Aug. 16, 2006
BERKELEY - The University of California football team held a pair of preseason practices on Wednesday in preparation for its first intrasquad scrimmage, which is scheduled for Thursday at Memorial Stadium. The scrimmage is closed to the public.
The morning session was a two-hour effort which featured spirited play on both sides of the ball, including the first goal-line situation drills of the camp.
"It was a good practice this morning, an excellent practice," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "I challenged the team today to come out and push through the dog days of camp. You come out here and it's cold in the morning and everybody's stiff, but I thought the team did a great job and the leadership really surfaced. We had an excellent practice."
The afternoon practice was an abbreviated 14-period session with the team working out in helmets only.
Junior running back Marshawn Lynch took some time from his busy camp schedule to sit down with CalBears.com to discuss his thoughts on preseason camp as well as what it's like to be seen as a Heisman Trophy candidate.
CalBears.com: How does it feel to be back in camp?
Marshawn Lynch: It's camp. It's a great feeling after being away from it for so long to get back into your football mode.
CB: What's your best memory from camps in the past?
ML: When I first came in, we used to run around the locker room and mess with all the older guys like Chase [Lyman], Wendell [Hunter], A-Rod [Aaron Rodgers], J.J. [Arrington], O.C. [Ryan O'Callaghan]. We had a lot of fun messing around with the older guys.
CB: What's the best part about camp?
ML: When we get to go to the water park. It's a little time to get away and get relaxed.
CB: What's the worst part about camp?
ML: 6:30 wake ups.
CB: What advice would you give to an incoming freshman arriving for the first day of camp?
ML: Come in with a clear head and with your mind set on one thing, and that's football.
CB: Is there anything you're going to miss about camp?
ML: The players. I miss the players from our previous camps too.
CB: During camp, what do you work on the most?
ML: Mental toughness. Striving to keep going when I have sore legs and sore shoulders and aches and pains, you still have to keep going.
CB: What do you think of the attention you are getting as a Heisman candidate?
ML: It's solid, but it's kind of weird to me. I never get asked how I am feeling as a person, rather than people just asking me as a "Heisman candidate."
CB: Do you like doing interviews with all of the media?
ML: I like to do interviews when they allow me to sit down and do them with my cousins or some of my other teammates.
CB: Who's your favorite football player in the country?
ML: My favorite running back is [Cal running back] Justin Forsett and I also like [West Virginia running back] Steve Slaton, but I have a new favorite player - [Cal redshirt freshman defensive back] Syd'Quan Thompson. That little guy, he's like a buck fifty and he comes down and lays hats on 260-pound dudes. I've seen him take tight ends out. That's my kind of player.
CB: What is your favorite thing to do on the football field?
ML: Throwing a pass.
CB: If you could play another sport at Cal, what would it be?
ML: [Despite Lynch not being a golfer] Golf! Just hang out all day and play golf.
Following the season opener against Tennessee on Sept. 2 at 2:30 p.m. (PST) on ESPN, the Bears host Minnesota in their home opener on Sept. 9 at 4 p.m. on TBS. For ticket information, call 1-800-GO-BEARS.