‘You can taste it’: Cal football, tight ends sweeten deal on day 5 of fall camp

08.08.16_CalfootballCamp
David Rodriguez/Staff

Redshirt senior wide receiver Moe Ways joined the media Wednesday to interview former Michigan Wolverines teammate — and, now, fellow Bear — redshirt senior tight end Ian Bunting.

“Moe Ways, from Cal sports talk — how is it living with receiver Moe Ways?” newfound reporter Ways asked.

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The fifth-year senior put in the work on the field during day five of fall camp, including staying after practice for extra reps, so a little fun was well-received. As rapper Drake has famously said, “Moment I stop having fun with it, I’ll be done with it.”

There is nothing more fun, however, than winning. A new face in Bunting — at 6’7’’, 255 pounds, he is hard to miss — along with the rest of the tight ends group and coach Charlie Ragle, could be a key weapon for the Bears as they chase more than a few wins in 2018. Bunting has become fond of redshirt junior quarterback Ross Bowers, praising him for his “perfectionist” mindset, as the two trained together in the offseason.

“He knows that after four years of the process of playing big-time college football, it’s tough,” Ragle said about Bunting. “It’s a lot tougher than people really understand until they live it.”

The group of tight ends, running 10 deep, has a core of experienced players, including redshirt senior Ray Hudson and senior Malik McMorris. With head coach Justin Wilcox and offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin bringing the tight end position back to Berkeley, the players are feeling more comfortable in their second go-round.

“The whole position has transformed,” Ragle said. “You know, we actually look like tight ends now.”

From big bodies in Hudson and Bunting to a wild card in McMorris, who is also listed at the fullback position, the Bears have plenty of options in regard to personnel and different matchups.img_1299

“If I’m in, I can do a lot of things,” McMorris said. “I’m kind of the guy that makes things a little electric.”

Though McMorris hasn’t seen significant reps in camp yet, the senior has enough experience under his belt to prioritize safety; having him active in every snap during camp is far less pressing than having him healthy down the stretch. With a few new faces on the roster, Baldwin isn’t just yet sure what McMorris’ role will be this year, but one thing that is for sure is that he knows McMorris is going to help Cal win games.

As camp progresses, the Bears are starting to look more comfortable and in rhythm, and they are nearing the date circled on the calendar — Sept. 1. Though they have yet to sport full pads, full contact is coming any day now, and things are already physical and instinctive down on the field.

“We’ve all been doing this long enough to know that it’s not, ‘Hey we’re not going to throw a party right now,’ ” Ragle said. “But at the same time, I think the improvement that we’ve made in day five (compared) to where we were a year ago in day five is — it’s real. You can see it, you can feel it, you can taste it.

Five fall camp days down, nine to go, with action resuming tomorrow.

Christie Aguilar is the sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].