Spring Ball - Most Important Players Next Year & Who Can Be Crucial with Some Work

golden sloth
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With Spring ball starting up in a week, who do you most hope makes it through injury free? I've created two lists, one for players who are most important for next season, and one for players that can fill crucial roles with some added work:

Most Important Players for Next Year (and also don't need as much development):
1. Patrick Laird - He was the best offensive player for the last half of last season, and with the oline all returning and a potential consistency issues at quarterback
2. Chris Palmer - The only true nose tackle that will be practicing this spring, we need him to be healthy for the fall.
3. Malik McMorris - He's had ample playing time, and has worked himself into a vital role on the offense.

Players that Can Play a Pivotal Role but Need to Expand Their Game:
1. Alex Funches - He had some good moments early last year, and has potential, but needs to work at run stopping rather than specializing in rushing the passer.
2. Tevin Paul - Flashed well for a freshman, and plays on the D-Line that will be thin.
3. Gavin Reinwald - Hopefully, he can grow into a better blocking tight end to provide both a blocking threat and a receiving threat, allowing the offense to be multiple with the same players.
Big C
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Way to keep the Cal Football conversation going, golden sloth!

I would add Kanawai Noa into your first category: key receiver entering 4th year in the program, has had injuries in the past.

What about Demetris Robertson? Will he even be playing in the Spring? We really need his talent to give our offense that added dimension. We need him for 13 games in the fall!
calumnus
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I'm hoping we see a big upgrade at QB, either From Bowers or one of the others.
Bobodeluxe
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The point of the spear.

Jordan Kunaszyk
staygolden2001
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I would put Demetris Robertson #1 on that second list. We really missed his speed last season. Teams just did not respect our team speed without him in there. He had a good freshman year but he needs to expand his game to become the player that we all think that he can become.
golden sloth
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I agree Demetris Robertson can be a game-changing talent with his speed and the kid has gravity, making defenders shade a step or two, thus opening up space for other players. Unfortunately, until we prove we have a quarterback that can consistently hit Robertson streaking down the sideline, his potential will not be realized, both in performance and impact.
BearlyClad
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It's all about the O-line. May they all prosper physically and survive the spring trench messes.
heartofthebear
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Jake Curhan and Addison OOOOmms on list one.
Kamryn Bennett and Cameron Bynum on list two
6956bear
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golden sloth said:

With Spring ball starting up in a week, who do you most hope makes it through injury free? I've created two lists, one for players who are most important for next season, and one for players that can fill crucial roles with some added work:

Most Important Players for Next Year (and also don't need as much development):
1. Patrick Laird - He was the best offensive player for the last half of last season, and with the oline all returning and a potential consistency issues at quarterback
2. Chris Palmer - The only true nose tackle that will be practicing this spring, we need him to be healthy for the fall.
3. Malik McMorris - He's had ample playing time, and has worked himself into a vital role on the offense.

Players that Can Play a Pivotal Role but Need to Expand Their Game:
1. Alex Funches - He had some good moments early last year, and has potential, but needs to work at run stopping rather than specializing in rushing the passer.
2. Tevin Paul - Flashed well for a freshman, and plays on the D-Line that will be thin.
3. Gavin Reinwald - Hopefully, he can grow into a better blocking tight end to provide both a blocking threat and a receiving threat, allowing the offense to be multiple with the same players.
Evan Weaver will get his shot to earn a starting job with Gerran Brown out. He belongs in the needs to expand game group.

Lots of players will be under the microscope this Spring. Players like Melquise Stovall, Gabe Cherry, Lone Isara, Colt Doughty, Trey Turner and of course all 3 Qb hopefuls (Bowers, McIlwain and Garbers). Cal needs Stovall to become a player same with Cherry. Isara and Doughty will play next Fall, how much could be determined by how they progress this Spring. Turner was a promising safety/nickel back until injuries derailed him. He apparently is healthy and ready to play. With Hicks out this Spring, Drayden and Beck will be getting reps at CB and Nickel. If Turner shows he can play there either Beck or Drayden could become a CB permanently.

