Cal's most intriguing offseason move was switching Trey Paster from safety to inside linebacker.
Paster received playing time as a true freshman in 2020, seeing action in all four games and recording one tackle. And the Bears expect Paster to make an impact at his new position. Whether that impact will come in 2021 remains to be seen, but Paster claims to love the position change.
"I love the new position, love it," he said in the video above. "I'm for anything to help the team win. It is a big difference. I would say a little more physical., a little more thinking. But at the end of the day football is football."
Peter Sirmon, the Bears' defensive coordinator and inside linebackers coach, sees the progress Paster is making at is his new position, but after six spring practices, he was not ready to predict whether Paster would get significant playing time in 2021.
"He's made significant improvement with his eyes in the first six practices that we've had," Sirmon said Friday. "He's very excited about the position change, and I think it's going to fit him and his skills the very best."
Paster had never played linebacker before this spring, but he said there was talk when he first came to Cal that such a switch might take place. His body has changed significantly since he arrived in Berkeley, making the change possible.
"In high school I was right around 200 pounds, maybe 197," he said, "and now I'm about 225. I don't really feel it. I just feel stronger and faster.if anything."
He noted that linebackers these days are considerably faster and lighter than they were in the past, with players from other schools making the switch from the secondary to a linebacker spot.
So could Paster possibly be a starter next fall as a sophomore? When asked to name his four starting linebackers if the Bears were to play a game tomorrow, Sirmon -- not surprisingly -- did not bite. He even noted in his answer in the video below that he might not be ready to confirm what he will have for lunch today.
So we will take a guess at which players will be Cal's four starting linebackers in the 2021 opener against Nevada, assuming the Bears' begin in their base 3-4 defense: Kuony Deng and Cameron Goode at the outside linebacker spots and Evan Tattersall and Muelu Iosefa at the inside linebacker positions.
There is no uncertainty about Paster's comfort level in Berkeley.
"I love it here," he said. "This has been my dream school since I was about 8, 9 years old. There's no place I'd rather be."
Follow Jake Curtis of Cal Sports Report on Twitter: @jakecurtis53
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