Day 1 of fall camp Monday went well, coach Sonny Dykes said. Tuesday was better.
“Today was a good day. I was glad to see us come back out and match yesterday’s intensity and effort,” Dykes said. “I thought at times it was even better today.”
Dykes was pleased with how the defense performed early in practice, and said the offense “did a great job of answering” late in the workout.
“It was encouraging to see both sides have success at times today. That’s really what you’re looking for. That usually means you’ve got the makings of having a pretty good team.”
The Bears will remain in helmets through Friday before holding their first padded practice on Saturday.
— Sophomore Jason Gibson is making progress in his transition from linebacker to safety, Dykes said.
“I thought Jason Gibson did some good things at safety. It’s a new position and there’s going to be some growing pains, but he made a couple really nice breaks on the ball,” Dykes said. “It’s been real encouraging to see.”
Dykes said Gibson has dropped about 20 points to 205 and brings a nice package of skills to safety. “He’s athletic — he can move around a little bit,” Dykes said. “Physically, he suits that position and it will give us some depth at a position where we really don’t have any depth.”
— No change in the quarterback battle involving Zach Kline, Jared Goff and Austin Hinder. “We’re still just kind of going with the plans in terms of giving those guys reps,” Dykes said.
Goff seemed to get more reps with the starting offensive line on Monday. Tuesday was Kline’s turn. Dykes said they’re trying to rotate that so that each candidate gets opportunity with the first O-line.
“It’s not an indiciation of anything, obviously,” he said.
— Middle linebacker Nick Forbes and defensive end Brennan Scarlett both sat out Tuesday’s workout. Forbes has a back issue and Scarlett continues to recover after surgery on his hand last spring.
Dykes seems more cautious than worried about either player.
“The thing you don’t want to do with a guy like (Forbes) or a guy like Scarlett, you don’t want to blow them up right now,” Dykes said. “You want to bring them along slowly, let their body get accustomed to practice.
“Those guys have played and they’ve showed they both know what they’re doing, so we’re going to try to protect them.”
Likewise, defensive lineman Austin Clark has a knee injury that will limit his practice early in fall camp.
— Left offensive tackle Freddie Tagaloa, who did not wear a helmet during Monday’s practice because he was recovering from an ear infection, rolled an ankle Tuesday and sat out the second half of practice. Dykes said he’d be “shocked” if Tagaloa did not practice on Wednesday.
— Dykes said running back Daniel Lasco, who practiced on a limited basis during the spring, had his best workout for the new coaching staff.
“He’s in better shape now, he moved better, was lighter on his feet. It seems like he’s more comfortable with what we’re trying to do,” Dykes said. “I’ve been really pleased with Lasco.”
Dykes said both junior Brendan Bigelow and freshman Khalfani Muhammad showed encouraging bursts of speed.