Aug. 7, 2008
BERKELEY - The California football team completed its fourth day of preseason camp action on Thursday afternoon at Memorial Stadium. Thursday's session was the second in shells leading into Friday's practice, which will be the first in full pads.
"Today as a whole was very good," Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said. "The more [offense] you put in, the more mistakes you have, which is to be expected when you continue to install plays. Tomorrow, we get to be in full gear so it's going to be real football tomorrow. I'm anxious to see guys get after it tomorrow. I'm sure the energy and the tempo will be great."
Quarterback Kevin Riley saw his first action working with the first-string offense and had a solid day. The sophomore opened things up in no-huddle action with a long pass to redshirt freshman Michael Calvin and also connected with junior Nyan Boateng for a solid gain.
"It's practice, we'll watch the tape," Tedford said. "Every day's a learning process for everybody. He did some good things and some not good things, just like every day. The reason why you switch the [QBs] between first team and second team is to make sure both get good protection, someone's not always scrambling. You see how Kevin responds to the protection of the first group, and how Nate responds to the pressure with the second group."
In the first round of 11-on-11 action, Riley found Boateng who slipped behind the defense for a 67-yard touchdown reception. Not to be outdone, senior quarterback Nate Longshore found senior Sean Young on a similar pattern for another 67-yard score.
Longshore also hit senior LaReylle Cunningham in stride for a short touchdown in seven-on-seven action while Riley connected with junior Cameron Morrah and sophomore Jahvid Best for scores in the same drill.
Best continued his eye-opening camp with more examples of his superior speed and increased strength, including a nifty 28-yard cutback during 11-on-11.
Other offensive highlights included junior tight end Tad Smith collecting a deep pass down the middle for a score and redshirt freshman Peter Geurts busting into the end zone on a tough run after a short reception.
Defensively, true freshman Marc Anthony snagged his first interception in camp action, returning it for a touchdown. Sophomores Keith Browner and Michael Costanzo both made noise in the backfield and senior Rulon Davis continued to pressure the quarterbacks from his defensive end position. Junior Marcus Ezeff had a pair of touchdown-saving tackles while senior Bernard Hicks made back-to-back athletic efforts to knock away passes.
One true freshman with an added edge over some of his classmates is running back Covaughn DeBoskie, who continues to impress. DeBoskie, along with defensive tackle Kendrick Payne, graduated high school early and enrolled at Cal in January and took part in spring drills.
"Coming into spring, I didn't know anything," DeBoskie said. "But now, I'm starting to get the protections down and I'm starting to read defenses and know what's going on. I'm starting to build more confidence. I'm still making minor mental errors, but once I break those habits, I will be fine.
"My goals [for preseason camp] are to block better; I need to block the linebackers better and chip defensive tackles better. I also need to be more consistent. Coach Gould harps on being consistent in my runs and catching the ball."