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Football: Senior Trevor Davis eager to return kicks a year after suffering concussion in scary mishap

Trevor Davis will return kicks for the Cal football team again this season, a year after taking two back for touchdowns against Washington State then suffering a scary head injury on a return against UCLA.

Everyone is on board, including Mark Davis, who called his son’s Oct. 18 mishap at Memorial Stadium “the worst 10 minutes of my life.”

Davis, a senior wide receiver from Martinez, said during Monday’s Bay Area College Football Media Day at Levi’s Stadium that he’s eager to return both kickoffs and punts for the Bears.

“No doubt at all,” he said, when asked if he had any offseason doubts about returning to that role this season. Coach Sonny Dykes said there have been no lingering effects of the knee Davis took to the head that caused him to momentarily lose feeling in his body and sustain a concussion.

“I just remember looking at my teammates, like, `Go get the trainer, like right now. I can’t move anything.’ Luckily it went away before I had like crazy shock,” Davis recalled.

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Football: Bears nab Houston LB prospect

Cal got its 19th oral commitment for the class of 2016 this weekend when Cameron Goode, a linebacker from Klein Collins High in suburban Houston chose the Bears.

A 6-foot-3, 205-pounder, Goode picked Cal over offers from Boston College, Iowa State, Kansas, Fresno State and Louisiana Lafayette, according to Scout.

Rivals ranks Goode as a two-star prospect, Scout does not award him any stars.

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Pac-12 football media day notebook: Matt Cochran’s dismissal leaves opening at center position

With projected starting center Matt Cochran’s dismissal from the Cal football team, the Golden Bears will begin practice next Friday unsure who will be snapping the ball to quarterback Jared Goff.

Coach Sonny Dykes offered few details about Cochran’s departure during Friday’s Pac-12 media day at Warner Bros. Studios. “It was a team issue,” he said, adding that the redshirt junior from Atwater was dismissed shortly after the end of spring ball, although it was not made public until this week.

“We came to an understanding with both him and his family,” Dykes said.

Four players are in the discussion, with redshirt freshmen Addison Ooms and Michael Trani currently listed 1-2 on the pre-camp depth chart.

Ooms is a walkon who impressed in fall camp last year but neither he nor Trani has played in a game. Senior guard Jordan Rigsbee, who has played all three positions on the line, could also get the call, as could backup tackle Dominic Granado.

Dykes said the Bears are not in panic mode about the situation.

“We’ll see who’s our best five offensive linemen and make position changes accordingly,” he said. “It’s not ideal. We’ll need somebody to step up. We think somebody will.”

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Damariay Drew, having revolved his legal problems following a May 2014 campus incident in which he assaulted another student, has been re-admitted to school and will try to regain a spot on the team as a walk-on, Dykes said.

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Football: Goff dismisses talk of Heisman, NFL draft as premature — attention focused only on winning

Cal quarterback Jared Goff, who passed for 7,481 yards and 53 touchdowns through his first two seasons, has just one goal for this season.

“We have to win, I have to win,” Goff said Friday on Day 2 of Pac-12 Football Media Days at Warner Bros. Studios. “This is the year to do it. We’re ready.”

Goff has been mentioned as a possible Heisman Trophy candidate, and ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. projected the 6-foot-4 junior as the No. 1 quarterback in the 2016 NFL draft.

“I’m very flattered by it . . . (but) I can’t think of that extra stuff until it’s over,” Goff said. “I need to win games this year. I want to leave a legacy of winning at Cal.”

Goff said he isn’t giving any thought right now about whether this will be his final college season. Coach Sonny Dykes said he’s not conceding he has Goff will leave before his senior season.

“I’m not resigned to that and I don’t think he is,” Dykes said. “I think he just wants to play football. When it’s all over with, we’ll sit down and talk about it and see what happens.”

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Football: Bay Area prep coach to join Bears’ staff

Brian Hamilton, who developed Concord High’s football team into a consistent winner, will join Cal coach Sonny Dykes’ staff as a quality control assistant, sources confirmed.

The position is part-time and is not included among Bears’ nine full-time assistant coaches. But it’s a step into major college football for Hamilton, who has served as the Minutemen’s coach the past 11 seasons.

Hamilton has a record of 81-48-1 at Concord, including 68-22-1 the past seven seasons. Concord won the North Coast Section Division 2 title in 2010, when Hamilton was voted East Bay Coach of the Year, and was the NCS runnerup in 2011 and 2014.

Cal has not announced the hiring and Hamilton could not be reached for comment.

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Football: Bar raised as media pick Cal 3rd in North

Two years removed from a 1-11 season, the Bears were projected to finish third in the Pac-12 North on Thursday in a vote of 45 media members.

