OT Mark Wilson

2002 Statistics

Coach: Jeff Tedford
7-5, 1 year
2002 Record: 7-5
at Michigan State WON 46-22
at Washington WON 34-27
at Southern Cal LOST 28-30
UCLA WON 17-12
at Oregon State LOST 13-24
at Arizona State WON 55-38

2002 Final Rankings
AP-UR, Coaches-UR, BCS-UR

2003 Outlook

Cal's sudden rise to prominence - or at least 6-6 mediocrity (in Jeff Tedford's first year), highlighted by (upset) wins over Michigan State, Washington, and UCLA, and capped by a blowout of archrival Stanford - was one of the country's best stories of 2002. If Tedford is to meet the suddenly high expectations of the Golden Bears' faithful, he will need big production from a host of unproven players, including Robertson (or Rodgers) on offense and Beckham and Bethea on defense.

Tedford is an offensive wizard whose impressive resume - high-flying offenses at Oregon, Fresno State, and Calgary of the CFL - speaks for itself. Whether he can build on his first year of success as a head coach will depend in large part on his success as a recruiter. The Bears' raw recruits - including a host of junior college players - will be counted on to produce early and often.

Even if they do, a rigorous schedule will make a repeat of last season's 6-6 mark difficult. The Bears play a quartet of quality non-conference opponents early, opening the season with a trip to Kansas City to play K-State, followed by visits from Southern Miss and Colorado State. The Bears also trek to Champaign, IL to face Illinois, a Big Ten favorite this season.

Even with 24 senior lettermen, including first round picks Boller and Asomugha, Cal was unable to crest .500. This season, with this schedule, a five-win season would be an encouraging sign that the Bears are building for the future. To save yourself from being let down, expect little and be surprised if/when something happens. "Wait 'til next year" means something here, and it is not a slight of any sort for this squad. Like many, they'll beat one they shouldn't, and lose a few similarly.

Projected 2003 record: 4-9
DT Lorenzo Alexander
QB - 2 DL - 2.5
RB - 2.5 LB - 2
WR - 3.5 DB - 2
OL - 2.5 ..

Passing: Reggie Robertson, 2-2-0, 64 yds., 1 TD

Rushing: Terrell Williams, 37 att., 139 yds., 1 TD

Receiving: Jonathan Makonnen, 54 rec., 682 yds., 7 TD

Scoring: Jonathan Makonnen, 7 TD, 42 pts.

Punting: Tyler Fredrickson, 62 punts, 39.5 avg.

Kicking: none

Tackles: Donnie McCleskey, 45 tot., 38 solo

Sacks: Josh Beckham, 3 sacks

Interceptions: James Bethea, 4 for 48 yds.

Kickoff returns: James Bethea, 9 ret., 22.9 avg.

Punt returns: Lorenzo Alexander, 1 ret., 23.0 avg.


OFFENSE: Kyle Boller-QB, Joe Igber-TB, Lashaun Ward-WR, Scott Tercero-OG, Ryan Jones-C, Tom Swoboda-TE, Mark Jensen-K
DEFENSE: Josh Gustaveson-DE, Daniel Nwangwu-DT, Tully Banta-Cain-DE, Matt Nixon-OLB, Marcus Daniels-MLB, Paul Ugenti-OLB, Calvin Hosey-OLB, Jemeel Powell-CB, Nnamdi Asomugha-CB, Bert Watts-FS, Tom Canada-DE

written by Collin Mickle

Although the departure of star Kyle Boller leaves Cal with a question mark at quarterback, the Bears are certain to continue their gun-slinging ways under his successor. With head coach Jeff Tedford at the controls of the offense, there is no other legitimate option. Fortunately, personnel will not be a problem in the passing game, as a deep and talented stable of pass-catchers return, making wide receiver - and tight end - the only position about which Cal fans can feel secure.

In one season under Tedford, former quarterback Kyle Boller erased four disappointing years of unmet expectations, transforming himself into a second-team All-Pac-10 selection and a first-round NFL draft choice (Baltimore). But the party line emanating from Berkeley insists that Tedford - the man who molded outstanding passers Trent Dilfer, Joey Harrington, David Carr, and Akili Smith - can make one of the handful of raw players at the position into a stud.

