Sunday, August 23, 2009

Daily Cal: Following Follett

Matt Kawahara

Two weeks into fall camp, the Cal football team is still looking for the right fit at weakside outside linebacker -- possibly because the void left by last year's starter, Zack Follett, is so huge.  When the Bears adopted the 3-4 to exploit their depth at linebacker, Follett was the ideal candidate for the "rush" backer -- explosive, strong and obsessed with rushing the passer. When Cal linebackers coach Kenwick Thompson says that Follett "really, really had a passion for getting to the quarterback," he still might be understating things a bit. Follett is the guy who set a picture of Tennessee quarterback Erik Ainge as the background of his MySpace in the months leading up to their 2007 meeting, then destroyed Ainge on a blitz two minutes into the game, forcing a fumble that was returned for a touchdown.  "His get-off and speed were outstanding," says Thompson. "He played on a lot of emotion and that part of the game he really got up for."

In short, Follett's a tough act to follow on the weakside, and that's beginning to show. For the first two weeks of camp, the Bears had senior Devin Bishop and junior transfer Jarred Price split first-team reps at the position. A few days ago, they shifted junior Mike Mohamed to the outside with the first team and Bishop inside where he will stay for now, according to defensive coordinator Bob Gregory.  "Neither one of them (Bishop or Price) echoes Zack right now," Gregory said Friday. "That's why we moved Mike there -- to see if we can find the right guy for that position."

Link to rest of article.

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