team as walk-ons, but earned full scholarships.

TE Jake Ashton has played in a total of six games, making his debut against Grambling State in 2015. With the reintroduction of the tight end to the offense, there is opportunity for Ashton to see more playing time.

Alex Netherda’s career has been all over the field with his career progression chronologically being running back, receiver, running back, safety, linebacker, receiver, and finally running back—not to mention special teams contributions, as well. Netherda has played in 16 games and has a chance to earn snaps behind Patrick Laird in the offensive backfield.

Justin Norbeck is a transfer from Golden West College, classified as an H-back during the Bear Raid days and now a fullback; Norbeck played off the bench against the Washington Huskies.

CB Chibuzo Nwokocha played in 10 games with one start—which came in 2016 coincidentally also against the Huskies. Starting his career as a safety, Nwokocha also nabbed an interception against the Texas Longhorns in 2016.

The fifth and final member is WR Matt Rockett, who is also a member of the Mater Dei Mafia. As a true freshman in 2014, Rockett appeared in all 12 games, but had to redshirt in 2016 due to injury. Rockett’s career stats with the Bears include three catches, five tackles, and one blocked kick (which came against Grambling State).

Congratulations and best of luck to these Bears!