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Cal Football

The Spring Primer - Part 1: The Offensive Line

February 20, 2019
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Find the Spring Roster Here

Spring Practice Schedule Here

OFFENSIVE LINE

Returning Starters:

Jake Curhan - TACKLE - 6’6, 330 - RS Junior

Michael Saffell - GUARD/CENTER - 6’3, 305 - Junior (Limited Participant this Spring)

Valentino Daltoso - GUARD/TACKLE - 6’4”, 295 - RS Junior (Out for Spring)

Other Returners with Playing Experience:

Will Craig - TACKLE - 6’5 270 - Sophomore

Gentle Williams - GUARD - 6’3, 290 - RS Junior

Henry Bazakas - TACKLE - 6’6, 320  - RS Senior

Newcomers:

Matt Cindric - GUARD/TACKLE - 6’4, 290 - RS Freshman

Poutasi Poutasi - GUARD - 6’4, 335 - RS Sophomore

Brandon Mello - GUARD/TACKLE - 6’6, 285 - RS Freshman

Miles Owens - TACKLE - 6’6, 350 - RS Freshman

Jasper Friis - TACKLE - 6’7, 320 - RS Freshman

Notes:   A very young group will take the field during Spring Ball.   Only three upperclassmen are healthy and available with seven underclassmen filling the gaps.  Even though Saffell will be limited, don’t be surprised to see him immediately take over the vacated Center position with Addison Ooms’ graduation.  Saffell is exceptionally talented and has a chance to be a star in the middle for the Bears over the new few seasons.   Curhan transformed his body going into 2018 and that paid dividends with the consistency of his run leverage and improved quickness on pass blocking.  He’ll work on pass blocking technique and overall consistency as he looks to establish himself as the leader of this young group.   Will Craig more than held his own while earning significant playing time as a true freshman and along with Saffell represents a significant athletic upgrade to the line.  He’s a near lock for one of the open starting slots.   Gentle Williams will need to take a step forward with his play to hold off a trio of youngsters looking for playing time in Matt Cindric, Brandon Mello and Poutasi Poutasi.   Cindric and Mello shined on the scout team last Fall and both will look to use this Spring to establish themselves in the rotation.

Key Questions going into Spring:

Who will make up Greatwood’s 8 man rotation heading into Fall Camp?   With six returning linemen with playing experience, this group is likely to include no more than 3 newcomers.   Mello and Cindric enter the Spring in the pole position but this may be an opportunity for Poutasi (now healthy) to mature and put himself in the mix.   Friis and Owens are almost certainly a year away.   Don’t be surprised to see a grad transfer enter the mix later this Spring.

Will a likely replacement for Addison Ooms make themselves known?   Sort of - Saffell is the favorite though he’s going to be limited in Spring Practice.  Cindric and Williams will also likely get reps snapping the ball and Greatwood is hoping to find at least one competitor/back up for Saffell in the middle coming out of Spring practice.

How much will a young and thin OL hold back the offense this Spring?   This has to be a concern with only one returning starter 100% healthy and a bevy of youngsters taking first-team snaps. That ’s mitigated by an overall increase in raw talent and athleticism up front and the defense being more passive as per usual in the Spring.

 
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