Dario Longhetto, who saw part-time action last season as a punter, may be close to clinching the placekicker job for Cal, coach Justin Wilcox said before practice on Tuesday.
“Dario Longhetto, right now, is kicking very well,” Wilcox said. “It’s still competitive at that position but Dario is noticeably improved from last year.”
A 6-foot, 200-pound redshirt sophomore from Newbury Park, California, Longhetto has yet to do any placekicking work on game days for the Bears. But he seems positioned to replace Greg Thomas, who made 23 of 34 field-goal attempts the past two seasons.
Other placekickers on the roster are redshirt freshman Nick Lopez and freshman Ronan Donnelly.
Longhetto saw action in five games last season and punted 18 times for a 40.9-yard average.
But Wilcox indicated that Jamieson Sheahan, a 23-year-old from Bendigo, Australia, will be the Bears’ punter.
Sheahan, a mid-year 2020 enrollee, is a former Australian Rules competitor back home but is making his debut in American football.
“Jamieson Sheahan has done a really good job,” Wilcox said. “He’s our punter who’s never punted in a football game so far. He’s a talented guy. We expect him to do very, very well.”
Steven Coutts, another Australian, handled much of the Bears' punting a year ago, averaging 41.5 yards per attempt.
*** Wilcox talks here about the plans for this week:
A BIG WEEK AHEAD: Wilcox said Tuesday begins stretch of six consecutive practice days and will involve more physical play in full pads.
He also talks in the video below about how the Bears have not yet held a full scrimmage and may not do that even this week. But he said Cal will have live periods throughout the week.
*** Wilcox talks about when the Bears might scrimmage for the first time:
CURLEY YOUNG JR. OUT: Wilcox announced the first season-long casualty with news that redshirt freshman outside linebacker Curley Young Jr., will miss the 2020 season due to a lower-body injury.
Young, from Pflugerville, Texas, is expected to be healthy in time for the 2021 spring workouts, Wilcox said.
A consensus 3-star prospect in Cal’s class of 2019, Young saw action in two games early last season, playing against Washington and North Texas.
Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo
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