When Matt Summers-Gavin ended Sunday's practice in braces and crutches after a knee injury, it put a few people on edge. "Anytime you see something like that, you just hold your breath," coach Jeff Tedford said after Monday's practice, the team's first in shells. Fortunately for the Cal football team, its best offensive lineman will only be out for two weeks after an MRI diagnosed the injury as a bone bruise. But when he does return to Memorial Stadium for the season opener against UC Davis on, the sophomore won't be returning to the left tackle spot he saw in spring. Instead, junior Mitchell Schwartz will reprise the role he frequented in 2008. Senior Donovan Edwards is expected to step into right tackle, while the rest of the line is still unsettled. "We got a lot of guys in the mix," Tedford said. "Very competitive to find out who's going to be the top eight guys."
Five-star recruit Keenan Allen has been expected to step in right away, and his transition has gone well through the first three days of practice. Running mostly sideline routes on Monday, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound freshman used his length to make grabs over defenders, his movements looking natural and smooth early on in practice.
So much that Tedford has backtracked on his comments in spring that Allen would also see reps in nickel formations; the player tabbed by Rivals.com as the top safety in his class will stick to offense throughout fall camp. "I've actually talked to the coach about it," Allen said. "First they want me to learn all the receiver stuff, get it down, dominate it, and then they're gonna look at me at the nickel.
Added Tedford: "Keenan's got enough to handle right now."