Fall Camp 2010: Day 10

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Mychal Kendricks took a few heavy steps towards the railing, resting against it after walking up the stairs of Memorial Stadium.

Asked how he felt after the Cal football team's second double-day practice in three days, the junior linebacker gave a quick response: "Tired."

He, like many players, were visibly exhausted as they entered the latter half of fall camp yesterday. And, like many, he's excited to be leaving the confines of Bowles Hall for the luxury of the Claremont Hotel in the Berkeley Hills.

"I dunno how long Cal's been doing that, but it's just part of the camp," Kendricks said of today's trip. "Get a better night's rest and sleep. I'm excited. The beds ... when we go up to the Claremont, you get a real good night's sleep."

It'll be some much deserved rest after the work the defense put in at the tail end of practice. In a red-zone drill, Kendricks harrassed backup quarterback Beau Sweeney into an incompletion and an interception by D.J. Holt. When Sweeney was switched out for Ryan Wertenberger, the latter was hit with a vicious sack by Jarred Price.

It was only 10 minutes at the end of a long day, but it was still a promising sign for a defense that is adapting a new scheme.

While he wouldn't concede that the linebacker corps might be thinner this year ("Strong. We got a lot of returning guys so it should be good."), Kendricks acknowledged that they will have to rely on some more inexperienced players when the season kicks off.

"We got a lot of guys, young guys who might be playing," Kendricks said. "I'm not sure who, but our new recruiting class is a real good class ... They got a lot of speed, the most we've had in a while. We have a couple of young linebackers who, the older guys have taken underneath their wing, getting their stuff down and they've been contributing."

Chris Martin and Cecil Whiteside, two freshmen expected to see ample time on defense, are both gone - the former to transfer and the latter to grayshirt. In their stead, four-star linebacker David Wilkerson should step in.

"He's physical," coach Jeff Tedford said. "High school kids, when they come in, mentally, physically and emotionally have to be ready to play. The physical part of it is definitely there for him. Once he gets it down, he can run, he's big, he's strong."

Although the Danville, Calif., product was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 6 inside linebacker in the country, he will be moving outside for the Bears.

"The depth at the outside backer wasn't great," Tedford said. "When you look at the guys we had available to go out there. he was the best fit at the time. He'll play outside and maybe later on in his career move inside. But right now, that's the fastest way to get him on the field."

Quick Hits

-In another sign of fatigue, the receivers were struck with a case of the butterfingers in the first passing drill. Nearly every wideout was dropping passes, with many letting them slip through after getting their fingers on the ball.

Even the sure-handed Marvin Jones, who quarterback Kevin Riley said "can't drop a ball to save his life," bobbled one away.

-Running back Shane Vereen and fullback Will Kapp are both still sidelined with a tight hamstring and concussion, respectively.

-Left guard Matt Summers-Gavin is expected to miss three weeks after injuring his knee last Sunday. His bone bruise originally had a timetable of two weeks.


Contact Jack Wang at [email protected]

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