BERKELEY — Cal coach Jeff Tedford named his depth chart at quarterback Saturday without really naming his depth chart at quarterback.
When asked what the pecking order will look like when the team begins fall camp in August, Tedford said it will be Kevin Riley, followed by Brock Mansion and Beau Sweeney. But he prefaced that by saying it's the same depth chart the Bears had when spring practice began.
Tedford has maintained all along that the quarterback spot is open, but Saturday marked the first time he put some kind of order to it. Still, his rather anticlimactic declaration was already plain to see to anyone who watched Riley take the overwhelming majority of the first-team reps this spring.
"I thought overall it was a good spring," Riley said after completing 7 of 12 passes for 74 yards as the Bears wrapped up spring practice with their final scrimmage at Memorial Stadium. "There were things I wanted to work on. I worked on them and got better at them. It's not great, but I improved through spring."
Riley had a solid spring while Mansion ended strong after some early struggles. Sweeney, a freshman, was impressively proficient for such an inexperienced player.
"All three will get a lot of opportunities, and once we get to camp we'll see if one of them can separate (himself)," said Tedford, who added the depth chart was based strictly on experience.
Mansion wrapped up a terrific final week of spring practice by completing 9 of 11 passes for 94 yards and a touchdown with one interception. He started the scrimmage by leading the second-team offense on a 70-yard scoring drive against the second-team defense, going 5-for-5 on the drive for 75 yards. He culminated the possession with a 1-yard scoring pass to wide receiver Alex Lagemann.
Mansion struggled with his accuracy during the first two weeks of spring but seemed to find a comfort zone during the final few practices. He said the key to the turnaround was putting in extra time after practice, something he had been doing but stopped because of arm soreness.
"I got back doing what I used to do, throwing about 40 more balls after practice," Mansion said. "It got me a little more consistent."
With questions at quarterback, wide receiver and along the offensive line, there were many more questions this spring on offense than defense. The defense seemed to figure out its issues at linebacker early on by plugging Mychal Kendricks and Devin Bishop into vacant roles.
But linebacker still will be in play in the fall with the arrival of three junior college transfers. And Saturday, converted safety Chris Little made his case to get a closer look with a dominant performance. He recorded eight tackles, three sacks and another tackle for loss. He also applied a hit on Sweeney that resulted in an interception by D.J. Campbell, who returned it 73 yards for a touchdown.
Little, a freshman, played safety on the scout team in the fall but was converted to linebacker for spring practice.
"I think he has a chance to be very good," Cal defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said. "I don't think he's quite ready yet, but I think he has a chance to be a very good football player for us. He's played outside linebacker for only two weeks now. He has a chance to play (this season). I think it all comes down to how he develops over the summer and camp."
Notes: Lagemann was Cal's leading receiver with five catches for 72 yards. ... The Bears rushed for only 62 yards on 25 carries. ... Wide receiver Jeremy Ross caught a 36-yard touchdown pass from Sweeney. ... Safety Sean Cattouse intercepted Mansion in the end zone during a hurry-up drill. ... Injured running back Jahvid Best, who missed the spring recovering from foot surgery, has started running and said he expects to be 100 percent by the time the team begins summer workouts.
Contact Jonathan Okanes at firstname.lastname@example.org.