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Stock Risers - Cal Football Camp 2023

August 21, 2023
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It’s simple.  Who on the roster did not enter fall camp either with an obvious role or being seen as an impact player with the 2023 team and through their strong play the last three weeks have become stock risers?  These ten players will have a chance to get on the field with some of them potential difference-makers.

LT TJ Session

TJ Session‍: It’s not hyperbole to say that Session had one of the most challenging debut seasons as an offensive lineman in Cal history.  Pro Football Focus (PFF) graded him as the worst tackle in the Pac-12 and the 596th tackle in the country. The fact that he’s made himself an entrenched starter this fall is surprising enough, yet his play has been better than simply serviceable and he’s been arguably the most improved player on the entire roster.   

Nate Burrell‍: Burrell’s stock was high after a solid debut season as a true freshman in 2022 where he played in all 12 games, notching 28 tackles and a fumble recovery as a defensive lineman.  Burrell worked on his body and his technique and has taken a big step forward in camp.  He was a disruptive force throughout the 2nd scrimmage and is well-matched to Peter Sirmon’s more attacking defense

Lachlan Wilson‍:  The Tulsa transfer came to Cal with a solid resume as a punter.  PFF ranked him 60th last year which is solid though not exciting.  What we’ve seen this fall is perhaps the strongest leg at Cal since Bryan Anger roamed the sidelines at Memorial Stadium, with occasional punts with hangtimes over 5 seconds.  While his consistency is still not quite there, when he does connect, the hang time and distance are very impressive.  He has a chance to be a weapon in 2023.

Brian Hightower‍:  Hightower was a consensus top 200 national recruit when he enrolled at Miami in 2018.  After transferring to Illinois, he became a starter, though never a star.  He arrived in Berkeley last Spring and was highly limited by some health issues. This fall, he’s shown he will be in the WR rotation with a real chance to start.  Simply put, he gets open and catches everything thrown his way.  He’s got great size at 6’3 and 215 and plays like a crafty veteran.  

Ashton Stredick‍:  Stredick’s a preferred walk-on who has shined in practice and on the scout

RB Ashton Stredick
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team since he arrived in Berkeley.  With injuries behind starter Jaydn Ott, he’s had a chance this past spring and in fall camp to establish himself as someone who deserves meaningful snaps.  Stredick’s not big but he runs larger than his size.  He’s got good quickness and speed and has improved his vision and instincts in finding the hole.  He’s in a battle to be Ott’s backup and regardless will play a meaningful role in 2023.

Cameron Sidney‍:  Sidney was a star HS player at powerhouse Mater Dei and garnered offers from Ole Miss and Arkansas before choosing Cal.   Some injuries and the mental demands of being in the Cal secondary meant he had a rough true freshman year, where he used his redshirt. This spring and into the fall, he’s shown himself to be a more than effective cover man from the nickel-back spot.  He projects as the backup to JC transfer Matt Littlejohn at that spot but should see plenty of snaps.

Marquise Montgomery:  The JC WR transfer, despite limited stats and experience, earned offers from LSU, Penn State, Oklahoma, and others.  He’s rangy at 6’5 with very good body control.  He got off to a slow start in camp but has turned it on and clearly finds himself in the rotation in the WR room.  He’s an instant red-zone weapon

Trond Grizzell:  Perhaps the highest stock riser on this list, WR Grizzell has gone from a capable preferred walk-on to a potential starter. He’s been that productive.  Another big receiver (sense

WR Trond Grizzell

a theme?), Grizzell has been a big play machine and when Monroe Young‍ went down with an injury in the middle of camp, Grizzell took over his starting job.   Grizzell’s very good in the air and while he’s not a speed merchant, he’s consistently gotten open, particularly over the middle.

Ryan McCulloch‍: The true freshman stepped onto the field as an OLB and instantly made his mark as a pass rusher. Playing at 6’3, 240, McCulloch has the frame to add more muscle and right now, he’s more effective getting at the QB than playing the run. He’s simply put, a very good athlete with the ability to bend, move laterally and is blessed with an explosive first step.  The former 3-star recruit looks to have been wildly underrated and is in a position to earn snaps in 2023

Fernando Mendoza‍:  Mendoza will likely not win the starting QB spot in 2023 yet he’s made

QB Fernando Mendoza

himself a part of the conversation in a way that belies his humble 2-star recruiting background.  Mendoza’s got good size, a strong arm, and the unique ability to step up into the rush and consistently deliver an accurate pass.  A decent athlete with a certain moxie, Mendoza has shown himself to be a viable option to run this offense should Jackson get hurt or struggle.   

Discussion from...

Stock Risers - Cal Football Camp 2023

2,960 Views | 2 Replies | Last: 9 mo ago by Shocky1
heartofthebear
How long do you want to ignore this user?
Was it intentional to mention one player from each position group or was that a coincidence?
Shocky1
How long do you want to ignore this user?
good article, would add barrett miller & andy alfieri
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