Football: Three newcomers added to roster

Three new defensive players have enrolled in school and will join the Bears for workouts beginning Monday, coach Sonny Dykes confirmed at Wednesday’s Bay Area College Football Media Day at Levi’s Stadium.

Cornerback A.J. Greathouse is a freshman from Chandler, Arizona, linebacker Jake Kearney is a sophomore from Livermore by way of College of San Mateo and linebacker Arthur Wainwright is a junior from College of Sequoias.

“We recruited them all because they’re very good athletes. I know they can run fast, physically they look good, they’ve been productive,” Dykes said. “How do they fit, what kind of shape are they in? We’ll know more Monday, but we’ll really know a lot more the following Monday.

“A couple of them will really jump off early, then kind of get overwhelmed and take a step back. So it’s really a week in before we can say we’re going to get something out of this guy.”


Dykes said he doesn’t expect sophomore defensive tackle James Looney to be granted a transfer waiver to be immediately eligible. A week ago he was hopeful Looney, from WakeForest, would be cleared.

The younger brother of 49ers offensive lineman Joe Looney is enrolled in school but will likely have to sit out this season.


Bay Area football media day: Bears anxious to see how defense looks with all hands on deck

Monday is not merely the first day of football training camp for Cal. It’s a reunion of sorts for a handful of the Bears’ best defensive players who missed most or all of last season.

Defensive end Brennan Scarlett, tackle Mustafa Jalil, linebacker Nathan Broussard and safeties Stefan McClure and Avery Sebastian combined to play just six games last fall when Cal’s defense surrendered nearly 46 points per game.

All of them have recovered from injury and they figure to dramatically improve the Bears’ defense.

“Seeing these guys in summer workouts, how strong and fast they’re looking, I think when we all get together on the field it’s going to be something special,” said Scarlett, sidelined all of last season by complications from a broken hand.

Coach Sonny Dykes, speaking at Bay Area College Football Media Day at Levi’s Stadium, shares Scarlett’s eagerness, but also is a bit anxious.

“It’s going to be fun seeing them all lined up out there. It certainly hasn’t happened yet,” he said.

Will they all be on the field for the Aug. 30 opener at Northwestern?

“That’s the goal,” Dykes said. “To have those guys out there, we’ll actually look like a good football team, a team that’s ready to play some good defense and have some experience and some size and some strength.”

Broussard, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in camp last August, has been moved from outside to middle linebacker.

“We think Nathan Broussard’s got a chance to be really good,” Dykes said. “You throw him into the mix and you can make the argument that maybe five of the top six or seven guys (on defense) didn’t play last year or played very little.”

Scarlett agreed. “I think Broussard will be a big surprise for people. No one’s seen him play inside linebacker.”

Jalil, highly rated out of high school, returns after a nagging knee injury that kept him sidelined all of last season. Dykes’ only up-close impressions of him so far came during 2013 spring ball.

“He’s like a phantom. You hear about him and you think he really exists, but you’re not quite sure,” said Dykes, beginning is second season in Berkeley. “In the spring (of 2013), the offense really had a hard time blocking him.”


Football: Pac-12 Networks `Training Camp’ schedules visit to Cal practice for Aug. 23

The Pac-12 Networks once again will send its football crew to every conference school during the coming weeks to preview each before the season kicks off.

Cal will be the final stop for the Pac-12 team of Mike Yam, Rick Neuheisel, Curtis Conway and Nick Aliotti, which makes its visit on Saturday, Aug. 23 — exactly one week prior to the Bears’ opener at Northwestern.

The series debuts on Tuesday, Aug. 5 at Arizona State.

Each episode will air at 9 p.m. on all Pac-12 Networks.

Click here for the full schedule.


Rowing: 3 Cal women capture international gold

Three Cal women helped the U.S. eight boat to a gold medal at the Women’s World Rowing Under 23 Championships at Varese, Italy.

Agatha Nowinski (stroke), Kendall Chase (seven-seat) and Lindsay Meltz (coxswain) and the U.S. boat beat Great Britain by nearly four seconds in the final.

Chase won her second gold medal of the competition after contributing to a U.S. win in the women’s four on Saturday.

Australia, with Cal’s Jacinta Edmunds in the seven-seat, finished fourth in the women’s eight competition. In the women’s double sculls, Cal’s Inger Kavlie, in the bow-seat, helped Norway capture silver.

On the men’s side, Golden Bears Louis Snelson (five-seat) and Aaron Wright (six-seat) helped Australia to a silver medal in the eight competition, and Cal’s Spencer Hall (five-seat) contributed to a bronze-medal finish by the U.S.


Athletics: Barbour lands on her feet

As you no doubt heard,former Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour was introduced Saturday as new AD at Penn State.

Barbour, who will receive a five-year contract worth $700,000 per year (plus up to $200,000 in incentives), achieved a lot at Cal. She said her problems in Berkeley were the result of her loyalty.

“What it really boils down to is I stayed too long,” Barbour was quoted saying the Associated Press story on her hiring. “Leading a program like Cal’s, like Penn State’s, in terms of a major conference and a lot of sports and a lot of moving parts, 10 years is a long time.

