Two players in Cal’s 2020 recruiting class – quarterback Jaden Casey and offensive tackle Everett Johnson – were able to participate in several practices with the Cal team leading up to Monday’s Redbox Bowl game against Illinois in Santa Clara.
Neither is expected to be a starter for Cal next season as a freshman, with experienced players returning at both positions, although Johnson could see time if there are injuries up front. He will get a head start since he is one of nine incoming Cal recruits who are enrolling at Cal this spring.
And Johnson certainly offers intriguing potential with his size – 6-foot-7, 315 pounds.
Cal center Mike Saffell (video above) has seen Johnson perform up close during recent practices, and although it’s difficult to draw conclusions, he does see the potential.
Johnson drew immediate praise for buying into the offensive line’s hairdo for the bowl game.
“Obviously he bleached his hair before he got here, so that’s huge,” Saffell said. “He’s in with group already, really fitting in.
“Obviously, you can see it by his size, he’s massive and very athletic, you know, moves really well. As far as effort and play strength and things like that, those are things to find out as it goes.
“I’m sure he already looks physically developed in the weight room and things like that. And at that size there’s no telling what someone like that can do. I think he has unbelievable potential here, and being with someone like Wood [offensive line coach Steve Greatwood] is just going to make that even better.”
Cal coach Justin Wilcox noted on signing day that Johnson committee to Cal as a sophomore.
“We have been excited about Everett for years now, since he verbally committed to us as a sophomore,” Wilcox said. “He has rare size, excels in the classroom, and has all the tools to be a great player for us.”