Monday, August 27, 2007

SF Chronicle: Cal fills out defensive line

Rusty Simmons

Mika Kane and Tyson Alualu joined already appointed defensive line starters Rulon Davis and Matt Malele on the first depth chart of the regular season, which Cal released Monday. Malele, a defensive tackle, is the lone returning starter, and after two showcase scrimmages, Davis emerged as a starter at end. Kane and Alualu have been getting the majority of the reps with the first team, but Cody Jones, Tad Smith and Cameron Jordan also have been pushing for playing time. "To the players, it's important to be named a starter, but not as much to the coaches," defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said. "We want to know the seven or eight guys who we can count on to play, and we feel good about (among the defensive linemen)." Just about everything else on the depth chart had already been answered, but some things were solidified.

Brandon Hampton is listed as the second cornerback with Syd'Quan Thompson; Worrell Williams is slated as the starting middle linebacker with Zack Follett and Anthony Felder on the outside, and Mike Tepper is listed as the starting right tackle with all-conference tackle Mike Gibson moving to the left side. Brian Holley and Zach Smith still share an "or" for the starting fullback spot, but Holley has been getting the majority of the first-team snaps. Head coach Jeff Tedford said Bryan Van Meter will be the holder in the kicking game, and the coaching staff still hasn't decided on the kick returners. After listing Lavelle Hawkins, Jahvid Best and Hampton, Tedford also kept Cal fans drooling, saying, "DeSean Jackson is a possibility" to return kicks. Ta'ufo'ou sighting: Eleven days after starting fullback Will Ta'ufo'ou sprained his MCL in a training camp scrimmage and it was projected that he would miss 4 to 6 weeks, he was on the field in full pads. Ta'ufo'ou didn't participate in contact drills, but he walked without a hitch and even knelt on the sidelines for a period. Tedford said the fullback is progressing quicker than originally thought.  "He's coming along real well and doing a good job," Tedford said before bumping Ta'ufo'ou up to day-to-day status.

Briefly: Gibson (slight hamstring pull) still is missing quite a bit of practice time. ... In a rare sight, Follett stayed on the ground after a hit and clutched his left leg. After missing about 10 minutes of practice while getting treatment, he returned to full contact drills with what Tedford termed a "leg bruise." ... A limited number of single-game tickets for Saturday's game against Tennessee have been made available to the public and may be purchased via the Web at or via phone at 1-800-GoBears.

1 comment:

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