“If you look around the country, there are very few (athletic directors) that have that kind of length. Ultimately, it’s about having stayed a little too long, but it was about that I was loyal. I’m a loyalist.

“In the end, at some point, you stay too long.”

Here are stories on Barbour’s hiring from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Phildelphia Inquirer.


Football: Question of the day

Memorial Stadium drew a sellout crowd of 62,583 fans for Saturday’s international soccer game between Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

How many football dates this fall will attract crowds that size?

Certainly the Nov. 22 Big Game will be a sellout.

How many more?

The Sept. 6 home opener against Sac State on Sept. 6? Not a chance.

Sept. 27 vs. Colorado? Seriously?

Oct. 11 vs. Washington? Don’t see it.

Oct. 18 against UCLA? Hmm . . . maybe.

Oct. 24 vs. Oregon? Doesn’t count for this discussion because the game will be played at Levi’s Stadium.

Nov. 29 vs. BYU? An intriguing possibility. The Cougars will draw well, but how many Cal fans still will be interested if a long season to that point had produced, say, three victories?

Anyway, I’ll set the over-under at 1 1/2. If you choose the over, that means you believe the Bears will sell out the Big Game plus at least one more.


Football: Director says Lynch photo was staged

NFL star Marshawn Lynch of Oakland is being lampooned on the internet and TV for a photo showing his parked white Lamborghini protected by velvet ropes.

His people want to set the record straight.

The scene was staged, according to Mario Bobino, the director of “Family First — The Marshawn Lynch Story,” which concluded filming in Oakland last weekend.

“It was a prop for the movie,” Bobino said Thursday. “We did that.”

Lynch’s representatives reached out to this newspaper to “set the record straight” about the photo, which was taken from an upstairs apartment window across the street from where the car was parked Sunday.

Since then, the photo has gone viral on social media, and has been shared by websites including CBS Sports, Deadspin, Washington Post and NFL.com. Bobino said two Bay Area news stations showed it.

Click here to see the photo and the rest of this story.


Football: Pac-12 media day leftovers

A few more items from Pac-12 media day on Wednesday in Hollywood . . .

In all my running around Paramount Studios, never managed to post results of the annual media poll on BearTalk. Of course, you probably didn’t expect Cal to finish on top, anyway.

In fact, the Bears were picked last in the Pac-12 North, collecting 41 total points. That means only two of the 39 voters picked Cal as high as fifth place. Everyone else has them finishing sixth again.

Oregon received 37 first-place votes to easily outdistance Stanford for the top spot in the North, followed by Washington, Oregon State and Washington State.

UCLA got 37 first-place votes to top USC in the South division, followed by Arizona State, Arizona. Utah and Colorado.

Twenty-four voters picked Oregon to win the Pac-12 title game, with 13 votes going to UCLA. One voter each picked Stanford and USC.


Cal coach Sonny Dykes said senior Chris Adcock, who missed the final eight games last season with a knee injury, likely will regain his starting center spot. Adcock is expected to be eased into workouts, beginning Aug. 4, but Dykes said he should be ready to play the Aug. 30 opener at Northwestern.

That will allow junior Jordan Rigsbee, who finished last season at center, to shift to right tackle, where no one has stepped forward to secure the position.

If everything falls into place, here is Cal’s projected O-line: LT Steven Moore, LG Chris Borrayo, C Chris Adcock, RG Alejandro Crosthwaite, RT Jordan Rigsbee.


Dykes said there is no word still on whether James Looney will be granted the waiver he has requested to be immediately eligible after transferring last spring from Wake Forest.

A sophomore defensive tackle, Looney would be an impact player for the Bears, Dykes said, if available.


Looney’s presence would be doubly important because, as I reported last week, Dykes confirmed that sophomore DT Jacobi Hunter has left Cal. Hunter was married earlier this year and will play at a small school in his home state of Texas.


Pac-12 media day: No DirecTV deal near

There likely will be no agreement between the Pac-12 Networks and DirecTV for the third straight football season, conference commissioner Larry Scott said.

“There is no latest, unfortunately. It looks very unlikely under the present ownership of DirecTV that they’re going to carry us,” Scott during Wednesday’s Pac-12 football media day at Paramount Studios.

AT&T announced in May its intention to purchase DirecTV in a $48.5-billion deal that is not yet finalized.

“I’m much more hopeful that when AT&T buys DirecTV we’ll have different kinds of discussions and outcomes,” Scott said.

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Football: Stefan McClure embraces safety role, but Bears need others to develop at cornerback

It says a lot about Cal’s troubles in the defensive secondary that a player who missed half of last season due to injury and now is playing a new position is the unit’s key man.

Junior Stefan McClure, who played five games last season before suffering a season-ending knee injury, has been shifted from cornerback to safety in a position group with lots of moving parts.

Whether the Bears can afford to keep McClure there depends on how others develop at corner.

“I like the depth on our football team,” coach Sonny Dykes said Wednesday during Pac-12 media day at Paramount Studios. “But the secondary is still one part of our team that we still don’t have as many bodies that are ready to play as we need to.”

McClure had sufficiently recovered from surgery to repair a torn meniscus that he was able to participate in spring ball. That allowed him to learn a new system under first-year defensive coordinator Art Kaufman and new defensive backs coach Greg Burns.

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