Why hello, recruitniks. We're hosting up another nice bevvy of talent this weekend in Berkeley, though not quite as many prospects as last weekend. By all accounts last weekend was a raging success, netting us at least one (public) commitment as of this being published, 4-star Lakewood WR Darius Powe. Count it!
This weekend's group contains some very high profile guys as well, but it will be a little different vibe. Where last weekend it was clear that we were in strong position or leading with the majority of the attendees, I wouldn't consider us the favorite to secure a commitment from any of this weekend's guests at this point. This weekend will really be about showcasing everything Cal has to offer and giving these guys something to think about when its time to make a decision.
This list of visitors was compiled based on the one provided over at Bear Insider. Much thanks to Jim McGill and BI, they're as dialed into this stuff as anyone.
And here's the link to the CGB Recruiting Board (UPDATE: If you've been trouble accessing it, try it now). Measurables, recruit site rankings, and highlights! Yippee!
Ellis McCarthy, DT Monrovia (Monrovia, CA). This was a whiff on my part, as McCarthy had a playoff game last week and did not make the trip to Berekely. Sounds as though he should be in town this week. We're firmly entrenched in big Ellis' top 3, with SC still leading the way. Will be very tough to pull him out of SoCal, but if ever there was a coach who could do it, it's Tosh. He'd likely be a SDE in our 3-4 defense, and would excel. Ellis moves extremely well for such a big dude, and has an explosive first step...somewhat of a rarity in most 300+ pounders. He has great strength and shucks high school double teams like they were toddlers. He could compete for a spot immediately. Would be an awesome get, but pulling him out of SC's backyard is a tall task. I'm not optimistic, but wouldn't be shocked.
Darius Hamilton, DE Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ). Hamilton would a hell of a pull. From the New Jersey powerhouse Don Bosco program, everyone wants him. He's the son of an NFL player (former New York Giants DT Keith Marshall), and it seems Mr Marshall has some very good genes. Darius is listed as a DE, but would be a rush linebacker in our 3-4, and a hell of a passrushing weapon. Supoposedly we are in his top 3 with Rutgers and Florida. This has Tosh written all over it. A good visit could pay some huge dividends. Rutgers could be tough to beat as they are the local school and Hamilton's Bosco teammate, WR Leonte Carroo, has already committed there. Florida has been on him for quite a while as well. Still, a visit means there's legitimate interest. You never know.
Yuri Wright, CB Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ). Not sure whether Wright will actually be here or not. There's conflicting reports on where he'll be this weekend. Looks like h could be at Notre Dame as well. Wright is a great talent, but our interest may have cooled a bit as he didn't have the greatest senior season. He seems to have cooled on us a bit too, as Michigan, Colorado, Notre Dame and Rutgers seem to have overtaken Cal in Wright's recruitment. He has great size for a cornerback and pkenty of ability. Regardless of whether he makes it to campus this wekend or not, this is starting to look like it's not gonna happen.
Jaydon Mickens, WR Dorsey (Los Angeles, CA). Mickens officially parted ways with SC last week and his recruitment is now open. He's a great athlete, and a real threat with the ball in his hands. He's got tremendous agility and speed, as evidenced by him smoking some of the country's top DB's at The Opening over the summer. I'm not sure where he would fit in with the number of guys we already have committed in this WR class. If he would be open to playing CB, he could be great with his speed and quickness (not to mention his ball instincts) and we could certainly use him. He's grown a bit and is now about 5'11 (up from 5'9). I think Washington is in the drivers seat to secure Mickens' commitment, but we'll see.
DeForest Buckner, DE Punahou (Honolulu, HI). It was initially reported that Buckner would visit Cal last weekend, but it turns out that he visited Oregon. The trip to Eugene made quite an impression, as he now has them as his #1 choice. He should be in the house this week. While we don't seem to be in dire need of DE's at the moment, Buckner's length and potential to pack muscle onto his frame is pretty appealing. He's a good prospect, but not a guy I see contributing immediately. We'll get a better sense of where we stand with him after his visit, but I don't anticipate any rash decisions by Mr. Buckner. He'll take all his trips and then make a decision.
