Football: Depth chart

Cal released its depth chart today for the season-opener. It can be found here.

A couple of highlights:

  • Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson, for now, has held off C.J. Anderson for the backup running back spot. It wouldn’t be a total shock if each got some time spelling Isi Sofele on Saturday.
  • With Spencer Ladner still sidelined, Spencer Hagan has moved up to the No. 2 spot at tight end.
  • True freshman Mustafa Jalil obviously is making an impact at defensive end. He’s listed as the co-backup to Trevor Guyton, along with Gabe King.
  • Aaron Tipoti is listed as the backup at nose guard — not Viliama Moala — even though Tipoti has been out with a concussion.
  • Ryan Davis is the backup to Dan Camporeale at one outside linebacker spot, but it figures to still be competitive with Cecil Whiteside.
  • Freshman Avery Walls isn’t on the two-deep despite a good spring and training camp. Michael Coley and Josh Hill likely are ahead of him in nickel situations.
  • Marvin Jones will start the season as the No. 1 punt returner over Keenan Allen. Coleman Edmond is the top kick returner over Mike Manuel.


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.

  • Steve W

    It jumps out at you looking at this roster on paper that the success of the team this year depends on the play of the offensive line. I like seeing a line dominated by juniors and seniors, but questions remain.

    Can Summers-Gavin stay injury free and regain the nastiness and physical play he showed as a true freshman? Has Cheadle beefed up to handle some of the Pac 12’s more physically dominant D-lineman? (I still remember him getting pushed around like a ragdoll in a home game against Oregon State two years ago.)

    I am excited to find out on Saturday. If the run game gets stuffed up early in that game, it’s going to be a long season.

  • Calduke

    Anyone have a problem opening the link??

  • Uh Huh!


  • Uh Huh!

    I’m going to offer a hypothesis that we look rough to start the season, but start crushing later on after some new players on D make us holier than thou. Hang in there.
    And besides, next year’s D, and the year after that, will make USC and Oregon cry Uncle.

  • Raf

    Jones at punt returner? Is this the best spot for our #1 WR? He not exactly a “burner”. Doesn’t seem worth the risk. If your #1 WR is also the best punt returner in the nation (a la DeSean), it’s reasonable. Let a speedy up and comer show his stuff…

  • Larry

    Depth seems to be the issue. It sounds like the starting 5 OL are going to be good, however if one or two get injured it’s 2010 all over again.

    RB will be fine. Sofele will surprise people this year as will Maynard.

    9-10 wins is easily possible if the injury bug doesn’t bite.

  • milo

    The D has to play well and keep Cal in the game (like last year). The offense has to score points and win games. O-line is a big part of that.

    Riley wasn’t great but the o-line didn’t do him any favors (for 2 yrs. under Marshall). He seemed perpetually rushed by .5 sec.

    Let’s hope Coach M has the o-line ready. Maynard can run but he’s not a huge guy and P12 Ds are full size and fast. He needs protection and time.

  • calgrizzlybear

    yes zack maynard is not a big thick guy but neither is darron thomas up north and he seems to be fine … its all about the o line play … we shall see .. cant wait i sure hope we got that kill everything in sight attitude and show it win or loss show up every game no blowout losses

  • eric

    @8 – Darren Thomas has a great RB, a terrific o-line, good play-calling that plays to his advantages (see how many time he rolls out after faking the hand off) and a game plan that is so fast that defenses cannot react/switch players in time. That ain’t us (unless the game this season is radically different).

    I obviously have been quite critical of Tedford over the last several seasons, but I applaud being a little more decisive with QB situation (both starter and back-up) and willing to gamble with players. I agree with Raf that I wouldn’t use Jones as the punt returner. Avery Walls – what about him?

  • Sean

    That 2-deep was specifically for the Fresno State game. Maybe some of the freshman we expected/hoped to be on the list (Moala, Walls, etc.) will be on the 2-deep for the next game…give ’em some reps this week, see how they handle themselves first.

  • rollonubears

    5 days till kickoff!

  • ThisisCal

    What about Kaelin Clay at punt returner? I, too, agree with Raf, but I am more concerned about Jones getting hurt returning punts. Is it worth risking our #1 WR? I don’t doubt that Jones will do a good job, but let’s get some speed back there and limit the risk of Marv getting injured.

  • David

    Keenan Allen should be returning punts. He’s not the fastest guy on the team, but he is so elusive and shifty.

    KA Punt Return from Army AA Game:


  • covinared

    the most important attribute of a punt returner is catching the ball. Sounds like Marvin has the best hands for the job. When I was at Vanderbilt, the SJSU coach Macintyre did for the ‘Doors. He rarely did anything but make a fair catch, but I don’t think he dropped or misplayed one all year. Marvin can also run alot better than he could.

  • Terrance

    Allen or Clay should b returning punts. Time is needed for CJ Anderson as well.

  • Bears

    If the QB’s play well and inspire confidence and the OL is a solid to strong unit our potential is pretty good.
    Hope these two positions are ready to lead the program to a successful season.
    Can’t wait to see what this team is about and if our players are tough SOB’s.

  • rollonubears

    I hope we only need 1 QB this season. If MSG is healthy, I think the O-line will be fine. The guy is nails.

  • Mr. B

    @ Rollonubears:

    I agree 100% that MSG healthy is an amazing player. But for the love of Oski, unless you are Jim Cramer, “nails” is not a compliment anymore…that d-bag Dykstra has ruined the word.


    ps- just messing with ya! u r nails bro!

  • rollonubears

    any word if the plan is to aggressively rotate bodies on defense to keep everyone fresh? we seem to have the depth. not sure if that works as well in practice as it does in theory, though.