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Cal Football

Cal Fall Camp Day 13

August 16, 2019
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The fall camp grind has officially commenced. 

“Day 13. You know, everybody in the country is going through two-a-days — going through that strain,” defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter told a group of reporters at the conclusion of Day 13 of Cal’s fall football camp. “Today we had a good, long practice trying to get our guys to push through that uncomfortable feeling. And I like how our guys responded. Some guys responded better than others. We gave up a couple explosives, we gotta figure out why that happened.”

After an off-day on Wednesday and a relatively brief Thursday practice that involved mainly individual drills, the Bears were back out in full pads today (Friday, August 16). It was also the first time DeRuyter was made available to the media after Tuesday’s scrimmage

“I thought our guys against the run did a decent job. We didn’t give up an explosive run,” DeRuyter said of Tuesday’s scrimmage, noting the first-team did particularly well. “We got our offense in a bunch of third-and-long situations. I think we were successful about 75% on third down. When you do that you’ve got a chance to have a pretty good day.”

Both DeRuyter and numerous defensive players have spoken a lot this fall about how having a veteran group of guys has allowed them to progress faster in implementing plays and packages compared to the previous two years. 

“It’s kinda building blocks,” DeRuyter said. “And that first year it was very vanilla, last year we were able to make some strides, and now with so many guys coming back, we’re able to put a little more window dressing on it.”

Part of that has included what DeRuyter calls “job swapping.”

“We talk all the time about job swapping,” DeRuyter said. “And so know the guys next to you because if someone goes down, you might have to play that position next to you.”

Expect to see some of that swapping at the nose guard position where Luc Bequette is expected to fill in for Aaron Maldonado and Suilagisipai Fuimano who both remain injured. “He’ll (Bequette) be in on some packages and we’ll have other guys on others,” DeRuyter said when asked directly about the senior defensive end.

“He’s a big, physical, tough guy and understands what we ask of that position,” DeRuyter continued describing Bequette. “And the biggest thing is attitude. He’s going to hang in there and take on double-teams and allow other guys to make plays.”

Redshirt freshman Erick Nisich has also impressed at the position at fall camp and figures to factor into the nose guard rotation. 

“We’re planning on going to play our first game with the guys that are practicing,” DeRuyter said about the nose guard position. “We hope to get those guys back as soon as possible, but you know with football, you never know when there’s going to be an injury. We have a next-up mentality and the guys we’re repping, we expect them to play against UC-Davis.”

DeRuyter gushed about a few players that have been having particularly strong fall camps. First was sophomore outside linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo out of Houston.

“He’s understanding what we do a lot better,” DeRuyter said, noting Ogunbanjo has gained weight during the off-season pushing him up to 240 pounds on his 6-3 frame. “And so, because he understands it better, he’s more consistent in his alignments, his assignments, his eye discipline, his hands — all the things that he needed to work on.

“I think he can be a third-down guy for us, you know. You always want to have fresh guys coming off on pass downs.” 

While DeRuyter said Ogunbanjo has some “technical aspects” to work on, there are some unteachable aspects to his game that has made him stand out.

“He’s got some of the things you can’t teach — that explosive coming out of the stance and being able to turn and bend,” DeRuyter said, adding Orin Patu is another edge rusher to watch for this season. “When their group is called, we’ve got some real speed guys able to come off the edge.”

Incoming junior college transfer Kuony Deng has also impressed early. During Tuesday’s scrimmage, he recorded a sack and created quite a bit of havoc in the backfield. 

“He’s a really hungry football player. He’s a guy that’s been working at it since he got here. He’s got a really big upside,” DeRuyter said.

“He’s still pretty thin but he’s becoming more of a complete football player,” DeRuyter continued, noting Deng’s ability to play the inside linebacker position with the ability to read and run with the running backs. For third-down situations, DeRuyter said they could use him as an edge rusher. “We’d love to get a bunch of guys that look like him,” DeRuyter said, adding it would allow them to play for four-linebacker packages.

After missing some practices early, senior cornerback Traveon Beck has been working back into the rotation.

“He (Beck) was dinged up early in camp so he missed the first week and a half or so,” DeRuyter said, noting he needs to get back into football condition and get more on-field reps. “He’s a competitor. I don’t worry about him as far as that’s concerned.”

Other notes from Thursday’s practice:

  • During the first 11-on-11 drills, Garbers led the first-team offense against the first-team defense. The beginning of the drive focused on designed run plays to Christopher Brown Jr. and QB-designed run plays. Garbers and the offense moved the ball with relative ease and the series concluded with a TD pass to Nikko Remigio.
  • After having some good days earlier in camp, Robby Rowell had a rough first outing today. During his portion of the 11-on-11 drills, the series started with a snap over Rowell’s head and included a fumble on a handoff to the tailback and a ball that should’ve been picked but was dropped by the DB.
  • The receivers had quite a few drops in one-on-one drills but looked better in 11-on-11s. Jeremiah Hawkins had a nice pass that went for a long TD from Garbers. Jordan Duncan had a nice catch in traffic. Nikko Remigio kept doing his thing and looked strong.
  • The offense got creative a couple times today, first with a reverse play where Hawkins took the ball from Garbers in the backfield and then tossed it to Ricky Waters III for a run. Marcel Dancey also got involved today with a long catch from Garbers and then the very next play airing it out himself to Remigio on the second trick play. 
  • At running back, Christopher Brown Jr. took many snaps, but DeShawn Collins busted a big play as well.
  • Spencer Brasch showed some nifty scrambling ability today completing a pass to Makai Polk on the run and opening up a big scamble on a busted play.
  • Tevin Paul made his presence known in the backfield multiple times today, once tackling Brown Jr. for a loss and then knocking down Garbers as he got rid of the ball. He also later recorded a “sack” of Garbers (QBs still aren’t allowed to be touched). After practice, DeRuyter specifically called out Paul as making strides in the off-season. “He’s been really able to grow in the off-season,” DeRuyter said. Last fall, DeRuyter continued, it was a lot of spoon-feeding. “Now he’s fully understanding things,” DeRuyter said. “He’s playing much faster. Still really, really physical off an edge.” 
  • Ben Hawk Schrider also got in the backfield on Garbers, flashing the quickness coaches have been raving about during fall camp.
  • Josh Drayden had a nice pass breakup on a long ball.

Day 13 Video: One-on-One Drills

 
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