Seeing that he wasn't asked to participate in the revolving door Cal had at cornerback last season, Marc Anthony was understandably concerned where he stood in the Bears' pecking order.
But that concern turned into opportunity this season, when Cal began training camp with an open competition for both spots. It's a competition that Anthony won Thursday, when the redshirt sophomore was named one of the Bears' starting cornerbacks along with senior Darian Hagan.
"It was kind of tough, but good things come with time," Anthony said. "I sat back and watched how the game was played and what it took to be a good cornerback. It was good and bad."
Cal coach Jeff Tedford said Anthony had as good a training camp as any player on the team. Anthony outplayed the competition to earn the starting job despite players such as returning starter Bryant Nnabufie and heralded redshirt freshman Steve Williams in the mix.
"We always felt like he had the potential to play," Tedford said. "He had a great camp."
Anthony came to Cal in 2008 along with fellow corner Josh Hill, and it was Anthony who was expected to make an impact sooner. Rivals.com rated him as the 14th-best cornerback prospect in the country. But it was Hill who got a shot last season, starting five games. Hagan and Nnabufie also started games opposite Syd'Quan Thompson, and none of the three stood out.
"At the beginning of fall camp, I said to myself that this was the time to step up," Anthony said. "I knew going into this season that it was going to be a big year for competition and an opportunity to start."
"It took maybe three days," Tedford said. "It was evident right away."
Allen was actually rated higher at safety and Tedford originally planned to use him as a nickel back as well. But when it became evident he would be a big part of the offense immediately, the team decided to have him focus solely on wide receiver.
"Camp went real well," Allen said. "I just came out here and did what I'm capable of doing. I made a big impact early, so I got the job."