Aug. 19, 1997
Newberry Impresses Coaches at Turlock
Cal sweated through a pair of practices in full pads Monday on the fifth day of the Bears 10-day camp in Turlock. The temperature rose to almost 90 degrees, but was still below the 100-degree temperatures from camp a year ago.
In the morning, the players battled in some intense head-on drills, with a couple of scuffles breaking out. However, the skirmishes were nothing more than the Bears letting a little of their aggressiveness spill over.
Along the offensive line, junior center Jeremy Newberry continues to impress the coaches, and he has clearly become the leader of the front five.
"He's a mean player," said head coach Tom Holmoe. "He likes to finish plays. He doesn't want to hurt people, but you'd better be prepared to play against him. He's going to be in your face all day."
The other line positions are a bit unsettled, but Cal's depth will allow line coach Tom Cable a number of choices to pick from. Junior tackle Kevin Swillis has been seeing some action at guard with sophomore John Romero also getting a long look at one of the guard positions. In addition, Brian Shields, Kursten Sheridan, Yauger Williams and John Welbourn are vying for starting assignments.
Senior tailback Tarik Smith continues to look strong on his recovery from a knee injury last season. As a precaution, he is staying out of morning practices, but is going at full strength in the afternoon sessions. Holmoe said Smith will definitely play a few snaps in Wednesday's scrimmage.
A couple of injuries on defene have left the Bears thin on that side of the ball. Junior defensive tackle James Gibson injured a knee and he will undergo an MRI exam Tuesday to determine the full extent of the injury, while freshman defensive back Chidi Iwuoma was taken for x-rays on an injured wrist.
On the up side, senior defensive tackle Brandon Whiting, who has a slight hamstring injury, is expected back soon, and he may play in the scrimmage.