Bruce Adams, Chronicle Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
Cal newcomers got a crash course in Football 101 on the first day of training camp.
The 18 true freshmen on the roster and three of the junior-college transfers spent a long day Monday getting acclimated to Memorial Stadium, coach Jeff Tedford's practice routine and the expectations of them as students at Cal.
The full team reported for meetings Sunday night and was on the field early Monday morning.
Then veterans were dismissed and the newbies spent more than an hour and a half going through various drills with assistant coaches.
After the session, they met for half an hour with Tedford, showered, ate a quick lunch and went into a six-hour academic orientation.
"You can't take anything for granted," Tedford said. "We cover everything, from being on time to meetings to home sickness. You name it."
Tedford, in fact, spotted two of the notables in the incoming class -- wide receiver DeSean Jackson from Long Beach Poly and linebacker Anthony Felder from O'Dea High in Seattle -- being interviewed by beat writers.
"Get them tomorrow," he said. "They don't have time."
The incoming student-athletes will rejoin the team today, stepping right into the fray with daily practice sessions -- including six two-a-days -- and nightly team meetings as camp continues through Aug. 27.
Former Bears: Two just-graduated players -- wide receivers Geoff McArthur and Burl Toler III -- were spectators at practice.
Both, slowed by injuries as seniors, took the year off from football.
McArthur, who had knee and ankle surgery, says he is going to Green Bay for a tryout with the Packers on Aug. 28. He says he still can't perform at 100 percent and if signed by the Packers would go on injured reserve for the year.
Toler is coming back from knee injuries that limited him the latter part of the year. He said he is running routes and hopes to work out for NFL scouts this spring.
Rave reviews: Tedford said he liked the way his returning players practiced Monday.
"It's evident they put in a good summer," he said. "They respected each other, they hustled, and I was pleased to see the camaraderie."
Senior tackle Ryan O'Callaghan said it was good to be back on the field.
"Every year you come in telling yourself it's easy at the beginning," O'Callaghan said, noting that every year he finds out it isn't.
"I learned a few things I need to work on," the All-Pac-10 lineman said. "It's going to be a pretty aggressive camp."
Quarterback U: Joe Ayoob, the City College of San Francisco transfer who will compete with redshirt freshman Nate Longshore for the starting quarterback spot, said he spent a productive summer studying Tedford's offense.
"I want to get where I'm just playing and not thinking," he said. "I think I'm 95 percent there."
Tedford, meanwhile, said his quarterbacks appeared "a little rusty" at the first day of drills.