Media Day Pillows - Photo courtesy of David Gerhardt
***Update! I have successfully interviewed Coach Jon Embree, David Bakhtiari and Ray Polk. I also asked Kyle Ringo (of the Daily Camera) a few questions. I'm going to work on getting those up. Mr. Woods also set up a meeting of the minds that will hopefully happen soon between myself, one of the writers for the Cal SBNation site and Dan from the SBNation Youtube Channel. Hopefully sometime soon you'll get to see us asking each other the tough questions, like: "Were you afraid when the explosions in the live Water World show happened next to the lunch area?" and "Why does Jeff Tedford always look unhappy?"
I'll be getting one-on-one interviews after lunch, but for now, here are my notes about the group session this morning:
- Larry Scott first up after a pretty sweet new Ad for Pac 12 & Pac 12 Networks. There were some Buffaloes sightings, as well as a nice little chunk of footage of the C-Unit. They showed a lot of footage from all of the schools, but I noticed Tony Jones running the ball (at least once) and I think a quick shot of PRich. Then they got a sweet, above-the-rim dunk by Andre 'Animal-Style' Roberson from a couple of different angles.
- First up was a quick plug for the Gibson Amphitheater, the location. More than 40 years of the best musicians in the world, so it's a fitting place for the players and coaches of the Pac 12 (I don't see the connection...)
- No more exciting place to be than the Pac 12 today
- Lived up to it again w/ 9 NCAA championships this year, more than any other conference, up to 451 total Championships
- Pac 12 Media day also sees 239 current or former Pac 12 Student Athletes @ Olympics, representing 40 countries and nearly 25% of the US Contingent
- Proponent of the new format of NCAA Football Playoff. Feels they balanced all of the needs of fans, Schools, NCAA and everything
- Feels that the Pac 12 will be receiving unprecedented Nat'l Exposure this year in football
- 22 days away from the launch of the Pac 12 Networks
- Officially welcoming "great football minds" to the Pac 12 Conference. Excitement, creativity.
- Proud of unique location of Conference Football Championship (homefield of top team)
- 7 teams to bowls last year, expects at least that many this year
- Gary Stevenson of Pac 12 Enterprises up next
- CU will be one of the 6 games televised on opening weekend
- Lots of football related programming in addition to games
- Will replay all 79 home games including those aired on Fox and ESPN in 60 minute format
- Excited about the talent that they've signed on for their shows and to broadcast games for Pac-12 Networks
- Next up: Colorado's Jon Embree, Ray Polk and David Bakhtiari
- Embree's opening statement: excited for year 2, had good momentum at the end of the year
- Goal for 12/13 is to make Bowl game. That means 6 wins or more is the goal!
- Ended road losing streak last year, which was one of their goals and they are looking forward to building on that.
- Q about PRich, is optimistic about getting him back this year, he's progressing very rapidly, still has to get back to doing football movements, but it's possible he could play.
- I asked: What was the biggest hurdle as a first-time HC: Trying to create a new culture. Asking them to do a lot of new things. Accountability. 5 suspensions before they played Stanford (meat of the schedule). Focused on the long term, didn't get to do as much football as he wanted to do at first because of all the changing of culture and everything. Excited to be doing more of that now. Excited to be teaching and working more on improving at football this year (good news!).
- DB (David Bakhtiari) answering about how important running the football is in response to whether running the ball is even more important w/ uncertainty at QB. Close knit group on the o-line. He's excited. Think that even though they lost Ryan Miller and Ethan Adkins, that they should be a good group.
- JE, three kids for now in the QB competition. Nick's injury allowed him to get more study time in, and Connor got reps he needed. Webb is definitely a part of the competition. Would like Dillon to be a part of it, but he may not be ready to go because of shoulder surgery.
- RP (Ray Polk) asked about a ‘rivalry' w/ Utah. "They're always going to be a good team". Still figuring out where they fit in in the conference. We'll find someone who we want to be our rival. For him, they look to the best team and they want that team to be their rival.
- JE mentions how of the 28 players they lose, many of them were huge contributors. He feels good about what they have coming in, though. Have a good idea who is going to step up at all other positions except for QB. Likes the new TEs, WR and RB.
- Like we've said here, despite losing a lot of players who played and started, they have greatly upgraded talent and speed on the roster, it's just a question of whether that speed 'goes in the right direction'. Likes where the program is going. Thinks they're on the right track talent-wise.
