Linebacker Chris Martin may have had distractions in the Bay Area, but it is also clear that Cal coach Jeff Tedford wasn’t happy with the incoming freshman’s focus on the team.
Tedford said Martin had distractions here, that the Oakland native was interested in hanging out with his old group of friends, etc. Whether it was because of those distractions or not, Tedford didn’t like what he saw from the highly regarded linebacker so far.
“There wasn’t a lot of dedication to football and school and things like that, things that everybody else had,” Tedford said. “I wanted to make sure he can go where he wants to go to be happy, but the rest of our guys want to be here and be completely focused on what they are doing.”
Tedford said he didn’t think this would be a concern when Martin committed to Cal, but it was obvious when he arrived for the summer that there could be a problem.
“He didn’t want to be here. There were a lot of distractions going on with him,” Tedford said. “I wasn’t interested in distractions. It’s one thing for a guy to be homesick. That’s different than saying, ‘I don’t want to be here. Certain things around me are bringing me down.’ It was evident he didn’t want to be here. He wanted to do other things.”
Martin and Cecil Whiteside, who will grayshirt this season, were two of Cal’s incoming freshmen who could have made a push for significant playing time right away. But Tedford deflected any negative impact their loss might have on the defense.
“We wanted to see how they were going to fit into the mix,” he said. “They weren’t penciled in as starters anywhere, that’s for sure. They were coming with the idea that they would compete.”