Aug. 22, 2000
TURLOCK - Cal football camp notes ...
Cal will conduct its first scrimmage of fall camp Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. in Turlock. Among the areas head coach Tom Holmoe said he would be looking at are how well the first units perform. "What we'd like to see in some areas is some separation," he said, singling out the linebacker position. "We have about five players who are really solid on the inside (meaning J.P. Segura, Chris Ball, Jason Smith, John Klotsche and Matt Nixon), but it would be nice to see a few elevate their game and establish themselves as starters."
Holmoe is particularly pleased with his prospects at outside with a pair of players who add range to Cal's linebacking corps. Scott Fujita has shown no ill effects from the neck injuries that kept him out of spring practice, while the coaches believe Calvin Hosey could evolve into a true star during his college career.
Cal's offensive line, which Holmoe had called earlier in camp possibly the team's best since 1996, took a couple of injury hits Tuesday. Holmoe was visibly relieved on Tuesday evening when he received word that senior center Reed Diehl's injury from the morning was not a broken right hand, but more likely some damaged ligaments around a knuckle. The veteran competitor was pushing to be back out at practice by the afternoon, but Holmoe said he was in no hurry to put the key component of the Cal line back into action. "I was nervous for a few hours, because Reed is one guy we can't afford to lose," said Cal's coach. "Other than (Kyle) Boller, he's the one guy who makes the most difference on this football team."
The news on redshirt-freshman guard David Hays, who sprained a knee Tuesday morning, was more ambiguous. Results from an MRI won't be known until Wednesday, but with projected starter Scott Tercero out for another few weeks recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, the Bears are thin at that spot on the line. Tuesday, Chris Chick filled in most of the two sessions at guard. Also, Rob Truhitte spent some time there. Holmoe indicated he felt comfortable with the opportunity to develop options at that position, particularly after given the news that Diehl would be fine.
Cal also got some good news with regards to junior wide receiver Chad Heydorff. Originally thought to be out 3-4 weeks with a hamstring injury suffered Saturday, his progress has been better than expected and he could be back within 10 days.
Several true freshman are getting a chance to work with the first and second units and Holmoe mentioned several who are putting themselves in position to play this year. Among the first-year players are wide receivers Geoff McArthur and Chase Lyman, defensive end Tosh Lupoi and defensive tackle Jonathan Giesel. McArthur has been particularly impressive in camp, although he is wearing a soft cast to protect a bruised wrist.
Cal went through its first live place kicking workout Monday afternoon. Mark Jensen, who handled kickoffs last year, looked the strongest of the four players in camp. He hit on all four of his attempts from 27-yards out against a live rush. Jeremy Hershey and Tyler Fredrickson both made 3-of-4, while freshman Anthony Fassero was 1-for-3 (although he has been battling through a sprained knee and is not at 100 percent). Holmoe said he wants to keep the competition strong and isn't close to naming a starter.