My story on Cal’s two new JC defensive players — Derron Brown and DeVante Wilson after Friday’s first spring practice in pads.
Here is a statement from Brennan Scarlett, explaining his decision to transfer to play his senior football season at Stanford:
I have made many great memories here at Cal, with secial thanks to my brothers with whom I have had the pleasure to share my blood, sweat and tears. It is a brotherhood unlike anything else I have been a part of, and I am very thankful to them all. In addition, I would like to thank the Cal football staff: coaches, academic advisors, trainers, and doctors. I also would like to thank the Walter A. Haas School of Business and all of the professors and counselors. All of these people have been a fundamental part of my amazing experience at Cal, as I have always been supported both athletically and academically. Overall, I would like to thank the University of California, Berkeley community as a whole for four incredible years. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to have attended and to graduate from such an amazing institution.
As has been reported, I am leaving Cal following my graduation from the Haas School of Business in May. I have been accepted into the Stanford University Master’s of Management Science and Engineering program and I am intending to begin in the autumn quarter of 2015. This is a tremendous opportunity that I am very proud to have, as it is in alignment with my career goals and academic interests. It is a one year program that does not require prior work experience and allows me to potentially complete before I begin my life-long dream of playing in the National Football League. In addition, I also intend to play my last year of eligibility for the Stanford football program. Interestingly enough my brother, Cameron Scarlett, will also be attending Stanford as a freshman this Fall. This makes my intentions family-oriented as well, but the motivation is mainly educational and career-based. It is a unique fit that allows me to pursue my aspirations in the two equally important aspects of my life, football and academics.
I am not oblivious to the fact that my decision may not be taken very graciously by all. Regardless of the response to my decision, whether positive or negative, I believe it shows the passion that flows throughout the Cal community. It is a passion that I appreciate and will carry with me through my life journey.
Good luck to the squad. Thanks for the memories.
Cal will not stand in Brennan Scarlett’s way of transferring to play his senior football season at rival Stanford, interim athletic director Michael Williams said Tuesday.
“Cal athletics will support Brennan’s request,” Williams wrote in an email reply to questions from this newspaper.
The day after Cal football coach Sonny Dykes tersely confirmed that Scarlett will transfer, Williams took a different tone, offering the defensive end best wishes at his next stop.
Scarlett is expected to wind up at rival Stanford, where his brother, running back Cameron Scarlett, will be a freshman next fall.
Because Scarlett is graduating with a year of football eligibility remaining, he could play immediately at his next school. But he still will need Cal to sign a waiver, allowing him to make an intra-conference transfer.
Williams said the athletic department will grant Scarlett that waiver.
“Brennan Scarlett will be completing his degree and graduating from the Haas School of Business this spring,” Williams said. “We are proud of his efforts in the classroom and on the field (especially having to battle back from the injuries he sustained during his playing career).
“Brennan is a young man with tremendous character and has represented our program well. We understand he has chosen to pursue his master’s degree at another university and play his final year of eligibility alongside his younger brother.”
Dykes was a bit less gracious Monday after the team’s first spring practice. Asked about Scarlett, who has been plagued by injury the past couple seasons, Dykes said, “Gone.”
Pressed on whether Cal would sign a waiver to release him to Stanford, Dykes added, “Don’t know anything about it. Don’t care. Don’t know.”
Williams said he appreciates why Scarlett would want to make the move, even to Cal’s longtime rival.
“We, too, value the importance of family and understand that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for him to compete on the same team with his brother,” Williams said. “Brennan has a bright future ahead of him and we wish him the best in his new endeavor.”
Coach Sonny Dykes gave terse answers after Monday’s first spring practice when asked about defensive end Brennan Scarlett’s transfer, ostensibly to Stanford.
“Gone,” Dykes said, when initially asked about Scarlett.
Pressed on whether Cal would sign an intra-conference waiver, allowing Scarlett to make the move, Dykes said, “Don’t know anything about it. Don’t care. Don’t know.”
Hard to blame him. It’s a natural reaction, especially in the heat of the moment.
But what will Cal do going forward? Will the Bears sign off on one of their potentially best players transferring to their rival school? Should they?
I have texted interim athletic director Michael Williams, asking him if the university has signed the waiver or what it will do if/when presented that paperwork.
Sure, if Scarlett does end up at Stanford — as all believe — where his brother is an incoming freshman running back, the move makes sense from Scarlett’s point of view on a family basis. Who could blame him from wanting to play a season alongside his sibling?
Well, Cal fans will blame him, no doubt. You want to spend time with your brother? That’s what Thanksgiving is for, Old Blues might say.
Sounds like Dykes is in no mood to celebrate the family reunion, especially if it means the Bears might be lining up against their former player in the Big Game on Nov. 21 at Stanford.
Here’s the question: Does Cal come off looking petty if it blocks the move?
Or are the Bears correct if they decide they’re not helping their rival gain an edge at their expense?
Cal junior Tyrone Wallace said he doesn’t think most people expected he could earn first-team all-Pac-12 honors this season, but stressed he didn’t do it flying solo.
