The losses of Alex Mack and the linebackers get more attention, but the departure of fullback Will Ta’ufo’ou is a significant one. Ta’ufo’ou was one of the top fullbacks in the Pac-10 last season and was a key cog in the Bears’ running attack.
Ta’ufo’ou was an excellent lead blocker, possessed good football instincts and commanded respect from his teammates. Cal will have a hard time finding a replacement that will play at a similar level.
That being said, Cal’s coaches are enthusiastic about the possibilities. Brian Holley, who has been on the field a lot as a backup and on special teams, will begin camp as the No. 1 fullback. He had the best spring at the position. But coach Jeff Tedford started raving about Will Kapp during the spring and hasn’t stopped since. He gushed about him at Monday’s Bay Area Media Day, and even though confirmed that Holley would start camp taking the first reps, said Kapp had a good chance to win the job. Kapp, a converted defensive back and the son of former Cal quarterback Joe Kapp, has bulked up in the offseason and demonstrated good ability as a blocker during the spring. He’s also athletic enough to catch the ball out of the backfield.
John Tyndall also is in the picture. Tyndall has been a good special teams player and should push the other two candidates for playing time.