Rusty Simmons, Chronicle Staff Writer
Coach Jeff Tedford named a backup quarterback Thursday, while carefully avoiding ever saying he had named a backup quarterback. Kevin Riley "is going to take the No. 2 reps, and (Kyle Reed) will take the No. 3 reps," Tedford said. "There really isn't a huge gap there whatsoever. It's just a matter of not being able to practice them all." Riley, a redshirt freshman, took the overwhelming majority of the second-team snaps Thursday, and, for the first time during training camp, Reed, a sophomore, was forced to watch instead of participate most of the time. In the first scrimmage of training camp, Reed had better numbers than Riley, but in Tuesday's live situational drills, Riley responded with a more impressive day.
All along, Tedford has maintained that the decision would be based on knowledge of the offense and the ability to control the huddle and the clock instead of on stats. "There really is not a lot of separation," he said. "They've both done a really nice job, but right now, we've made a decision ... to have Kevin take the reps." Tedford warned against the assumption that he has appointed the heir apparent to junior Nate Longshore.
"It's not about the future at all," he said. "It's a day-to-day thing. There's still competition there, and that's why nothing is set in stone there. It's that close." Riley understands, going so far as to admit that the No. 2 spot may again be wide open at some point this year or next spring. "It's a good feeling, especially since Kyle is such a great quarterback," he said. "The competition makes us better, and it can't stop here. I have to do everything I can, keep on studying film and learning the playbook like it's my last name. Every little part of the game, I have to be on top of it." Noticeably distraught, Reed quickly left the practice field and offered only, "We'll see." Cast 'n' catch: Michael Calvin, a freshman receiver from San Lorenzo High, broke his right wrist, but is still practicing. Tedford said Calvin, who has been impressive from Day 1 of camp, could have contributed right away and might still play this season.
Moving to offense: Will Kapp, a freshman walk-on from Los Gatos High, was approached by Tedford and agreed to move from defensive back to fullback. "I'm happy to do whatever coach thinks is best," Kapp said. "It didn't have anything to do with Will (Ta'ufo'ou) going down. Coach just thought I was a better fit at fullback." Ta'ufo'ou, the starter, is expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a sprained MCL, and Brian Holley and Duke transfer Zach Smith are next in line.
Kapp is the son of former Cal player and coach, Joe Kapp.
Briefly: Longshore and DeSean Jackson were added to more preseason "watch lists" this week, being tabbed by the Davey O'Brien and Walter Camp committees, respectively. Longshore was already listed by the Manning Award group, and Jackson remains a Heisman hopeful. ... Defensive tackle Mika Kane was limited in practice with a bruised sternum, Tedford said. ... Defensive tackle Derrick Hill (back spasms) participated in some contact drills for the first time. ... Ian Albrecht, a freshman receiver from Sonoma High, joined the team this week. "We brought him in a little bit early to get him acclimated for when scout team comes up," Tedford said.