Cal hosted a practice open to local high school coaches and local media this past Saturday April 7.
We won’t go through too much of the practice, since there are more than enough reports out there. Instead I’ll look at the best young player on offense and defense that stood out during scrimmage this past Saturday:
On Offense: Brendan Bigelow
Bigelow logged eight carries for 41 yards in full pads. He showed everyone how good he can be without the knee brace that he had to wear last season. One of the best plays of the scrimmage was during a red zone play where Bigelow took a handoff and just blasted by the defense to get the endzone (though he did end up fumbling it at the goal line). He ran with confidence as he was able to cut to open holes and plant his feet to spin off defenders, which also seems to be his favorite move. One of the best qualities that Bigelow showed during practice was his resiliency. Almost every time Bigelow was tackled, he would carry the defender an extra two to three yards until extra defenders came to bring him down. It seems that Bigelow is showing flashes of his potential, with his speed and great toughness. Let’s hope he continues to improve under Gould and Blasquez.
For more on Bigelow, check out John Crumpacker’s report.
On Defense: Jason Gibson
While Bigelow was spinning around all over the field, guess who was tackling him? Jason Gibson. During the scrimmage, Gibson tallied six tackles, two tackles for losses, and a pass breakup. He is one of the many players trying to fill the hole at inside linebacker after Kendricks and Holt graduated. Currently, Robert Mullins and JP Hurrell are the current starting inside linebackers, but the other main contenders are David Wilkerson, Nick Forbes, and now Jason Gibson. Gibson showed great instincts and awareness, which were the main reasons why he had those two tackles for losses. An X Factor for Gibson is that he has good speed. During one play, when Bigelow burst past the line, Gibson was able to run him down from behind for the tackle. Gibson may not be as fast as Kendricks, but he is definitely one of the faster linebackers in the group.
For more on Gibson, check out Rivals’ Robert Kenneth Clampett’s report.