Photo by Al Sermeno - KLC Fotos

Remigio: From Newcomer to Old-Timer in One Year

July 28, 2019
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A year ago Nikko Remigio was a wide-eyed freshman wide receiver trying to figure out a complex offense and where his classes were. 

Now he is one of the more experienced receivers the Bears have in a unit that was decimated by graduation and transfers. He realizes his responsibilities have changed. His college experience consists of just nine games, but the coaches will look to him to take a leadership role.

“I think it would only be right that having that game experience and having a better understanding of the offense than the newer guys that are coming in. It has been a full year being in this program,” he said. “I feel very familiar with it, very comfortable with it. Taking on a leadership role is something that suits me very well.”

Getting up to speed on the Cal offense took a little time, but Remigio played in eight of the last nine games, starting two, including the Cheez-It Bowl. In the contest against TCU, he had his season-high of five receptions for 21 yards. For the season, he caught 11 passes for 62 yards.

Most freshmen would be content with numbers like that. Not Remigio. “I am a competitor. To be honest, I am a little disappointed with the way my freshman year went,” he said. “I will always have a bad taste in my mouth because of my competitive nature. Anything short of phenomenal, I am not satisfied. My mentality going into workouts, going into PRPs (Player Run Practices), going into the film room revolves around that dissatisfaction. And I try to turn into something that motivates me to do better.”

He started “doing better” during Spring Practice. And in the Spring Game, he was the leading receiver with six receptions. 

‘We were putting a lot of emphasis on gaining chemistry with (Chase) Garbers and (Devon) Modster,” he said. “What I was able to do showed in the spring game and what I did there. I am still not satisfied with it. It was obvious there was some sort of chemistry built up there that made it go very well.”

And while getting in sync with the quarterback is important. Remigio feels that all the shuffling at the position contributed to some of the offensive struggles last season.

“I think that definitely was a factor hindering us as an offense,” he said. “Having a chemistry as an offense is one of the most important things besides the talent level and the knowledge everybody has,” he said. “And I think we have really put an emphasis in gaining that this offseason. And it shows. You can see the difference in our PRPs we come together really well.”

Something else that should help the offense is Garbers’ improvement and comfort level. 

“I have seen a lot of growth,” Remigio said. “Just having a year under his belt, gaining that confidence as a QB. Being able to really lead the offense and claim it as his own was one of the biggest growths that I have seen in him. He has been really proactive in getting with the guys and making sure everybody is on the same page and making sure everybody is doing things right, even in the workouts and the weight room. He has really shaped up and taken that leadership role.”

Al Sermeno - KLC Fotos
Nikko Remigio caught six passes in the Spring Game

One noted weakness of the Cal passing attack in recent years has been the relative absence of the deep ball. Remigio said that is being corrected.”We have a lot more deep patterns,” he said, “And we’ve repped some of them in our PRPs and they work really well. It will be interesting to see how it works out in fall camp. People will be happy to see how this offense has progressed.”

Head coach Justin Wilcox has made a point of praising Remigio’s blocking ability, despite his small stature. “Blocking is all mentality,” said the 5-10 Remigio. “It shows your maximum effort. I think when you a receiver that can block it shows the DB that you have that ‘dog’ mentality.

“’I am not only going to catch passes on you, I am going to be in your face, too,’ If you put that type of pressure on a defensive back, that’s when they start making mistakes. I think it ties in to the whole game as a receiver.”

He said that his work in the weight room will make him more effective when dealing with the bigger defenders.

“I can thank Coach (Torre) Becton for that,” he said, “He has prepared me to take on those bigger guys. I have put on eight or nine pounds. I am at 187 right now. I think I am at a good weight

“I feel like I’m the fastest and strongest that I have ever been my entire life. I feel great. This weight will be the most comfortable.”

Remigio had something of a security blanket last year. There were five other graduates of Mater Dei High on the Cal roster: Chase Forrest, Malik McMorris, Justin Norbeck, Addison Ooms and Matt Rockett. 

“I think those guys were very important to me coming into the program as a new player,” Remigio said. “I think they welcomed me to the team with open arms … I think those guys played a huge role in helping me familiarize myself with the program and with my teammates.”

The others are all gone now, but because of their guidance Remigio has established himself with the rest of his teammates.

And Mater Dei is also currently represented by walk-on freshman kicker Nick Lopez and next year an even more prominent addition.

 Chris Street, a top-flight running back who spent two years at Mater Dei before transferring to JSerra Catholic, has already committed to the Bears and will be a freshman in 2020. Remigio was part of the contingent of current players who hosted Stewart on his official visit.

“I think that’s always a really cool thing to have somebody you know host you and show you around,” Remigio said. He added that Cal fans might see contributions from Street right away. 

