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Football: Who will be Cal’s captains?

Coach Sonny Dykes said players will vote Saturday to determine team captains.

Dykes and his assistants will consider the votes, and choose those who are consensus picks on the ballots. There could be two captains. Could be five or six.

They likely will be announced Sunday.

Here’s my guess: Jared Goff, Daniel Lasco, Jordan Rigsbee, Stefan McClure and Mustafa Jalil. Should I also include Bryce Treggs?

Who do you think should get the assignment?

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Football: Carter convinced coaching is his passion

When he was a player for 13 seasons in the NFL, becoming a coach someday was not Andre Carter’s idea of a second career.

“Nah, because we see the coaches come in at 4 in the morning. I’ve seen coaches fall asleep in their chair. Some coaches have a cot in their office,” Carter said.

But Carter was on the field at his alma mater on Thursday, beginning his career in coaching as a Cal student assistant. Now 36 and two years removed from his playing days, Carter is convinced this is his calling.

“It’s a commitment and you’ve got to love it. For me, do I love it? I will love it,” he said. “I’m positive. I’m 100 percent firm this is what I want to do.”

Carter’s wife Bethany saw how he analyzed games he was watching on TV. His father, Rubin, also a former NFL player who went on to coach in college and the pros, recognized the same thing,

“Playing almost 20 years of football . . .at the end, I finally came to the truth of who I am. And that’s being a coach,” he said. “This is my passion.”

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Football: New student assistant Andre Carter excited to impact Cal players and finally earn his degree

Andre Carter, officially hired as a student assistant coach, said returning to his alma mater to complete his degree “has been a life-changing event,” and he’s excited to work with the Bears’ players.

“I feel I can impact the current players with the right way to play the game and the desire you need to have to be successful,” said Carter, who played 13 seasons in the NFL after his days at Cal.

“There’s no greater satisfaction than becoming a coach.”

Carter was the No. 7 pick by the 49ers in the first round of the 2001 draft after his career at Cal, where he was a consensus All-America defensive end as a senior and a two-time All-Pac-10 selection.

Carter, who will help coach the defensive line, enrolled at Cal earlier this year to complete his bachelor’s degree in American studies.

“Returning to Cal to earn my degree has been a life-changing experience,” Carter said in a statement. “I have already accomplished what I wanted to in football by playing at the highest level but there will be no greater feeling than earning my degree from one of the nation’s top universities.

“That’s why I’m back.”

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Football: 5 Questions heading into 2015

Five questions that loom over Cal as the 2015 football season nears:

1) Can the defensive secondary hold up?
No group of DBs in the nation had a tougher time last season than those playing in Berkeley. The Bears signed five freshman and two JC players to help in the secondary, but so far the starters appear to be three players returning from last year (Stefan McClure, Darius Wright & Darius Allensworth) and one returning from 2013 (Damariay Drew). There is better depth and, presumably, more talent. But this group is going to have to show it on the field – and not just against Gramling State – before most people will forget they surrendered an NCAA-record 42 touchdowns passes last fall.

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Football: Cal’s 1st fall depth chart

CAL DEPTH CHART

— OFFENSE —

LEFT TACKLE
Brian Farley (6-7, 290, Sr)
Aaron Cochran (6-8, 340, So)
LEFT GUARD
Chris Borrayo (6-3, 310, Jr)
Patrick Mekari (6-4, 290, Fr)
J.D. Hinnant (6-4, 290, So)
CENTER
Dominic Granado (6-4, 290, Jr)
Addison Ooms (6-4, 295, Fr)
Ryan Gibson (6-2, 280, Fr)
RIGHT GUARD
Jordan Rigsbee (6-5, 300, Sr)
Semisi Uluave (6-5, 345, Fr)
Benji Palu (6-0, 280, Fr)
Michael Trani (6-3, 290, Fr)
RIGHT TACKLE
Steven Moore (6-6, 305, Jr)
Kamryn Bennett (6-3, 290, Fr)
Vincent Johnson (6-5, 285, So)
QUARTERBACK
Jared Goff (6-4, 214, Jr)
Chase Forrest (6-2, 200, Fr)
Ross Bowers (6-2, 190, Fr)
Cole Webb (6-0, 180, Sr)
David Maaghul (6-4, 220, Fr)
RUNNING BACK
Daniel Lasco (6-1, 205, Sr)
Vic Enwere (6-1, 230, So)
Tre Watson (5-10, 195, So)
Jeffrey Coprich (5-9, 175, Jr)
or
Khalfani Muhammad (5-9, 170, Jr)
Lonny Powell (5-10, 210, Fr)
Fabiano Hale (5-11, 225, So)
X RECEIVER
Trevor Davis (6-2, 185, Sr)
or
Maurice Harris (6-3, 195)
Patrick Worstell (6-2, 190, Jr)
Brandon Singleton (6-0, 165, Fr)
Y RECEIVER
Stephen Anderson (TE, 6-3, 230, Sr)
Raymond Hudson (TE, 6-3, 235, So)
Bug Rivera (WR, 5-8, 185, Jr)
Kyle Wells (TE, 6-3, 230, Fr)
Aaron Austin (WR, 6-4, 210, Fr)
H RECEIVER
Bryce Treggs (6-0, 185, Sr)
Darius Powe (6-3, 220, Sr)
Matt Rockett (5-9, 180, So)
Patrick Laird (6-0, 205, So)
Z RECEIVER
Kenny Lawler (6-3, 195, Jr)
Jack Austin (6-3, 210, So)
Chad Hansen (6-2, 195, So)
Carlos Strickland (6-4, 200, Fr)

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Football: Few surprises on first depth chart but a familiar name to join Bears’ coaching staff

Coach Sonny Dykes released his first fall depth chart and also announced that former Golden Bears star Andre Carter will join the coaching staff as a graduate-student assistant after classes begin Wednesday.

