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BERKELEY, Calif. – As the strains of a familiar Too Short and E-40 song are piped through the speakers at Memorial Stadium Thursday afternoon, several California football players gathered in the end zone nearest the tunnel to watch junior wide receiver Bryce Treggs and freshman running back Tre Watson perform a well-choreographed dance.

Call it post-practice delight, or just enthusiasm in anticipation of the Bears season opener against Northwestern this week.  Either way, the excitement on Kabam Field was palpable.

“That’s a victory dance,” said Treggs when asked about the spontaneous performance of Chris Brown-caliber moves.  “(Watson) created that dance, choreographed it and taught it to me; I’m the only other person on the team that knows how to do it.”

The two offensive players seem to have developed a special bond, which hopefully is indicative of the run and pass game coming together this season for Cal.  Last year, the Bears had a 59/41 percent pass-run ratio which led to 32 total touchdowns, 22 of which came through the air.

“I’ve taken him under my wing, trying to get his head straight because he came in a little bit cocky so I’m trying to bring him down to reality a little bit,” Treggs said of Watson.  “Just keeping him focused, telling him to stay humble.  And yeah, we have a great relationship; he’s like a son.”

Both will play key roles for the Bears offensively, but Treggs, a veteran with 77 receptions for 751 yards and one touchdown last season, will assume more of a leadership role.  The receiving corp is three deep; the deepest position on the team.  Offensive coordinator Tony Franklin expects to use most of them as Cal continues to spread the field.  Whether it’s through the air, or on the ground, finishing drives with points on the board is a necessity if Cal wants to shake off the remaining doubt from last season.

“I think whatever works to get the ball in the end zone,” said running backs coach Pierre Ingram.  “I could care less if we run the ball every down or if we pass it every down.  My ultimate goal as a coach is just to get these guys confident in scoring.

“Whether its Jared Goff to Chris Harper or Treggs or Kenny Lawler, or Daniel Lasco on the toss or a downhill run, the key essential piece for us as a team is us making sure that we get the ball in the end zone,” added Ingram.

Treggs believes that Cal’s receivers are as tightly-knit as ever,  ready to rise to the occasion coming off a solid offseason.

“If you put on the film, you see how much faster we are as a wide receiver unit and also how much bigger we are, so we are not going to get outphysicaled or outrun by anybody,” said Treggs.  “So we are very excited about that and our chemistry with Goff as a whole for every receiver is amazing right now; he seems like he’s always on point with us as soon as we get out of our breaks.”

When asked where he made his greatest gains from last season, the playful Treggs became serious and specific.

“I would say my out-routes.  I’m going to be very specific because my out-routes in the spring weren’t as good as I would like them to be, so I’m really focused on that,” said Treggs.  “Coach Franklin, our offensive coordinator, he came to me personally and told me I need to work on that, so that was one of my main focuses and I think they are pretty good now.”

Until that opening whistle next Saturday, the start of a clean slate for Cal, Treggs and his teammates are using the ghosts of 2013 past,  and a perceived lack of respect, to fuel their preseason fire.

“I would say everything that we’ve gone through this summer, our conditioning is arguably the hardest in the country.  We go out here every morning and push ourselves to our limits so that’s motivation alone,” said Treggs.  “And, also, all the critics who are not favoring us in any games, we look at that, we see the tweets, so that’s motivation to go out there and prove everybody wrong.”

Note:  Below, check out Ashley Roe’s exclusive interview with Treggs and stay tuned for the Cal victory dance, coming soon to a stadium near you.

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Emily Van Buskirk

SportsWatch Columnist
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