BERKELEY — Last weekend's practices allowed Cal's coaching staff to get a good look at some of the team's younger players. It also was a sneak preview of some of the story lines to come next spring.
One of the biggest will be at quarterback, where once again there will be competition for the starting job. Redshirt freshman Brock Mansion and true freshman Beau Sweeney each got a good bulk of reps over the weekend, and each will have a chance to push incumbent Kevin Riley for the starting job.
"Brock and Beau will be right there competing for the job," coach Jeff Tedford said.
Riley has been through this before. He went through a much-publicized competition with Nate Longshore for the job in the fall, and the competition continued throughout the first half of the season. Although Riley finished the year as the starter, he hasn't done enough to put a stranglehold on the job next year.
Tedford said he's been happy with the development of Mansion, who, as the third-stringer, rarely gets any reps during practices. But Mansion excelled as scout team quarterback last season and came to the program armed with talent and expectations — much like Riley and Longshore.
"Very well, especially toward the end of the year," Tedford said when asked how Mansion has progressed. "He's much more accurate throwing the football. He's really focused on the mental part of the game. He's made strides."
Even though being the No. 3 quarterback can get tedious at times, Mansion said he's "had a blast" this year and looks forward to the competition.
"It gives me a chance to play on Saturdays. That's been my dream for a long time," he said. "Hopefully with hard work and dedication, I'll see my dream come true."
Cal punter Bryan Anger has been selected to The Sporting News All-Freshman first team. He previously was a first-team All-Freshman pick by College Football News. "... Alex Mack was named third-team center on The Associated Press All-America team. ... Cal is hosting the "Cal Bowl Game Big Show," immediately after the Emerald Bowl at the Warfield Theater from 9 p.m-2 a.m. Tedford and the coaching staff, players and athletic director Sandy Barbour will be on hand. Music will be provided by Tightwad Hill, a cover band featuring members of the Cal football staff and marching band. All ages are welcome and tickets can be purchased at ticketmaster.com and searching for "Tightwad Hill."
— Jonathan Okanes