BERKELEY — Nate Longshore may have been passed over in the battle to become Cal's starting quarterback, but his mind-set appears to be the same as it was before the competition ever started.
"I'm just doing the same thing, focusing on getting better and improving, and focusing on doing whatever the team needs to win," Longshore said 48 hours after coach Jeff Tedford tabbed Kevin Riley as the Bears' starting quarterback. "I'm preparing the same way, preparing to play the best you can. Nothing changes. You're trying to go out there and win the game. No matter who's playing, it doesn't matter. I came out focused on getting better. That's all you can do."
That's the same message Longshore had at the beginning of spring practice and at the outset of fall camp. Longshore has repeatedly said he wasn't in a competition against Riley, but rather focusing on simply doing the best job he can.
And it's not as though Longshore now will become a forgotten man. Tedford said Longshore will still play in the season-opener against Michigan State and the position will continue to be evaluated throughout the season.
"Every day is about development and doing what you can to improve as a player," Longshore said. "If you go out there and try to improve as a player, it makes the team better and goal of winning games better."
Longshore became only the second Cal quarterback ever to throw for over 3,000 yards in a season in 2006, but was inconsistent last season after suffering an ankle injury midway through the year. Tedford announced after the season that the position was open.
Longshore, a fifth-year senior, was rated as the top junior quarterback prospect in the country by ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. before last season. Now, it appears his NFL draft chances are uncertain.
"I'm comfortable with myself and I know my life is going to be a success and I'm going to be happy no matter what I do," Longshore said. "If that involves football, that will be great. If it doesn't involved football, that will also be great. My life will be perfectly fine with or without football."
Staying the course
Sophomore wide receiver Nyan Boateng said the coaching staff plans on starting Michael Calvin, LaReylle Cunningham and Sean Young in the season-opener. Boateng, a highly regarded transfer from Florida who has had some off-field troubles, expected to crack the starting lineup this season.
"I felt like I was one of the best receivers here," Boateng said. "I did everything they asked me. I'm assuming it had to do with trust and stuff like that. I'm going to come out and work my butt off every day and try to get that trust level up. Hopefully, if they put me in the game, I can make a difference."
Boateng struggled in the spring but got off to a good start to fall camp. He appeared to have worked his way up to the first team but fell back to the second unit during the latter stages of camp.
"I'm a competitor. It hurts a lot. I did everything they've asked me to do. I have a 3.3 GPA. I've stayed out of trouble. I've dedicated myself to the team. I've done everything I can do.
"I've been through so much, I'm not going to stop now. Nothing is going to be given to me. I have to go out there and get it. When I get into the game, I'm going to make my mark to show everybody I'm worthy of the hype."
Tailback Jahvid Best has sat out the past three practices, but Tedford said he will start practicing again in a full capacity Monday. "... Right guard Noris Malele (leg bruise) returned to practice. "... Tedford on fall camp coming to an end: "It was a good camp. I think we improved through camp, we had a physical camp and we got a lot of new guys acclimated to the pace of the game. It was very productive. Now it's time to hone in on game planning."
— Jonathan Okanes