California had its first full pads spring practice Tuesday at Witter Rugby Field, and there were a couple of interesting notes coming out of it.
First, Joel Willis has moved from defensive back to receiver, a position where the Bears are very thin and inexperienced, other than All-American candidate Keenan Allen, who will miss spring after ankle surgery.
Said Tedford in quotes provided by Cal, “He’s going to be a great addition for us at that position the way he runs and with his athleticism. It’s a good fit for him. He’s been kind of chomping at the bit to play receiver and with our receiver depth right now it’s a good time for him as well.”
The Bears are replacing both defensive ends from 2011 -- Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu -- but this doesn't seem like a problem. End, in fact, looks like a defensive strength, with Deandre Coleman and Mustafa Jalil the likely starters and Todd Barr and Gabe King providing quality depth.
“Both of those guys played a lot last year and are talented guys,” Tedford said of Coleman and Jalil. “I’m expecting both of those guys to step up and be leaders at that position. Todd Barr made a couple of nice plays today as well, but those two guys [Coleman and Jalil] should be the starters there right now. Gabe King is doing a nice job as well. He’s really gained some size and has kind of transformed his body, but he hasn’t played so he needs to gain the experience that Coleman and Jalil have.”