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Fall Camp Day 11 -- Bequette Gets Offical OK From NCAA

August 18, 2021
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All along Cal assumed that the NCAA would grant defensive lineman Luc Bequette an additional year of eligibility and allow him to play for the Bears this season.

Assuming is one thing. Getting it confirmed is another, especaiilly when dealing with the NCAA.

Cal learned Tuesday night that Bequette, who has been practicing with the team since the start of fall camp, can indeed be a participant this fall.

“We are very excited that is behind Luc, some of that uncertainty that is hard on a young man,” defensive coordinator Peter Sirmon said after the Bears’ practice Wednesday. “I am thankful that it turned out the way it did. WIth the extenuating circumstances I think it was definitely the right call for the player.”

Bequette arrived in Berkeley in 2015 from Little Rock, Ark. He redshirted that year and was injured after appearing in just four games in 2016. By his junior year he was one of the best linemen in the Pac-12 being voted Cal’s Most Valuable Lineman on defense in 2018 and 2019. 

When the pandemic hit and the Pac-12 initially called off the 2020 fall season, he transferred to Boston College, using the sixth year the NCAA had granted to make up for 2016. He played in 11 games for the Eagles last season.

When the possibility opened that his BC year might not count against his eligibility he came back to Cal hoping things would work out for one more year. They did.

“I mean it really does feel great,” Bequette said. “It (the transfer process)  kind of started earlier this year. ...I literally had two dreams in the same week that I was playing football at Cal and on the sidelines chest bumping (defensive line coach) Coach (Andrew) Browning. 

“I kind of saw the sign ...I talked to the coaches about coming back and we worked on it. It was a long process and I was finally able to find out late yesterday it was official and I would be able to play this year.”

Did he see big changes?

“It seems like I never left,” he said.

That is not really true, and Bequette knows it. For one thing, very few players from his early days are still around.

“A lot of new faces,” he said. “A new strength staff, love those guys.  A lot of young guys on the team, eager to work hard and get an early win in this program. There have been some subtle changes but for the most part, same old Cal that I love.”

Wednesday was the 11th practice and Bequette likes what he sees from some of his new teammates.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys in our d-line, but really talented guys, a lot of guys that are willing to work hard,” he said. “I haven’t spent too much time with them. They got here in the summer but we weren’t really working out with them. I had kind of got to know them before I left. I remember Coach Browning frothing at the mouth over Stanley (McKenzie) ‘He is going to be another you someday.’ “

One thing Bequette appreciates with his current position group is that there is more to it than there was a few years ago. That is true in every sense, bigger numbers, bigger players.

“It is really nice having a whole group of guys,” he said. “In the spring of 2018, we had five guys for the spring game. We went out and dominated that spring game. Our rotation was a little tough. We were getting a little tired, It is nice to be able to have a lot of guys.

“And also our size. We have two guys that are 340. If you are not over 300 you are a small guy now. I think our smallest guy is like 275 or something. I remember a couple of years ago … I may have been our second biggest guy at 290 and we had guys at 260, 250 even. So we’ve got a lot of beef this year and it is going to be fun as a defensive line to see what offenses are going to try to do to us, how they will try to move us around.  I don’t think they’re going to be able to.”

Bequette, who turned 24 last month, is from almost a different generation than some of his teammates. 

“I have been trying to backtrack and do all the math,” Bequette said of the age difference. “Someone was 11 years old when I went to fall camp for the first time.”

As for his own responsibilities, Bequette doesn’t anticipate doing anything much different. “Pretty much the same role as last time, different packages that I will be lined up all over the field in,” he said. 

Sirmon said that Bequette, “will continue to bring leadership, toughness. He does have quite a bit of versatility in the interior defensive line position. He’s a guy that has been around the ball. If you remember a few years ago he had that forced fumble down at USC. There is definitely that play-making ability.

“All the veterans have to be able to play multiple positions. And we will have increased flexibility now that Luc is definitely going to play.”

Sirmon said that the most noticeable change in Bequette is on the top of his head. His hair can no longer be confined under a helmet. That could be worth something to the young man. 

“He’s got a beautiful haircut right now,” Sirmon said. “Long flowing hair with lots of curls. ...When he runs he kind of goes back and forth and lets it flow. That’s the biggest difference I’ve seen in Luc.”

With the NIL factor, both Sirmon and Bequette see dollar signs in all those curls. Sirmon recommends shampoo companies. “I have kind of made a list of people I’d like to reach out to,” Bequette said. “Make deals and make a little money.”

Bequette’s hair was bundled in the back of his head on Wednesday, but he said it was long enough to pull from the top of his chin to his Adam’s apple. He’s aware not everyone is destined to like it.

“I think,” Bequette said, “when my dad comes to a game he’ll probably kill me when he sees it.”

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Discussion from...

Fall Camp Day 11 -- Bequette Gets Offical OK From NCAA

1,910 Views | 5 Replies | Last: 3 mo ago by KoreAmBear
BearForce2
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It's great to have him back.
upsetof86
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No doubt Luc being on that DL is what makes me confident that unit will be difference makers. Especially since we lost Johnson.
Big C
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upsetof86 said:

No doubt Luc being on that DL is what makes me confident that unit will be difference makers. Especially since we lost Johnson.

Exactly: He can be plugged in anywhere, for talent and experience. This is big. Welcome back, Luc!!!
KoreAmBear
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Big things for him this year. Go Bears!
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