Linebacker Jordan Kunaszyk, meticulous and deliberate in nature, was the leader of the Cal defense last season.
Kunaszyk is gone, so new leaders must emerge.
“This is a brand new team and the dynamics are different,” coach Justin Wilcox said. “We need guys who take that next step."
Linebacker Evan Weaver, whose personality is 180 degrees from his former teammate, and safety Jaylinn Hawkins are among those accepting leadership roles this spring.
Wilcox said neither has to fit into the mold that Kunaszyk created to be effective.
"I think they’re right where they need to be. They both lead in their own way with their own personalities," he said. "We’re not training them to be robots. We want them to be themselves. Anybody can be a leader as long as they’re true to themselves.”