Cal linebacker Dan Camporeale is expecting to renew a lot of friendships this week.

Coach Jeff Tedford announced Camporeale as one of the Bears' starting outside linebackers for Saturday's season opener against Fresno State, culminating an unlikely offseason in which the redshirt sophomore went from walk-on to the top of the depth chart.

Camporeale, who is from Lafayette and attended Acalanes High School, isn't sure how many people will be asking him for tickets now that he is in the starting lineup.

"A lot of people didn't exactly expect me to all of a sudden start," Camporeale said. "I'll probably get a few calls from people I don't really know that well."

Camporeale has played in a grand total of one game -- last year's season-opening blowout of UC Davis -- and has recorded one tackle in his career.

But he started moving his way up the depth chart during spring practice and won a spirited competition with senior Ryan Davis and true freshmen Cecil Whiteside and Chris McCain in training camp. The Bears moved McCain to the other side of the field to back up starter Dave Wilkerson.

"He's very solid with his assignments," Tedford said. "He's strong and can run. He's been here for awhile. The other guys are fairly new. But it says a lot about him, about who he is and what he's worked to become."

Camporeale didn't receive a single scholarship offer out of high school. He came to Cal as a preferred walk-on after turning down a couple of other walk-on offers from smaller schools.

"I wasn't on scholarship, but I had every opportunity to play that a scholarship player has," Camporeale said. "They always told us the best players are going to play. The players that do their job, do what they have to do are going to play whether you have a scholarship or not."

  • Speed burning wide receiver Kaelin Clay is on track to play in the season opener after injuring his left knee on the first day of camp. But even if he does, he might have trouble holding off senior Coleman Edmond as the No. 4 receiver behind Marvin Jones, Keenan Allen and Michael Calvin.

    Edmond caught the coaches' attention with his improved play during training camp and possesses the type of speed to give the Bears a weapon similar to Clay.

    "I hope he comes back, but if he's down, whatever the team needs me to do, I'll be there to do it," Edmond said.

    Edmond didn't make much of an impact last season after he transferred to Cal from Pierce College in Southern California. He got into six games but caught just one pass for no yards.

    "I think he can play faster because he knows what he's doing more now," Tedford said.

    "He's catching the ball more consistently, running really good routes. He worked hard to learn it. Now he's finally getting it down and playing more."