The QBs obviously are crucial. The level of play must improve. Big Spring for all of them. IMO 2 will separate and be the frontrunners going into Fall camp. Hard to have a fair competition with 3 players sharing reps. 2 is tough but necessary as Bowers must be pushed. Bowers may win the job again but simply has to be challenged.

Singleton needs the reps but once again is hurt. Bankhead will get some reps but they will go light with him (likely gets no contact work). The 2 RBs besides Laird (Clark and Ali-Walsh) must show something this Spring. Cal is bringing in a couple of nice RB prospects and if they(Clark and Ali-Walsh) want to play they will need to show up this Spring.

heartofthebear
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6956bear said:

golden sloth said:

With Spring ball starting up in a week, who do you most hope makes it through injury free? I've created two lists, one for players who are most important for next season, and one for players that can fill crucial roles with some added work:

Most Important Players for Next Year (and also don't need as much development):
1. Patrick Laird - He was the best offensive player for the last half of last season, and with the oline all returning and a potential consistency issues at quarterback
2. Chris Palmer - The only true nose tackle that will be practicing this spring, we need him to be healthy for the fall.
3. Malik McMorris - He's had ample playing time, and has worked himself into a vital role on the offense.

Players that Can Play a Pivotal Role but Need to Expand Their Game:
1. Alex Funches - He had some good moments early last year, and has potential, but needs to work at run stopping rather than specializing in rushing the passer.
2. Tevin Paul - Flashed well for a freshman, and plays on the D-Line that will be thin.
3. Gavin Reinwald - Hopefully, he can grow into a better blocking tight end to provide both a blocking threat and a receiving threat, allowing the offense to be multiple with the same players.
Evan Weaver will get his shot to earn a starting job with Gerran Brown out. He belongs in the needs to expand game group.

Lots of players will be under the microscope this Spring. Players like Melquise Stovall, Gabe Cherry, Lone Isara, Colt Doughty, Trey Turner and of course all 3 Qb hopefuls (Bowers, McIlwain and Garbers). Cal needs Stovall to become a player same with Cherry. Isara and Doughty will play next Fall, how much could be determined by how they progress this Spring. Turner was a promising safety/nickel back until injuries derailed him. He apparently is healthy and ready to play. With Hicks out this Spring, Drayden and Beck will be getting reps at CB and Nickel. If Turner shows he can play there either Beck or Drayden could become a CB permanently.

The QBs obviously are crucial. The level of play must improve. Big Spring for all of them. IMO 2 will separate and be the frontrunners going into Fall camp. Hard to have a fair competition with 3 players sharing reps. 2 is tough but necessary as Bowers must be pushed. Bowers may win the job again but simply has to be challenged.

Singleton needs the reps but once again is hurt. Bankhead will get some reps but they will go light with him (likely gets no contact work). The 2 RBs besides Laird (Clark and Ali-Walsh) must show something this Spring. Cal is bringing in a couple of nice RB prospects and if they(Clark and Ali-Walsh) want to play they will need to show up this Spring.


+1
All the guys at safety need to show up and stay healthy. They all belong in both categories above, especially Tartabull and Hawkins
golden sloth
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6956bear said:


The 2 RBs besides Laird (Clark and Ali-Walsh) must show something this Spring. Cal is bringing in a couple of nice RB prospects and if they(Clark and Ali-Walsh) want to play they will need to show up this Spring.


I disagree with Laird, given his performance last year, I think he is fairly well-rounded and its more important to have him healthy for fall camp. That said, he does need someone to split plays with. With no Enwere and no Watson (and to a lesser degree, no Echols and Clark), there needs to be a back-up running back. I am confident in Laird at about 25 touches per game, but I'd love to have a second back that can support about 15 touches a game.
calumnus
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golden sloth said:

6956bear said:


The 2 RBs besides Laird (Clark and Ali-Walsh) must show something this Spring. Cal is bringing in a couple of nice RB prospects and if they(Clark and Ali-Walsh) want to play they will need to show up this Spring.


I disagree with Laird, given his performance last year, I think he is fairly well-rounded and its more important to have him healthy for fall camp. That said, he does need someone to split plays with. With no Enwere and no Watson (and to a lesser degree, no Echols and Clark), there needs to be a back-up running back. I am confident in Laird at about 25 touches per game, but I'd love to have a second back that can support about 15 touches a game.

