Cal Football Video: Freshman Outside Linebacker Patu Shows Promise

Cal coach Justin Wilcox noted the complexities of a college defense overwhelmed Patu at times

Two players seemed to stick out when Cal head coach Justin Wilcox talked about the outside linebacker position, which is often considered the glamour position in Cal’s 3-4 alignment.

On player of note was Orin Patu, a freshman who enrolled in January and took part in spring ball. Patu is on the lighter side at just 215 pounds, but he showed potential as a pass-rusher.

“Orin can pass-rush,” Wilcox said. “He’s got to develop his strength. But the redeeming quality in his game is pass-rush. He’s got to work on that, as we continue to bring him up to speed in some of the run-game things.

“At that position, he’s got a lot going on. He had some freshman moments. They all did, those newcomers. They had moments where it’s a shift and a motion and we had two checks, and this happened and that happened, then it’s a hard count and we changed the call – and you could see the smoke [coming out of his ears]. What you want to see in those moments is, just go fast. . . . He has that. The athleticism is there.”

(Click here for a video on Wilcox's funny line about an offensive lineman.)

The other outside linebacker of note was Cam Goode, who suffered a season-ending injury in the 2018 opener. He seems to be back at top level, but with more weight. He was barely recognizable during the spring.

(Click here for a video of Wilcox talking about defensive ends, especially Zeandae Johnson.)