Aug. 26, 1997
Cal Sets New Offensive Line, Fullback
The Cal football team resumed practice on Tuesday in Berkeley and there was a new look on offense as the coaching staff has set its likely starting line-up as the team steps up preparations for the opening game at Houston on September 6.
The starting unit along the offensive line are John Welbourn and Brian Shields at the tackle positions, Yauger Williams and Kevin Swillis at the guard slots and Jeremy Newberry at center. That group averages 6-5 1/2 and 302 pounds and is, arguably, the biggest offensive line in Cal history. Last year's group averaged slightly more pounds, but wasn't as tall and was thrown slightly out of whack with 6-6, 350-pound Tarik Glenn -- who now is playing with the Indianapolis Colts.
This will mark the first time in Cal history that the Bears have had four 300-pounders in their starting offensive line, with only Brian Shields at 295 pounds coming up a little shy.
The offensive line starting positions were hotly contested during pre-season camp in Turlock and several players still are in contention for playing time. Included in that group are Kursten Sheridan, Kevin Doherty and John Romero.
Also working with the first unit during the Tuesday practice and now having the inside track for starting duties was fullback Joshua White. The sophomore transfer from Snow JC in Utah (originally from Hawaii) has parlayed a strong training camp into a likely starting assignment.
Key defensive lineman Brandon Whiting did not practice, but was running effortlessly on the sidelines which indicates he should be back late in the week from a bruised knee.
Cal coach Tom Holmoe indicated the team would not have any formal scrimmages this week, but would have scrimmage situations throughout practice sessions during the week.