A strong day for the newcomers Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
Freshmen shined during Cal’s sixth practice of fall camp, led by defensive tackle Jacobi Hunter of Houston and running back Khalfani Muhammad of Sherman Oaks. Linebacker Johnny Ragin of Wilsonville, Ore., also had another strong day, coach Sonny Dykes said.
“Good to see those freshman get a little more comfortable,” Dykes said.
Hunter, a 6-foot-1, 300-pounder, has made a favorable impression more than once during the Bears’ first week of workouts. Same thing with Ragin.
And Dykes said the ultra-quick Muhammad, all 5-foot-8 of him, has a good shot at becoming a first-team kickoff return man.
“That’s phenomenal. I’m ecstatic,” said Muhammad, the two-time defending state high school 100-meter champ, who had a couple nice returns Saturday. “You’ve got to believe to achieve. I just want to come out here and try to get better each day.”
The offense, which drew criticism from Dykes on Friday, bounced back.
“The energy was better from the start, the focus was better,” he said. “We’ve kind of hit that point during camp where guys start to lose their legs a little bit and everybody becomes a step slower and the execution is not very good.
“We didn’t have a very good mentality yesterday. The mentality on the offense and the defense was a bit better today.”
That doesn’t mean Dykes is much closer to naming a starting quarterback.