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Friday, August 20, 2010
Cal starting lineup taking shape

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Good information in this California notebook from Jonathan Okanes.

Okanes notes that coach Jeff Tedford has been more open about revealing the pecking order at competitive positions, which is a great help when practices are closed.

So there is a lot of choice info here:
On offense, [Tedford] said the definitive starters as of right now are QB Kevin Riley, RB Shane Vereen, WR Marvin Jones, WR Keenan Allen, TE Anthony Miller, LT Mitchell Schwartz and C Chris Guarnero. Allen was the only player he quantified with “as of now.”

On defense, Tedford said the only concrete starters are DE Cameron Jordan, ILB Mike Mohamed and OLB Mychal Kendricks.

Tedford also said Giorgio Tavecchio would handle both kickoffs and field goals if the season started today.

Key tidbit there: That's true freshman Keenan Allen at receiver next to Jones, which confirms the scuttlebutt coming out of practices that a number of freshmen are in the mix.

As for defense:
A few days ago, Tedford said Keith Browner was the starter at weakside linebacker. But today he said true freshman Dave Wilkerson is still in the mix there. Tedford also said Kendrick Payne is probably the starter at nose tackle, but it is still competitive with Derrick Hill and Aaron Tipoti in the mix.

Tedford said both corner positions are still up in the air, with Darian Hagan, Steve Williams, Bryant Nnabufie and Marc Anthony competing for the two spots.

Another true freshman in Wilkerson. Payne ahead of Hill is a bit newsy, too, but that's three pretty good nose tackles, which is a key position to keep fresh in a 3-4 defense. As for cornerback, my money is on the first two -- Hagan and Williams -- but it's not like I've seen them practice this month.