Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Are you ready for some FOOTBALL!!!!


Date: Tuesday, August 5, 2008, 10:34 PM
July 16, 2008

Practice: http://vmedia.rivals.com/uploads/1103%5C674712.mpg
Chris Nguon BearTerritory.net Staff Writer

To put it bluntly, the Cal offense struggled in goal-line and short yardage situations last season. Sometimes, the ball carrier didn't run through the correct hole while other times, as Bears coach Jeff Tedford simply stated, "we needed to block better." For this year's corps of running backs, the name of the game is speed. And while athletes likes Jahvid Best and his compatriots can certainly lay a shoulder into a defender if needed, one player who might indeed help Cal's short yardage game down the line is walk-on Langston Jackson, a late add to the current roster.
Jackson is a nice add to the current Cal roster. Standing at a stout 6-foot-1, 215-pounds, the former Simi Valley (Calif.) High standout has been trying to acclimate himself with his new surroundings. Jackson held offers from Utah and Utah State leading up to National Signing Day in February but didn't find himself on a college roster when so many other athletes signed on the dotted line. Jackson kept pounding the phones however, and eventually caught up with Cal running backs coach Ron Gould, who decided to take Jackson on-board. "Coach Gould had faith in me so I'm going to go out here and try to prove myself," Jackson said. "I got in contact with him before and then I called him again afterwards after Signing Day passed. I came up after that to a practice and watched everything. I liked what I saw."Jackson has received a couple reps here and there during the summer sessions this past week. While his road to Cal was much different than the scholarship athletes of the 2008 class, Jackson now finds himself in the same boat as his current class. Jackson has some impressive highlights in high school. YouTube video: Jackson lowers the boom "I love our team this year. I really think we are going to be good this year and I want to be a part of that," Jackson said. "Getting the plays down is rough. It's confusing. But it's fun."So what about his game stands out the most? "I can hit," Jackson concluded. "The coaches want me to play running back. My last year in high school I became more of a shifty 'back so I can be a power guy and a speed guy."

Chris Nguon is the lead football writer for BearTerritory. Nguon is also a correspondent with the Oakland Tribune, and will cover Cal football and basketball in 2008.

Class: Freshman
Hometown: Simi Valley, Calif.
High School: Simi Valley
Height / Weight: 6-1 / 205
Position: Running Back
Experience: HS

High School: A four-year varsity starter who twice earned team MVP honors ... the No. 89-rated running back in the country ... also a two-time all-league selection and an all-county honoree as a senior ... rushed 230 times for 1,225 yards as a senior after a 988-yard season in 2006 ... tallied 16 touchdowns in 2007 and 10 in 2006 ... caught 32 passes for 287 yards in his final two seasons ... also served as his tea's punter, averaging 33.7 yards per punt as a senior.

Day 4 for Langston at camp
August 7, 2008
Chris Nguon BearTerritory.net
Staff Writer

Cal head coach Jeff Tedford stated unequivocally before Fall Camp began that there would be an open competition for the quarterback position. Thursday evening's practice gave a true glimpse of that notion, as sophomore Kevin Riley took his first Fall Camp reps with the first-team offense. Riley ran with the "1's" the entire two-hour session Thursday, driving the team through three different 11-on-11 segments.
Up until Thursday evening, senior signal-caller Nate Longshore had taken all the first-team reps throughout Fall Camp. Tedford decided to switch things up and give Riley the keys to the car and see how he would do.

Runningback Notes

Ball security has been a big part of practice so far in camp, as the team has worked extensively the first few periods on taking care of the ball. One of the most effective "tools" that running backs coach Ron Gould has used over the years is his glove-stick contraption, which easily pokes away footballs from ball carriers' arms without proper placement.
That "popping" sound you hear? That's Gould's boxing stick

Extra Points

-- (Beau Sweeney now under center) Langston Jackson carries over right tackle for eight yards.
-- Sweeney slings it out to Jackson in the flat for three yards before Anthony meets Jackson head-on.

-- Couple of HUGE hits: Drew Glover nails Charles Johnson to spring Langston Jackson over left tackle. Jackson rumbles for 10 yards before lowering shoulder to level Jesse Brooks. Big roar from teammates.

Chris Nguon is the lead football writer for BearTerritory. He's well known for his recruiting and game coverage in the star-studded Oakland Athletic League, plus his numerous contributions with The Daily Californian, UC Berkeley's only independent, student-run newspaper. Nguon is also a correspondent with the Oakland Tribune, and will cover Cal football and basketball in 2008.