If you read the post you responded to again, I think you'll see we all agree that Laird is proven

However, adding to the need to develop Laird's back-ups, we need to have someone ready to take over in 2019.
OdontoBear66
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6956bear said:

golden sloth said:

With Spring ball starting up in a week, who do you most hope makes it through injury free? I've created two lists, one for players who are most important for next season, and one for players that can fill crucial roles with some added work:

Most Important Players for Next Year (and also don't need as much development):
1. Patrick Laird - He was the best offensive player for the last half of last season, and with the oline all returning and a potential consistency issues at quarterback
2. Chris Palmer - The only true nose tackle that will be practicing this spring, we need him to be healthy for the fall.
3. Malik McMorris - He's had ample playing time, and has worked himself into a vital role on the offense.

Players that Can Play a Pivotal Role but Need to Expand Their Game:
1. Alex Funches - He had some good moments early last year, and has potential, but needs to work at run stopping rather than specializing in rushing the passer.
2. Tevin Paul - Flashed well for a freshman, and plays on the D-Line that will be thin.
3. Gavin Reinwald - Hopefully, he can grow into a better blocking tight end to provide both a blocking threat and a receiving threat, allowing the offense to be multiple with the same players.


The QBs obviously are crucial. The level of play must improve. Big Spring for all of them. IMO 2 will separate and be the frontrunners going into Fall camp. Hard to have a fair competition with 3 players sharing reps. 2 is tough but necessary as Bowers must be pushed. Bowers may win the job again but simply has to be challenged.




This paragraph describes our QB situation to a tee. "The level of play must improve" and "Bowers may win the job again but simply HAS to be challenged." Could not agree more. From what I read I feel Garbers gives us the greatest all around potential (obviously lacking experience), but if Bowers turns up the winner he must be pushed to his limit to gain same. With the supporting cast available (improvements in OL, WR, TE are definite) Bowers play of last year is going to limit our potential. I do trust this staff to get everything out of this position as is possible with the talent available.
Rushinbear
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golden sloth said:

With Spring ball starting up in a week, who do you most hope makes it through injury free? I've created two lists, one for players who are most important for next season, and one for players that can fill crucial roles with some added work:

Most Important Players for Next Year (and also don't need as much development):
1. Patrick Laird - He was the best offensive player for the last half of last season, and with the oline all returning and a potential consistency issues at quarterback
2. Chris Palmer - The only true nose tackle that will be practicing this spring, we need him to be healthy for the fall.
3. Malik McMorris - He's had ample playing time, and has worked himself into a vital role on the offense.

Players that Can Play a Pivotal Role but Need to Expand Their Game:
1. Alex Funches - He had some good moments early last year, and has potential, but needs to work at run stopping rather than specializing in rushing the passer.
2. Tevin Paul - Flashed well for a freshman, and plays on the D-Line that will be thin.
3. Gavin Reinwald - Hopefully, he can grow into a better blocking tight end to provide both a blocking threat and a receiving threat, allowing the offense to be multiple with the same players.
I'm going to be Captain Obvious: Every player is crucial next year, down to the walk-ons. Every position will require substitution during a game and there will be injuries, so you never know who will be called upon to step in and deliver. They've all got to prepare themselves to give it all they've got, however much that may be.
oskirules
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The most crucial player this spring is Brandon Mcllwain. This is Beau Baldwin's system QB and now he's had time to learn his "multiple offense" whatever that means. I like Bowers but we need someone who can do this...

Big C
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oskirules said:

The most crucial player this spring is Brandon Mcllwain. This is Beau Baldwin's system QB and now he's had time to learn his "multiple offense" whatever that means. I like Bowers but we need someone who can do this...


Job One for a quarterback is passing from the pocket. If McIlwain can do this as well as Bowers (or 95% as well), great.
Bobodeluxe
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By the score, he had obviously softened up the defense with pinpoint passing to help make that run possible, thereby, possibly leading to reducing the deficit to, what, five scores?
bruab2
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Laird's backup
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