DAY TWO: Defensive Notebook
Chris McCain. (Jason O. Watson/USA TODAY Sports)
Chris McCain. (Jason O. Watson/USA TODAY Sports)
Intern, BearTerritory.net
Posted Aug 7, 2013


Chris McCain and Gabe King continue to impress on the defensive side of the ball, but several other Cal defenders have some ground to make up on Day Two of fall camp.

BERKELEY -- The North Carolina Duo continues to impress. California defensive end Chris McCain and defensive tackle Gabe King -- two highly-rated recruits coming out of high school -- may finally be starting to meet the expectations many Bears fans originally had for them. Both McCain and King are buying into the 4-3 scheme, which better utilizes both players’ strengths. McCain can put his hand down and go after the quarterback, while King can use his size and strength to be disruptive in the interior.

[WATCH: Three Up, Three Down on Day Two]

Another potential surprise on the D-line? Harrison Wilfley. The senior might be undersized, but he knows where he has to be on each play, and gives it his all. Defensive line coach Barry Sacks complimented him specifically on his technique in rushing drills.

Sione Sina and Kyle Kragen seem to have formed quite a bond with each other. The two almost always pair up in drills together, and both are constantly pushing each other and giving the other feedback. Neither is very vocal, but it is clear that there is a lot of respect between the two players.

At Pac-12 Media Day, head coach Sonny Dykes mentioned Piedmont (Calif.) product Cormac Craigie as a walk-on who could potentially make an impact on the field. From what I’ve seen so far, he’s going to have to increase his intensity level if he wants to get off the sideline. Stewart specifically called Craigie out for standing around during drills.

The embarrassment of riches at linebacker continues to show. Today’s breakout performer at the position was Lucas King, who made some nice plays both in coverage and in getting to the quarterback.. He’s not built like a tank in the manner of Khairi Fortt or Nick Forbes, but he moves well for a 6-foot-3, 230 pounder.

Forbes was held out of practice today due to some back issues. Dykes said he’ll probably practice on Wednesday, but will be limited. Freshman Hardy Nickerson got some time with the first-team defense as a result.

[READ MORE: DAY TWO: Offensive Notes, Injury Updates]

We talked about this a little bit in the live thread, but Jason Gibson has continued to show flashes of potentially becoming a significant contributor in the defensive backfield this year. The speed is there; now he just has to hone his technique and instincts, as well as develop more consistency. After getting beat deep by receiver Kyle Boehm (who would have thought that in high school, one was a DE and the other was a QB?), Gibson made a nice recovery, almost coming up with a nice interception near the goal line. Plays like this caught Dykes’s eye.

[WATCH: Gibson Makes the Switch]

“Jason Gibson did some things at safety,” Dykes said. “He made a couple of really nice breaks on the ball and it was encouraging to see. He’s athletic and can move around a little bit.”


Related Stories
DAY TWO: Three Up, Three Down
 -by BearTerritory.net  Aug 7, 2013
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 -by BearTerritory.net  Aug 6, 2013
BTTV: Gibson Makes the Switch
 -by BearTerritory.net  Aug 6, 2013

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