Aug. 11, 2000
Berkeley - Head coach Tom Holmoe welcomed 32 newcomers to his Cal Football team Friday afternoon as the group officially checked in for the start of fall practice. The group includes 28 freshmen and four junior college recruits.
Those players will be joined by 73 veterans next Wednesday when the Cal team will depart for its annual 10-day pre-season camp at Cal State Stanislaus in Turlock.
The newcomers will take part in several practices in Berkeley before the vets arrive. Physicals are set for Saturday morning and then the first practices will take place at approximately 3:00 p.m. on the Witter Practice Field adjacent to Memorial Stadium. Other practices are set for Monday and Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. On Wednesday morning, there will be a final practice at 9:00 a.m.
Team academic advisor David Ortega reported that he expects to have all 32 players eligible for the start of the season. "We have two players (Marvin Philip and Geoff McArthur) who may have to wait a couple days before the practice until they get NCAA Clearinghouse approval of class credits that did not arrive on time, but we anticipate that will be just a formality," said Ortega. "Everybody should be cleared by the time we leave for Turlock."
Several of the newcomers are expected to contend for immediate playing time. Certainly the JC transfers fall into that category. In particular, massive offensive tackle Nofoaalii Tuitama (6-7, 290) will be given a long look by the coaching staff, as he's expected to push soph Mark Wilson or senior Rob Truhitte for possible starting duties at right tackle.
"I have high expectations for Nofoaalii, but it's a huge step going from the JC level to this level," said offensive line coach Ed White. "He looks like he's going to be fine strength-wise. However, it's going to take him a while to get to where he needs to be in terms of conditioning. That's something most of our new players don't realize until they get into our strength and conditioning program. It's hard to duplicate that on your own."
Included in the freshman contingent are 10 recruited walk-ons: Anthony Fassero, Andrew Zelinski, Jeff Anderson, J.D. Cafaro, Baron Ma, Murray Millson, Scott Macek, Mike McGrath, Randall Perkins and Seth Criner. Fassero, from Davis HS in Modesto, was a standout prep placekicker and is expected to compete for Cal's field goal duties this fall.
Below is a list of Cal's Camp Dates at Cal State Stanislaus.
Wed. Aug. 16 Depart by bus for Cal State Stanislaus at 6:00 p.m. Thur. Aug. 17 Begin daily two-a-day practices in Turlock at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sun. Aug. 20 First day in full pads - lone practice at 2:30 p.m. Wed. Aug. 23 Intrasquad scrimmage scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Sat. Aug. 26 Intrasquad scrimmage scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Sun. Aug. 27 Annual Cal-KGO Radio FunFest with Cal team at Kleeberger Field (12 noon) Mon. Aug. 28 Start of fall semester classes on Cal campus