Feb. 27, 2013
BERKELEY - Neither Jeffrey Coprich or Darren Ervin has ever carried the ball in game for Cal but both running backs are getting plenty of opportunities this spring. With injuries sidelining Brendan Bigelow and Daniel Lasco, many of the running back repetitions are going to the duo.
"Every rep counts, you want to make the most out of every rep," Ervin said following the team's second workout of the spring Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. "If you make the best out of it, you become better as a player and contribute more to the team." "When you get more reps, you get more used to it," Coprich added. "It's good being out there and not standing on the sidelines having to watch. When you're out there, you're getting better yourself and it's helping the team out, too."
Both players have been on the sidelines often early in their Cal career.
After a versatile prep career at Lamar High School in Houston in which he lined up at quarterback, tailback and wide receiver at times, Ervin was a promising mid-year enrollee at Cal in January of 2011 but hampered by injuries and redshirted as a true freshman that fall.
"You have a few setbacks, but you don't let that get you down," Ervin said. "You want to keep moving forward, keep pushing through, and keep fighting because that's what it's going to take in the end."
Last season Ervin found himself in a logjam on the depth chart at tailback behind seniors Isi Sofele and C.J. Anderson, as well as Bigelow and Lasco, but he kept fighting and found a home playing on four of five special teams' units.
"It was a rough start, but I got a chance to get experience on special teams last year," Ervin said. "That was a great experience to get my confidence going for a new year and a new season."
This year both he is in the running to do much more.
"I look forward to a new season, a new offense, a new tempo, and I look forward to getting after it," Ervin said.
Coprich is also looking forward to his first season as a running back in 2013 after being recruited as an athlete and redshirting the 2012 campaign while spending it as a defensive back.
Coprich played both positions as a prep, rushing for 1,277 yards and 16 touchdowns while adding 25 tackles and two interceptions that he returned for touchdowns as a senior at West Ranch High School.
"It's been a blessing to be switched to running back," Coprich said. "We needed help at running back, and I played running back in high school so it wasn't much of a transition. I'm loving it."
Head coach Sonny Dykes chimed in about the team's running backs during his post-practice interview session.
"I've been pleased with the entire group honestly," Dykes said. "They're all different. That's the thing that makes them a little bit unique. They've all got different strengths and bring different things to the table, but they've all been pretty consistent."
The next opportunity to see the Ervin, Coprich and the Bears in action at Memorial Stadium this spring is Friday, Mar. 1 (6:30 - 9 p.m. PT). All practices are open to the public and admission is free. Fans should enter the stadium through Gate 1 on the north end, where they will be directed onto the concourse level and into available seating in the lower area of sections EE, F, FF and G. Fans are not allowed onto the field.
Cal's spring practices will continue for nearly a month before concluding with the 2013 Cal Football Spring Game to be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks on Saturday, March 23 (4 p.m. PT).
In addition to attending practices, fans can visit the 2013 Spring Football Central page throughout spring ball for a complete practice schedule, fan information and a wide array of additional content including blog entries, videos, features and much more.
For 2013 ticket information, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO-BEARS.
See below for all remaining scheduled dates and times of 2013 Cal football spring practices.
2013 CAL FOOTBALL REMAINING SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE