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California Golden Bears safety Griffin Piatt breaks up a pass thrown to Colorado Buffaloes wide receiver Shay Fields during a NCAA college football game between the Colorado Buffaloes and the California Golden Bears at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, California. Photographer: Tommy LaPorte/Icon Sportswire

Cal loses two defensive backs for 2016 season

(Tommy LaPorte/Icon Sportswire)

The University of California football team has lost two players before the season even starts, according to a report by the San Jose Mercury News. Safeties Griffin Piatt and Damariay Drew were the casualties, with Piatt electing to retire and Drew being questionable to return from his knee injury in 2016.

Piatt, who originally came to campus as a wide receiver before making the switch to the defensive secondary, will retire due to an accumulation of knee injuries. As a sophomore, Piatt made 39 tackles and had three interceptions with six passes defended. His junior year was torn apart by injuries, playing in only six games and accruing just 21 tackles.

Drew was a major part of the Golden Bears’ secondary in 2015, making 70 tackles and two interceptions last year. The injuries leave Cal depleted at the defensive back position, which is an issue when factoring in how pass-oriented nearly all the teams in the Pac-12 are.

Cal will open the college football season in a matchup with the University of Hawaii on August 28. They also draw a matchup with the Texas Longhorns in their non-conference schedule, which should help the program draw some additional outside attention from recruits.

Cal loses two defensive backs for 2016 season

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