“He is one hell of an athlete,” he said. “You watch his film. He is something else. Really good guy, too.”

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Discussion from...

Remigio: From Newcomer to Old-Timer in One Year

BearGreg
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Staff
What do folks think about Remigio being our go to receiver in 2019?
Intuit
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Remigio's stature, speed and history of moderate achievement makes it difficult to project him leading California's receiving corp in receptions, yardage, or TDs. Hoping that Baldwin can get Garbers to lead an unpredictable diversified aerial offense.

Dduster
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No,... 52 total yards on 11 receptions is nothing to crow about. With those stats and starting the Chess It's game underlines just how feeble the offense was last year. Go-To guy...... Not hardly. We better run the ball if 52 yards is all our 'veteran's has to show for last year.
Goobear
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I think Nikko will become a productive slot receiver and safety valve for Garbers. He knows what he needed to do to become better. He is a Mater Dei guy and comes to work and gets it done. Super disciplined and looks like he changed his body. I expect him to to take a big step up.
71Bear
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BearGreg said:

What do folks think about Remigio being our go to receiver in 2019?
Big play, possibly. Go-to, probably not. Generally, the "go-to" guy is a bigger receiver who can consistently make a clutch third down play. When I think of "go to" guys, I think of Chris Carpenter, GMac, and Chase Lyman.
ducky23
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Intuit said:

Remigio's stature, speed and history of moderate achievement makes it difficult to project him leading California's receiving corp in receptions, yardage, or TDs. Hoping that Baldwin can get Garbers to lead an unpredictable diversified aerial offense.



- "history of moderate achievement" - the guy was a freshman last year. he's had 1 year. i wouldn't call that a "history". If he were a senior and had mediocre stats, that would be one thing. But there is a long history of Cal WR's performing modestly their first year and then blossoming in later years.

Bobby Shaw - 6 receptions/53 yards
Marvin Jones - 1 reception/8 yards
Dameane Douglas - 5 receptions/38 yards

- Slot receivers can excel without height or speed. Just look at the Patriots long list of small/avg speed receivers (and yes, I know that we don't have Tom Brady - but these guys still get open).

Wes Welker 5'9, 4.65
Julian Edelman 5'10, 4.52
Danny Amendola 5'11, 4.58

I am not saying that Remigio will be anything close to any of the receivers listed above. But having a moderate achievement freshman year doesn't mean much. And being tall and fast is not necessarily a requirement for a slot receiver. Much more important is his quickness, route running, agility, and ball skills. I think Remigio has shown some promise in all those areas. And while I don't expect him to be THE receiver next year, I wouldn't rule it out and I expect him to be very good by his 3rd and 4th year. I can see him having a career similar to Robert Jordan.




Big C
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Here's the kind of year I'm predicting for Remigio:
35 catches for about 300-400 yards, 4 TDs and some key 1st down receptions. Of course, though, I'll be rooting for him to smash through those benchmarks.
calumnus
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ducky23 said:

Intuit said:

Remigio's stature, speed and history of moderate achievement makes it difficult to project him leading California's receiving corp in receptions, yardage, or TDs. Hoping that Baldwin can get Garbers to lead an unpredictable diversified aerial offense.



- "history of moderate achievement" - the guy was a freshman last year. he's had 1 year. i wouldn't call that a "history". If he were a senior and had mediocre stats, that would be one thing. But there is a long history of Cal WR's performing modestly their first year and then blossoming in later years.

Bobby Shaw - 6 receptions/53 yards
Marvin Jones - 1 reception/8 yards
Dameane Douglas - 5 receptions/38 yards

- Slot receivers can excel without height or speed. Just look at the Patriots long list of small/avg speed receivers (and yes, I know that we don't have Tom Brady - but these guys still get open).

Wes Welker 5'9, 4.65
Julian Edelman 5'10, 4.52
Danny Amendola 5'11, 4.58

I am not saying that Remigio will be anything close to any of the receivers listed above. But having a moderate achievement freshman year doesn't mean much. And being tall and fast is not necessarily a requirement for a slot receiver. Much more important is his quickness, route running, agility, and ball skills. I think Remigio has shown some promise in all those areas. And while I don't expect him to be THE receiver next year, I wouldn't rule it out and I expect him to be very good by his 3rd and 4th year. I can see him having a career similar to Robert Jordan.







I hope so. Most of the guys you listed above looked good as freshmen but played behind established, effective starters and played in pro-style offenses using only 3 WRs. Remigio had a lot of opportunity last year, with Baldwin often using 4 and even 5 WR sets, no real standouts ahead of him, and with Remigio even starting a few games. But even he knows his performance was disappointing. With improved ball skills he could be very effective in a well-conceived offense (more important part of the Patriot receivers' success than Brady, IMO).
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