Since a good portion of college success is based on recruiting, I think it important to comment on Cal recruiting with the high school all-star game season upon us.
Cal has one commit is each of the most high profile games: QB Allan Bridgford is slated for the Army All-American on NBC on January 3 (the one where Desean was MVP in 2005) and Steve Williams CB, who reneged on Oklahoma and committed to Cal is playing in the Underarmour All-American on ESPN on January 4 which seems pretty much par for the course.
More exciting is that Cal has more potential commits during the game:
C - Mark Brazinski from New Jersey (the #1 ranked center in the country) seems to be leaning toward Cal after a recent visit and news that he could be replacing Alex Mack.
WR - Randall Carroll and Devon Flourney both gave verbals to USC originally but both took recent visits to Cal. Both are speedsters in the 4.4 range and Flourney has the 6'2 200 size that Tedford said he is looking for in receivers in the post Desean, Jordan, and Hawk era. Carroll, supposedly the fastest player in the state, is playing the Army and has a Georgia visit scheduled later but may choose his school during the game and Rivals seems to think Cal is in the lead.
WR - Adam Hall, also playing in the Army game, is slated to make his announcement during the game. From Arizona, he fits the big receiver mold being 6'3'' 205 with not blazing but good speed and Cal may move him to safety. He visited during Big Game and was escorted by fellow Arizonans Cameron Jordan and Mark Anthony. He also visited Arizona but we hope he's leaning Cal. WR Terdema Ussery III from Dallas is also a big receiver who is considering Cal, and we have the advantage that his father, president /CEO of the Dallas Mavericks, went to Boalt.
OT - Michael Phillipp, in the Army, has yet to commit and has visited Cal but it was in October and he still has visits planned at the Furd and OSU, in addition to already visiting Oregon and UCLA. Not that hopeful but he would be a great haul, he supposedly is a great road grader in the run game.
DE -Devon Kennard from Arizona, we've got to be happy to even to be in the running for this stud who narrowed down to 5 (USC, Texas, ASU, UCLA). He's the prototypical DE/LB tweener with the strength and power to annihilate quarterbacks in Shawne Merriman/Demarcus Ware type fashion (think Follett but bigger and faster.) He's everyone's top DE prospect but blew out a knee this year. We're one of three he's visited, and he liked the 3-4 and D-line coach Tosh Lupoi. Fingers cross but we're competing with the big boys: no doubt Will Ferrell/Snoop Dogg and Mack the kiss-ass come out for this guy.
Other Already Committeds:
RB - Dasarte Yarnway - I'm excited about this guy because he is a bruiser with speed in the Eddie George kind of mold. Jahvid and Vereen and Vaughn are exciting speedsters but a tad thin and subject to injury as we saw this year, I like having a back who can get the tough 3 yards after contact when nothing is there.
RB - Isi Sofele from Utah is only 5'7'' 175, but is quick in the mold of Darren Sproles or Jazquizz Rogers. After watching Rogers give the USC NFL-sized defense fits by hiding behind linemen and squirting through holes on his way to 186 yards and two touchdowns, I think Tedford and Cignetti saw a place for Isi.
I would love an Earth, Wind and Fire type attack ala the New York Giants with Best and Vereen as speed, Yarnway to pound, and Sofele to split gaps.
Adding big bodies with potential in linemen like Oceanside G Brian Schwenke, OT Charles Siddoway, and DT Deandre Coleman from Washington always helps.
Cal also looked from immediate JC help at linebacker to help fill the big shoes of Follett, Williams and Felder with Steven Fauna, Jarred Price and Jerome Meadows.
If we are able to get one of the two interested linemen and two of the four receivers still deciding, we've got to chalk it up to an above average year in the pre-SAHPC era. Now if only Bridgford, Beau Sweeney or Brock Mansion can break the curse of Joe Ayoob and Longshore and get back into Aaron Rodgers type of accuracy, we'd have quite a complete team (K David Seawright please get healthy).
Cal basketball, truly post-Braun era, also signed its first 2010 prospect in shooter wing Allen Crabbe!