Brandon Beaver, CB Dominguez (Compton, CA). We've picked up our recruitment of Beaver, which may be a direct result of things cooling a bit on the Yuri Wright front. Beaver would be a pretty sweet consolation prize though. At 6'1 and almost 190 pounds, he's got great size for a cornerback. Seems to be some genuine interest in Cal on Beaver's part too. Still, we're late to the party and there's a lot of ground to make up. Utah, Nebraska and Washington have been recruiting Beaver hard. I think Washington may be his final destination, but we'll see how his visit goes and whether we can make a play for him. His teammate and fellow 4-star cornerback Alphonso Marsh seems to also be favoring the Huskies. We'll se how much that plays a factor in Beaver's choice as well.
EDIT: With the news that UW DB Coach Demetrice Martin has accepted the same position at UCLA, don't be surprised if the Bruins make a big play on Beaver. This could reaslly hurt the Huskies too.
DJ Foster, RB Saguaro (Scottsdale, AZ). Another guy we're late to the party on, but could make up a lot of ground quickly. Foster is a real playmaker and a guy that we should be excited about having a shot with. He's an explosive athlete, with great agility and speed. He's also versatile, playing running back, some wide receiver, and defensive back. While he isn't quite the burner that DeAnthony Thomas is, he can do a lot fo those same things very well. This looked like a two-horse race between Oregon and Arizona State, but we seem to have a real shot here. Foster would be a fantastic addition to the class and yet another weapon for Kline. With it looking like Byron Marshall's commitment to Oregon will stick and our status with Keivarae Russell unknown, Foster would be a great get. Of the uncommitted skill position guys out there, Foster is at the time of my most wanted list.
Kenny Lawler, WR Upland (Upland, CA). Lawler is another guy we got in on late (offering him just a week and a half ago), but have been pursuing hard. Apparently Coach Kiesau has made quite an impression on the former Arizona State commit, as he lists us in his top two along with Michigan State (he has yet to visit either school). Lawler is a tremendous athlete who really shined late in the season. His stock has been on the rise, but I wonder where he fits in with potentially 5 WR commits already at Cal. We're still waiting on offered guys like Jordan Payton and Jaydon Mickens, along with longshot Stefon Diggs. Would we take 7? I don't know. lawler would be a tough guy to turn away, but he may have some grade issues. The talent is there though.
EDIT: Like Beaver, the hire of former ASU WR coach Steve Broussard to UCLA may put the Bruins in play for Lawler. This isn't a guy I want to see in the Pac-12.
Steven Moore, OL Elk Grove (Elk Grove, CA). We offered Moore, who de-committed from Arizona in the wake of the Stoopicide, a few weeks ago. He's an underrated tackle prospect with tremendous size and range. He had previously favored Boise State and UCLA, but we have gotten his attention as well. The hire of former SMU OL Coach Adrian Klemm to UCLA could have an impact here. Klemm is supposedly a recruiting witch and his presence at UCLA could really work in their favor. Moore tripped to Boise last weekend and had a great trip. A good trip this weekend will give him a lot to think about, but the Broncos have been on him for a long time and may be hard to beat at this point. Wow, that's weird to write.
Jordan Simmons, OL Crespi (Encino, CA). Sounds like the big SC commit will be in the house this weekend too. Mixed feelings on this, as Simmons was supposedly very high on Cal prior to committing to SC. I don't see him flipping, and SC honks seem to consider Simmons as one of the more vocal recruiters in their class. Do we want that presence on campus? Meh, why not. There's always a possibility that Simmons could change his mind, and he's a hell of a prospect. He could play guard or tackle, he's huge and can really maul. As you would expect from a dude his size, he can struggle with faster rush ends. But once he gets his big mitts on an opponent and gets into their body, it's over. I doubt Simmons would flip, but it's worth having him on campus and giving it a shot.
Pretty nice list, but as I said...we'll need to really impress these guys andf present a pretty compelling case to get them to Cal. There's still a month and a half to National Signing Day though, so anything can happen. I trust the staff to put their best foot forward. There's no doubt we've got some momentum and there's a buzz after the great time that last weekend's visitors had. Let's keep on rolling and get some more dominoes falling.
What do you guys think about this list? Who do you want the most? Comments, if you please. Go Bears!