Aug. 17, 2000
Turlock, CA - Notes from Cal Football Camp...
The Golden Bears had all 105 players in its Turlock training camp for both practices on Thursday, a major change from past years when up to two dozen players would straggle in several days late because of summer school obligations, due to a late Sept. 9 opener, Cal started its camp a week later this year which meant that summer school obligations were completed before the start of camp.
Only two players are not fully participating in drills due to injuries. Starting guard Scott Tercero is rehabilitating from arthoscopic knee surgery a month ago and is being withheld from contract drills. While his prognosis for full recovery is excellent, he is being brought along slowly and may not play in the first game or two, with the idea that he'll be ready to go by the start of Pac-10 action. In his absence, redshirt freshman David Hays will get a lot of reps with the starting unit.
Offensive guard David Hays, a redshirt-freshman from Liberty HS in Brentwood, has enjoyed a major transformation from the time he arrived a year ago. He's gone from 260 pounds to 285 pounds of muscle, thanks to diligent work in the weight room. He's improved his clean lift from 220 pounds to 330 pounds, his bench press is up from 355 pounds to 395 pounds, his vertical leap has improved 2.5 inches and his pro shuttle and 10 and 20-yard dash times are down by at least a tenth of a second. He's clearly physical enough to become an impact player and the Cal coaches are enthused about his potential. Now the task is to see if the maturity level of a player just one year out of high school is sufficient to be a major factor on the offensive line.
Pre-season All-America defensive end Andre Carter managed to elicit some gasps last week during pre-camp conditioning tests last week when he turned in a 4.08 in the pro shuttle drill, which tests the player's change of direction and agility. A New England Patriot scout who attended practice on Thursday, just shook his head when heard the time and said "I've been around for 30 years and I've never heard of any defensive end turning in a time like that." Cal strength coach Todd Rice said that Deltha O'Neal went under four seconds last year, but there's never been a lineman approach the time Carter managed.
Former Cal safety Damian Marzett is working as a graduate assistant this year under Randy Stewart, tutoring the Golden Bear safeties. Marzett went to camp with the Miami Dolphins, but was cut before the start of the regular summer camp. He has been approached by the fledging XFL as a potential player for next spring.
Juan Jiminez no longer has the longest hair on the Cal team. That distinction now belongs to freshman fullback/H-back Pana Faumuina, who has been impressive in pre-season workouts. It's one thing to have the pony tails or long hair flowing below the helmet on defense, where one is the attaker, as opposed to being on offense where defenders will grab anything they can get their hands on. "I'm going to talk to Pana about how much hair will be grabbed when he has the ball," said Jiminez. "I'll give him the advice he needs."
Keala Keanaaina will be used at both H-Back/fullback and tight end. He is working almost exclusively at the tight end spot, learning the techniques and plays. Matt Schafer is also working out at the tight end spot, having moved from offensive tackle. He weights 245 pounds, after playing in high school as a 270-pounder.