Coach Sonny Dykes is beginning to see progress in one area the Bears must show substantial improvement — offensive line.
“They’re obviously a lot better,” Dykes said after Wednesday’s workout. “They know what they’re doing. We’re having some continuity in some spots. There’s a semblance of depth.
“We’re a year stronger in the weight room, a year more physical, a year better shape. There’s a lot of positives.”
Positions are fairly set at several spots, including left tackle, where sophomore Steven Moore has settled in to protect quarterback Jared Goff’s blindside, with sophomore Christian Okafor and junior Brian Farley dueling for the right tackle position.
Dykes said 6-foot-3, 310-pound sophomore Chris Borrayo has been “a stabilizing force” at left guard. Senior Alejandro Crosthwaite is starting at right guard and junior Jordan Rigsbee is the center.
But Cal awaits the return in fall camp of senior Chris Adcock (knee) and sophomore Matt Cochran (shoulder), and they could change the equation. Both will get the chance to compete at center and/or guard.
Redshirt freshman Aaron Cochran, a massive 6-8, 355-pounder, has shown glimpses of his significant potential. “He’s the unknown,” Dykes said.
“It’s got a chance to be a group that’s going to play tough and develop some continuity if we can get some depth issues sorted out,” Dykes said.
Junior Kyle Boehm, moved to wide receiver last fall, is back at quarterback. How much he gets the chance to play next fall is up to him.
Boehm figures to be the No. 3 quarterback, behind Goff and Austin Hinder. He gives the Bears a running threat at the position, but Dykes said he must prove he can do more than that to get time on the field.
“We want him to develop a little bit more as a quarterback, run a little bit of traditional offense for him so when he goes in the game it’s not always going to be a quarterback run,” Dykes said. “We need him to be able to take charge of a huddle, do all the things a quarterback needs to do. Then we can feel comfortable with him.”
Asked if the coaching staff intends to develop a package of plays specific to Boehm’s skillset, Dykes said, “We’ll see. He needs to perform well enough for us to come up with a package.”
Redshirt freshman Caleb Coleman of Berkeley’s St. Mary’s HS has made the switch from wide receiver to cornerback. So far, so good.
“He’s working hard. It’s obviously new to him,” Dykes said. “He’s a really good athlete. He can run, he can change direction, he’s eager. At times it’s a little overwhelming for him just because it’s new.
“It’s a pretty big position switch for him. It’s a work in progress. I think he’s got a lot of upside. How quickly (he’s ready to play), it’s hard to say right now.”
Sophomore DT Jacobi Hunter has missed the past two practices due to personal issues, Dykes said, and is likely to miss another couple.