Jul 23, 2013 7:03 PM by Andrew Masuda
In less than two weeks, the Cal Poly football team opens training camp to begin the defense of its Big Sky conference title. The Mustangs are coming off a 9-3 season that included a spot in the second round of the FCS Playoffs.
Cal Poly was tabbed to finish fourth this season in the Big Sky Preseason Coaches and Media polls. Junior running back Kristaan Ivory, junior wide receiver Willie Tucker, senior kicker Bobby Zalud, junior linebacker Nick Dzubnar, senior defensive tackle Sullivan Grosz and junior kick returner Chris Nicholls have all landed on the 2013 College Football Performance Awards preseason watch lists.
They are among the seven starters on offense and ten on defense, who fifth year head coach Tim Walsh will welcome back during the first practice on Monday, August 5. Players will report on August 4. Overall, Cal Poly's roster features 58 returning lettermen, 29 on offense, 26 on defense and 3 specialists, along with 22 redshirts, 11 walk-ons and a few other transfers.
"When you talk about 16, 17 returning starters that's a lot of guys to start with. I think we have a very old team. Now with that said I think we story line is you have to replace guys like Andre Broadous, a pretty good player, Deonte Williams, Geoff Hyde, Nico Molino and Kenny Jackson. Those five guys were real good players for us," said coach Walsh. "I think finding the guys, we think we have them, but they have to prove they can do it down in down out against the competition level that those five did it against."
Williams, who's in camp with the Oakland Raiders, rushed for 1,506 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Jackson recorded 302 career tackles, including 97 last fall.
The biggest question going into camp is who will take over Broadous at quarterback. He accumulated 1,459 yards and 30 touchdowns rushing in his Mustang career, while passing for 3,120 yards and 31 more scores. Vince Moraga, Chris Brown, Tanner Trosin and Dano Graves will all compete for the spot in camp. We'll check in with coach Walsh later in the week to hear what he was to say about the QB situation.
The Mustangs open the season on Saturday, August 31 at home against the University of San Diego. Kick off is set for 4:05 pm.
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