“It’s a great accomplishment,” Wallace said. “It just goes to show that with hard work you can accomplish pretty much anything. I mean, I don’t think anybody probably thought I would be first-team Pac. I worked hard.
“My teammates helped me get there, coaches trusting me also helped me get there. Just very appreciative.”
Cal coach Counzo Martin said he would have been surprised had Wallace not received the honor from the league’s coaches.
“I’m happy for him, he earned it,” Martin said. “When you’re in the top five in scoring, rebounding and assists in any league . . . that’s just a credit to his work and his ability to make plays.”
Wallace finished the regular season ranked fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.2), fourth in rebounding (7.3) and fifth in assists (3.84). No other player in the conference was among the top-10 in all three categories.
“What he doesn’t get a lot of credit for is transitioning into a point guard at this level against this type of competition,” said Martin, alluding to the fact that the 6-foot-5 junior played shooting guard a year ago. “To do it night in, night out, it’s not an easy thing to do.”
Wallace was home when he found out through social media that he’d made the all-conference team. He got phone calls from his dad, friends and former coaches.
“I’m happy to have that support back home,” he said. “It was a proud moment.”
More observations from coach Sonny Dykes’ after Cal’s first spring practice:
On redshirt freshman Addison Ooms, a 6-foot-4, 290-pounder, who got some first-team reps at center:
“He gives himself a chance to play because he’s so smart and can snap the football so well. That’s going to give him an opportunity to get reps and keep improving. I htought he did some good things today. I don’t think Matt Cochran is just going to let him have that job.”
On junior Dominic Granado, who is competing for the vacant right tackle spot:
“It’s hard to say with no pads. Thought his athleticism was good. It’s always tough to tell with the O-line and D-line when there’s no pads. You see some bursts and see guys move around good, and it catches your attention. We’ll know a lot more when the pads come on. But I thought he did some good things.”
On JC transfer defensive end DeVante Wilson:
“He showed up some today. Encouraged a little bit by what I saw from him.”
Here are three issues the Bears want to address during spring ball:
Embrace the possibilities
After improving from one victory in 2013 to five last fall, the Bears want more in 2015. The process begins this spring.
“I think everybody associated with the program is expecting better things,” Coach Sonny Dykes said. “We’re a program that’s growing up. When that happens, certainly you have higher expectations.”
“We want to win, but we have to get a lot better between now and fall. We know that,” said junior quarterback Jared Goff, who passed for 7,476 yards and 53 touchdowns his first two seasons.
“There were so many opportunities we had to be a bowl team and win seven or eight games last season. That’s the next step.”
If Luke Rubenzer really does wind up playing defense next fall — or anywhere other than quarterback — the Bears are in the market for a backup to Jared Goff.
Coach Sonny Dykes liked what he saw Monday from redshirt freshman Chase Forrest and incoming mid-year freshman Ross Bowers.
“I was pleasantly surprised with both of them,” he said after the Bears’ opening spring workout. “I thought Chase Forrest kind picked up where he left off from the fall. And I thought Ross showed a lot of composure for the first time out. I thought he was good. I was pleased with Ross, I really was.
“Good things out of both of them. Obviously, a lot of work to do. It’s really early and the first time either of them got extended reps. We’ll see how it plays out. But I thought for Day 1, it was pretty good.”
Cal backup quarterback Luke Rubenzer spent the first day of spring practice at safety.
Honest. I’m in Las Vegas covering basketball, so this was news to me, too.
Rubenzer said the coaching staff approached him a few weeks ago about possibly redshirting next season, likely because they didn’t want to use another year of his eligibility with Jared Goff as the clear starter.
Redshirting did not appeal to Rubenzer, who got a fair amount of game action as a true freshman last fall, giving the Bears a backup quarterback with running ability.
“I think it would be really hard to do that as much as I did last year. I think it would be really hard to sit out a year,” he told reporters after practice. “I just said I wanted to play.”
At that point, he explained, offensive coordinator Tony Franklin told him defensive coordinator Art Kaufman was interested in getting a look at him on defense. Rubenzer, who played safety in high school at Scottsdale, Arizona, isn’t sure his quarterback days may not be over.
“I just felt like I could help on that side of the ball a little more this year than I can on offense,” he said. “It’s not necessarily a 100-percent permanent thing. But I’ll give it a shot. Just try to find a way onto the field and find ways to win.”
I’m in Las Vegas for the WCC and Pac-12 basketball tournaments, but word from Berkeley is that senior defensive end Brennan Scarlett has been granted his release to transfer and likely is headed to Stanford.
Update: After Monday’s practice, coach Sonny Dykes confirmed to reporters that Scarlett has received his released and intends to transfer.
Scarlett, who will graduate this spring, has one year of eligibility year and is expected to be able to play immediately next fall. He would join his brother, freshman-to-be running back Cameron Scarlett, a four-star recruit from Portland, Oregon.
Staff writer Jimmy Durkin is covering Cal’s first day of spring workouts Monday and he filed this report.