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Cal Football

Cal Offensive Line Is Deep and Experienced

May 30, 2021
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Cal football’s offensive line is an interesting mix of older players, young veterans and promising youngsters. The fact the Bears had a full spring practice schedule helped position coach Angus McClure pay particular attention to the finer points.

“They did an outstanding job this spring, and as you can imagine with a full schedule of practice time we got to spend more time on details. whether it’s schematic or techniques,” McClure said in a phone interview. “It was a sad reminder of how much we didn’t get to do last year.”

McClure is also pleased with the number of players he has at his disposal. The Bears were able to field three complete O-line contingents during the spring and will have at least 18 bodies available at the start of fall camp.

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McClure at Work 

“We have excellent depth, and some great numbers right now in the offensive line,” McClure said. “This is the first time in my career where in spring football we had three solid groups, whether it’s offensive line or defensive line. I have never had the numbers we had this spring. It was very positive.

 

“Everyone got plenty of repetitions, which is great. I love the way Coach Wilcox organized it. So it didn’t matter if you were the starting left tackle or an incoming freshman -Guys like Bastian (Swinney) or Ryan (Lange)‍ got a ton of reps, too, which was great.”

Here is McClure’s take on each player.

Ender Aguilar‍, 6-5, 280, Soph:

McClure: “An athletic player, this will be his second year. Has really stepped up with his performance from last fall through this spring. He has put on 20 pounds. I still see him as a guy who is going to help us down the road. He’s a developmental guy right now. Great commitment.”

Matthew Cindric, 6-4, 290, Redshirt Jr.

McClure: “He continues to impress. Outstanding attitude. Has improved his performance every year since I’ve been here. Solid starter, great commitment. Does a nice job pulling. He needs to continue to develop in the weight room this summer.”

Ben Coleman, 6-4, 335, Redshirt Soph

McClure: “Probably our most versatile offensive lineman. Has played all five spots, got some experience at center this spring. A very important part of our offensive line. His attitude is great, and his performance is improving. He is a guy that is going to continue to develop in the weight room and develop his fundamentals.”

Will Craig, 6-5, 285, Redshirt Jr.

McClure: “He played left tackle all spring. Very athletic. Very adaptable also. Has really improved on his technique. Will continue to put on more weight and needs a little bit more consistency with his weight. This will be a big summer for him in the weight room, and he has done an outstanding job so far. He has achieved some personal bests the last couple of months so it is great to see him put on the strength.”

Al Sermeno - KLC fotos
Matthew Cindric (72) and Will Craig (74)

Valentino Daltoso, 6-4, 300, Redshirt Sr.

McClure: “Another super versatile player. Has played multiple positions. This will be his sixth year. Great attitude, strong leader. Definitely a winning player. He is going to continue to work on some fundamental techniques this summer and also in the weight room.”

Brian Driscoll, 6-4, 305, Redshirt Soph.

McClure: “Has been solid at center. It is great he got experience there last fall. He got a ton of reps this spring. He continues to improve. A heady player, does a great job with the calls upfront. Another great attitude guy. He really stepped up a notch this spring with his performance.”  

Colin Hamilton, 6-7, 305, Soph.

McClure: “Again one of our young guys. He is the tallest offensive lineman. Played both tackle positions this spring. Great attitude, A guy that is going to benefit from being with Coach (Brian) Johnson this summer. Being as tall and as long as he is, that is going to be important for him, moving forward. But he is definitely developing.”

Everett Johnson, 6-7, 315, Soph.

McClure: “Made huge strides this spring. Great attitude. He played primarily on the right side at guard and tackle. Really improved every practice, He lost weight, which helped his mobility and his pass protection. He is 315 down from 325.”

Ryan Lange, 6-6, 335, Fr.

McClure: “He has lost about 20 pounds. He played right guard this spring. Did an outstanding job coming in from high school. He had to learn the system, learn the schematics, learn the techniques. An outstanding attitude, showed his physicality at times. Again he needs a great summer in the weight room putting the strength on.”

Brandon Mello, 6-6, 285, Redshirt Jr.

McClure: “Had an outstanding spring. He played left tackle behind Craig. That is the most amount of repetitions he got since being at Cal. His length and athleticism were why we moved him over there. We think he can be a great backup and continue to compete for a starting position. He needs to continue to work on his strength.” 

McKade Mettauer, 6-4, 305, Jr.

McClure: “He played right guard and a little center this spring. He can go inside if we ever need him. He does an outstanding job of pulling. He is a nasty finisher. Attitude is very strong. He is going to continue to work on his footwork.”

Colin Moroney, 6-5, 305, Soph.

McClure: “A young guy also from right here in the Bay Area (Danville), he has done an outstanding job changing his body. Like some of these other young players, at first, he lost a little weight and his strength went up. He really put on some good muscle mass. He’s a heady player, high football IQ. We will continue to watch his development.”

Sami Nazzal, 6-3, 280, Sr.

McClure: “We call him ‘City Boy’, he is out of City College of San Francisco. Highest GPA on the team. We moved him to center and think we found a home for him. I know he played a little center in high school at Sacred Heart in San Francisco. We moved him there the last two weeks of spring football and he did an outstanding job He is another one of those guys who at first lost some pounds, but he put on quality weight. He will continue to develop with fundamentals and weight room this summer.”

Brayden Rohme, 6-6, 290, Redshirt Soph.

McClure: “An offensive tackle He got repetitions at both left and right this spring. He is an athletic guy, with a great attitude, great finisher. Plays really hard. Put on a little more weight in the late spring.”

Al Sermeno - KLC fotos
Brandon Mello (78) and Michael Saffell (53)

Michael Saffell, 6-2, 290, Sr.

McClure: “He did an outstanding job this spring. An outstanding leader not only in our group but the whole team. He is a blood and guts guy, as we all know. He really improved in certain areas this spring. The thing I noticed with Mike and also with Val is that they do a great job with the younger players. Every day they would work with the young guys after practice. We have accountability partners within our group. I didn’t have these guys matched up with the freshmen but they were very involved with the freshmen and teaching them the way the Golden Bears do it. I love Mike’s weight right now, around 290. Perfect weight for him what we ask the centers to do in our system.”

Bastian Swinney, 6-6, 310, Fr.

McClure: “Again a young guy came out of high school early. Like a lot of the young guys, I like to put him in at center to see how he can handle it. And not only snapping the football, but making identifications, making the calls that type of stuff. Putting a younger player at center forces them to really learn all that we ask of offensive linemen. He did an outstanding job. High football IQ, high-effort guy. Showed some good versatility. As we move forward, nice to know he can play some center. But he is going to focus more on tackle when we go to camp.”

Gentle Williams, 6-3, 275, Redshirt Sr.

McClure: “Right now he’s training with the boys. He’s been fully-cleared. He has been working at guard. Another one who does an outstanding job with the younger guys. For what he’s gone through during his career at Cal and see him battle back every time. This is the third (surgery) time, it can only impress you. Not only me as a coach but very inspirational to everyone in the program. He is a full-go guy anytime he is in the weight room, training room, on the field. Really proud of his effort and how hard he has worked to get back out on the field. He is not there yet, he hasn’t gotten to the finish line. But if he continues on the path he’s on, he will compete for a starting position in camp.”

Coming in the fall

Dylan Jemtegaard, 6-4, 290, Fr. 

McClure: “Named his league’s Most Valuable Lineman. Played in a lot of all-star games. Academic All-American. He is a heady player, I look forward to working with him and developing him this fall. He will fit in right with our guys at Cal.”

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