August 5, 2012
BERKELEY - The second day of Cal's 2012 training camp started with a 7 a.m. PT wake up call for breakfast. An hour later all 106 Cal players and most of the coaches and staff members had begun taking their 2012 photos. Before lunch time came they had wrapped up the photo session, lifted weights, had the option to go to a voluntary Sunday morning chapel and gone through a special teams meeting.
That was only the first half of the day.
The team's offense and defense both met right after lunch, with one side of the ball getting taped for practice and going through treatment while the other side was meeting before making a switch.
Cal then went through a lengthy helmets workout at Witter Rugby Field that included three team sessions and another of 7-on-7. Among the many highlights of the practice were ...
A spectacular acrobatic catch by Nathan Phillip during 7-on-7 work
Despite the string of highlights Tedford said that "day two was more of a typical day two."
"As you install more things, you make more mistakes," Tedford said. "But it's great tape to learn from, especially for the young guys. Offensively we were a little rusty today, but that's typical of how camp goes with installation of plays. There was still a lot of excitement in playing hard. That wasn't the issue."
There was also more excitement with the arrival of Penn State transfer junior linebacker Khairi Fortt.
"I think he got here at like 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, so we spent most of the day doing compliance, getting his uniform and getting him checked in," Tedford said. "I think he's excited to be here, excited to be here as anyone can who was on a plane until 3 o'clock in the morning."
Another thing Fortt did was talk to the media following the team's workout.
"I needed a change because I wasn't happy with my situation at Penn State," Fortt said when asked about his transfer to Cal. "It has nothing to do with the current coaches that are there right now, because they did a wonderful job in improving the program in the last seven months that they been there.'
He also talked about enjoying the culture in Berkeley.
"Everyone is free-spirited," he said about his new home. "It is very diverse. Everyone's happy and everybody's cool about life. It is a beautiful campus." After the workout - and media session for Tedford, Fortt and several others - the team's evening agenda included dinner, a team meeting, position meetings and finally a snack before most probably made a beeline to their beds.
"By the time we get back there at the end of the day, everybody's pretty tired," said 22-year-old senior fullback Eric Stevens, one of the elder statesmen on the team. "You look over the playbook with the younger guys, make sure they understand it and then get ready for sleep. I think I'm the first one to go to bed every night."
Long before going to bed during the team's morning photo shoot, CalBears.com had some interesting conversations with rookies and vets alike.
"I walked in and took the pictures, and just did what I was told," true freshman Maximo Espitia offered respectfully. "I got it over and was done with it. You've just kind of got to act like you know what you're doing."
One guy who knew exactly what he was doing was senior linebacker Robert Mullins, who endured his sixth photo day at Cal and obliged to have a little fun when asked about his veteran status.
"I've done this like five of six of them," Mullins said with a mischievous smile. "Each year, I try to switch it up. Some years I smile, some years no smile. Some years I'm shaven, some years unshaven. Some years with a haircut, some years without a haircut. I'm pretty versatile in looks."
"I age significantly throughout every year," Mullins added as he tried to keep a straight face. "You can see the age on my face each year."
He also added some advice about his photo day strategy.
"I'm a late bloomer," he said. "I like to get my sleep so I'm usually one of the last guys coming in here taking photos."
Senior defensive lineman Kendrick Payne offered his perspective.
"You get a lot of people standing and goofing around for something like this, and those are the times that you're going to remember the most," Payne said.
Payne also talked about his role as a leader in his final season with Bears.
"I've tried to lead by example," Payne said. "I'm in a position to be a leader right now being a senior. I know that a lot of the young guys are paying attention to the things that I do. I'm very conscientious of what I do, how I'm moving and what I say, because I want to have nothing but a positive influence on the younger guys."
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.