It looks like a odd case of the gout cost Derrick Hill his starting job at nose guard when Cal coach Jeff Tedford announced his two-deep depth chart after practice on Thursday. Promising sophomore Kendrick Payne gets the nod at the nose but when he's recovered, Hill is almost certain to get playing time, too. I did a piece on Hill for last Sunday's Chronicle and came away liking the young man greatly for reasons beyond football. He appears to have prospered in Berkeley and is close to graduating with a degree in African American studies.
The Oakland native (McClymonds High School) cares about his community and spends time talking to young people, most recently at Oakland's juvenile detention facility. He's also spoken to inmates at San Quentin as well.
His father has been incarcerated (not at the Q)for the last 20 years, so Hill knows whereof he speaks. I hope he's able to bounce back and be a strong contributor to the Bears this season. In other two-deep grist, Isi Sofele will be the primary backup to starting tailback Shane Vereen. The little guy was impressive in training camp and deserves to be No. 3. Covaughn DeBoskie-Johnson slid to No. 3 with a late injury and redshirt freshman Dasarte Yarnway is fourth on the depth chart.