Cal is the second youngest team in the nation.
Well, not exactly.
They're actually the second least-experienced team in the country, this according to college football magazine pusher Phil Steele, who combined: a) senior starters, b) the rest of the seniors on the two-deep, c) % of lettermen returning, d) % of total yards returning, e) % of tackles returning, and f) career starts for offensive linemen to create an excel spreadsheet that spits out a pretty accurate assessment of actual experience on a team.
In addition to having the second least experience in the 126-team FBS, the Bears also had the fewest senior starters of any team in the country at the beginning of the season with two. Currently Dan Camporeale, Deandre Coleman, and Mark Brazinski are all listed as senior starters -- though Brazinski looks like he could lose that starting job this week with some shuffling on the offensive line.
Any way you measure it though, Darrien Molton gets it.
The 2015 Chaparral cornerback has seen and heard enough of and from Cal to know about the Bears' youth.
"They're a young team," Molton told GoldenBearReport after picking up an offer from the Bears last week, his first. "Coach Buh talked about how they're one of the youngest in the nation actually."
Cal defensive coordinator Andy Buh and Darrien Molton are both already well acquainted.
"I've talked to Coach Buh a couple times, he came down to Chapparel, I went down to Cal's camp, met him again, just recently Coach Buh watched some film, came down to Chaparral again, then I talked to him on the phone last Tuesday, and he said they were offering me."
"I was very excited and happy -- I like that school."
Molton says Cal, UCLA, and LSU are the three programs he's eyeing as possible destinations. He attended UCLA's Elite Camp over the summer, plus participated in Oregon State's camp at Cerritos College. Since, SDSU, Colorado, Iowa State, and Washington have been in regular contact with the 5'10", 165-pounder from Temecula, California.
"It is, it's crazy really, if you think about it, it's just very exciting, just very excited."
Especially after an up-and-down-and-down-and-up-and-down high school football experience for the corner.
"Freshman year I didn't play varsity. I was supposed to but I got injured, hurt my knee. Sophomore year I played varsity, had five blocked punts and a blocked field goal on special teams, played some corner too, but this is my first year starting. Last year I supposed to start later in the year, but I separated my shoulder and broke a finger."
Now fully healthy, Molton is averaging 5 tackles a game, has four INTs, a forced fumble, and a blocked punt returned for a touchdown in his first six games, plus a 3.0 GPA to boot.
During that stretch, he also had a chance to catch one college football game: Cal vs. Portland State.
"It's a beautiful school, the stadium is very nice, I love the coaches -- they were very nice, welcoming. Coach Stewart said he loves my footwork, my hip speed -- I had a brief conversation with him at the camp, he taught me a lot there."
Especially when it comes to the median team age...