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Speed Kills - Part 1 - Offense

June 26, 2019

In football, speed kills.  On offense, it is often the difference between a good play and a big play.  It makes opponents defenses backpedal at the snap and drop their safeties.  It can turn a broken tackle into a touchdown.   Defensively, speed makes up for a misstep, it can make the offense feel like the field simply isn’t wide enough and it can prevent big plays becoming points.  

We take a look at the speed that the 2019 California Football Team will bring to the field, breaking it down by position group, highlighting returning players and newcomers who will add a speed dimension to the squad.

Overall:   The headline is that this Cal team has above average speed in the front seven of their defense and at Tight End on offense.  Elsewhere, this is not a roster that is deep in skill position wheels on both sides of the ball with a few notable exclusions.  Look for the staff to emphasize speed as they fill out the 2020 and future recruiting classes.



The Bears have a trio of signal callers that can make plays with their feet.  Chase Garbers‍  has plus top end speed and good pocket mobility.  Devon Modster‍  is not quite as nimble or speedy as Garbers but he’s not far behind.  Incoming freshman, Spencer Brasch‍ ran the 200M as a HS senior and was timed as a Junior in the 4.7’s in the 40.

Twitter / Spencer Brasch
True Freshman Spencer Brasch will add another dual-threat QB to the roster this Fall

Running Backs:

The overall speed in the running back room in 2019 represents a higher floor than in the recent past yet perhaps with a higher ceiling.  Christopher Brown‍  looks to be the bell cow tailback heading into Fall Camp and he’s far more a prototypical power runner than a speed back at 220lbs.  That said, Brown was a sprinter in HS with a PR of 11.5 in the 100M.  Marcel Dancy‍  has very good quickness without great top end speed.  He ran an 11.77 100M as an HS senior.  DeCarlos Brooks‍  comes to Berkeley as a decorated tailback AND track star.  Brooks finished 2nd in the state of Arizona in the 110 HIgh Hurdles with a PR of 14.31, not too far behind Ashtyn Davis’ HS best of 14.09. 

DeShawn Collins‍ is the burner of the group and has perhaps is the most electric speed player on the entire offense.  It’s not his track times that impress (he only dabbled as a sprinter in HS), it’s the fact that he outran defenses again and again in HS and at the JC level.  That burst was on display this Spring as he unofficially led the Bears in long runs from scrimmage.  It’s even more evident when you watch his film where he puts his purported 4.41 40 time on display.

Wide Receivers:

Cal does not have a clear burner in the mold of a Demetris Robertson, Bryce Treggs, Chase Lyman, Trevor Davis, et al.  The group’s leader Jordan Duncan‍ has improved his speed and quickness each and every year and recently had this to say about his offseason training results.

He’ll be joined by Monroe Young‍ , who finished in the low 11’s as a 100M sprinter in HS. Kekoa Crawford‍  brings the most impressive metrics speed wise to the WR room having posted multiple electronic 4.4 40’s in both HS and at Michigan.  He’s very quick and accelerates well.   Trevon Clark‍  was among the best big play deep threats in all of JC football nationally in 2018.  Long with very quick acceleration, Clark boasts a 4.56 electronic 40 time and a low 11 second 100M time from HS.  Taariq Johnson‍ , the erstwhile Bear wideout the staff hopes matriculates to Berkeley in two weeks time when JC transfers report, was a reliable deep threat in the Spring of 2018 showing better top end speed than one would expect from a player of his size, 6’2, 220.  

Jeremiah Hawkins‍ was consistently the fastest Bear on offense in 2018, able to accelerate and create separation on a relatively consistent basis.  Hawkins struggled to catch the ball at times and will need to work on that aspect of his game if he’s going to take advantage of his 4.45 speed.  Hawkins is both quick and fast and ran in the low 11’s in the 100M as a 15-year-old in HS.  

Tight Ends:

This is a group long on speed and athleticism and light on blocking.  Both McCallan Castles‍ and Gavin Reinwald‍ have above average wheels that will allow them to get down the field and make plays.  Castles averaged over 20 yards per reception during his HS career with a 72 yard pass play as his long.  In limited action for the Bears in 2018, he flashed the ability to get behind linebackers on post and corner routes.  Reinwald is even quicker than his larger teammate.  At 215lbs in HS, Reinwald ran a 4.62 40.  That speed has allowed him to impress the last two Spring practices running seams and go routes from the TE position.

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Discussion from...

Speed Kills - Part 1 - Offense

6,730 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 4 yr ago by CALiforniALUM
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Nice article and a good job of researching everyone's sprint times, but the reality is that no opposing DC is losing any sleep over the speed of anyone on our offense.
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Would it be possible to post a table in the article with each player's name, position, height, weight and different speed at distance times? Then provide us some past examples of Cal players who we can visualize by posting their same stats. The difference between quick and fast is the difference between Sofele and Best.
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