"Looking at the players go through drills, we were able to see their athletic ability and how well they changed direction," running back coach Ron Gould said, "One set of coaches looked at the offensive and defensive linemen, while the rest of us had the chance to look at each of the different units."
While coaches aren’t allowed to comment directly on recruits, many of the players who participated during Saturday’s camp will be re-assessed this week as the coaching staff will share input about who they observed as they refine their list of who they’ll be targeting during the recruiting process.
"This week we’ll talk about guys who did well, guy who might have done well and guys that surprised us," Gould said. "And there may be a change in our list of guys - some who we thought we might be recruiting and we’ll add some guys we weren’t originally going to recruit."
Gould was pleased with the group of running backs in attendance, noting that some of them will "definitely" warrant a further look.
"A couple of kids were bigger than I thought," Gould said, "I was excited to see them and watch how they moved with the ball."
Gould did spend a lot of time after Saturday’s camp with McClymonds’ FB Nicholas Thurston - who missed all of last season due to an ACL surgery, but did show good footwork and excellent hands during receiving drills.
Prior to the afternoon’s events, head coach Jeff Tedford addressed the campers as well as several of the parents who were all seated on the west side of the stadium.
"We’ve got a lot of special things going on here," Tedford said. "We’re ranked in the top 20, we’re the #1 public institution in the country, and we’re going to be starting work on a facility renovation here that’s going to be an awesome structure."
"As you move towards your senior year, you’ve got a lot to think about. We’re glad you’re here. Today’s a chance for two things - one is for you to improve your skills, the second is to allow us a chance to look at you. The most important thing for you to do is have fun. Communicate with your coaches and don’t hesitate to ask questions."
Tedford then went to introduce each of the position coaches as well as members of the football staff - each of the players then took to the field for warm-up exercises prior to being timed in various drills and then working with position coaches.
One unit that will always be of interest will be quarterbacks. Although Joseph Ayoob and Kyle Reed appear to be onboard for the 2005 recruiting class, there’s speculation that the Bears may not be finished recruiting quarterbacks. Two Sacramento-area quarterbacks have been Bay Area fixtures during the past month - at the MSL combine, the Nike Camp, and then Saturday’s camp - K.C. Patterson and Patrick Devenny.
Patterson and Devenny were teammates at Granite Bay High School two years ago. While Patterson ran the scout offense and played backup on the varsity, Devenny was getting a lot of reps with the JV squad. Both players were evolving into tall, athletic quarterbacks and with a high school team that didn’t emphasize much passing - something was going to have to happen if both quarterbacks were going to continue their development.
Patterson transferred to Oakmont High School. Last year he had to play behind an established senior, but with a new coach and a new fly-and-shoot offense, he’s looking forward to a big year. The fly offense, which is patterned at Boise State’s offense is a motion offense with multiple wide receiver sets, which emphasizes quick drops and quick releases.
The 6-2, 195-pound Patterson only threw 48 passes for 410 yards last season, and had his best game against Lincoln High (Stockton) where he was 9-of-20 for 209 yards and one touchdown as Oakmont nearly pulled off the upset before losing 20-16.
Along with Devenny, McClymonds’ Reed, De La Salle’s Kevin Lopina and St. Mary’s Willie Tuitama, Patterson is one of several quarterbacks who works with quarterback guru and former Cal head coach Roger Theder. Working with Theder has allowed Patterson to become comfortable working with multiple-step drops as well as keeping his head up throughout the play.
Patterson’s first experience with the Bears came prior to the 8th grade when he attended a camp session at Berkeley.
"K.C. had a really good first impression here," said Steve Patterson, K.C.’s father. "We had just gotten here and we were looking for someone who could tell us where it was OK to park and we walked into (former head coach) Tom Holmoe’s office. And he was there at his desk, and he took his time and talked to us and then walked him over to the equipment room. For an 8th grader, that’s pretty neat."
Patterson did state a preference for Cal on Saturday. "I like Cal a lot and I love coach Tedford," Patterson said. "I’ve also had the chance to visit Stanford and I’m also considering Notre Dame, Michigan, UCLA, and Oregon."
Patterson doesn’t have a timetable for making a college decision yet, while he wouldn’t mind making one by this fall, he acknowledges that a decision may not come until after the season
Devenny with mom
Devenny will also be undergoing a coaching change this year as his new coach will be putting in a more traditional offense. After having spent much of the past year becoming proficient at throwing on the run, he’ll become more of a pocket passer this year - in an offense which should provide him more passing opportunities. He’s in the middle of a busy summer that will take him to camps at USC, Fresno State, Cal, and Arizona and Nevada in addition to the MSL, Nike, and Elite 11 events.
This past season, according to MaxPreps.com, the 6-3, 210-pound Devenny was 87-of-150 for 1607 yards, 20 touchdowns and six interceptions, while helping lead Granite Bay to a Sierra Foothill League title and a 9-3 overall record.
Currently listing a top three of Cal, Arizona, and Colorado, Devenny, who is still awaiting an offer, says that key factors in his decision making will be "team prestige, location, and a fun atmosphere." Devenny doesn’t have a timetable yet for making a decision.
Cal will also run two three-day camps during the upcoming week, with the first session running from June 12-14, with the other session going from June 15-17. The two camps will include individualized drills, scrimmages, 7-on-7s and strength and conditioning seminars.
Photo credits - Front page: Patrick Devenny vs. Del Campo, courtesy Granite Bay High School.
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Under the watchful eye of the California coaching staff, several dozen high school players participated in last Saturday’s Cal football camp - many of them by invitation - in hopes of raising a few eyebrows and moving closer towards the ultimate prize - a scholarship offer to play for the Golden Bears.