July 30, 1999
BERKELEY - The future of Cal Football brightens considerably next Friday (August 6) with the arrival of Cal's heralded freshman group of 20 new scholarship players. In addition, 12 freshmen walk-ons and six incoming junior college players (five of them on scholarship) will join the program.
After reporting to campus Friday afternoon, the group will be housed at the Claremont Hotel for the ensuing five days. The first workout is scheduled Saturday at 4:00 p.m. in either Memorial Stadium or the Witter Practice Field, adjacent to the stadium. Other workouts for the new players are scheduled Monday at approximately 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. and Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
The returning veterans report the following Wednesday (August 11). The entire team will bus to Turlock Wednesday night and the first full practice is set at Cal State Stanislaus on Thursday morning, August 12.
Among the most touted freshmen players to begin their Cal careers next Friday are Kyle Boller, rated by some recruiting services as the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the country, Bay Area Player of the Year Atari Callen and Hawaii Offensive Player of the Year Joe Igber. In addition, six different offensive line recruits will also arrive in Berkeley.
Also making their first Cal appearances are JC standout defensive end Johnny Jackson from Sacramento CC, defensive tackle Tim Pompa from Glendale CC in Arizona, and a pair of linebackers from Mt. San Antonio JC in Chris Ball and J.P. Segura.
The recruiting group as a whole was rated as high as No. 15 nationally by one recruiting service and head coach Tom Holmoe said he was pleased to finally get the new players in uniform.
"This is an exciting time for Cal Football," said Holmoe. "These plaeyrs can help form a new era of success for the program and we welcome them with open arms. We believe several of these first-year players will make significant contributions this season."
Holmoe hasn't seen any of the players himself this summer, but is anxious to see some of the freshmen his veteran players have commented on, after spending time together in informal workouts the last two months. "Everybody knows about Kyle Boller, but our older players keep talking about Joe Igber, Joseph Echema and Wayne Hunter," said the Cal coach. "It's going to be fun watching those players in person and observing how fast they can develop."
Cal opens the season on Saturday, Sept. 4 at home in Memorial Stadium at 2:30 p.m. against Rutgers.