Often, as writers, we have some great stuff that we can’t put into an article because of a lack of space. Here are a few things that I wanted to put into my article about Cal linebacker Zack Follett that didn’t get into the story that we are running Friday.
His feeling about playing defense over offense.
“I prefer defense. On offense, you really can’t make a play by yourself. On defense, sometimes it’s a matter of how bad you want it and how hard you are willing to go.”
On film study with Cal assistant Bob Foster.
“We study film … really study the opponent. If you study them, you can dominate them. We knew the plays (Oregon) was running before they ran them.”
Zack’s mom Naomi talked about last summer when Zack brought Desmond Bishop, Worrell Williams, Lavelle Hawkins and a few others to Clovis. “They were the most polite gentlemen,” she said. “On Desmond’s birthday, Zack, my husband and Desmond went boating. You should have seen these guys on inner tubes. They have such great arm strength that they can hold on when most people would have let go.”
Of course, that made Bob Follett drive faster to see if he could cartwheel them across the water. “I’m sure coach Tedford would have been happy,” Naomi said.
Mom also said, “Zack was a kid who always had a ball in his hand. He excelled in baseball but he thought it was boring. He wants to hit someone. He played every sport like a football player. When he was 7 or 8, he hit the ball hard, an in the park home run, and he hit the catcher so hard that he went flying across home plate. Zack got kicked out of the game.”
Zack and fellow linebacker Greg Van Hoesen have combined to make lifesize cutouts of the players. Zack does the wood work, cutting out plywood with a jigsaw and then Van Hoesen brings them to life with his painting skills. Naomi has a 6-foot-2 cut out of her son at the top of their stairs at home. She said everytime she goes up stairs, it’s like her son is there. “When Zack goes anything, he puts his focus into it. Those cutouts look so great. And Greg is a true artist. What a beautful job.”
Zack said he would like to cut out a Marshawn Lynch likeness where he is stiff-arming the Oregon player. He would get Van Hoesen to paint it and they could sell it at auction. Anyone interested in buying one?
Zack said he has run a 4.6 4-yard dash.
He has a sprained AC joint in his shoulder and he gets shot up every game.
On coach Bob Foster, who took over for Justin Wilcox.
“it was a big extreme going from one of the youngest linebackers coach to the oldest. Coach Wilcox taught us about defenses, Coach Foster teaches us how to be a linebacker. He teaches us tells and how to read guys. He watches the most film out of any coach around here. All those little things that he knows. He is the godfather of this defense. I had heard nothing but great things about him. Every situation, he has been in. He can always give us a story. He has got some wild stories.
“I want to be on the elite level, like an A.J. Hawk. I want to be thought of on that level.”