- Media folks are forcing questions about ‘rivalry'. DB sees every team as a rival
- DB - Big strong guys in both Pac 12 and Big 12, maybe a little faster in Pac 12 while slightly bigger in Big 12, but you get fantastic athletes in both.
- RP says there are more fast players on teams in Pac 12 (in Big 12 you'd have one really talented Wideout, on Pac 12 teams, there are 3). Offensive schemes in the conference are some of the best out there.
- Defensive back will see a lot of competition from incoming freshmen and they'll all have a chance to compete. Who is going to play opposite Polk and Henderson will be decided this summer, and the incoming freshmen (5 guys) are definitely a part of that discussion. Tight end is second and then D-line after that.
- Question about recruiting Cali more now. JE explains that we have always wanted to recruit CA and they're hitting it hard still. 10 kids from CA last year and 4 or 5 commits thus far from CA.
- Talks about how recruiting CA can help a program immensely. The state is full of talented kids.
- RP: Doing a great job in summer workouts, better than they ever have in his time here, and not just weightlifting and running. This offseason they've been having player run meetings. Getting everyone involved in the defense. Greg Henderson will be great, PRich if he's healthy. Likes all the seniors on defense (Pericak, Rippy and Major). RP is excited and it'll be a fun season
- DB talks about how good Nick Kasa looks good, he's been working hard all offseason, Pericak has improved both in the weight room and on the field. Chidera Uzo-Diribe actually works out with the skill players because he's so fast (he actually shook his head when he was talking about how fast CUD is). Gus Handler and Daniel Munyer looks improved and should be very good along the o-Line.
CB Jered Bell knee suffered a torn ACL in the third ‘11 fall practice (Aug. 6); limited participation (individual drills) in spring FULL GO
DT Nate Bonsu shoulder underwent postseason surgery (Nov. 29) to clean up chronic issue FULL GO
OL Kaiwi Crabb back strained lower back in conditioning (Feb. 27) FULL GO
TB Malcolm Creer knee suffered sprained ACL/MCL at Arizona State (Oct. 29); had surgery (Dec. 1) and rehabilitating FULL GO
OL Ryan Dannewitz back suffering chronic lower back pain FULL GO
QB Shane Dillon shoulder underwent offseason shoulder surgery in February DAY-TO-DAY
DB Will Harlos hamstring suffered a slight pull and tightness in conditioning and has worked through it during much of camp FULL GO
DB Sherrard Harrington knee suffered a bruise in Apr. 5 scrimmage LIMITED
QB Nick Hirschman foot suffered fractures of both metatarsals (7/25/11, 3/3/12), has had three surgeries and target August return FULL GO
PK Will Oliver shoulder underwent surgery (Mar. 27) to mend a chronic injury FULL GO
DB Parker Orms hamstring suffered a severe strain in practice (Mar. 13) DAY-TO-DAY
FS Ray Polk wrist suffered a sprain in winter conditioning, participated minimally in spring drills FULL GO
WR Paul Richardson knee suffered a torn ACL in practice (April 9); underwent surgery (Apr. 16) and will likely miss 2012 season OUT
ILB Douglas Rippy knee suffered torn ligaments against Washington (Oct. 15), had surgery (Nov. 15), limited spring participation FULL GO
FS Richard Yates knee suffered a sprain in practice (Apr. 9) FULL GO
According to Dave Plati, Peyton Williams was left off the injury list, but he is still rehabilitating from his ACL injury that he suffered during his senior year of HS. I'm sure we'll get an update on his status at some point.
I mentioned this in the Media Day thread, but we've got some official weights of the incoming freshmen. DTs Justin Solis and Josh Tupou are listed at 305 lbs and 325 lbs respectively. That's some much needed beef up front. And Terrence Crowder and Davien Payne are 215 lbs and 225 lbs respectively. Good stuff.
TE Kyle Slavin is up to 245 lbs. Incoming frosh Vincent Hobbs and Austin ray are both listed at 240 lbs. Again, that's solid for the incoming freshmen and Slavin is finally bulking up. Hopefully that'll help them all to be ready to contribute.
Paul Vigo is now listed as an inside linebacker, so he's moved yet again. Jermane Clark is officially listed as an ILB and is on the depth chart there as well.
More news this afternoon!