4. College Football News Preview 2020: Cal Golden Bears Defense 3 Things To Know
– There is no replacing Evan Weaver. He was the heart-and-soul tackler he hit everything the moved, coming up with a whopping 182 stops. However, the star linebacker isn’t the only loss with nine of the top 15 tacklers gone.
On the plus side, this is an elite defensive coaching staff, starting with head coach Justin Wilcox to go along with co-coordinators Tim DeRuyter and Peter Sirmon. The Bears finished fourth in the Pac-12 in total and scoring defense.
– Along with losing Weaver, Ben Hawk Schrider is gone from the linebacking corps. However, Kuony Deng is a big-hitting 245-pounder who should be in for All-Pac-12 honors on the inside, and 6-3, 235-pound senior Cameron Goode is back on the outside after leading the team with 14 tackles for loss. There are other big options for what should be a huge, tough group behind a rebuilt line.
– The starting front three is done, but 6-5, 285-pound sophomore Brett Johnson got in enough work to own the nose. There’s size across the line, but there will be an adjustment, with the depth needing to be build up and the ends needing to find steady producers.
The line might be an early concern, but the pass defense and the secondary should be better. Camryn Bynum is back somewhere in the secondary – he can work at any spot – after finishing third on the team with 63 tackles, and senior Elijah Hicks is a solid, veteran corner. However, the defensive backs have to come up with more picks – there were only eight last year and most of the producers are gone.