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Cal Football: RB Damien Moore Poised to Deliver A New Level of Consistency

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave: `He’s bracing for impact, getting ready for a long season.'

Some things about Damien Moore have not changed.

“Damien brings consistency,” running backs coach Aristotle Thompson said.

“He’s the same guy every day,” adds offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave in the video below. “He’s sharp. He knows who to block in pass protection. He’s definitely somebody that we trust.”

But if you ask Moore how he wants to be better in his junior season, here is what he says:

“One of my biggest goals this year is just being more consistent,” Moore said. “I feel like if I’m more consistent I’ll be able to help this team win.”

Moore rushed for 517 yards at 5.2 yards per clip last season, and averaged nearly twice that while gaining a season-best 111 yards in a win over Oregon State.

He also dealt with shoulder and knee ailments that forced him to miss one game altogether and limited him to a total of 11 carries for 24 yards in four other outings.

Asked if Cal fans have seen his best, Moore doesn’t hesitate.

“No, I don’t think so,” he said. “I feel like this is my year to show them I’m one of those guys that can really play with the best of them.”

Moore focused on two areas in the offseason in hopes of becoming a better player.

First, he tried to improve his body. He spent more time in the weight room and honed his diet.

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Moore talks in the video above about how he was asked to send a photo of every meal he ate during the spring to the team’s training staff. The biggest changes? Less bread and no fast food.

“Physically, his body is in much better shape,” coach Justin Wilcox says in the video below, alluding to the 10 pounds Moore shed while also addressing his two fumbles last season. “He’s leaner, stronger than he was a year ago. He’s always been a natural, instinctive runner — you still see that.

“When he gets some lives reps you see that growth physically, stepping through a tackle. That’ll be the test. We’re really excited by what he’s done to grow his body and take care of himself.”

“Our thing with Damien this year was to get his body even better, even stronger, to get to that college football body type that we all want to see,” Thompson said. “He’s getting there. Weight room, what he’s putting into his body, stretching. Now we can grow him from some of those singles and doubles and get him to hit some triples out there, pop off a 40- or 50-yarder.”

Moore also has ramped up his off-field prep work, spending more time watching tape of defenses and his own play. He talks in video at the top of this story about the specifics of what he looks for and what he perceives the benefits to be.

His position coach said Moore’s talent and his study habits are a good combination.

“He has a feel for what the defense is doing. That’s a tribute not only to his intellect and what he does on the field but his study of defenses,” Thompson said. “He’s a junkie on the film. Even if he’s not sitting in the office watching it, he’s got his iPad at home and he’s watching it.”

Musgrave anticipates a big season from Moore.

"He’s bracing for impact, getting ready for a long season where he’s going to be asked to carry the football and catch the football.”

And doing it consistently.

Cover photo of Damien Moore by Darren Yamashita, USA Today

Follow Jeff Faraudo of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jefffaraudo