Tedford Seeks Stability With New Depth Chart

Photo: Kevin Riley was named the starting quarterback for the third year in a row. Despite low interception totals, Riley is looking to improve upon a season mired in inconsistency and inaccuracy.
Lara Brucker/File
Kevin Riley was named the starting quarterback for the third year in a row. Despite low interception totals, Riley is looking to improve upon a season mired in inconsistency and inaccuracy.

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Football Depth Chart Podcast

Cal football beat writers Jack Wang and Ed Yevelev discuss the team's latest depth chart release.

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Since the talented trio of Desean Jackson, Lavelle Hawkins and Robert Jordan left Berkeley, Cal's gap at wide receiver has been just that: wide.

Other than Verran Tucker and Marvin Jones two years ago, the Bears' recruiting efforts have struggled to produce legitimate playmaking wideouts.

Enter Keenan Allen.

Though best known as a safety - Allen recorded eight picks and 145 tackles his senior year in high school - the Greensboro, N.C., native was also an impressive pass-catcher, recording 53 offensive touchdowns.

After working strictly at receiver during camp, the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Allen cracked the team's depth chart on Thursday as the opening day starter opposite Jones. Fellow newcomer Coleman Edmond, a JUCO transfer, and senior Jeremy Ross are the primary back-ups.

According to Cal coach Jeff Tedford, the gem from the Bears' 2010 class didn't take long to impress the staff this fall.

"It was evident right away," Tedford said of Allen. "Big, strong, fast, good hands. Great body control ... It took maybe three days (to rise to the top of the depth chart)."

While Allen established himself quickly, other major position battles have taken longer to settle - if they have been settled at all.

The safeties and spots also have seen some particularly strong competition.

Junior Sean Cattouse and senior Chris Conte began fall training camp atop the safety depth chart, but will now platoon in a four-man committee with D.J. Campbell and converted cornerback Josh Hill.

"They'll all rotate," Tedford said. "It doesn't matter who takes the first snap."

Whatever mixing and matching they go through in 2010, it may not match the amount of shifting undergone up front.

Though junior Mitchell Schwartz locked up the left tackle spot, he is moving over from the right side, where he started in 2009. Along with senior Chris Guarnero at center, Schwartz was the only guaranteed starter on the line for much of training camp.

Matt Summers-Gavin was a likely left guard candidate, but his bone bruise early in camp created even more shuffling.

Now, either Dominic Galas or Brian Schwenke will step at guard in place of Summers-Gavin, who should replace the incumbent Donovan Edwards at right tackle upon return. Right guard, now occupied by Justin Cheadle, has been competitive throughout.

On the other side of the ball, Tedford expects a consistent three-man rotation between Trevor Guyton, Ernest Owusu, and Deandre Coleman at defensive end opposite senior Cameron Jordan.

In addition to leaving some questions unanswered, fall training camp has featured its share of surprises.

One of the top stories has been 5-foot-7 Isi Sofele, who became the No. 2 running back behind Shane Vereen and emerged as the team's top kick returner. In the backfield, the speedy sophomore beat out Dasarte Yarnway and Covaughn Deboskie-Johnson.

At cornerback, sophomore Marc Anthony beat out Steve Williams after the redshirt freshman was widely considered a favorite for a spot atop the depth chart.


Contact Ed Yevelev at eyevelev@dailycal.org.

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