Carter, a consensus All-America defensive end as a senior at Cal in 2000 who retired two years ago after 13 NFL seasons, is returning to campus to complete his undergrad degree.

Dykes is excited by what the San Jose-Oak Grove High graduate can bring.

“Where do you start? He’s obviously a heck of a football player, a great NFL player,” Dykes said of Carter, who played his first five NFL seasons with the 49ers and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2011.

“Probably most impressive is he’s just a good guy. A very humble person, just wants to help, loves Cal. A great role model for your players and the kind of guy you want to have around your program.”

Carter was a two-time All-Pac-10 pick at Cal and totaled 80.5 career sacks after being a first-round NFL draft pick. Dykes said the 36-year-old looks like he could still play.

“We’ll have to try to sneak him in a ballgame if we can,” Dykes joked.

*****

There were few surprises on Cal’s first depth chart, and Dykes said things will remain fluid at some spots.

He named junior Noah Beito the No. 1 placekicker after a training camp but said sophomore Matt Anderson will continue to compete with a chance to win the position.

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Football: Daniel Lasco gets some ESPN love

Who is the best NFL running back prospect in the Pac-12 right now?

ESPN draft analyst Todd McShay suggests it’s Cal senior Daniel Lasco.

BTW, check out No. 5 on the list — Sonny Dykes coached him as a freshman in 2012.

Here is McShay’s list top 10 running backs for the 2016 NFL draft:

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State*
2. Derrick Henry, Alabama*
3. Corey Clement, Wisconsin*
4. James Conner, Pittsburgh
5. Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech
6. Josh Ferguson, Illinois
7. Daniel Lasco, California
8. Devontae Booker, Utah
9. Russell Hansbrough, Missouri
10. Storm Woods, Oregon State

* – denotes underclassman

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Football: Citing Kenny Lawler, coach Sonny Dykes extolls value of Bears’ improved consistency

Coach Sonny Dykes talked about consistency in his program on Monday, initially focusing on the progress of one player, then explaining how it’s critical to the entire squad.

“It’s really about coming out and knowing what you’re going to get, guys being consistent. That’s where we’ve grown up as a football team,” Dykes said.

“We’ve got guys who have made some plays in the past, but now they’re consistent football players. Kenny Lawler is somebody that comes to mind,” he said of the junior wide receiver, who led the Bears in catches, receiving yards and TD receptions last season.

“Kenny has made a lot of flashy catches and done some good things around here, but he hasn’t always been an incredibly consistent football player. I was talking to Kenny, and Kenny’s had 18 good practices and one OK practice this fall camp. That’s dramatic improvement.

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Football: Dykes lauds Bears’ effort in practice

Cal held a rare closed practice Monday, with coach Sonny Dykes afterward praising the performance of both his offensive and defensive units.

“Offensively, I thought we executed about as well as we ever have,” he said. “Defensively we were in position a lot of times to make some plays.

“We got as much out of today as we have out of any practice we’ve had up to this point.”

The Bears got work done in their two-minute drill, red-zone and overtime situations.

Wide receiver Bryce Treggs, slowed last week by a sprained foot, went full speed in the no-tackling workout and caught a 41-yard touchdown pass from Jared Goff in 7-on-7.

Dykes said the offensive line has performed as well the past 4-5 practices as anytime since he got to Cal.

He noted that redshirt freshman Kam Bennett has been moved from guard to tackle and is competing with Vinnie Johnson for the No. 4 spot. Also, freshman Patrick Mekari is pushing for the No. 4 guard spot, behind classmate Semisis Uluave, who has established himself as the likely No. 3.

The duel between Noah Beito and Matt Anderson for the starting placekicker job remains too close to call, Dykes said, and the Bears punting game continue to need improvement.

*****

 The Bears will hold an open practice Tuesday, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

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Football: Four-star wide receiver picks Bears

The Bears got perhaps their biggest recruiting news of the year on Monday when Jordan Duncan, rated a four-star wide receiver by Rivals, announced via Twitter he will attend Cal next fall.

“It’s Official! I AM A CAL BEAR! #CalGang16 LET’S GOOOO”

A 6-foot-1, 193-pounder from Oak Grove High in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Duncan made a campus visit over the weekend.

He caught 71 passes for 1,207 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior, according to Rivals. As a sophomore, Duncan caught 65 passes for 926 yards and 10 TDs,  reported the website RecruitingNewsGuru.com.

Duncan also plays safety and cornerback for his high school team, helping the Warriors to back-to-back state championship game appearances and a title in 2013.

The 22nd player to orally commit to Cal, Duncan is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com. He chose the Bears among offers from at least a dozen schools, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Carolina and Tennessee.