October 30, 2013
Arizona Week: Wednesday Cal practice notebook
In the final practice with media access before Saturday's 12:30 p.m. affair with Arizona, Austin Hinder settled any lingering debate regarding his ability to use his legs Wednesday, outrunning essentially the ENTIRE TEAM while trying to get to... a bowl of large candy bars set out for the players post-practice. Dude can move!!
OL Chris Borrayo said post-practice he wrestled (!) with the decision to burn his redshirt when approached by the coaches, but after consulting family and friends decided to burn away.
"When coach told me he wanted to do that, I was a little hesitant at first -- I wanted to stay for another four years. But then I thought -- he has the faith in me to start on the o-line as a true freshman."
Borrayo was the first to point out he made plenty of mistakes on Saturday -- in particular disengaging from his blocks too soon to try to get to the next level. The Southern California native said former LG and new C Jordan Rigsbee has been an invaluable resource just a few feet away.
"I'm not confused by the offense at all, but he helps me a lot when I make a mistake," Borrayo said.
The offensive line worked on picking up blitz packages from Arizona's 3-3-1 on Wednesday.
Mustafa Jalil is wasting no time getting back into shape following knee surgery. He did stadium on Wednesday while ON CRUTCHES.
Brendan Bigelow was one of the first players on the field Wednesday, catching balls for a good 20 minutes before the team started trickling in.
According to assistant head coach Rob Likens, the one-time tailback has come a long way.
"He's getting better every week," Likens said. "Confidence for him is everything. I saw him catch a screen against Ohio State last year that was perfect, but it wasn't consistent. He'd make a catch like that but wasn't consistently making easy coaches."
Now he's making them in both practice and even games. Bigelow has just one drop in three games in the slot.
Likens said learning the intricacies of the slot have taken some time ("When you're outside you can just run at one guy and beat him, but in the slot you have to maneuver around linebackers -- there's a lot more stuff to think about."), but Bigelow's move to inside wide receiver is very unlikely to be a temporary thing.
As a running back though, Bigelow...
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