Cal running back Ashton Hayes transfers, the fourth Cal RB to hit the portal
Another significant transfer talent loss.
The once crowded Cal running back depth chart has now apparently settled itself out.
With the emergence of Jaydn Ott as one of the best young feature backs in the country, he has basically become the de facto starter at Cal for as long as he wants to be here. The transfer of running back Byron Cardwell from Oregon gives Cal necessary depth to back up Ott.
With these shifts in the wind, and a major overhaul in the new offensive staff, other running backs in the rotation made their decisions.
Damien Moore was first to go into the portal. Once the starting running back, Moore saw his playing time reduce significantly this season.
Next up was DeCarlos Brooks, who got the second most reps last year but was still lagging a bit behind Ott’s carries. Brooks has ended up since at Arizona State.
Then went Chris Street. Street has struggled with injuries throughout his tenure at Cal, and it just didn’t seem like he’d get his chance to shine.
Now, Ott’s fellow freshman Ashton Hayes has also decided to explore what’s out there.
This one stings a bit. Hayes proved to be a dynamic kick returner in the second half of the season, averaging over 20 yards per return the final few games. It’s quite possible Hayes would have had a good chance to win the RB2 spot behind Ott, even with the introduction of Cardwell.
This does basically solidify Cal’s running back rotation as Ott #1, Cardwell #2, and Ashton Stredick maybe making some cameos. This should also open up the opportunity for true freshman Jaivian Thomas to play. It’s also possible the Bears will hit the transfer portal to get one more runner.
The offseason intrigue runs wild in the Cal backfield.