April 17, 2004
BERKELEY - The California football team wrapped up its 2004 spring practice sessions with a two-and-a-half hour workout before more than 3,000 fans at Memorial Stadium Saturday afternoon.
The Golden Bears went through a series of drills for the first 90 minutes, then closed out the day with a situational scrimmage that included 11-on-11 and 7-on-7 sequences.
Head coach Jeff Tedford said he was pleased with the performance of his team throughout the spring.
"I was real happy that a lot of our young guys got the opportunity to take a lot of reps," he said. "Players like Noah Smith, Sean Young and Sam DeSa did a nice job and learned the pace of the spring."
Tedford was especially gratified with DeSa's execution, which included a 60-yard kickoff return, adding that he "separated himself at kick returner and wide receiver. It was great to see him healthy. He's very versatile."
On defense, Tedford singled out the play of redshirt-freshman cornerback Thomas DeCoud.
"He is a pretty special guy," Tedford said of the 6-3, 190-pounder. "He has the size and speed to match up with the bigger receivers in our conference.
With returning starter Aaron Rodgers sitting out all contact drills due to offseason knee surgery, senior Reggie Robertson and redshirt-freshman Cary Dove received the bulk of the work at quarterback. In live action Saturday, Robertson was 4-for-7 for 39 yards, while Dove was 4-for-6 for 64 yards and ran three times for another 25 yards.
Tailback Terrell Williams, who redshirted last year due to a knee injury, finished the spring with a flourish, rushing four times for 53 yards, including a 49-yard TD sprint.
Other highlights from Saturday's play were a 45-yard touchdown catch by Smith and an interception by Ryan Gutierrez.
Cal went through spring drills without a number of injured players - many on the offensive line - that forced the Spring Game format to be changed to the situational arrangement Tedford set up. However, the Cal coach said all of the injured players appeared to be on schedule to return in the fall, and he was confident they would be ready to go when the Bears report for camp Aug. 10.