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Football: Training camp report — Aug. 12

Training camp is almost a week old and you can tell by the amount of red jerseys on the practice field. It’s usually about this time that guys start getting banged up, and there were a handful of players sidelined today. Most notable was tailback Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, who is out with a concussion and wide receiver Alex Lagemann, who suffered a hamstring injury. Coach Jeff Tedford said a handful of players were experiencing hamstring problems, and he said it might be because the dramatic change in the weather. It was much warmer Thursday than it has been in recent days.

DeBoskie-Johnson’s injury comes at a bad time for him. Isi Sofele and Dasarte Yarnway appear to be separating themselves in the race for the No. 2 backup job, and DeBoskie-Johnson can’t do anything about it on the field right now.

“It always hurts your chances when you’re not playing,” Tedford said. “It gives someone else an opportunity to play.

 Heading into camp, it had been speculated that at least a couple of the incoming wide receivers would play as a true freshman. It appears Tedford isn’t hesitant about playing as many as possible, because Thursday he said four of the newcomers would be part of the rotation if the season started right now – Keenan Allen, Kaelin Clay, Coleman Edmond and Tevin Carter.

“Those guys are going to be in the mix,” Tedford said. “They’ve created a lot of depth there. As of right now, I’d say the four of those guys are going to play. When you take Marvin (Jones), Jeremy (Ross) and Michael Calvin and Loggy (Alex Lagemann) and those four guys, now you have eight guys. If we had to play today, those would be the guys in the rotation.”

 Tailback Shane Vereen continues to sit out of practice but Tedford said Vereen will resume running on Friday. While there isn’t a sense of urgency to get Vereen back at practice – the team knows what he can do after watching him the past couple of years – the missed time could make him a little more rusty.

“We know what he can do,” Tedford said. “We’ve seen enough of Shane over the past couple years. But you still have to play football and have to knock the rust off at some point.”

 Other notes:

  • Middle linebacker D.J. Holt continues to be bothered by a hamstring. He practiced in limited fashion Thursday. Robert Mullins has been taking the first team reps in his place.
  • Fullback Will Kapp still hasn’t practiced because of a concussion. Eric Stevens has been taking the first team reps and has looked strong.
  • Freshman Dave Wilkerson has moved from middle to outside linebacker. Tedford said the move was made based on need.

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.

  • abe

    Cant say i dont feel for Deboskie cuz he is losing ground as far as the back up RB role is concerned and his injury doesnt help either. But then again Deboskie’s best chance to establish himself as a capable back up for this season was probably last year when Jahvid went down and Shane become the starter. He obviously didnt as evidenced by overwhelming number of carries that Shane was subjected to resulting in him being worn out at season end. i also cant say i am surprised that Isi and Yarnway are gaining grounds behind Shane becuase they both bring something different to the offense (Isi = change of pace, elusiveness, Yarnway = pure power, short yardage massacre) and that makes them more use full i guess.

  • Minotstatebeav

    abe, Debo was playing with an injury to his hand I believe last year when he became the #2 guy. Anywho, more depth at RB is not a bad thing.

  • rollonubears

    we need loggy bad. i can understand the concussions, and bruises and breaks and tears, but pulled hamstrings have got to either be the crappy turf, lack of conditioning, or both. these guys are getting hurt running routes? it just doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  • Shawn

    JO, how are the kickers performing? Is Tedford happy with special teams progress?

  • 66Bear

    Regarding hamstring injuries, the following link is to pretty thorough, but concise, description of the subject (although it discusses soccer/British football injuries). It doesn’t seem to point to turf or temperature conditions as exacerbating the risk. Whatever the causes, bad luck for the Bears. The only thing that’s not to like about college football is injuries and their impact on the players and teams. Go Bears.
    http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/hamstring-strains.html

  • rollonubears

    cool study. thanks for attaching that.

  • Tyler M.

    JO – Have you seen Langston Jackson playing any fullback?

  • rookie

    JO-
    I dont think you have said much about Riley. I am not interested in any QB competition, but I am interested in hearing if you think him and the WR are geling better than last year.

    As always great coverage

  • Bobby

    Rookie- JO can only report what he gets from observing practice for 20 minutes and interviewing Teddy/some players. He likely doesn’t get to see Riley doing much besides stretching and loosening up his arm. Considering Tedford’s close-to-the-vest interview style, JO probably can’t give us the kind of reporting he’d like to do and we’d like to receive

  • BlueNGold

    I am certainly no expert on hamstring injuries or sports medicine generally, but the perception that turf is a significant factor in causing such injuries seems very flawed to me. Most of these injuries occur during running or other leg movement. To implicate turf you would need to show that the running surface was unstable or somehow did not provide adequate traction. You would also have to show that use of natural grass or other surfaces did not produce the same frequencies of injury. I have not seen any evidence to suggest that either is true. I have seen a lot of baseball players get hamstrings from running the bases. If there were such data out there I suspect it would be a common topic of discussion in football and other field sports circles.

  • LR

    I have no idea what the above bag on Deboskie is all about. Whenever he touched the ball last year, something good happened. He averaged nearly 7 ypc and showed good power and field vision and at least adequate speed. In my mind, he was the clear #2 going into 2010. I’m sure he’ll be back in the mix when his injury situation is resolved. It would be ridiculous to keep a talent like that off the field.