SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — On Day 5 of Cal Poly's 2018 Spring Football Camp, the players donned full pads for the first time.
Tenth-year Mustang head coach Tim Walsh liked what he saw.
"There is no question that the effort is outstanding," said Walsh. "Obviously, with 80 guys and a couple new faces out there, they all want to meet our expectations as to what we are trying to accomplish and also how the younger players will improve.
"We're looking forward to making progress every day," Walsh added. "The effort is great, but we need to make sure the execution is great as well."
With returning starter Khaleel Jenkins out this spring at quarterback, the door is open for one of the younger players to step forward and become the No. 2 signal caller.
"Kyle Reid has done a great job so far," Walsh said of the redshirt freshman from Los Gatos High School, "and he will get better the more he plays."
Also competing to be Jenkins' backup in the fall are junior southpaw Daniel Prieto, redshirt freshman Conor Bruce and sophomore Jake Jeffrey, who started in place of Jenkins in the second half of the 2017 season.
Walsh also was pleased with the improvement of returning starting offensive lineman Sam Ogee as well as the younger slotbacks such as Broc Mortensen, Malcolm Davis and CJ Cole. "All of them are getting better," Walsh said.
The defense not only has to replace all starters up front and two of the four linebackers, but is getting adjusted to a pair of new assistant coaches so far — Matt Ta'ufo'ou with the outside linebackers and James Jones III with the linemen.
"The young defensive linemen have a lot of talent, but they need to learn how to play at this level in college football," Walsh said. "There is the physical part and there is the fundamental part of this game.
"The secondary is the most competitive area," Walsh added. "We have four or five guys competing to start at cornerback and the competition between them is going to be fierce."
The team will conduct a scrimmage Saturday morning at Doerr Family Field. Practice begins at 10 a.m., with the 40-minute scrimmage to get under way at about 11:15 a.m.
The 15-session Spring Camp, which opened April 4, winds up with the 2018 Spring Game on Friday, April 27, inside Alex G. Spanos Stadium, starting at 7 p.m.