Tedford will have no shortage of material for this building job. The two leading candidates are junior Reggie Robertson and sophomore newcomer Aaron Rodgers. Robertson was Boller's backup the last two seasons, but, with Boller's budding performance, he saw considerably less action in '02 than in '01. Robertson, like Boller, has good athleticism to go with a rifle arm.

Rodgers, a junior college transfer rated among the top juco players in the country, was very efficient at that college level (61.9 completion %, four INTs, 10-1 record as a starter), but has to make the leap to Division I-A. Expect Robertson to start the first few games, but bank on both players seeing plenty of time as the season continues. A pair of highly touted freshmen, redshirt Steve Levy and true frosh Cary Dove, will provide valuable depth if these two falter.

The most legitimate option for whoever replaces Boller as Cal's triggerman will be senior wideout Jonathan Makonnen. Makonnen, the team's leading receiver in 2002, is the only player at the position who saw action in all 12 games last season. Makonnen, also a former junior college transfer, had an outstanding first season snarling in Berkeley, and will be one of the conference's top returning pass catchers in '03. Knowing other team's awareness of his impact-ability, emerging receivers are needed badly to insure balance in opposing secondaries. It should all work out well…

Accordingly, joining Makonnen at the position will be junior Jeff McArthur, who had a productive 2002 sophomore campaign before a hamstring injury in the fifth game. A host of inexperienced players will compete for the third receiver position. Headlining the group are explosive redshirt freshman David Gray, a former high school All-America, and touted recruit Devin Stearns, a 2002 All-America with (alleged) 4.4 sprint speed.

Senior tight end Brandon Hall languished behind Tom Swoboda (42 catches, 451 yards, seven TDs), but Swoboda has moved on, and Hall - who started four games as a juco transfer in '02 - has the inside track on the starting job.

Left tackle Mark Wilson - an honorable mention all-conference pick - leads a solid offensive line that returns three starters. The Bears will have to replace guard Scott Tercero, a first-team All-Conference selection last season. Senior David Hays appears to be the choice for that job.

At running back, senior Adimchinobe Echemandu (formerly Joe Echema) will look to replace the school's No. 2 all-time rusher, Joe Igber. Echemandu was named the starter last spring, but missed the entire 2002 campaign with a serious knee injury. Also in the mix is junior Terrell Williams, who is also trying to make a comeback from a major knee problem. The speedy Williams, who enjoyed an outstanding freshman season in 2001, will push Echemandu for the starting spot - if both are healthy. If not, junior college transfer J. J. Arrington and redshirt freshman Marcus O'Keith will battle it out for the position. The position has potential, but actualities differ often from expectations. Look for one to emerge and be a consistent starter until he falters.


RB Adimchinobe Echemandu


Returning Starters in bold
QB Reggie Robertson-Jr (6-2, 190) Richard Schwartz-So (6-4, 215)
FB Chris Manderino-So (6-1, 230) Byron Storer-Fr (6-1, 210)
TB Adimchinobe Echemandu-Sr (6-0, 225) Marcus O'Keith-Fr / Terrell Williams-Jr
WR Jonathan Makonnen-Sr (6-0, 175) Randy Bundy-Fr (6-0, 150)
WR Geoff McArthur-Jr (6-1, 200) Vincent Strang-Sr (5-8, 140)
TE Brandon Hall-Sr (6-4, 245) Garrett Cross-Jr (6-5, 235)
OT Mark Wilson-Sr (6-6, 295) Andrew Cameron-Fr (6-5, 310)
OG Jonathan Giesel-Jr (6-4, 300) Erik Robertson-Fr (6-2, 315)
C Nolan Bluntzer-Sr (6-4, 275) Marvin Philip-So (6-2, 235)
OG David Hays-Sr (6-3, 290) Ryan O'Callaghan-So (6-7, 330)
OT Chris Murphy-Sr (6-6, 310) Paul Fraley-Fr (6-4, 300)
K Tyler Fredrickson-Sr (6-3, 220) ..



written by Collin Mickle

Defensively, the Bears are an inexperienced group. Of the full-time starters on 2002's defense, only two return - tackle Lorenzo Alexander and rover Donnie McCleskey. Although the Bears have some talent - especially in the incoming recruiting class - replacing the departed seniors, including a pair of all-conference choices, will be tough. Year's end may see many of them established, but it will be a painful growing period regardless.

