Biggest shoes to fill: California

March, 19, 2014
Mar 19
9:00
AM ET
Starters in, starters out. That's college football. Players' eligibility expires and they leave for the rest of their lives, whether that includes the NFL or not.

And they leave behind shoes of various sizes that need to be filled.

In alphabetical order, we will survey each Pac-12 team’s most notable void. Today we look at California.

Biggest shoes: DT/NG Deandre Coleman

Coleman earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors -- one of three Bears to do so -- and he was clearly Cal's best defensive player in 2013, even if he seemed to be out of position as a nose guard. Still, the absence of his 6-foot-5, 315 frame in the middle of the defense will be notable. He finished with four tackles, a team-high nine tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. While he didn't always seem to bring his "A-game" -- no Cal player was in 2013 -- he was the most consistent presence for a defense that was terrible in 2013, the worst in program history.

Stepping in: TBA

Cal would have had a ready-made replacement in Viliami Moala, but he opted to enter the NFL draft. Further, it's difficult to project too much about the pending depth chart with new coordinator Art Kaufman and new defensive line coaches Fred Tate bringing their ideas and schemes to Berkeley. Sophomore Jacobi Hunter was Coleman's backup last season and he had 18 tackles, with 2.5 coming for a loss. He'll be in the mix. The big issue is where DT Mustafa Jalil ends up, and if he's back to 100 percent after missing last year with a knee injury that still figures to limit him this spring. Jalil has star potential, but the junior has yet to break through. Other possibilities are Harrison Wilfley and junior college transfers Trevor Kelly, Marcus Manley and David Davis, though Davis wasn't able to complete his academic work in time to participate in spring practices.

Ted Miller | email

College Football

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.


PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 11/22