Friday practice

The Bears held their first spring practice in shells Friday — helmets and shoulder pads — which meant they hit each other for the first time. You could tell it was something the players were looking forward to because it was a very lively practice.

The defense had a good day as the offense struggled to move the ball. One player who stood out was defensive end Rulon Davis, who played with his usual enthusiasm and passion.

Defensive end Cameron Jordan looks like he could be a real force next season. Already blessed with rare athleticism, Jordan looks as though he’s put on a great deal of muscle since the end of the season. He no longer looks like an undersized defensive end, and the extra weight doesn’t seem to have affected his athleticism. When lineman run sprints at the end of practice, he still blows the competition away.

Freshman running back Covaughn DeBoskie didn’t practice much because he’s recovering from a bladder infection. Jahvid Best continued to do almost strictly individual drills, and he participated in punt return drills as well.

Neither Nate Longshore or Kevin Riley separated himself. Riley was intercepted once during one-on-one drills while Longshore was picked off by linebacker Zack Follett, but it came on a pass that went off the hands of the open receiver, who should have caught it.

Speaking of Follett, he was wearing a yellow jersey Friday, meaning minimal contact. Coach Jeff Tedford said the team is going to have Follett in yellow a couple times a week to help protect his neck, which he has had problems with the past few years. Follett missed two games last season with a neck stinger.

Tight end Tad Smith, who is being converted from the defensive line, continues to impress. After making a one-handed catch Wednesday, he made another nice catch Friday then bounced off a potential tackler and kept running. It drew a spirited reaction from his teammates.

Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory continues to rotate his players. He guys like Charles Amadi and Jesse Brooks taking some first team reps in the secondary, while starting cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson took mimimal reps.

Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu had an especially good day during one-on-one drills with offensive lineman, consistently beating his man and getting kudos from defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi.

Cal practiced in front of several high school and junior college coaches, who were on hand for a clinic the Bears’ coaching staff puts on. The schedule called for a dinner after practice, classes in the morning and then more observation at practice today.

One other note: At next Saturday’s Cal Day, where practice will be open to the public, there will be a surplus sale outside Memorial Stadium where Cal paraphernalia will be on sale for reportedly bargain prices. It begins at 9 a.m.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Jan K. Oski

    J.O., you’re the man with giving us lots of tidbits to chew on!

    (1)I know I presented this before, but it is worth a second post. Could the defense carry the team in the beginning of the season, while the new starting/every down RBs and WRs work to establish themselves? It will be interesting to see the spring scrimmage for which team might have the edge at this early stage.

    (2)Since you have mentioned Tad Smith on 2 separate occasions, is he pushing his way up the depth chart in reality and/or your opinion?

    (3) For those fans who doubted that Tedford ‘n Company aggressively seek recruits in our backyard, J.O. has presented one such activity of outreach.

    (4) Don’t feed the troll!

  • Rich

    Thanks for all the information J.O.

    Quick question that I’m not sure if you have answered yet:

    Do you have any information on the practice during Cal Day? Is it just like any other practice or will they possibly have a scrimage?


  • Papabear

    Kevin Riley and Nyan Boateng are gamers. Nate Longshore can only work from the shotgun in games and as the game goes along he becomes predictabe. Kevin and Boateng will be starters and will break PAc-10 touchdown record. Cal’s revision of Brady and Moss.

    07 Video footage of Kevin Riley and Nyan Boateng:


  • BigMamasHouz

    He J.O.,

    Are we going to get a Saturday report?

  • Anthony DiBianca

    Davis…..It seems like he is a pratice player. He plays well in practice but when the actual games begin…he gets hurt usually within the first 5 minutes of an early season game ………and then is out for the next 9 games. Would really like to see him do well…think he can be a force and help to give us a badly needed pass rusher…..but Rulon……please stay healthy and play in all the games…this is your final year.

  • Big D

    J.O.- Good job. Thanks for the coverage!

  • buddhabear

    J.O. does it look like Riley is getting a fair share of 1st team reps? It seems unfair to compare his performance to Longshore if Riley only plays with the 2nd string O-line and receivers.

  • MoreNCsarecoming


    Why won’t you comment on this article in the LA Times? This is newsworthy material concerning the program you cover. I believe your viewership deserves answers.


    Best regards


  • MoreNCsarecoming


    If you want to know I can tell you were your former #1 starting RB has committed to but you will need to promise that your readers won’t bash and trash this kid displaying various forms of unsportsmanship that has reached all time levels of embarassment.

  • fedupbear

    Amy seems even less coherent than usual … what did she just say? Something about your rb displaying unsportsmanlike conduct? Didn’t know that JO HAD a rb and what is the conduct that he displayed that was an “embarassment” (sic, of course).

  • PasadenaBear

    Breaking news…LA Times staff writer said nothing important. Hey Amy did you see this interesting article about USC football players at the combine (and their respective majors)…


    Sense you love to throw around the public welfare major comments I’m going to have to start calling you out for majoring in sociology. Maybe Amy is really Karl Marx!

  • PasadenaBear

    Why would Montgomery go to Wazzou? Guy talks like he’s leaving Cal to head to some huge football powerhouse, and now he’s headed to Wazzou?!?! I guess he doesn’t have to worry about playing in front of a measly 50K fans when Wazzou’s stadium capacity is 35K. Maybe Pullman is his type of town.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    PasadenaBear Says:
    April 7th, 2008 at 6:17 pm
    Why would Montgomery go to Wazzou? Guy talks like he’s leaving Cal to head to some huge football powerhouse, and now he’s headed to Wazzou?!?! I guess he doesn’t have to worry about playing in front of a measly 50K fans when Wazzou’s stadium capacity is 35K. Maybe Pullman is his type of town.


    HAHAHAHA! You are only now commenting on this. I knew about it early this morning before JO, bearinsiders or even the Wazzou board on scout knew. My legend continues to defy all of you. I will tell you why he wanted to go to Wazzou PB. It’s spelled BCS. He has a much better chance of that happening with WSU than Berkley. Dark clouds for you guys and many many more Las Vegas/Pointsetta Bowl games for you.

    Best regards


  • Jonathan Okanes

    Jan, I think it’s possible that the Bears will need the defense to carry them early, and maybe longer. There are questions on offense so Cal will need its defense to be much stronger than last season.
    I definitely think Tad Smith is opening some eyes so far. He has pretty good hands for a converted defensive lineman and seems to be a quick study. Cameron Morrah is the team’s best pass-catching tight end, but Smith is more physical, something that is appealing to the Bears.
    Rich, I don’t believe it will be an actual scrimmage, but will have scrimmage-like situations. There may be officials, too.
    Buddha, Riley was getting strictly second team reps before today, but also was going up against the second team defense much of the time. But now that Longshore is injured, Riley will get first team reps at least until he returns.

  • JJ

    “I will tell you why he wanted to go to Wazzou PB. It’s spelled BCS. He has a much better chance of that happening with WSU than Berkley.”

    Where can I get some of what you’ve been smoking?