Holmoe Likes What He Sees

First spring football practice in the books.

March 31, 1998

BERKELEY, Calif.--Cal head coach Tom Holmoe said he was pleased with his team's first spring practice on Monday, indicating the squad seems far ahead of where it was a year ago.

"Everything seems to be a lot more in sync which is to be expected since we're entering our second years in the offensive and defensive systems," said Holmoe. "Players know the plays and know their assignments, so it makes a big difference. We're a lot farther ahead."

The Cal coach noted several individuals who looked sharp in their first outing. Below are his comments on some of the players...

"It was great to see how Dameane Douglas was making plays in the first spring practice. He looks like he's ready for a big year.

"Justin (Vedder) really has command of the offense, but Sam (Clemons) opens your eyes with his velocity. He threw an out pattern from the opposite hash mark that very few players could come close to. Because both Ryan Tollner (mononucleosis) and Wes Dalton (ankle) may be out of action for much of the spring, our top two quarterbacks will get virtually all the reps. That may b e good for us as long as we don't overwork them.

"All our tight ends looked good, Corey (Smith), A.J. (Kunkle) and Surge (Brian Surgener). That's going to be bigger part of our offense this year.

"Until we put on the pads, it's hard to really know, but I really liked the way both Langston Walker and John Welbourn moved around at the offensive tackle positions. John looks like a different player and that's probably a function of his knee being back 100 percent this year.

"I liked the way Deltha O'Neal looked at cornerback in the individual drills. He is just such a fluid athlete that he'll pick up things quickly. He doesn't look lost out there by any means. If he can emerge at that position, that could be a major factor for our defense.."

Holmoe said that he has moved redshirt-freshman Brandon Ludwig to offensive guard (from def. tackle) and that he will contend for immediate playing time.

The Bears will practice in shorts again on Wednesday and then will don pads for the first time on Friday afternoon. The Bears will scrimmage some in game situations at the end of Saturday's practice which begins at 2:00 p.m.

Cal will be hosting high school coaches from the Northern California area this weekend for the school's annual Spring Football Coaches Clinic. The featured speaker will be defensive guru Bill Arnsparger, former defensive coordinator of the Miami Dolphins and San Diego Chargers. The two-day clinic costs just $25.00 for those who pre-register and includes dinner on Friday night and breakfast and lunch on Saturday. Call 510-642-3851 for additional information.