A reporter asked Chris McCain what animal he would be, and the freshman linebacker picked a cheetah.
“I like to run,” he said.
McCain was all over the place on Monday, invading the backfield on the third day of fall camp — the second of three on the schedule that are entirely open to the media. Sharing first-team outside linebacker reps with sophomore Dan Camporeale during 11-on-11 drills, the former Oregon commit was responsible for several defensive highlights — including a sack of quarterback Zach Maynard. On one play, he even slid down to defensive end when Cal went to a nickel formation.
“I call him ‘Gadget,'” coach Jeff Tedford said. “His arms, you try to throw it in the flat or do something, he’ll be right there. You think you have it — zheew — there goes that arm and he knocks it down.”
McCain admitted that even after putting on around 20 pounds of muscle over the past year, he still needs to add more to his wiry 6-foot-6 frame. He’s a rangy player who more resembles a basketball swingman than a linebacker.
Still, it’ll be a surprise if the North Carolina native — now reunited with four former high school teammates in Maynard, Keenan Allen, Maurice Harris and Gabe King — doesn’t get ample time on the field this fall.
Clay Out Three Weeks
Cal wideout Kaelin Clay underwent minor knee surgery Monday after suffering an injury to open fall camp. The redshirt freshman’s recovery is expected to take around three weeks, and he could be back in time for the Bears’ season opener against Fresno State on Sept. 3 at Candlestick Park.
“He had a minor meniscus (tear) that they trimmed up,” Tedford said. “That’s good news, actually … It wasn’t a ‘repair.’ I’m not a doctor, but I guess what they say is, if you need to stitch it up, that’s a repair, and if you just need to trim it, it’s just going in and fixing it.”
—Redshirt freshman running back Trajuan Briggs is not at training camp. When pressed for details, Tedford merely said that there were only 105 players there, and that the coaching staff needed to take a look at the younger backs.
—Senior safety Sean Cattouse sat out the latter half of Monday’s practice. Tedford said Cattouse has been irritated recently by a minor hamstring injury. Left tackle Mitchell Schwartz is still day-to-day with his own hamstring injury.
—Although their exact order may still shift, Cal’s top three quarterbacks are most likely set. Maynard will soon be receiving the majority of the first-team reps, while Brock Mansion and Allan Bridgford will split what’s left — the No. 2 spot hasn’t been nailed down at this point. Tedford said it would take an injury for someone like redshirt freshman Austin Hinder to move up due to his inexperience.