June 11, 1999
Berkeley - The Cal football team lost a reserve quarterback, but added a potential starter on the offensive line with the announcement today that David Page has decided to transfer along with the word that veteran offensive lineman Yauger Williams has recovered sufficiently from knee problems to resume his career.
Page (6-1, 190) made the decision to leave Cal after being unsuccessful in his bid to land the starting duties at quarterback for the Bears during spring practice. The Cal coaching staff indicated that sophomore Samuel Clemons had earned the edge in the quarterback battle following the spring sessions. With the addition of two highly touted prep quarterbacks in Ryan Boller and Ryan Sorahan, who will arrive this fall, Page was fearful his playing opportunities at Cal would be limited.
"We wanted David to come back this fall and compete for playing time, but he felt he would have a better chance to play at another school," said Cal head coach Tom Holmoe. "While this hurts our depth at the position, it also clears the way for the new players coming in to immediately contend for playing time."
Page played only three games as a high school senior at Service HS in Brandon, Mississippi before a neck injury ended his prep career. During his brief senior season, he completed 29-of-56 passes for 485 yards and five touchdowns. He played on Cal's scout teams last year while redshirting.
The loss of Page was balanced by the news that senior offensive guard Yauger Williams (6-6, 300) has announced his intention of playing this season. Williams decided to retire last summer due to chronic knee problems. However, a year off from football apparently has healed the knees and he has been working hard over the last four weeks to return to football shape.
Williams started seven games as a junior in 1997 and was expected to be one of Cal's top offensive linemen last season before he elected to retire. If he is as healthy as he appears to be, he figures as a very strong candidate for starting duties this fall at the right guard position.
He is currently petitioning the Pacific-10 Conference and the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility. Cal officials are optimistic that approval will be forthcoming.
"Yauger has been working out hard over the last month and all reports are that he looks great," said Holmoe. "Having him come back is a huge boost to the offensive line because that is an area lacking depth and proven talent. He will be a big factor for us this season if he continues to remain healthy."
Cal opens fall camp on August 11 in Turlock with the season-opener scheduled on September 4 in Memorial Stadium against Rutgers.