Justin Wilcox addresses his squad after the first spring training session on Wednesday.
Bears are holding the first of 15 Spring Sessions running through April 15 Spring Showcase
BERKELEY – California kicked off their spring 2023 football practice session Wednesday morning with a cracking practice session under sunny skies at California Memorial Stadium.
“The boys were excited to play and it was great for the coaches to come out here and work with them in this type of environment,” said Travers Family Head Football Coach Justin Wilcox said after the team’s first official spring training session. “Now it’s just practice, practice a lot.”
Wednesday’s Golden Bears practice was the first of 15 spring sessions concluding with the team’s annual Cal Football Spring Showcase on April 15, which will be televised live by Pac-12 Networks beginning at 2:00 p.m. PT. Cal will be on the field for seven more sessions over the next two-plus weeks through March 24 and seven from April 5-15 after his return from spring break.
Cal, who hired three new offense coaches during the offseason, including the offense coordinator/quarterbacks coach Jake Spavitaljumped straight into his practice Wednesday with three 11-on-11 team sessions that made up about 60 games and another period of 7-on-7 work that included 10 additional snaps.
“We have to play the game,” Wilcox said. “Our offense and our defense have to be 11-on-11.”
Cal returns to practice Saturday at California Memorial Stadium, with practice beginning at 10:45 a.m. PT. All practices are free and open to the public at California Memorial Stadium.
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) March 9, 2023
- Offensive highlights from the 11v11 sessions included connections from Sam Jackson v on the way to Monroe Young for about 50 yards in the first 11-on-11 and Fernando Mendoza To King Jordan for a 62-yard touchdown in the second while Mulu Iosefa had a pick for defense in the first
- Jackson also had a few long runs Jaydn Ott And Byron Cardwell
- Craig Woodson had an impressive interception early in the 7-on-7 session, covering about half the field en route to the pick while also firing Jackson after being flushed out of the pocket on 11-on-11 works was
- Mendoza and King met again for a 40-yard touchdown by the end of practice during a one-play, one-on-one contest period
- The bears practiced spinning at “ghost” pace
- Cal put 12 players through their first official team practice for the Bears on Wednesday, including 10 of the team’s 12 incoming mid-year transfers with exceptions Justin Williams Thomas And Brian Hightower. Wilcox announced during his post-game media session that Williams-Thomas would miss spring football but is expected to return to action in the fall, while Hightower is expected to be available for training sometime this spring.
- Justin Wilcox At Sam Jackson v … “He’s a great athlete, a sharp kid. He just needs practice, repetitions.”
- Monroe Young about leadership… “I’m trying to get into that leadership role, to be the older guy in the room and take these young people under my wing.”
- Brian Driscoll about team camaraderie… “We have a great locker room. Everyone is connected. We’re having a great time together. That camaraderie and team building is something we’ve always had and still do our best to build upon. Especially in that regard. In a new era where you get more transfers, one thing has stayed the same: this dressing room is still a great place. Everyone loves our dressing room.”
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) March 8, 2023