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August 19, 2011

Cal hits the diamond on Day 14 of camp



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MORE FALL CAMP: VIDEO: Day 13 Recap | Day 13 Recap

BERKELEY -- With California baseball assistant coaches Tony Arnerich and Brad Sanfilipo looking on from the Club Room of Haas Pavilion, the gridiron Bears took to Evans Diamond for the second -- and final -- time this fall for Day 14 of camp.

"It was great, a great day of work," head coach Jeff Tedford said following Cal's shells practice. "Today, we mainly just concentrated on the infield, trying to work in the dirt, get our footing, things like that, make sure we're under control, that we're not slipping, that we're getting used to the footing. The grass, as well, both grass and dirt, is something that's a little different than what we're used to playing on. We've had the opportunity a couple times to come down here and work on it -- once at AT&T and twice here - so we feel good about it."

The Cal football team will not come back to the home of the College World Series-participant Bears at all for the duration of the season. The field will be re-seeded as early as next week as Cal baseball prepares to start its fall ball activities.

"Today is the last time we could get here," Tedford said. "School's getting ready to start, and they have to get the field ready for baseball, so this was our last opportunity."

Freshman wide receiver Maurice Harris was again held out of practice on Monday, and sported a heavy knee brace while he hobbled around on crutches. Tedford said that there is no more clarity to the original diagnosis of a bone bruise, and that it would "be a while," before Harris would be able to hit the field again.

First string offensive guard Brian Schwenke left the field near the end of practice due to what Tedford described as knee tendonitis.

"He's got some soreness and tendonitis in his knees," Tedford said. "We gave him the chance to let it calm down a little bit."

Also sitting out practice was senior inside linebacker Mychal Kendricks. During the early portion of Thursday's practice, Kendricks pulled up lame with a lower abdominal strain, and it was decided that it would be best not to risk further injury on Friday. Another starting linebacker -- redshirt freshman David Wilkerson -- was sidelined due to back spasms.

After practice on Saturday, the Bears will have a day off on Sunday before a scrimmage on Monday. Tedford said that while the scrimmage will help to clarify some races, it's not a do-or-die day for anyone in particular.

"I think we have a pretty good idea right now, but I think that moving close to Wednesday, that's when we're going to start game planning, really, so that's when we'll start to really solidify the depth chart and some of the scout teams and things like that," Tedford said.

It has not yet been determined whether the second scrimmage of camp will play out much like the first, which saw the top units see limited action. "We haven't talked about that, yet, but we'll discuss it this weekend, kind of find out who needs more reps," Tedford said. "Hopefully, Tyler Rigsbee's back. He obviously needs some work, because he hasn't practiced all camp, so he'd be a guy that would need to have a lot of reps. We'll take it position by position, player by player."

Rigsbee has been sidelined since August 8 with a particularly troublesome shin contusion. Tedford was asked when the backup offensive tackle could possibly return.

"Don't know. They feel like they're able to do some massage on it now, a little bit," Tedford said. "He had a really huge knot and probably the ugliest contusion I've seen, where you can't even put any weight on it, you run the risk of, if you even rub it to try to get blood flow through it, that it can go down and affect the nerve. Now, it's to the point where they can start trying to get the blood flow back to it. I would anticipate that, when they can do that, he'll heal a lot faster."

Camp Notes
-- Senior punter Bryan Anger had quite a day on Friday, crushing every punt seen during the first segment of practice open to the media. Anger had no problem hitting from the dirt.

-- After some early trouble gaining footing on the infield dirt during fumble recovery drills, the wide receivers finally seemed to get the hang of the surface during their positional work, highlighted by sophomore Keenan Allen's quick hands on short, hard passes.

-- Allen's brother Zach Maynard and the rest of the quarterbacks worked out up the third base line, and I was able to get a closer look at him than previously in camp. His legs look a lot stronger and quicker than they were even during spring ball. Tedford said that there may be some designed run plays for the junior signal caller to take advantage of his speed.

"Yeah, that's a part of the whole offense, of doing things," Tedford said. "He can do certain things that some of the other quarterbacks in the past haven't been able to do. It can be designed or not designed. When he just pulls it down and makes something happen, he's pretty dangerous in the open field. He's pretty elusive."



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