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How does California look heading into the 2020 season?

We couldn’t be further from the 2020 season BUT LET’S START TALKING ABOUT IT.

California v Mississippi Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

We’re just a tad over a week past the end of the 2019 college football season, which means discussion on the 2020 season started about a week ago. Hell yeah.

A record 115 underclassmen have declared to be early entrants for the NFL—that’s nearly half of the projected 255 draft selections. As California Golden Bears, the good news is that none of the names on this unofficial list are Bears. This means that our top performers who still have eligibility will be back for another year—including Camryn Bynum and Elijah Hicks to help continue the legacy of the Takers. Cal Athletics discretely put the word out that they would be returning by featuring them in two Instagram posts to hype up the start of the spring semester.

The possibility of Bynum going pro early has been floating around since the end of the 2018 season, when Bynum and the Takers had their breakout season; however, according to Bynum himself, he “never really came that close” to leaving early, but requested an evaluation out of curiosity and for assessment and was not graded in the first or second rounds after 2018.

For the other returning Taker, the newly-released roster for spring football has Hicks listed as a safety rather than a cornerback—the position he played for nearly the entirety of his first three years here; Hicks experimented at safety for the Redbox Bowl due to Ashtyn Davis’s injury. If this position change ends up sticking, then I presume our depth chart in the secondary would be Bynum and Chigozie Anusiem at corner (our two Redbox Bowl starters), Joshua Drayden at nickelback, and Hicks and Daniel Scott at safety. Scott played in eleven games last year, but may be pushed by transfer Isaiah Humphries.

Speaking of Drayden, we’ve known since mid-November that the coaches were trying to get an additional year of eligibility for him, Luc Bequette, and Zeandae Johnson and this would appear to be a promising sign that we’ll get another year of them in the blue and gold—a huge asset for the team and the defense to have more quality returning players. And per Cal Rivals, Henry Bazakas will join that group by earning a sixth year of eligibility as well!

Unfortunately, the updated roster does reveal one departure—interior D-lineman Siulagisipai Fuimaono, who unexpectedly was unable to play for us last year due to undisclosed reasons. Fortunately, Aaron Maldonado was able to return to the team (after similarly and inexplicably missing early-season games) and Brett Johnson was able to quickly develop and seize the opportunity last year thanks in part to first-year coach Andrew Browning.

Browning will no longer by the rookie coach in Berkeley. The biggest rookie will be a former big ugly—Addison Ooms will be returning in offensive quality control after spending his first post-graduation year with the Utah Utes as an administrative assistant for the defensive line. In addition, we have three other new coaches on offense—Bill Musgrave as offensive coordinator and quarterback coach, Aristotle Thompson as running back coach, and Angus McClure as offensive line coach.

Last week, Cal Football also released the upcoming schedule—kind of an integral part of a football season. But the exciting news for our schedule is that Chris “The Bear” Fallica—a production coordinator for College GameDay—teased the possibility that they might schedule a 2020 visit to Berkeley for the first time in their show’s history. Honestly, I think ti’s far too early to pretend they have actual plans yet and that his tweet is any more than rabblerousing among the fanbase. With seven home games, there are seven possibilities—should the seven gods of the faith of the seven bless us with a visit from Rece Davis and Leland “Lee” Corso.

With so little meaningful information about the 2020 season, here’s hoping for a great 2020 season!

Poll

Less than a month removed from the 2019 season, how many regular-season wins do you predict for California in 2020?

This poll is closed

  • 0%
    Five or fewer—losing season, here we come!
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Six
    (2 votes)
  • 4%
    Seven
    (21 votes)
  • 20%
    Eight
    (92 votes)
  • 38%
    Nine
    (171 votes)
  • 22%
    Ten
    (100 votes)
  • 3%
    Eleven
    (15 votes)
  • 8%
    Twelve
    (36 votes)
439 votes total Vote Now