Aug. 20, 1997
Seconday Shines as Football Camp Passes Halfway Point
Cal's 10-day football camp in Turlock passed the halfway point Tuesday with the team going through another pair of 2 1/2 hour practices. The weather was unusually cool as the temperature was in the lower 70s by late afternoon and a few sprinkles fell near the end of the morning session.
Some of the day's highlights included a 90-yard punt by freshman Nick Harris and a pair of interceptions by defensive backs Brent Vartan and Scott Fujita. In fact, the secondary as a whole had perhaps its most impressive day of camp, consistently providing tight coverage and knocking down several passes, in addition to the two interceptions.
On the offensive side, tight end Brian Surgener made a couple of nice catches, including a diving reception for a touchdown in 7-on-7 drills. Surgener is enjoying an excellent camp, particularly catching the football. However, depth at tight end continues to be an issue as JC transfer A.J. Kunkle is still recovering from arthhroscopic surgery on his knee and won't return to action for at least another week. Freshman TE Corey Smith reported today that his sprained ankle is feeling much improved and that he hopes to be back in action by Tuesday.
Tailback Tarik Smith was held out of much of both practices Tuesday as the coaches readied him to work with the first team in Wednesday's scrimmage.
"We don't want to wear him down," said head coach Tom Holmoe. "He'll take plays with the first group in the scrimmage and get a number of reps. He's not tip-toeing through the line, and that's a good thing to see."
Cal tailback Brandon Willis had a scare in the afternoon practice after being hit during a drill. He was taken to a local hospital for precautionary reasons, but returned a short time later. The medical staff termed his injury a stinger and felt he could be back in a few days.