Hey all. Welcome to college football recruiting's Dead Period. We'll be in it until January 3. News may be a little sparse during that time. Bud Elliott over at the SB Nation Mothership has a good post on what exactly is allowed and not allowed during dead period. Here's the beef of it:
What recruiting may not take place during the dead period?
In-person contact, be it in-person meetings or in-person evaluations, or in-person anything. Location, here, is irrelevant. Teams cannot allow official visits to take place, and cannot contact a recruit if he visits a campus unofficially.
Perhaps it would be easier to state what is allowed during a dead period: one phone call per week. That's it. No other contact with recruits is allowed by NCAA rule.
So to help get us through, I've compiled some updates on a few of the recruits Cal has been after. Some good, some bad. Some are just there to fill up a little space. Give a read.
And there's always this handy dandy CGB Recruiting Board. A handy companion when measuring and analyzing the perceived value and upside of a high school athlete. Give it a look!
DJ Foster, RB Saguaro (Scottsdale, AZ). Had a very good visit to Cal, and has a new frontrunner in his recruitment ($). Has a top three of Cal, ASU, and USC and will be visiting the Trojans in January. He's already visited ASU but I'd expect the new staff there to come hard after Foster. He was seen as a virtual lock to ASU (and rumored to have been a silent) until Erickson was canned and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone made a move to UCLA. Very good athlete who could contribute immediately in multiple phases of the game. You know Foster is a good one if Coach Gould is going after him so hard. The guy knows a thing or two about running backs. Tasty quotes from Foster:
"Cal is my leader; I loved it there," Foster said. "I have a lot of family in Oakland, and my mom actually grew up in Berkeley. I’ve been there before, but this was really my first time seeing Cal up close, and it was incredible. The campus is great and I loved the overall atmosphere there. The facilities are incredible and easily the best I’ve ever seen."
Steven Moore, OL Elk Grove (Elk Grove, CA). Had a very good visit to Cal last weekend. He's weighing a decision between Boise State, Cal , and UCLA and could make a decision by the end of the week ($). Still think Boise will get him, but would love to have him at Cal. Moore has great size and footwork, and could play tackle or guard. That kind of versatility is a great thing in large human beings. Here's a nice quote from the Biggins link:
"Yeah, Cal is just an hour-and-a-half away," Moore said. "It was a good visit, a lot different than what I expected. I had a preconceived idea of what Berkeley was going to be like. I heard stories of it being a little different but it seemed like a normal college town to me and I really liked it there.
"The guys on the team were great with me and we had a lot of fun. Chris Adcock was my host but I hung out with a lot of the linemen and they were all real good guys, very funny. The facilities were the best I’ve seen and the 100 yard weight room was incredible. Academically, you can’t beat Cal, either. I want to major in criminal justice and you really can’t beat a degree from Cal and that’s huge for me."
Visesio "Junior" Salt, OL Mt. SAC (Walnut, CA). Things went downhill fast after Salt's Cal visit, which he loved($). First, he announced that he would not be a spring enrollee at his college of choice ($), but would rather enroll in the fall of 2012. Welp, looks like we won't be getting an early commitment from Mr. Salt, but that's okay. OR NOT, because he committed to Florida after his visit last weekend. Cal eliminated. Oh well.
Shaq Thompson, ATH Grant Union (Sacramento, CA). Shaq has been quite the man-about-town recently. Had a good visit to Cal two weeks ago, but says he's not a lock and still keeping his options open. Immediately following his Cal visit, Shaq hopped on a plane and flew to Washington DC as part of his selection as a finalist for the US Army National Player of the Year. He'll announce at the US Army All-American Bowl on January 7.
Taylor McNamara TE, Westview (San Diego, CA). Officially decommitted from Arizona and named a top 3 of Cal, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma ($). McNamara took his final official visit to Oklahoma last weekend, and could make a decision soon. The appeal with Oklahoma is the tradition of the program and the potential for immediate PT. Cal is closer to home and offers potential immediate PT as well. I think it comes down to us or Oklahoma.
KeiVarae Russell, RB Mariner (Everett, WA). Is down to Washington and Notre Dame ($) and will make a decision next week...Cal eliminated. Quote from Russell:
"I’m down to Washington and Notre Dame," Russell said. "Cal was cool too, and I had a good visit, but I like my opportunity to play early better at these two schools, and I have a better relationship with the coaching staffs at those two schools, as well."
Considering our emergence as a likely destination for DJ Foster, this doesn't bother me much. The staff may have chosen to back off of Russell and focus their energy on Foster and possibly flipping Byron Marshall away from Oregon. Even though I sound bitter, that scenario seems plausible and works for me. I think both the aforementioned guys are better than Russell and we're in a position where we can afford to not take a running back in this class if we end up missing on Foster and Marshall doesn't flip. Good luck to Russell, I'm guessing he stays local and commits to Washington.
, OT San Clemente (San Clemente, CA). Will take an official visit to Cal on January 13. Good start, but USC, Oregon and mainly Stanford may be tough to beat. Murphy is one of the best pure tackle recruits in the country.
Joshua Garnett, OL Puyallup (Puyallup, WA). Announced a top 3 of Stanford, Michigan and Notre Dame($). Cal (and Washington) eliminated. Kinda saw this coming in the last month. Garnett cooled on us quite a bit and great trips to his final three schools seemed to have really swayed him. However, seems the guys over at Dawgman were surprised that UW was also eliminated. Best to hope that he doesn't end up at Stanford.
Ka'imi Fairbairn (UCLA) K, Punahou (Honolulu, HI). The UCLA commit had a very good visit to Berkeley. You can read all about for free, here. A couple quotes:
"I'm going to go check out the campus, the players and the new coaches and from that, I'm going to make my decision, basically, either stay with UCLA or switch," Fairbairn said. "If I switched, it would probably be Cal, but I'm still keeping my options open.
"I have to go see UCLA. I've been there for a little bit, but the officials are really going to make the difference. It's going to be hard to make up my mind, but right now, I'm just waiting to go to UCLA and make a decision after that."
Sounds like if he switches, we're it. Cool. Fairbairn put 95 % of his kickoffs into the endzone and hit a field goal of 55 yards this year. Works for me.
Kenny Lawler, WR Upland (Upland, CA). Did not visit Cal last weekend, rescheduled his visit to the weekend of January 13th. He still named us in his top 4, along with Michigan State, Oregon State, and UCLA. After hiring ASU's former offensive coordinator and running backs coach, I like UCLA to pull in Lawler. I'd be happy to get him, but our current stable of 5 WR's in this class with us potentially waiting on guys like Jordan Payton and Stefon Diggs means the numbers just may not work out.
Stefon Diggs, ATH, Good Counsel (Olney, MD). Had a very good visit to Cal. Here' a free article from 247 that will tell you all about it. This guy would be a real game-changer. We seem to be in a good position, but Diggs has visist left to take and every program in the country after him. Here's some quotes:
"It was pretty cool to see Cal," Diggs said. "It's different from what I'm used to out here. But I loved it, I loved being out there and the surrounding area."
"I loved everything about it," he said. "I felt comfortable with the coaches which is important. The new facilities and stuff are pretty unique. They have a separate locker room just for former alumni of the programs. Berkeley is a different place but I liked it."
Don't expect a decision until National Signing Day, but we certainly left a favorable impression with Diggs.
Any other updates you guys have fund? Share em, por favor. And if not, let's just talk. Go Bears!