BERKELEY — Cal backup defensive end Cameron Jordan has been suspended for Saturday's season opener against Michigan State for violating team rules, coach Jeff Tedford said.
Jordan was arrested Saturday for suspicion of drunken driving and booked into the Berkeley jail.
Although a backup, Jordan is expected to see considerable playing time this season as the first lineman off the bench. Jordan made an impact last season as a true freshman, seeing action in all 13 games. He recorded 18 tackles and returned a fumble recovery for a touchdown.
The plot thickens
Cal's kickoff competition took an interesting twist over the past two days when walk-on Giorgio Taveccio joined the team. Senior Jordan Kay and freshman David Seawright had been battling for the job, but Taveccio has made it a three-way race.
"I'd say he's in the mix," Cal special teams coach Pete Alamar said. "He had a nice day today."
Both Alamar and Tedford said there's a chance Taveccio could handle the kickoffs Saturday despite being with the team for only a few days.
The Bears didn't have enough spots open to invite Taveccio to camp but fully expected him to come in and compete once classes began. Taveccio kicked the ball deeper than both Kay and Seawright during Thursday's practice.
Taveccio, a freshman from Campolindo High School, attended Cal's kicking camp last summer.
"The idea was to just bring him in when school started and see where it all sat," Alamar said. "Giorgio is an elite soccer player, so he wasn't going to all the camps and combines. But you look at his tape his senior year, he's every bit as good as the other guys."
The last time Cal played Michigan State, it turned out to be a message that Cal's program would be different under Tedford.
Tedford took over the program in 2002 after the Bears had gone through a 1-10 season and immediately led the Bears to two straight home victories. But making the trip to East Lansing, Mich., to play the 15th-ranked Spartans was going to be a whole different kind of challenge.
The result: Cal 46, Michigan State 22, and a spot the following week in the national rankings.
"We've had some big wins here over the years, but I think that was one of the biggest," Tedford said. "It was a new coaching staff, we just won two games at home by a pretty good margin, and now it was a true test to go back there. I felt like when we left the field that day, there was a different confidence, a different belief our guys had."
Tedford said the status of wide receiver Michael Calvin (sprained toe) will be a game-time decision. Calvin hasn't practiced all week. Left tackle Mike Tepper (hamstring, pectoral muscle) is out. Cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson (sprained shoulder) fully participated in practice and will start. ... Brett Johnson is pushing Bernard Hicks for the starting free safety spot. Defensive coordinator Bob Gregory said no decision has been made but the two will get about an equal amount of reps.
— Jonathan Okanes