Hello, fellow recruitniks. As many of you hopefully know, National Signing Day is tomorrow, February 1. I don't know about you all, but I'm ready for this to be over. Recruiting is a ride, but it's not always fun. At this point, I feel like I scarfed down six funnel cakes, chased them with two pitchers of warm beer, and then hopped on the spinning teacup ride. Let me off! Stop the spinning! I'M NOT HAVING FUN ANY MORE!!!
Let's start off with some developments since our last recruiting wire post:
Arik Armstead, DE Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, CA). Committed to Oregon on Sunday, Cal eliminated. OUCH. This is especially galling because Armstead all but had his bags packed for Cal when Tosh's departure was announced. That led to Arik pushing back his announcement and re-opening his recruitment. Silver lining? He didn't go to UW. Still very disappointing. I had hoped that the hoops opportunity at Cal, the proximity to home, and the hire of Todd Howard would keep Armstead in the fold. Alas, it didn't.
DJ Foster, RB Saguaro (Scottsdale, AZ). Committed to ASU on Friday, Cal eliminated. DOUBLE OUCH. Honestly, we had very little business being a major factor in Foster's recruitment. He grew up an ASU fan. It was his dream to go there. We got in on him late. It was really a combination of some fantastic recruiting by Coach Gould and repeated ASU bumbling (their season going in the crapper, Erickson getting canned, hiring a nomad like Todd Graham) that even made this close. In the end, the hometown hero opted for his hometown school. Can't fault Foster for any of that. Good luck to him.
Zach Hoffpauir, S Centennial (Peoria, AZ). De-committed from Cal last Friday, and will announce his college decision on Wednesday between Cal, Stanford, and ASU. TRIPLE OUCH! So I guess its good that we aren't out of it yet, but it's an interesting time to decommit. The allure from both Stanford and ASU is pretty obvious: Stanford has been winning, has a good academic rep, and has a strong baseball program (Hoff wants to play baseball too). ASU is the hometown school and also has a strong baseball program. If we don't land Hoff, I think it will be Stanford. FURK.
MORE BAD NEWS?! EVIL DOMINOES!
Kenny Walker, WR (Cal) Kennedy (Richmond, CA). Will be flipping his commitment from Cal to Washington very soon. Too bad. Walker is a local kid (from Richmond), and has been in the fold since August. He's also our fastest WR commit and a versatile, talented guy. Good luck to him. I don't have a link for this, because it hasn't happened as of me writing this part. But it will, trust me.
Cedric Dozier, WR (Cal) Lakes (Lakewood, WA). Will choose between Cal (the school he's...uh...COMMITTED to) and Washington State (Pirate Raid!) at 2:30pm today at Lakes High School. Interweb scuttlebutt is suggesting that Cedric will be flipping to the Coogs. I don't know about all that. We'll see soon enough. Like Walker, Dozier was really forced to reassess things when his position coach headed for UW. I really hope he sticks with us though. Dozier is a real weapon and would certainly have a shot at early PT for us next season. Damn that Mike Leach offense!
Jordan Payton, WR (Cal) Oaks Christian (Westlake, CA). Is announcing his decision on ESPNU today at 1:30PST. Funny, I thought he already made his decision three weeks ago. What ever happened to good old fashioned decommitments!? Give Hoff credit for that at least. Payton is probably going to Washington. Feel free to skip this one.
Darius Hamilton, DE Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey, NJ). Is announcing his decision tonight at 5pm PST. Guessing he'll be heading to Florida. We had a shot until Tosh left. But hey, maybe we'll be a hat on the table! Moving on...
Guess what? There's some good news too:
Jeffrey Coprich Jr, RB West Ranch (Stevenson Ranch, CA). Commited to Cal over Hawaii after his official visit last weekend. The link has most of the good scoop on Coprich, but let me just say that this guys is a great athlete. Strong, versatile, and FAST. He could be a special player at a few different spots. Under the radar for sure, but a very nice new toy nonetheless. Welcome to Cal, Jeffrey!
Justin Davidson, TE Russell (Ashland, KY). Officially visited Cal last weekend and may have received an offer. This looks like a Wes Chandler special, as this guy is as under the radar as they come. I like this picture, and he's really big at 6'5 255. Plusses. Here's a couple highlight vids too. The lack of offers is a question mark. Still, we could use some TE depth. And its possible Justin could hulk out and move to the OL too.
Brandon Beaver, CB Dominguez (Compton, CA). Officially visited Cal last weekend and was offered yesterday. Will be announcing his decision tomorrow on FoxSportsWest between 3pm and 5pm, choosing between Cal, UCLA, Washington and Utah. I tend to think Beaver goes to UW, but it sounds like we made a very strong impression on his visit. It would be nice to secure a cornerback commit or two in this class, and Beaver is a rangy, physical guy with nice height. Yes please.
Raymond Ford, CB Junipero Serra (Gardena, CA). Officially visited Cal last weekend, and will make his decision on Wednesday between Cal, Washington State, and Utah. Ford is smaller, but very fast and showed really well at The Opening in Oregon last summer. Our own Jason Gibson was a former teammate of Ford's at Serra. He would be a really good get in my opinion. I like our chances.
Kenny Lawler, WR Upland (Upland, CA). Officially visited Cal last weekend and will decide Wednesday between Cal, Washington State and Oregon State. Like Brandon Beaver, Lawler received his official Cal offer yesterday. he'll be announcing his college decision on FoxSportsWest as well. Be on the lookout for the announcement between 3pm and 5pm tomorrow. Lawler would certainly soften the blow of losing some WR commits, and then some. He's got nice size and very good hands. A consesus 4 star WR recruit, Lawler is nobody's consolation prize. Both the Coogs and Beavers have been more aggressive in their pursuit of Lawler, but I think we have a good chance.
Ukeme (Markuss) Eligwe, LB (Florida State) Stone Mountain (Stone Mountain, GA). Will hold off on making a final decision between Cal and FSU until next Monday, February 6. Whoa. Eligwe has been committed to FSU since April of last year, but he had a really good visit to Cal last weekend ($), and his mom actually flew out to join him and take in the Bay Area. Eligwe seemed most taken with the university itself, which is quite a breath of fresh air what with all these recruits picking coaches over schools.
Christo Kourtzidis, TE (Florida State) Lutheran (Orange, CA). Does Kourt flip to Cal or stay firm with FSU? I've heard literally NOTHING since his FSU visit, which leads me to belive he's not flipping. Dunno though. Maybe Eligwe's fun at Cal helps out here.
Bryce Treggs, WR (Cal) St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA). I was reluctant to even include Bryce on here, but he's (allegedly) spent enough time at UCLA in the last two weeks that this could get interesting. Obviously the official visit he had to Cal was good, but he's made a few too many trips to Westwood for me to be too comfortable. Plus, he's going to be doing an announcement on the same televised show as Lawler and Beaver. Why announce? Good pub for Cal? Or is something wicked awaiting? I don't know. Just covering my bases.
Shaq Thompson, S (Washington) Grant (Sacramento, CA). Committed to Washington last night.
Will announce his decision at 8am Wednesday morning. It'll be between Cal, UW, Oregon and UCLA.The fact that he's cut communication with other Cal commits and took an unofficial visit to Washington this last weekend doesn't leave me feeling very confident.
Know what I feel? Sadness. Shaq was supposed to come to Cal. He was supposed to be one of the saviors of the program. His family loves Cal. Then Tosh left. Everything's been in a tailspin since. Really too bad. He'll be great wherever he goes, but seeing him elsewhere is going to be weird. Sigh. #SadSunbear
There you have it. More surprises? Maybe.
We're almost there! Go Bears!