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DAY ONE LIVE THREAD
BERKELEY -- While the California football team came into fall camp relatively healthy, there were still some holdouts on Day One, with the most conspicuous being left tackle Freddie Tagaloa.
The 6-foot-8 sophomore was suffering from the after-effects of a nasty ear infection which sent him to the emergency room the night before, and instead of wearing a helmet, Tagaloa wore a festive winter cap and did not participate fully in the helmets-only practice.
“We didn’t want to let him get banged around,” said head coach Sonny Dykes. “We’re going to let that thing heal up and then we’ll stick him in there.”
With Tagaloa out, Steven Moore stepped in to fill the void at left tackle, with the rest of the first offensive line consisting of Jordan Rigsbee at left guard, Chris Adcock at center, Alejandro Crosthwiate at right guard and Brian Farley at right tackle.
The second offensive line consisted of Matt Williams at left tackle, Mark Brazinski at left guard, Matt Cochran at center, Geoffrey Gibson at right guard and Christian Okafor at right tackle.
Projected starting right tackle Bill Tyndall seemed to move free of discomfort from an ankle injury, but did not participate fully in full 11-on-11 or offense 11s. Defensive tackle Austin Clark was also sidelined, but worked out in what strength and conditioning coach Damon Harrington refers to as “The Pit,” doing MMA-style workouts.
Also sidelined were defensive linemen Viliami Moala and Brennan Scarlett, the latter of which wore a red jersey.
“The thing we’re doing with a couple of guys is just really bringing them along slowly,” Dykes said. “Scarlett’s coming off of an injury, and we just don’t want to throw them back out there. We’re going to bring them along slowly and there’ll be some days where some guys will appear in red jerseys, and they could probably practice, but we’re going to elect to hold certain guys out certain days.”
Moala fell into a slightly different category.
“Vei will kind of be in and out for the next week, week and a half,” Dykes said. “We just want to make sure that he’s good to go, and he might take a day off or two this week to work on some academic stuff, as well.”
With Scarlett on the shelf, JuCo transfer Sione Sina took reps at No. 1 strong side defensive end, and acquitted himself well, showing very active hands and easily blowing past Williams and Brazinski during team work.
Middle linebacker Nick Forbes was in and out all afternoon, which Dykes speculatively attributed to back tightness.
Dykes was impressed with true freshman linebacker Johnny Ragin III, who played on the outside with the third unit.
Inside receiver Spencer Hagan was informed Sunday night that he was a full-go for all football activities, and looked very comfortable running and cutting on his surgically-repaired knee.
While Hagan returned to active duty, true sophomore Junior Espitia made it clear why he comes into camp as the No. 1 H inside receiver.
Espitia was strong to the ball and looked to have added both size and speed since we last saw him. As opposed to the deer in the headlights we saw when he had to sub in for Hagan after Hagan suffered his season-ending knee injury against Ohio State last year, today Espitia was confident and very sure-handed.
Wide receiver commit Jalen Harvey and his El Cerrito teammate Adarius Pickett were both in attendance.
Former tight end and now defensive lineman Harrison Wilfley has gone from 250 pounds in the spring to close to 280 pounds now that fall camp is underway, and was quite disruptive at the line of scrimmage.
Mustafa Jalil was also noticeably slimmer, having remade his body during the offseason, according to sources, rededicating himself to getting himself right, physically. On the very first play of full 11-on-11s, Jalil batted down a Jared Goff pass at the line of scrimmage, beating Crosthwaite on the inside.
Deandre Coleman, Gabe King and Kyle Kragen were three standouts on defensive line. King showed a good combo of strength and speed. Kragen showed nonstop motor, Coleman showed strength and agility that pro scouts crave.
At cornerback, you wouldn't know Stefan McClure missed last year due to an injury. The freshmen cornerbacks looked like freshmen. At least one of them is going to need to step up big time.
Linebacker Jalen Jefferson may be third wheel of starting three linebackers, but he's very talented in his own right.
Chris McCain looked very excited to be back on the field, went after each rep hard, with a verve he honestly hasn't shown before.
Some fun in the OL/DL one-on-ones: Rigsbee ably contained JuCo transfer Marcus Manley, who had a fine day in his own right, and Kragen continues to be relentless, wearing down and simply out-lasting Moore in one rep.
Todd Barr turned in a nice battle against Williams, with Barr eventually getting the better of the big Brit and penetrating into backfield.
Intern Elliott Polkaoff contributed to this report.