August 4, 2012
BERKELEY - Head coach Jeff Tedford was pleased with what he saw as the 2012 Cal football team opened training camp with a late afternoon workout at Witter Rugby Field football that included the typical menu of a walk-thru, turnover circuit, individual and position drills, 7-on-7 and full team work.
"Day one, it was a good day, a great day," head coach Jeff Tedford said. "I loved the tempo, guys flew around and practiced really well."
Much of the talk with Tedford was about the team's younger players.
"A lot of the young guys studied really hard," Tedford said. "We were able to incorporate them on day one, which was great. I was really happy with them."
"That was the thing I was looking for when I first stepped on the field today, to walk right over to him and see what that looked like," Tedford said with a smile. "And, [it was] a sigh of relief."
Senior quarterback Zach Maynard also met with the media following practice and talked about what he's doing better now than he did in 2011 when he started all 13 games and completed 231-of-405 (57.0%) passes for 2,990 yards to rank third on the school's all-time single-season passing yardage list.
"I'm dissecting the game at a faster rate," Maynard said. "I'm picking up the keys that I need to pick up way faster now."
Maynard finished strong last season by completing 68.1 percent of his passes, with five touchdown passes and only one interception, and a 154.25 quarterback efficiency rating over his final four regular-season games.
"I felt like a young pup last year, and now I feel like an older guy," he added. Maynard also had several good things to say about some of fellow skill position players on the team's offense.
"There are a lot of guys with a lot of speed," Maynard said when asked about the team's incoming receivers. "We have some guys with some size and strength as well. They also know how to run routes like they're supposed to."
The incoming true freshmen receivers that will push for playing time in their first season at Cal include some of the best prep receivers in the country last year. Five-star recruit Bryce Treggs headlines a group of five rookie receivers that also includes Cedric Dozier, Chris Harper, Kenny Lawler and Darius Powe. All received at least four stars from a major scouting service.
When the conversation turned to the running back position Maynard discussed the team's top two tailbacks Isi Sofele and C.J. Anderson, who combined for 1,667 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground a year ago.
"They're two different types of running backs," Maynard said. "Isi's an explosive and fast guy, very agile and very tough. C.J.'s just a bruiser and power runner, one guy can't bring him down. It's going to be a huge matchup with those two."
Tedford also weighed in on the team's running back situation.
"We're in a very good position there with Isi and C.J.," he said. "C.J. really proved towards the latter part of the year last year that he's a great football player. He's had a great summer from everything we've heard. I think he's even assumed some leadership role and worked really hard. It's nice to have a one-two punch like we've had. I think he can kind of take a little pressure off Isi. Those two guys are the top two guys right now, but we feel very fortunate to have some other good backs, too. We're pretty deep in the backfield with [Daniel] Lasco and [Brendan] Bigelow, and [Darren] Ervin. We have a pretty good stable of backs."
Tickets for Cal's return to a renovated Memorial Stadium in 2012 are currently on sale by calling (800) GO BEARS (800-462-3277), online at CalBears.com, or in person at the Sales and Service Center located in the Haas Pavilion Club Room Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. PT. More season-ticket information is available at CalBears.com. For updates on the progress of the renovation and retrofit of Memorial Stadium, visit californiamemorialstadium.com.
In addition to the Sept. 1 season-opener vs. Nevada, Cal's 2012 seven-game home schedule includes contests against Pac-12 foes Arizona State, Oregon, Stanford, Washington and UCLA, as well as a non-conference game against Southern Utah.