Cal got 174 votes to easily top Washington (129) for third.

USC was picked to win the Pac-12 South and was a slight favorite over projected North division winner Oregon to capture the conference title game.

Stanford was picked second in the Pac-12 North.

The media has correctly picked the conference champ 29 times in 54 years, including 12 of the past 15.

Pac-12 Football Media Poll

North

1. Oregon (37) ………….. 262 votes

2. Stanford (8) …………. 231

3. Cal ………………………. 174

4. Washington ………….. 129

5. Washington State …… 89

6. Oregon State …………. 60

South

1. USC (32) ………………… 254

2. Arizona State (7) …….. 200

3. UCLA (6) ……………….. 180

4. Arizona ………………….. 155

5. Utah ………………………. 105

6. Colorado …………………. 46

Pac-12 title game champion: USC (21 votes). Others receiving votes: Oregon (17), Arizona State (3), UCLA (2), Stanford (1).

 

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Football: Projected starting center Matt Cochran no longer on team — and he’s not the only one who is gone

Junior Matt Cochran, who emerged from spring ball as the projected starter at center, no longer is on the Cal football, a spokesperson for the athletic department confirmed.

No reason was immediately provided. Cochran is still a student at Cal, the school said.

Cochran is among six players who were with the Bears in spring workouts but are no longer on the roster. An athletic department spokesman said coach Sonny Dykes would have to provide details Friday at Pac-12 Media Day in Burbank.

Obviously, this is not the kind of news the Bears need one week before the start of fall camp.

Also gone are sophomore offensive lineman Myles Bunte, sophomore cornerback Trey Cheek, junior linebacker Maximo Espitia, wide receiver Cameron Stevens and linebacker Arthur Wainwright.

Espitia (19 games), Wainwright (11) and Cheek (6) all had playing experience on defense, although none of them ever started a game for the Bears or was projected as a starter this fall.

A 6-foot-3, 295-pounder from Atwater, Cochran had played in 13 games with four starts in his first two seasons.

Cal’s current projected depth chart has redshirt freshmen Addison Ooms and Michael Trani listed Nos. 1 and 2 at center.

Redshirt sophomore Aaron Cochran, Matt’s younger brother, remains on the team.

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Football: Veteran defensive coach John Lovett hired to handle cornerbacks, completing Bears’ staff

Cal coach Sonny Dykes completed his football staff Monday with the hiring of John Lovett, who has more than four decades of experience in college and the NFL. Lovett, 64, will coach the Bears’ cornerbacks.

Lovett has coached in 10 bowls games and for seven seasons in the NFL, including the 2013 and ’14 seasons working with defensive backs for the Philadelphia Eagles.

“We are thrilled to be able to add someone with John’s level of experience and expertise to our coaching staff,” Dykes said in a statement. “He is a proven coach who has had success at the highest level of football.”

Lovett’s hiring allows Cal to have five full-time coaches on its defensive staff, with Greg Burns now handling strictly safeties. Dykes will take on the assignment of coaching wide receivers.

Lovett fills the coaching spot that opened when receivers coach Pierre Ingram was fired after an April 16 arrest for suspicion of misdemeanor solicitation.

Lovett’s previous college coaching jobs include Cincinnati, Ole Miss, Auburn, Clemson, North Carolina, Miami and Texas Tech.

Lovett worked previously with Cal defensive coordinator Art Kaufman at both Texas Tech and Ole Miss and said the chance to reunite was a factor in his decision to accept Cal’s job offer.

“I’m excited to be joining a Cal program on the rise and a tremendous coaching staff led by Sonny Dykes,” Lovett said. “I’m also looking forward to working with Art Kaufman again.”

The Bears begin practice Aug. 7.

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Football: Goff on Maxwell Award watch list

Cal junior quarterback Jared Goff was named to the preseason watch list for the 79th annual Maxwell Award, given to the nation’s top college football player.

Goff already holds 19 Cal school records and enters the 2015 season having passed for 7,481 yards and 53 touchdowns in his career.

Semifinalists for the Maxwell Award will be announced Nov. 2, with the three finalists unveiled Nov. 23.

Returning Maxwell Award semifinalists include Florida State transfer quarterback Everett Golson, who is looking to replace Jameis Winston, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin, Pittsburgh running back James Conner, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook and returning Maxwell Award finalist Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott.

Defending national champion Ohio State has four players on the list, including running back Ezekiel Elliott and three accomplished quarterbacks, Cardale Jones, J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller.

Goff is among 13 Pac-12 players on the preseason watch list, also including Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan, Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and USC quarterback Cody Kessler.