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fullback powering into spring

By jheater
Wednesday, March 7th, 2007 at 2:02 pm in off-season stuff.

Today I’ll take a look at fullback, but first a few notes.

One, I had typo the other day in the cornerbacks story that some of you have brought to me attention (thanks). It should have said that Syd-Quan Thompson does NOT shy away from guarding the top wide receivers. Of course, he doesn’t.

Second, Jeff Tedford met with the media on Wednesday to talk spring football. Some of you wondered why I didn’t mention Keith Browner the other day. I thought he was hurt, but I wasn’t sure. Indeed, he has had surgery on both shoulders. So he will be on the shelf for some time.

Tedford also said they are still waiting to see if Steve Kelly has been granted a sixth year.

Coach Tedford also said that while he is disappointed the stadium construction has not begin, he is confident they will be moving forward in the not too distant future. He doesn’t seem to be wigging out about the entire thing. He said his contract should be approved in a couple of weeks.

He also said that a delay in construction doesn’t mean the project still can’t be completed near the previous end date.

Now, about those fullbacks,

Will Ta’ufo’ou was forced into action in the bowl game due to Byron Storer’s injury. “He actually did a real good job,” said Cal running backs coach Ron Gould. “He saw significant action and he perfomed at a level we thought he would. There is a lot of snap to him when he hits somebody.”

The biggest thing with him is to show us that day in and day out he will play consistently, have that work ethic in practice.

Gould was asked if Ta’ufo’ou could handle the pass receiving duties that have been very important for Cal fullbacks. “He has soft hands,” Gould said. “Soft hands.”

Gould also said that Ta’ufo’ou’s makeup is perfect for a thankless position. He loves to hit and isn’t worried about the glory. “The first thing we ask our fullbacks to do is block,” Gould said. “The second thing we ask our fullbacks to do is block. The third thing is to catch and then we might just turn around and hand it to them. It is a thankless position. Rarely do you see a guy get glory for opening a hole.”

“Will has to learn the responsibility of being a starter and he has to keep his weight down. I would like to see him about 240-245.”

Walk on Brian Holley, a sophomore, is fighting for backup duties. “He’s a very smart guy and a hard worker,” Gould said. “He’s got to get stronger and he has to be able to catch the ball better. I’ve got to make sure our backups are ready to go this spring.”

Red-shirt freshman R.J. Garrett will get a long look in the spring. “He is in great shape and he has a physical presence,” Gould said. “He has to learn the system and learn to catch the ball better.”

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