Senior Brian Schwenke has played guard his entire career at Cal. In high school in Oceanside he was a tackle.
Now the 6-foot-4, 312-pounder is learning the center position and he’s wondering where it’s been all his life.
“I feel like playing guard I wasn’t doing anything at all. Center is so much more . . . I’m making the call, snapping the ball and then that guy is right there,” he said. “It’s tougher, but I feel like I’m getting a handle on it.”
Schwenke doesn’t even know if the switch is permanent. The Bears are a little short on centers right now, with Dominic Galas limited by a shoulder injury and Mark Brazinski now out with a torn left ACL. Sophomore Chris Adcock was snapping left-handed on Saturday after breaking his right hand.
Come the fall, it’s even possible incoming freshman Matt Cochran, a highly rated 6-4, 320-pounder from Atwater, could get a shot at the job.
For now, Schwenke is enjoying the new gig.
“It’s definitely good for me in the long run to be able to play both positions,” he said. “It’s a challenge — that’s what I like about it. I used to come out to practice not really worried about anything.
“Now I’m thinking all the time, learning new things, learning new techniques. It’s definitely put a lot more on my plate.”
Coach Jeff Tedford said Schwenke is adapting nicely. “He’s doing well. We’re messing around with his grip a little bit,” Tedford said. “He’s doing fine. He’s just got to keep working at it.”
Become adept and consistent at delivering the shotgun snap is new for Schwenke, who said when he messes up it’s usually because he wasn’t concentrating. “I understand why I mess it up. It’s not like, `Where’d that ball go?’ I know why it was a bad snap,” he said.
But Schwenke said getting blasted by the opposing noseguard is not an issue.
“I’m never worried about the D-linemen. That’s never been who I am,” he said. “I like to go attack them, scare them.”
Here’s how the first two offensive lines were arranged Saturday:
LT Tyler Rigsbee, redshirt Sr
LG Jordan Rigsbee, redshirt Fr
C Brian Schwenke, Sr
RG Geoffrey Gibson, redshirt So
RT Matt Summers-Gavin, redshirt Sr
LT Bill Tyndall, redshirt Jr
LG Matt Williams, redshirt Jr
C Chris Adcock, redshirt So
RG Alejandro Crosswaite, redshirt So
RT Brian Farley, redshirt Fr