It was a long, strenuous finals week for this CGB intern. Papers, exams, too much coffee, all made it hard for me to be in the CGB mix last week. However, instead of facebooking as my means of casual and incessant procrastinating, I was keeping an eye on Cal's growing recruiting class, and what a week and a half this has been!
Let's check out who recently committed to the Bears.
Here's my favorite guy of the bunch, most of you probably already saw his tape in our previous post.
Dannon Cavil, wideout from San Antonio, Madison High School, #35 wide receiver according to the guys at ESPN.
I wonder if Dykes' Texas roots had a factor in landing this commit. If so, then that's pretty cool-hopefully we can continue to develop that Texas pipeline. But my god, this kid looks great. I am a huge fan of the big, 6'3 or taller receiver. Cavil stands at an imposing 6'5. However, he can also clearly run. Check out the kick return he almost takes to the house at 00:21 in the tape. A big concern I had coming into this next season was that our two starting receivers, Harper and Treggs, are both pretty tiny. They are fast guys who are able to stretch the field, and get open underneath as well, but they aren't true possession receivers. I was hoping Maurice Harris would step into that role last year, but he didn't really play much.
Cavil will clearly be a big time end zone threat. He also looks polished, and looks to have really soft hands: he catches everything with his hands as opposed to gripping the ball against his body. I am excited to see what Dykes will be able to do with a guy like this. With him in the mix with Rodgers, our receiving corps will have a really nice combination of size, speed, and athleticism. Whoever is playing qb next year will definitely be surrounded with the right weapons. All in all, great pick up, Sonny.
Erik Bunte, Tackle, Mission Viejo, no. 24 OT according to ESPN.
We snagged this guy from UCLA which makes me happy. The upside to this guy is pretty evident- He's 6'7, 310, and will probably be the biggest player on the team when he shows up in the fall (is there anyone taller than 6'7 on the roster? I don't think so). He seems to not have totally grown into his body yet- is a bit uncoordinated and slow. His high school team has him playing a lot of guard, which is not the right place for him (too slow to use as a puller for run plays). What he lacks in speed and coordination he makes up for in sheer strength and overwhelming size. In the tape, when he gets his hands on someone, he generally gets a flatback. He'll be perfect as a tackle where his slowness won't necessarily be a disadvantage, and he'll be able to use his ranginess to coral defensive ends from going around the edge. I'm really glad we were able to bring in a quality O line guy to go along with Cameron Hunt for next year. The lines, as coach Dykes said, are where you build your team. A good quarterback and set of receivers are worthless if the line can't block as we all know from last year.
Dykes said he wanted to bulk us up upfront, and that looks like exactly what he is doing. By the way, this tape is likely pretty old, as it looks like Bunte transferred to Mission Viejo- this tape is from his time at Santa Margarita.
Cameron Walker, Cornerback, Loyola High School, rated as the #36 corner by ESPN.
What stands out to me about Walker is his sheer athleticism. This kid can cover, he can run, he can return, but most importantly, he is not shy of contact at all. Click on the tape and skip ahead to 2:53. The opposing team is running a fairly standards power sweep play. That fullback, can't see his number, looks pretty big and mean. Walker's responsibility on this play is to play contain, which means he has to funnel the play inside of him so the linebackers, who should be shedding their blocks downfield, can make the tackle on the ball carrier. Walker not only fulfills his responsibility, but he makes the play entirely on his own. He takes out the fullback by himself (which is generally the duty of the first linebacker at the point of attack), but he does so in a way which positions his body to the outside, so the runningback has no choice but to cut it up inside. At this point, Walker has done his job completely, he has taken up the fullback's block, and has still managed to keep contain. Amazingly though, Walker is still able to reach inside and make the tackle on the ball carrier by tripping him up with his own body. This play demonstrates Walker's intelligence, but also his fearlessness. Other then that, his one on one coverage skills, as well as his ability to shed blocks looks really nice.
I could see this guy being implemented at both corner or safety, really wherever we need him most. Going into next year, we will be without Josh Hill, and Sebastian will be the man. Is Logan ready to be a fulltime safety? I didn't think so from watching him last year. Corner will also be an issue though. Will Stefan McClure be good to go this year after a year of sitting out due to injury? Walker will probably see time pretty early on because of this.
Sione Sina, DE, Elk Grove, College of San Mateo.
Check out his Huddle video here.
6-4, 245 lb DE. Here we see Dykes go after some size on the D-line. I hadn't heard anything about this guy until I saw he was committed on ESPN. ESPN says that his strength are his pass rushing abilities and his sheer strength. Looking at the tape, this guy looks like an absolute monster, and may have the potential to start right away. He's definitely got the size and speed to play big time college football, and he also looks like a ferocious hitter. Just looking at this guy's offer list makes me excited about him. A lot of pac-12 schools were after him, in addition to some seemingly random schools on the East coast such as Pitt, Maryland, and Kansas. Most interesting is the fact that Texas Tech and AnM both offered him. Does Dykes have Texas recruiting ties to this guy? Maybe. Anyway, more to come on this guy soon.
Kyle Kragen, DE, Diablo Valley College.
Another big man, Kragen is 6'3, 245. Notice a trend here? Dykes really wasn't lying when he said he wanted to bulk up the D-line. This guy looks like he can play a little bit of backer as well as end. I don't know much about d-line stuff, but he looks like he has a strong arsenal of various moves (spin move, swim move, good use of hands at the point of attack). More so, I'm glad to see that we are landing these local JC recruits. This is definitely a nice trend which I hope will continue up until signing day. I think the JC schools can be a potential gold mine, especially in California where the JC talent is some of the best in the country. A lot of programs have had success pressing the JC route- Boise State, Oregon State, ASU. I don't see a reason why Cal cannot do the same. Anyway, this guy looks like a violent tackler who could be a strong d-end, outside backer hybrid guy for us.
Alright, enough from me, I want to hear what the CGB community has to say on these guys. Has Dykes exceeded your expectations? Do you think that the fact that we had a coaching change has put us too far behind in the recruiting game? Not that it matters, but ESPN has moved us up several spots in their rankings. We are now at 38, one spot behind Stanford, all because of Dykes' latest commitments over the last week and a half. My personal opinion is that as of now, this is a strong base for a class. I would say that I hope to see more linemen recruits coming in over the next few weeks; I'd also like to see Dykes land at least one or two guys in the ESPN 150. In years past, we have always landed at least one of those top ESPN 150 guys. Who will it be this year, if anyone at all?