Monday, April 14, 2008

San Jose Mercury: Running backs control Cal's scrimmage

By Eric Gilmore

Cal sophomore quarterback Kevin Riley got the biggest cheer of the day, but running backs Tracy Slocum and Covaughn DeBoskie carried most of the offensive load Saturday during a controlled scrimmage at Memorial Stadium.  Several thousand fans showed up on a sunny and unseasonably warm day to watch Cal's only spring football practice open to the public.  Those expecting to see Riley and his fellow quarterbacks fill the blue sky with footballs, instead spent most of the day watching Cal work on its running game.  "We're short on some positions, so we really had to kind of focus on the run game a lot today because our receiving corps is a little banged up," Cal Coach Jeff Tedford said.

Cal's running corps is short-handed, too. Jahvid Best (hip) isn't ready for contact. Shane Vereen (hamstring) is sidelined. James Montgomery left the program.  Slocum, a sophomore, took advantage of his heavy workload. On one 30-yard touchdown drive, he carried six times for all 30 yards, scoring on a 10-yard run over the left guard. He flashed good power and quickness.  "I felt pretty good," Slocum said. "I love to get the ball between the tackles and just run. I love contact."

On the next drive, Slocum shot around right end for a 12-yard touchdown. Slocum said he's matured greatly since his freshman season when his lack of playing time often left him discouraged. "I think he just realizes he has a great chance to play," Riley said. "Once we came back from the (Armed Forces Bowl), he started working out way harder.  "And it's showing right now. Every big day we've had, he's done well, every live day. He's running hard. He's doing his job."

Read the rest here.

No comments: