March 17, 2012
BERKELEY - The Cal football team continued its 2012 spring practice sessions under dry conditions Saturday at Witter Rugby Field in Strawberry Canyon on the Cal campus. The format was similar to last Thursday's first workout of the spring with the team once again donning helmets and shorts before moving to padded practices next week.
One of the highlights of practice came during a team session when senior tailback Isi Sofele burst through the middle of the line and seemingly a split second later was sprinting past everyone in the defensive backfield.
"He hit the holes today and popped a couple of big ones," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "The experience that Isi gained last year and the way he hits a hole now is night and day. When he hits that hole, he really hits it."
Sofele was not the only tailback that was impressive on Saturday at a position where Tedford feels the Bears will have excellent depth in 2012.
Fellow senior C.J. Anderson, the backup to Sofele in 2011, was one of those that continue to impress.
"The tradition and trying to live up to the expectations of being a running back at Cal," answered Anderson when asked what he loved most about Cal football.
Anderson also emphasized proudly that his weight is down to 205 although he is listed at 214 on the team's spring roster with those weights recorded nearly a month ago.
"C.J. Anderson looks great and has lost some weight," Tedford confirmed. "When he first came here last fall, he was overweight and wasn't in shape, but now he's in shape and doing a great job. Between Isi [Sofele], C.J., and those other three guys we're going to have some depth at that position."
"As soon as we can get the pads on, it's going to be critical that we can get those guys in game-type situations," Tedford said. "Bigelow didn't have a lot of that type of work last year, Ervin missed much of the season with injuries and Lasco did a great job on scout team. It's so important to find out what they can do, so we're going to take a good look at them."
"We've never really relied on one back," Tedford continued. "It's been by committee, sometimes two and sometimes three. If a third guy emerges, and I expect they will, then they'll be in the rotation. They're all really good players, there's going to be a role for all of them if they continue to improve."
Stay tuned next week when CalBears.com takes a more in-depth look in an online feature at the team's current tailbacks and also dives into the history of the position that has produced nine 1,000-yard rushers in the past 10 seasons.
Cal `s 2012 spring football practice sessions are scheduled to continue through April 21 as the Bears prepare for a return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012, opening the season at home against Nevada on Saturday, Sept. 1. Cal's seven-game home slate will also feature Pac-12 contests against Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference tilt against Southern Utah. Cal plays on the road at Ohio State, Oregon State, USC, Utah and Washington State.
2012 CAL FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
Day, Date - Opponent (Time, TV)
Sat., Sept. 1 - Nevada (TBA)
Sat., Sept. 8 - Southern Utah (TBA)
Sat., Sept. 15 - at Ohio State (TBA)
*Sat., Sept. 22 - at USC (TBA)
*Sat., Sept. 29 - Arizona State (TBA)
*#Sat., Oct. 6 - UCLA (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 13 - at Washington State (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 20 - Stanford (TBA)
*Sat., Oct. 27 - at Utah (TBA)
*Fri., Nov. 2 - Washington (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 10 - Oregon (TBA)
*Sat., Nov. 17 - at Oregon State (TBA)
!Fri., Nov. 30 - Pac-12 Championship Game (TBA)
Home Games in Bold at Memorial Stadium, Berkeley, CA; *Pac-12 Game;!Pac-12 Championship Game at Home Site of Pac-12 Regular-Season Champion); #Homecoming | All Times Pacific