SI Article: How CalBuilt What May Be the Best Secondary in College Football

1,710 Views | 16 Replies | Last: 2 mo ago by Blueblood
DoubleGoldenBear
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Great write up on our secondary. https://www.si.com/college-football/2019/08/13/cal-bears-secondary-jaylinn-hawkins-ashtyn-davis
Another Bear
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Excellent read, thanks for posting.
LACalFan
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Well deserved pub
GivemTheAxe
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Another Bear said:

Excellent read, thanks for posting.

Thanks for posting. Add this to the list of posts in the topic of: "Stars vs Coaching".

Yes having 4* and 5* recruits is good.
But having a great coach is better. He can transform intelligent and motivated 3* recruits into a dominant force.
TheSouseFamily
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Great article and solid pub.

This Pro Football Focus mock draft has Ashtyn Davis going in the 2nd round at #41. As we discussed in another thread, PFF is a serious scouting service.

https://www.pff.com/news/draft-pff-big-board-mike-renners-preseason-top-50-big-board-for-the-2020-nfl-draft
Sebastabear
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Terrific write-up. Thanks so much for sharing. A lot of credit to the players but also to the coaches here. Really a remarkable group.

Wilcox's next big coaching job is to make sure the kids don't get so enamored with the press clippings that they forget to actually execute (see our ill-fated and brief "Drop 40 (50?)" campaign a few years back). On the bright side, at least we aren't on the SI cover.
going4roses
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Blueblood
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GivemTheAxe said:

Another Bear said:

Excellent read, thanks for posting.

Thanks for posting. Add this to the list of posts in the topic of: "Stars vs Coaching".

Yes having 4* and 5* recruits is good.
But having a great coach is better. He can transform intelligent and motivated 3* recruits into a dominant force.


I can wholeheartedly agree.

You should also add this from the article, "But as Cal's defense has improved, the offense has regressed."

Yes, the article is very good for Cal, but as fans, we shouldn't be so much of a homer as to forget about the above observation. Such a situation is not supportive of a "great coach", a good coach but not great yet. I never argued that the defensive player recruitment was lacking. My main emphasis was with the offensive recruiting which I claim needs to be upgraded too in order for Cal to have some sort of consistent success.

I know that I've acknowledged that Wilcox could have some success with the current team make-up but it would only be temporary without similar improvement in the offense. Sonny has shown us that much.

I can undertsand that Wilcox may be planning to improve the offense after possibily going 9-3 in regular season and maybe 10-3 overall. That sounds good. But, what happens when another Power 5 school comes in an offers $4+ million/yr to Wilcox with a bag of gold coins for each of his assistants?


going4roses
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As I said before GA could very well be what Lake is to UW ( some thought I was joking)

Maybe he is replaceable but I definitely don't want to find out anytime soon so to whomever is in the know/ has the influence keep him here !!! Pay Him his just due. He and his unit have performed above and beyond and we need to lock him up.

Time to show how serious we are about football
Another Bear
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I have to say those kids are made for Cal...nerding out at home to breakdown and hack QBs and offenses. That's pure Cal...just with FB. Really like GA working on "deep knowledge", getting to the questions every Cal student must ask, why and how.

Have to keep Alexander if this is his method because it's perfect for Cal and kids who want to come to Cal. Hope they can keep the home tape review culture going into the future or something similar. Love the phrase, "playing above the neck", playing smart.
GivemTheAxe
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Blueblood said:

GivemTheAxe said:

Another Bear said:

Excellent read, thanks for posting.

Thanks for posting. Add this to the list of posts in the topic of: "Stars vs Coaching".

Yes having 4* and 5* recruits is good.
But having a great coach is better. He can transform intelligent and motivated 3* recruits into a dominant force.


I can wholeheartedly agree.

You should also add this from the article, "But as Cal's defense has improved, the offense has regressed."

Yes, the article is very good for Cal, but as fans, we shouldn't be so much of a homer as to forget about the above observation. Such a situation is not supportive of a "great coach", a good coach but not great yet. I never argued that the defensive player recruitment was lacking. My main emphasis was with the offensive recruiting which I claim needs to be upgraded too in order for Cal to have some sort of consistent success.

I know that I've acknowledged that Wilcox could have some success with the current team make-up but it would only be temporary without similar improvement in the offense. Sonny has shown us that much.

I can undertsand that Wilcox may be planning to improve the offense after possibily going 9-3 in regular season and maybe 10-3 overall. That sounds good. But, what happens when another Power 5 school comes in an offers $4+ million/yr to Wilcox with a bag of gold coins for each of his assistants?




I don't disagree with what you are saying.
But I want to point out that the recruits we have been getting on Offense for 2020 appear to be the same type of recruits that we were getting on Defense for 2018 and 2019.
solid 3*, intelligent and motivated.
All that we need is a solid (I.e. not necessarily great QB)
I expect BB to take that offense to the next level.
If he fails to do that, then I will join the posters who want to get rid of him.
BearGoggles
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Sebastabear said:

Terrific write-up. Thanks so much for sharing. A lot of credit to the players but also to the coaches here. Really a remarkable group.

Wilcox's next big coaching job is to make sure the kids don't get so enamored with the press clippings that they forget to actually execute (see our ill-fated and brief "Drop 40 (50?)" campaign a few years back). On the bright side, at least we aren't on the SI cover.
The fact that the backups/younger guys are pushing for playing time will hopefully help. Cal's secondary has more depth than any time I can remember. I wouldn't worry much (if at all) if the second string dbs see the field.

