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Hearing From the Newest Bears: Frosh Safety Hunter Barth

March 21, 2021

Part of a group of seven prep early enrollee players plus greyshirt Nate Rutchena‍ and Florida State transfer safety Ray Woodie, frosh safety Hunter Barth‍ has been making his mark throughout spring ball after getting a jump on the academic side starting classes in January.

“It’s been great,” said Barth. “I love it (here). California’s amazing. Spring ball’s had great weather. 

“I love my classes. I’m loving football. So everything’s great.”

The advantage of starting classes and getting acclimated before the busy fall semester has been a plus for Barth and his early entry teammates.

“I do think so,” said Barth. “With covid, I knew I wasn’t going to be in class so I thought I might as well get some classes done and get there early because who knows what’s going to happen? 

“I think it’s helped. I’m not taking too many classes this spring and it’s allowed me to make time for my assignments and for football.”

The early arrival has also bonded Barth and his fellow new arrivals as they’ve gotten acclimated and spent time together as a group much of the spring semester.

“I’m really cool with Ray and good friends with Nate,” said Barth. “A lot of early enrollees in my class I’m friends with,” said Barth. “All the guys I’ve talked to said it’s been pretty easy (the transition to Cal). A lot of the older guys have been pretty welcoming and the coaching staff’s been great, helping them out.”

With new defensive backs coach Tre Watson not arriving till a few practices in the the books, Barth had the unique experience of having head coach Justin Wilcox spend time coaching the DBs, especially early in the spring ball session.

“I love it,” said Barth. “He’s been great. He’s a great coach. I didn’t know he was going to be coaching us. He’s pretty hands-on with safeties and I’ve enjoyed it. It’s been good.”

With the staff philosophy of having players familiar with and proficient at multiple positions, Barth has learned both safety positions in his first semester at Cal.

“I’ve been playing both boundary and field safety,” said Barth. “They want to get us reps at both, so I’ve been mixing it up.”

The staff has noted Barth’s size and strength being a big plus in the backfield. The big-hitting 6-2/210 makes his presence on the field felt with regularity, including a big hit in Saturday’s spring game on receiver Ben Skinner.

“I think my strenths...I’m really good playing the run and playing in the flats,” said Barth. “I think my ability to break on the ball is pretty good, also.”

Wilcox noted that Barth’s ability to be comfortable withe his assignments will allow Barth to only get better as he lets his instincts kick in on the field and allow him to play fast.

“My goal is to get the playbook down,” said Barth. “Once you can do that, you can focus on other things, like reading the offense and all that. I think coming in for spring, giving me an opportunity to learn the playbook and get comfortable in the defense is going to be a big advantage for me coming into the season.”

Other stories:

Hearing From the Newest Bears: Frosh OLB Patrick Hisatake

Hearing From the Newest Bears: Cal Tight End Jermaine Terry

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