Hard-hitting junior outside linebacker Wendell Hunter will be the defense's primary leader. The only returning linebacker with any career starts, Hunter finished with 43 tackles, despite not starting every game. Four players, all with considerable potential, are competing for the two remaining slots. Junior Brian Tremblay, who played in every game last season, has the inside track to start in the middle. If ballyhooed juco transfer Joe Maningo can live up to his press clippings, he will be a lock to start at the other outside spot. Again, potential exists, but realizing it will be the growth we outlined. The unit has to gel, and, at their young age(s), learning habits and tendencies takes time, regardless of talent levels.

McCleskey and junior Ryan Gutierrez will hold down the two safety spots. The cornerback position is rather weak, as befits a segment which lost a pair of outstanding players in Nnamdi Asomugha (1st round, Oakland) and all-conference pick Jemeel Powell. Senior James Bethea, a part time 2002 starter, will move into the lineup for good. Joining him will be either junior Mike McGrath - a terror on the Bears' special teams - or sophomore Wale Forester. Chemistry is again an issue, making worthy play an unpredictable eventuality that will inconsistently establish itself.

Between the secondary and LB-corps, pass coverage will be a challenge. That fact should have opposing offensive coordinators salivating, especially if they have Cal scheduled in the first half.

The defensive line, long a strength for Cal, was devastated by graduation. The Bears lost both ends - first-team All-Conference pick Tully Banta-Cain (a 7th-round draft choice by New England) and Tom Canada - as well as four-year starter Daniel Nwangwu at tackle. Few teams could face such a rebuilding project with equanimity, much less one as plagued by depth problems as Cal.

Senior Josh Beckham, who saw limited action as a reserve, will join Alexander as the starting defensive tackles. Beckham is a solid pass-rusher, but at 270 pounds, will likely wear down against physical teams. Junior Josh Lupoi will start at one end, but the other is totally up in the air. The Bears signed seven defensive linemen in their 2003 recruiting class, including five of California's top-100 players. Three or four of these players could see significant action in their rookie campaign.


CB James Bethea


Returning Starters in bold
DE Tosh Lupoi-Jr (6-3, 250) L.P. Ladouceur-Jr (6-5, 265)
DT Lorenzo Alexander-Jr (6-3, 295) Brandon Povio-So (6-2, 285)
NT Tom Sverchek-Jr (6-3, 295) Josh Beckham-Sr (6-2, 270)
DE Monte Parson-Sr (6-3, 265) ..
OLB Wendell Hunter-Jr (6-1, 230) Joe Maningo-Jr (6-2, 220)
MLB Brian Tremblay-Jr (6-1, 235) Jaylon DeBruin-So (6-3, 230)
OLB Ryan Estes-So (6-2, 215) Sid Slater-Jr (6-2, 225)
CB James Bethea-Sr (6-0, 190) Wale Forrester-So (5-10, 195)
CB Tim Mixon-Fr (5-8, 170) Harrison Smith-So (6-2, 190)
ROV Donnie McCleskey-So (5-10, 180) Mike McGrath-Jr (5-11, 195)
FS Ryan Gutierrez-Jr (6-0, 180) Matt Giordano-Jr (6-0, 190)
P Tyler Fredrickson-Sr (6-3, 220) ..




Senior Tyler Fredrickson, Cal's punter for two years, will be the starter at punter and place-kicker. Fredrickson has a strong leg and the resilient mental makeup to make the unusual situation work, but juco transfer Lucas Everett will be waiting in the wings if either job becomes too difficult. This bodes well.

Wideout LaShaun Ward was a first team All-Conference kick returner, and his departure leaves a significant hole. Jemeel Powell, the punt returner, will also be missed. McCleskey, Gutierrez, and Bethea will compete for the two jobs. Good recruiting classes make these area's development not a huge concern - emerging talent will make the most of these opportunities.

Inversely, coverage could be a real problem for the Bears. Similar to other positions, the graduation of so many key defenders, and their backups' moving into the starting lineup, creates a trickle-down effect strongly felt on special teams. Once again, Cal's strong recruiting class could help plug this hole. Expect several of the hyped true freshmen to make their debuts on punt and kick coverage, accordingly.