March 1, 2013
BERKELEY - After the first three sessions of Cal's 2013 spring practices, it is readily apparent that there will be lots of opportunities to go around. The Bears certainly get a lot of reps in during their fast-paced workouts and one player who looks to be taking advantage of the extra workload is redshirt freshman wide receiver Kenny Lawler.
But while Harper, Powe and Treggs made an immediate impact on the field as true freshmen in 2012, Lawler learned very early in the season that he would be redshirting and wouldn't be seeing the field at all.
Several months later with a redshirt season under his belt and a new offense that utilizes more receivers, the situation is much different.
"The opportunities we have are great because we're going to be throwing the ball," Lawler said. "With four wide receivers out we're all going to get catches. We just have to take advantage of our opportunities."
Lawler did just that during Friday night's practice with a pair of spectacular catches that left fans in attendance oohing and awing, the first coming on an incredible leaping catch during 1-on-1's and the second a diving touchdown grab in the back of the end zone in 7-on-7 work.
"All I'm thinking about is going up and getting the ball," Lawler said about the catches and his philosophy about competing with defensive backs on plays. "I'm not going to let him get it. That's all's that going on in my head."
Lawler also understands the importance of making a good impression during each of the team's 15 spring practices.
"They are very important, especially for me with redshirting last year and now there being a new staff," Lawler said. "I've got to prove myself."
Head coach Sonny Dykes noticed Lawler on Friday.
"He made some competitive plays on the ball," Dykes said. "We have some guys that are able to do that."
Lawler certainly hasn't been the only player to see plenty of repetitions in the team's first three practices.
Specifically at the quarterback position, reps have been doled out to five different players in senior Allan Bridgford, sophomore Kyle Boehm, true freshman Jared Goff, junior Austin Hinder and redshirt freshman Zach Kline.
Boehm, Goff and Kline seemed to receive the bulk of the reps on Friday but Dykes warned not to read too much into that and talked about his plan in the team's ongoing quarterback competition.
"We'll look at the film and adjust the reps based off of what we saw tonight," Dykes said. "We'll come back out on Monday and give some other guys that didn't get as many reps today maybe some reps and see how it goes."
"We're just trying to go through and see who we think deserves getting some more reps," Dykes added. "What you do is you go through and eliminate guys as much as you decide on somebody as a starter, or decide to give somebody reps. You give somebody a lot of reps and they either do well with them, in which case they get more, or they don't do well, in which they get less. It's a moving target right now, really. We tape every single rep in practice. We're trying to evaluate every throw and weigh everything in there. That way we're getting lots of throws and getting a bigger cross sample of things to judge them on."
Dykes also commented on the team's third workout on the whole.
"There's a lot of things to work out but overall, again, I thought our effort was good," Dykes said. "I thought the intensity was good, thought the guys competed well against each other again, and I thought we definitely got better today."
The next opportunity to see the Bears get better is Monday, March 4 (6:30 - 9 p.m. PT). All practices at Memorial Stadium, 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 Spring Football Central page on CalBears.com 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.
2013 CAL FOOTBALL REMAINING SPRING PRACTICE SCHEDULE