Friday, August 24, 2007

Contra Costa Times: No. 2 Cal QB chosen

By Jonathan Okanes

Cal Coach Jeff Tedford announced Thursday that freshman Kevin Riley would be the Bears' No. 2 quarterback - but don't read too much into it. Tedford chose Riley over sophomore Kyle Reed to back up Nate Longshore, but he emphasized that doesn't mean Riley is the school's quarterback of the future. "There's really not a huge gap there whatsoever," Tedford said. "They've both done a nice job through camp. It's not set up for the future at all. It's a day-to-day thing. It's that close. But that's the way we're going into the season." Riley and Reed have been battling throughout training camp, and Tedford has maintained they were close. He didn't even give a reason for picking Riley, simply saying "we had to make a decision, and we made it where Kevin is going to (be the backup)." It still could be some time before Riley plays in a meaningful situation. Longshore, a junior, is expected to lead the Bears for two more years. By that time, highly regarded Brock Mansion will be a redshirt sophomore. "Right now it's a good situation for me, but I can't stop here," Riley said. "I have to do everything I can, study film, keep on learning the playbook. You have to keep going and going." Reed appeared dejected after Thursday's practice and declined comment.  Riley, from Portland, Ore., was a high school All-American and Oregon's Gatorade Player of the Year. rated Reed as the No. 10 quarterback prospect in the country as a senior at McClymonds High.

Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said earlier this week that Rulon Davis had earned a starting role, culminating an improbable path for the junior defensive end. Davis was an offensive lineman at Charter Oak High in San Diego, then joined the Marine Corps. He returned to the field at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, where he was converted to the defensive line. Davis came to Cal after one year as a raw but talented, 6-foot-5, 275-pound prospect and played in six games last year before injuries shortened his season. "Every guy wants to contribute," Davis said. "Everybody wants to be that guy that has that game-winning play. If I get my chance, then great, I want to always step up for the team."

Cal estimated 4,000 students came to Thursday's practice, which was open to the student body.  Defensive tackle Mika Kane was limited in practice because of a strained sternum, but Tedford said it was designed to get him some rest.



Bear with Fangs said...

You got to feel for Reed somewhat. I still believe Tedford when he says this doesn't necessarily determine the qb of the future, but you can tell that Reed wanted to be "the guy" for so long now.

We'll see how the next few years turn out in terms of Cal's QB situation. It should be very interesting. Does Longshore get drafted? Does he stay another year? Does Reed move into the #2 spot? What about Brock Mansion? And whatever happened to Longshore needing to go on his mormon missions?

Trumanhugh said...

I agree, Phil. Reed was obvioulsy working hard for the QB2 spot and his demeanor at the end of the practice--which he pretty much sat out of the whole session--is a major letdown.

I was surprised to read that Longshore was expected to be around in 2008. While I've never thought of him as someone who would go pro, I guess I'm just used to most of our great players taking off after their junior year (that or maybe it just feels like Longshore's been around for years...kinda like Alexis Serna at Oregon State, I swear that guy in in his eigth year as kicker). I thought he had a mission to take part in, too.

Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that Nate's here for as long as we have him. It's nice having such depth at key positions, but that's somewhat unfamiliar territory for Bear fans.

Bear with Fangs said...

True. I mean this is the first year we've even had a qb who has played an entire previous season. Add to that the fact that his entire starting receiving corp is returning, and it's hard not to get excited.

But yeh, it does feel like Longshore has been here for a while. He redshirted his first year, got injured his first game his sophomore year (which should save him a year of eligibility), and started his entire junior year. Technically, even though he's entering into his senior year at Cal, he should have two more years of eligibility after this year right? Anyone know for sure? This guy could be a 6th year senior (which I doubt) if he wanted to stay that long.

Trumanhugh said...

Longshore is just a junior. He redshirted 2004, played as far as the second quarter of the 2005 season opener, and started each game in 2006. He is listed in the media guide as "JR-2V," which gives him just one more year (beyond the 2007 season) eligibility, right?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, but he should petition for a medical redshirt for 2005!