Football: Bears land 20th recruit

Cal got a commitment from Byron “Gentle” Williams, a 6-foot-3, 278-pound offensive tackle from Florence High in Florence, Mississippi.

The Bears now have 20 oral commitments from prospects in the class of 2016.

Williams had just one other offer — from Southern Miss — according to Scout.com. Mississippi State reportedly also was interested.


Football: Bears’ 1st practice begins at 3:30 p.m. Friday

Cal announced its training camp schedule, beginning with a 3:30 Friday workout at Memorial Stadium that is open to the public.

Fall camp runs through Saturday, Aug. 22, when the Bears will host a pair of fan events.

Here’s the schedule of practices that are open to fans:

Fri., Aug. 7 (3:30 pm)
Sat., Aug. 8 (3:30 pm)
Sun., Aug. 9 (3:30 pm)
Mon., Aug. 10 (3:30 pm)
Tue., Aug. 11 (3:30 pm)
Wed., Aug. 12 (12:30 pm)
Fri., Aug. 14 (3:30 pm)
Sun., Aug. 16 (10:15 am)
Mon., Aug. 17 (10 am)
Tue., Aug. 18 (10:15 am)
Wed., Aug. 19 (10 am)
Thu., Aug. 20 (10:15 am)
Fri., Aug. 21 (10 am)
Sat., Aug. 22 (8:30 am) … Golden Bear Day (1 pm), Pigskins & Pearls (3 pm), Pac-12 Networks Training Camp Show.

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Football: Brian Hamilton hiring is official

Cal coach Sonny Dykes, who began his career at the high school level, has hired Brian Hamilton from Concord High to join the Bears’ staff as quality control coach for offense, the school announced Wednesday.

“Brian Hamilton has been a highly respected football coach at the high school level and established himself as one of the brightest offensive minds on the offensive side of the ball in the country at that level,” Dykes said in a statement.

“We are excited that Brian is making the move to the collegiate level and look forward to what he will bring to our staff. Some of the top coaches at both the collegiate and professional levels began in the high school ranks and we think Brian has everything it takes to develop into an excellent coach at the next level.”

Hamilton, who directed the Minutemen into three North Coast Section title games the past five seasons, sounds excited to take this step in his career.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to work with some of the brightest and most gifted young people in the country as well as one of the top coaching staffs in college football,” Hamilton said. “I’m really excited to contribute in any way possible and grow into this role.”

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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.


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.”


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.


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


1. Oregon (37) ………….. 262 votes

2. Stanford (8) …………. 231

3. Cal ………………………. 174

4. Washington ………….. 129

5. Washington State …… 89

6. Oregon State …………. 60


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).



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.