Complete for Cal Football
Aug. 9, 2008

BERKELEY - After a cold Friday afternoon practice, the Cal Football team conducted its first double-session of preseason camp under bright sun and clear blue skies on Saturday at Memorial Stadium. Both practices focused on situational drills with the morning session being conducted in shells while the afternoon marked the Bears' second full-contact practice of the season.
"We're always going to work on situations," head coach
Jeff Tedford said. "[We want] to teach everybody about game situations, not just practicing mindlessly. They need to understand the situation, understand the clock, understand the field [position]. All of those things help you gain experience so we'll try to practice as many situations as we can."

Redshirt freshman
Brock Mansion did a nice job creating offense by finding his running backs. One play went to sophomore Tracy Slocum, who broke free for big yardage and Mansion also found true freshman Langston Jackson, who ducked and dodged into the end zone for a touchdown.

"It's a lot faster than high school, I can tell you that," Jackson said. "There is so much more to learn. The guys here hhave been really helping me a lot. Coach Gould is teaching me so many things - footwork, speed, blocking and ball protection. I'm definitely learning a lot from him."
During situational drills with the offense starting play from its own five-yard line, there were mixed results. Riley directed the offense 95 yards on one drive, completing the effort with a short delivery to true freshman

The Bears return to the gridiron on Sunday for their seventh day of preseason camp.

Fall Camp: Day 5 notes Tedford calls plays no longer Revisiting the Class of '05

On the Memorial Stadium scoreboard, it read "Michigan State 20, Cal 12." Tedford wanted to see how his team would respond to what he described as a "game-like scenario" as both the first, second, and third units all took their turn trying to tie the score, with the excitement coming with the final crew.
With the ball at the 35-yard line, quarterback Brock Mansion opened the drive with a nice pitch and catch to the freshman Marvin Jones that set up a 2nd-and-short. Back-to-back carries by walk-on running back Langston Jackson
gave the Bears a first down and moments later, Jackson took another carry up the middle for a 12-yard rumbling touchdown.

Runningback Notes

● With injuries come opportunities for players to get extra reps in. One of the first things we learned about Langston Jackson when he joined the Cal program was that the running back liked to lower his shoulder and move defenders off his path. The last couple of practice sessions have really held true to that notion as the 6-foot-1, 205-pound ball carrier has recorded some loud "pad popping" hits.

Freshman walk-on Langston Jackson is a big bruiser
● Interestingly, Jackson – who was his team's punter at Simi Valley High -- is also a decent receiver coming out of the backfield. Jackson did cause a little bit of a pile up during 11-on-11's however when he was stripped off the ball during a carry down the field.

August 17, 2008

"Fall Camp: Day 14 notes"
Chris Nguon BearTerritory.net Staff Writer

Runningback Notes
● Jahvid Best, Shane Vereen and Covaughn DeBoskie were all in action. The only scholarship 'back still out is Tracy Slocum, who is battling turf toe.
● Freshman walk-on Langston Jackson continues to receive his fair share of carries. Jackson is no where near the other four mentioned in terms of speed, but down the line Jackson has the look of a solid goal-line/short yardage ball-carrier.
● Speaking of goal-line and short yardage situations, the Bears worked extensively on that aspect of the game Sunday evening with 8-on-8's, which excludes wide receivers and defensive backs.
● 8-on-8 drive play-by-play (ball gets reset to the 33-yard line after every play ends)
Drive #1 (Nate Longshore under center)
-- SCORE: Jahvid Best bounces outside to the right and before the blink of an eye is in the end zone. Best was untouched.
-- Shane Vereen gets stuffed behind the line of scrimmage as Anthony Felder burst through the line for tackle.
-- Will Ta'ufo'ou catches sling pass to right flat and turns it into 7-yard gain.
-- Jahvid Best goes up the middle for 4 yards before getting chopped down by Tyson Alualu.
-- Shane Vereen fights his way for 12 yards, making Bernard Hicks and Tyson Alualu miss. Hicks continued on the play and pushed Vereen out of bounds.
-- Covaughn DeBoskie runs up the middle for no gain.
-- Jahvid Best makes Worrell Williams and Rulon Davis miss for 2-yard gain.
Drive #2 (Kevin Riley under center)
-- Covaughn DeBoskie runs outside for 4-yard gain.
-- Shane Vereen breaks two tackles over left guard for 10 yards.
-- Kevin Riley scrambles out for 4-yard pick up.
-- SCORE: Covaughn DeBoskie runs right up the middle, breaks one arm tackle and takes it into the end zone.
-- Langston Jackson no gain.
-- Covaughn DeBoskie around left tackle for 19 yards.
-- Langston Jackson 2-yard gain.
Drive #3 (Brock Mansion under center)
-- Covaughn DeBoskie gains four yards after breaking Mychal Kendricks tackle.
-- Langston Jackson powers over right guard for 10 yards.
-- Covaughn DeBoskie up the middle for 1-yard gain.