Cal lost a bit of offensive line depth on a Thursday morning as fourth-year offensive lineman Brandon Mello has entered the transfer portal. Mello, a Bay Area native out of Clayton Valley Charter in Concord, started two games in 2020 at right tackle in the absence of Jake Curhan, and played at both tackle spots during the 2019 season in a backup role.
Mello figured into the Bears plans at the right tackle spot in 2021, though with Valentino Daltoso returning and sliding over to right tackle, Mello likely would have entered fall camp as the backup at the position. Injuries have had Mello, a member of a five man offensive line class in 2018, playing the last two seasons, and a backup role likely would’ve been Mello’s role during the 2021 season.
From the five man OL group former offensive line coach Steve Greatwood recruited, only two are still on the roster, Will Craig and Matt Cindric. Mello joins former Bear Jasper Friis in transferring away from the program.
With Mello in the portal (he can withdraw and return to Cal), the Bears will look to work some younger talent in at the position, with Ben Coleman, Brayden Rohme, Bastian Swinney, Everett Johnson, and Ender Aguilar all able to play the position. Coleman and Aguilar played it in the spring game, while Rohme was injured, and both Swinney and Johnson played interior offensive line positions this spring.