Postseason roster update: New players, new positions, not-so-new faces

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With the 2019 season officially behind the Bears, shifts in the roster are being made before spring ball begins in order to prepare for a highly anticipated fall season. 25 team members, 24 of them freshmen, have been granted a redshirt year, including freshman quarterback Spencer Brasch, whose infamous start against Utah showed flashes of his athleticism despite the 35-0 beatdown Cal suffered. Josh Drayden, the only senior given a redshirt title, notched 9 tackles in the four games he played in 2019 as a defensive back.

Junior Elijah Hicks, who played in all 13 games last season, has been listed on the roster as a safety instead of his historical cornerback position in which he recorded 27 solo tackles in the fall. Though the move might not be permanent, it may signify the need to fill the shoes of Jaylinn Hawkins, whose team-high 3 interceptions last season reasserted his position as a crucial part of Cal’s defense.

Linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo and nose guard Siulagisipai Fuimaono will not be returning to the team — Ogunbanjo has entered his name into the transfer portal following his arrest in December 2019 and dismissal from the football program.

Yet despite the many changes, several veterans will be returning after having been granted an extra year of eligibility. Sixth-year seniors Zeandae Johnson, Luc Bequette and Henry Bazakas all missed portions of their time on the gridiron over the last four years due to injury and will prove themselves to be major benefits for the Bears next year amidst the shifts and uncertainties inherent to football.

Emily Ohman covers football. Contact her at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @emilyohman34.