Cal Players to Watch against Washington State

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Michael Barton-Linebacker

Sep 28, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks tight end John Mundt (83) runs the ball past California Golden Bears linebacker Michael Barton (8) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Barton is a special talent. I figured one day he’d be a big deal at Cal. I did not think it’d happen this season. He has already been in three of this years four games, and he is likely to be one of the key contributors going forward who will get more playing time due to the loss of Chris McCain.

Barton was a stud prospect coming out of the famed De La Salle high school in Concord, California. The kid, who was considered the 24th best linebacker prospect in the nation, redshirted last year before being listed as the number two guy at the SAM linebacker position on the pre-season depth chart. So far, he has 17 total tackles (6 solo) with one tackle for a loss, one pass breakup, and one quarterback hurry. He is a powerful young man who plays disciplined, unselfish football and is likely to be a star who is nestled in Cal lore.

Lofty expectations, I know, but I honestly believe in this guy.

I don’t know if he is starting, and to be honest, I doubt he is. That said, he will be an important contributor to this weekend’s game either way, and I believe he is going to be an amazing part of what Cal does going forward.