Aug. 12, 2006
BERKELEY - One week of California Football camp is completed as the Golden Bears held their first double-session of the preseason on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Twenty-one days remain until Cal opens the 2006 campaign by traveling to Knoxville to face the University of Tennessee on Sept. 2.
The Bears worked out for 25 periods in helmets and shoulder pads on Saturday morning, then returned to the field in the afternoon for a 22-period session in full pads.
"The intensity was great," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "The guys are really practicing hard; it's fast-paced with a lot of hitting and it's very physical. I have been really, really pleased with the intensity of practice. It's still early; we have a lot of work to do, but the effort and intensity is definitely there."
The defense was very impressive in the morning, as the veteran unit tallied multiple interceptions. Then, in the afternoon, there were standouts on both sides of the ball. Senior cornerback Daymeion Hughes had interceptions in both sessions, while sophomore linebacker Worrell Williams and junior safety Thomas DeCoud each added pick-offs in the later session. However, it was sophomore safety Bernard Hicks who drew the most attention from his teammates after a pair of big hits forced incompletions.
"I was excited about [double sessions]," Hicks said. "I thought it might be harder than it was, but our conditioning prepared us. I try to take it easy [on hits], but my momentum makes it that much harder."
"Bernard is a really dedicated guy to what he is doing and he is a ferocious hitter," Tedford said. "I think he is going to be a great safety."
Offensively, junior running back Marshawn Lynch had an impressive and powerful run through the defense early in the lat workout, while true freshman tailback James Montgomery showed a burst of speed through the hole for a 65-yard touchdown jaunt. Senior quarterback Joe Ayoob hooked up with junior receiver Lavelle Hawkins for a 75-yard connection, the longest play of the day, while sophomore Nate Longshore flicked a dart to junior Robert Jordan for a 25-yard gain.
The season-opening game at Tennessee will be televised live by ESPN beginning at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific). The home opener for the Bears is Sept. 9 against Minnesota at 4 p.m. For ticket information, call 1-800-GO-BEARS.