BERKELEY – Sophomore offensive lineman Chris Borrayo is already a key component on California’s offensive line. After making his collegiate debut last year at Washington on Oct. 26 and starting each of the team’s final five games, Borrayo gained valuable experience last year that will give him some momentum heading into fall camp and the 2014 season. CalBears.com had a chance to sit down and catchup with Borrayo after Monday afternoon’s spring practice.
CalBears.com: Do you feel any pressure having a large role on the offensive line as a sophomore?
Chris Borrayo: Since fall camp last year, from about the second or third week, I was with the two’s. So, starting with my first game in Washington, I felt like I had been prepared the entire way.
CB: How did it feel the first time you got on the field and made your collegiate debut last year?
Borrayo: I was really excited. In high school, I felt a little jittery because the guys out there with me weren’t as competent. But here, I know I’m with guys who are better than me or know what they’re doing. That helped me feel really secure.
CB: How much has playing last year helped you this spring?
Borrayo: My confidence is way up because of it. Since I was starting with the one’s last year, I had to learn all the plays and learn everything quickly. Now, I’m picking it all back up again easily. After the first three days of spring ball, I knew it was just fundamentals that I need to work on out here. I’m not worried about an upcoming game and opposing defenses. So I’ve been able to just focus on my technique.
CB: What’s been the toughest part about playing at Cal, on or off the field?
Borrayo: Academically is the toughest part for me. I remember after fall camp last year, I was still just in complete football mode until I realized two weeks later that I’m still in school at the No. 1 public university. So I had to start taking care of that and focusing on academics, as well as football.
CB: What are you working on personally during spring ball?
Borrayo: Fixing my stance for pass sets. Whenever [offensive line] coach [Zach} Yenser tells me anything about my technique, I take it to heart and try to change it the next day in practice.
CB: How is the offensive line looking in general thus far?
Borrayo: Overall, the o-line has a lot more confidence. There’s pep in our step. This year we know everything is the same in terms of what we’re trying to do, everything is clicking now. We’ve been working a lot harder as a result of that. There’s a lot of chemistry between all of us offensive linemen.
CB: What’s different about the offensive line this spring compared to last year?
Borrayo: There’s a lot more competitiveness. Brian Farley and Christian Okafor are competing on the right side. They’re both fighting really hard for it. They’re getting a lot better because of it. It’s nice. It makes you want to work harder. It’s not a bad thing.
CB: Where do you want your game to be, personally, by the time spring ball ends?
Borrayo: I want to be able to be confident enough where I don’t make any mistakes. I’m pretty confident with where my game is right now, but I want to keep getting better. I want to make sure when it comes to pass plays that I never get beat, and on run plays, I keep my feet going.