Here is a breakdown of Cal's football roster, by position groups. Projected starters listed, with some specific positions listed after player's name.

CAL BY POSITION

  • QB: Jared Goff. The true freshman from Novato beat out redshirt freshman Zach Kline for the starting job. Now he has to show he has the accuracy, consistency and poise under pressure the coaching staff thinks he has. Goff gets thrown into the fire from the start, with three games vs. Top-25 opponents the first four outings.

  • RB: Brendan Bigelow. Healthy after meniscus surgery on his right knee last spring, Bigelow hopes to be a more complete back than a year ago, when he showed spectacular explosiveness but often was used in a cameo role. Daniel Lasco and Khalfani Muhammad provide speed in reserve in a position group where the coaching staff frets about depth.

  • WR: Chris Harper (Z), Bryce Treggs (X), Jackson Bouza (H), Richard Rodgers (Y). The Bears will rotate at least eight receivers each game, with redshirt freshman Kenny Lawler a likely candidate to break out based on his camp performance. Harper caught 41 passes as a true freshman last fall. Rodgers has adapted nicely to the slot after two seasons at TE.

  • OL: Freddie Tagaloa (LT), Jordan Rigsbee (LG), Chris Adcock (C), Matt Cochran (RG), Steven Moore (RT). Rigsbee and Adcock started a combined 23 games a year ago. The other three: zero. Tagaloa, at 6-8, 330, has big-time potential. A weakness last season, coach Sonny Dykes has been pleasantly surprised by the O-line.

  • DL: Brennan Scarlett (DE) or Dan Camporeale (DE), Deandre Coleman (Nose), Viliami Moala (DT), Chris McCain (Rush). A key here is the status of Scarlett, a potential star who saw limited practice time in camp because of an 11-month-old hand injury. Scarlett and McCain both have switched from OLB in the new 4-3 alignment. Coleman is stout in the middle.

  • LB: Jalen Jefferson (SAM), Hardy Nickerson (MIKE) or Nick Forbes (MIKE), Khairi Fortt (MIKE). Forbes (back) and Fortt (knee) missed time in training camp and Forbes remains iffy for the opener. Jefferson has great speed on the outside. If everyone's healthy, this should be a strength for the Bears.

  • DB: Stefan McClure (CB), Kam Jackson (CB), Avery Sebastian (SS) or Damariay Drew (SS), Michael Lowe (FS). McClure is so respected by his teammates he was elected a team captain despite missing all of last season following a 2011 knee injury. Sebastian is recovering from a concussion suffered in an Aug. 12 scrimmage. The Bears are young here and without great depth.

  • ST: Vincenzo D'Amato (PK), Cole Leininger (P), Khalfani Muhammad (KOR), Chris Harper (PR). D'Amato, 16 for 23 on field goals last fall, is the Bears' only returning first-team all-Pac-12 pick. Leininger averaged 39.9 yards as a freshman last season. Muhammad was a two-time California state prep champ in the 100-meter dash.

    For more on Cal sports, see the Bear Talk blog at ibabuzz.com/beartalk. Follow Jeff Faraudo on Twitter at Twitter.com/JeffFaraudo.