SmellinRoses
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Good stuff. Hicks undersold here as a recruit; All-State, Rivals 4 star, big time offers etc.
Rushinbear
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SmellinRoses said:

Good stuff. Hicks undersold here as a recruit; All-State, Rivals 4 star, big time offers etc.
Au contraire. Hicks's commitment was celebrated as a big win over Notre Dame.
FuzzyWuzzy
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Blueblood said:

GivemTheAxe said:

Another Bear said:

Excellent read, thanks for posting.

Thanks for posting. Add this to the list of posts in the topic of: "Stars vs Coaching".

Yes having 4* and 5* recruits is good.
But having a great coach is better. He can transform intelligent and motivated 3* recruits into a dominant force.


I can wholeheartedly agree.

You should also add this from the article, "But as Cal's defense has improved, the offense has regressed."

Yes, the article is very good for Cal, but as fans, we shouldn't be so much of a homer as to forget about the above observation. Such a situation is not supportive of a "great coach", a good coach but not great yet. I never argued that the defensive player recruitment was lacking. My main emphasis was with the offensive recruiting which I claim needs to be upgraded too in order for Cal to have some sort of consistent success.

I know that I've acknowledged that Wilcox could have some success with the current team make-up but it would only be temporary without similar improvement in the offense. Sonny has shown us that much.

I can undertsand that Wilcox may be planning to improve the offense after possibily going 9-3 in regular season and maybe 10-3 overall. That sounds good. But, what happens when another Power 5 school comes in an offers $4+ million/yr to Wilcox with a bag of gold coins for each of his assistants?



We do our best to hold on to him and the staff, that's what happens. I think everyone, including the big donors, are hoping we win 10 games, the recruits start rolling in, and the donors are asked to open up their wallets. It's a good problem to have.

As for the offense, when he got here JW did what I think we all hoped he would do given the roster-hand he was dealt. He hired a guy who was considered one of the best offensive minds in the college game, well-loved by his players and fans at EWU, and who had had incredible offensive success against P12 opponents with players who were not very highly recruited. In other words, JW had a good plan to succeed on offense with middling talent for our conference. That it hasn't worked out thus far is not an indictment of JW's performance as a head coach. I think you chalk it up to "we did everything right and we got a little unlucky - so far."

I say "so far" because some of us are very surprised BB hasn't been more successful at Cal thus far, and some of us still hope it was the fluke of not having a QB who could execute, and that it was a fluke that won't repeat itself this season. Who knows what we have behind center this year. Maybe Garbers has turned a corner. Maybe Modster or the frosh is a revelation. Yes, maybe it is the same as last year but we won't know that for at least another month.

Anyway, I'm glad our secondary is getting some much-deserved national publicity. Those guys balled out last year, equaled as a unit maybe only by our inside linebacking crew. I think the program criticisms should be reserved for a separate thread. I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to voice your opinion but it's a little tiresome to see it in all the good-news threads.

FuzzyWuzzy
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BearGoggles said:


The fact that the backups/younger guys are pushing for playing time will hopefully help. Cal's secondary has more depth than any time I can remember. I wouldn't worry much (if at all) if the second string dbs see the field.


Where did you get that impression? Not saying it isn't true but I don't recall hearing this. I do know that our returning secondary is 3 seniors and a junior. Beck is also a senior, I think. I can't even name the young guys behind them. That worries me for 2020.
Blueblood
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FuzzyWuzzy said:

Blueblood said:

GivemTheAxe said:



Thanks for posting. Add this to the list of posts in the topic of: "Stars vs Coaching".

Yes having 4* and 5* recruits is good.
But having a great coach is better. He can transform intelligent and motivated 3* recruits into a dominant force.


I can wholeheartedly agree.

You should also add this from the article, "But as Cal's defense has improved, the offense has regressed."

Yes, the article is very good for Cal, but as fans, we shouldn't be so much of a homer as to forget about the above observation. Such a situation is not supportive of a "great coach", a good coach but not great yet. I never argued that the defensive player recruitment was lacking. My main emphasis was with the offensive recruiting which I claim needs to be upgraded too in order for Cal to have some sort of consistent success.

I know that I've acknowledged that Wilcox could have some success with the current team make-up but it would only be temporary without similar improvement in the offense. Sonny has shown us that much.

I can undertsand that Wilcox may be planning to improve the offense after possibily going 9-3 in regular season and maybe 10-3 overall. That sounds good. But, what happens when another Power 5 school comes in an offers $4+ million/yr to Wilcox with a bag of gold coins for each of his assistants?



We do our best to hold on to him and the staff, that's what happens. I think everyone, including the big donors, are hoping we win 10 games, the recruits start rolling in, and the donors are asked to open up their wallets. It's a good problem to have.

As for the offense, when he got here JW did what I think we all hoped he would do given the roster-hand he was dealt. He hired a guy who was considered one of the best offensive minds in the college game, well-loved by his players and fans at EWU, and who had had incredible offensive success against P12 opponents with players who were not very highly recruited. In other words, JW had a good plan to succeed on offense with middling talent for our conference. That it hasn't worked out thus far is not an indictment of JW's performance as a head coach. I think you chalk it up to "we did everything right and we got a little unlucky - so far."

I say "so far" because some of us are very surprised BB hasn't been more successful at Cal thus far, and some of us still hope it was the fluke of not having a QB who could execute, and that it was a fluke that won't repeat itself this season. Who knows what we have behind center this year. Maybe Garbers has turned a corner. Maybe Modster or the frosh is a revelation. Yes, maybe it is the same as last year but we won't know that for at least another month.

Anyway, I'm glad our secondary is getting some much-deserved national publicity. Those guys balled out last year, equaled as a unit maybe only by our inside linebacking crew. I think the program criticisms should be reserved for a separate thread. I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to voice your opinion but it's a little tiresome to see it in all the good-news threads. [I was just responding to what another poster and the article itself brought up in the "good-news thread" that you want to wallow in....sorry but I don't make this stuff up.]


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