Aug. 6, 2011
(BERKELEY) - The Cal football team opened its 2011 training camp Saturday with a late afternoon workout at Witter Rugby Field.
"The guys came to camp in really good shape," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "I'm really pleased with the enthusiasm, the togetherness, how they are working. It's always bittersweet because they don't have pads on."
The practice marked the collegiate debut of highly-touted freshman tailback Brendan Bigelow and the first practice for Zach Maynard since the transfer from Buffalo was named the team's starting quarterback last May following spring workouts.
"He looked really good, he looked smooth," Tedford said of Bigelow. "In drill work, we're watching him very closely and he looked very smooth. He looked 100 percent."
Bigelow was listed as high as the nation's No. 13 running back recruit in the preseason by Athlon despite suffering a knee injury that caused him to miss his entire senior season at Central East High School in Fresno. As a junior, he rushed for an even 1,000 yards on only 87 carries (11.5 ypr) with 14 touchdowns on the ground.
"I was just staying positive and making sure I had a clear mind going into it," Bigelow said after his first official football practice in a year and a half. "I feel faster with all the rehabbing stuff and just feeling confident with my speed and making sure everything feels good. I feel like I have an extra gear just waiting to come out. It feels nice. It's been a while since I've put on the helmet and pads, but it was definitely a good feeling. I'm at 100% and I feel like I got a whole lot faster. Hopefully I can show that to everybody."
Tedford also assessed Maynard in his first fall practice.
"There was some first practice rust, but I thought Zach threw the ball with authority and did a nice job," Tedford said.
Maynard's half-brother, teammate and receiving target Keenan Allen also chimed in. "I thought he did really well, but me being his brother I expect a little bit more so he's still got a lot of things to work on," Allen said.
Maynard was complimentary of Allen and fellow wideout Marvin Jones.
"It's easy with those two out there," Maynard said. "They're like pro receivers. You throw it up and they go get it. We have a lot of guys that are going to step it up this year."
Cal's new starting quarterback also praised Tedford.
"He's the greatest quarterbacks coach that I've ever met in my life," Maynard said. "Every day is a lesson. I learn something new every day."
After playing the last 88 seasons and every home game at Memorial Stadium since the facility opened for the 1923 Big Game, Cal will host its home games outside of Berkeley for the first time in 2011 while Memorial Stadium undergoes an extensive renovation and retrofit. For updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium as well as the Memorial Stadium webcam, visit stadium.berkeley.edu.
Cal football tickets for the team's five-game 2011 regular-season home schedule at San Francisco's AT&T Park are on sale now. Cal will host Pac-12 opponents USC (Thu., Oct. 13), Utah (Sat., Oct. 22), Washington State (Sat., Oct. 5) and Oregon State (Sat., Oct. 12) at the venue after playing Presbyterian in its home opener on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Single-game tickets for the TicketCity Battle by the Bay at San Francisco's Candlestick Park against Fresno State on Saturday, Sept. 3 are also on sale now. The neutral-site season opener for both teams is not part of the Bears' season-ticket package.
Tickets can be purchased online for at CalBears.com or by calling the Cal Athletic Ticket Office at (800) GO BEARS.
2011 CAL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Day, Date - Opponent (Time, TV)
^Sat., Sept. 3 - Fresno State (4 p.m. PT, CSN California)
Sat., Sept. 10 - at Colorado (1:30 p.m. MT/12:30 p.m. PT)
Sat., Sept. 17 - Presbyterian (TBA)
*Sat., Sept. 24 - at Washington (TBA)
*Thu., Oct. 6 - at Oregon (6 p.m. PT, ESPN)
*#Thu., Oct. 13 - USC (6 p.m. PT, ESPN)
*Sat., Oct. 22 - Utah (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 29 - at UCLA (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 5 - Washington State (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 12 - Oregon State (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 19 - at Stanford (TBA)
*Fri., Nov. 25 - at Arizona State (8:15 p.m. MT/7:15 p.m. PT, ESPN)
!Fri., Dec. 2 - Pac-12 Championship Game (TBA, FSN)
Home Games in Bold at AT&T Park, San Francisco, Calif.; ^TicketCity Battle by the Bay at Candlestick Park, San Francisco, Calif.; *Pac-12 Game; !Pac-12 Championship Game at Home Site of Regular-Season Champion; #Homecoming