Hey gang. Welcome back to the weekly recruiting fix here at CGB. Despite Cal already having 4 2013 commits, I think many of us are still in the "getting to know you" phase of this season's recruiting saga. In an effort to help out, I thought it would be good to break down some of the key targets Cal is looking at.
Last week, we looked at some of the top targets in Northern California. This week, I'll be discussing Cal's priority out of state targets. In an effort to not make this post ridiculously long, the list below consists of recruits with some semblance of interest in Cal who are currently uncommitted, and where that interest appears to be mutual. The bulk of them have Cal offers too. Enjoy.
Christian Morgan, TE Prestonwood Christian Academy (Plano, TX). I start this post with perhaps my favorite recruit, who also just happens to play a position that we're in dire need of this cycle. I speak of Plano tight end Christian Morgan. At a solid 6'4/245, Morgan has the size and strength to play with his hand on the ground and help out in run and pass blocking. What makes him unique is that he's nearly as comfortble split out wide and dominating undersized DB's. He has the hands, strength and athleticism to make him coveted nationally. For the life of me, I don't know why Texas elected to pass on Morgan, but it's possibly to the benfit of Cal. Morgan was looking like a heavy Arkansas lean prior to the Petrino shenanigans. Arky isn't out of the picture yet, but look for Baylor, Ole Miss, Washington (ugh, I know), Miami and Cal to be in good position as of now. Morgan has yet to visit Berkeley, but hopefully he's able to make it out prior to making a commitment somewhere. Would be a HUGE get.
Trent Gow, TE Mansfield (Mansfield, TX). Morgan's fellow Texan tight end, Trent Gow is going a bit under the radar primarily due to the fact that Mansfield is a run-heavy offense. Trent only had 10 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns in his junior campaign, but he did put his punishing blocking skills on prominent display. He does have very good hands, and deceptive speed. He's not afraid to mix it up, which is a very desirable trait in a tight end. Cal has been in contact with Trent, and he's contemplating a visit over the summer. Texas has been in steady communication with him though, so if that offer comes I wouldn't expect a trip to the Bay Area. Trent also visited Iowa State and Nebraska recently. Look for his stock to rise significantly by the time the 2012 season rolls around.
Scott Pagano, DT Moanalua (Honolulu, HI). One of a few truly elite recruits from Hawaii, defensive tackle Scott Pagano holds almost 30 scholarship offers. It's easy to see why. Pagano has a unique blend of strength, speed, and athleticism. He's actually quite similar to Elijah Qualls both in stature and freakishness. Pagano holds no aspirations about playing anywhere other than the defensive line at the next level though. His quickness could allow him to play defensive end or tackle, however. In a year where Cal will need to replenish our defensive line depth a bit, Pagano will be an important recruit to watch for. He had initially planned to commit in August before his senior season got underway, but has since elected to take all of his official visits and announce later in the year. 2013 would be an ideal time for Cal to start recruiting Hawaii heavily once again.
Reeve Koehler, OL St. Louis (Honolulu, HI). Remember when I said this list would only contain prospects where interest in Cal was known and/or mutual? Well, Koehler is my one exception to that. I don't know of any contact between either party, but I consider Koehler to be one of the top interior OL prospects in this class. If Cal isn't recruiting him, we damn well should be. I subscribe to the philosophy that you really can't have too many quality offensive linemen, and Koehler has the strength and base to be an asset to any team. At 6'3 and around 285, he has a frame that can add weight and he's already plenty strong. He currently has offers from both Washington schools, Oregon, Colorado, Kansas, Utah, and in-state Hawaii. That number will grow, and Koehler doesn't plan to commit any time soon. I'd guess that opregon or Hawaii would be the favorites right now, but there's a long way to go and time for a lot more programs to step in...maybe even us! This is a guy I really like, so pardon me for breaking my own guidelines so quickly.
Evan Voeller, OL West Linn (West Linn, OR). Big Evan Voeller is one of the top OL recruits in the West. The majority of the Pac-12 has already offred, as have Nebraska, Purdue, Boise State and Texas A&M. Voeller has quick feet for a big man, allowing him to get good position on seals, as well as be very effective when pulling. He needs to gain some strength, but that will come naturally with time. Cal offered Voeller two weeks ago, and he likes us. I'd consider Oregon the team to beat at this juncture, but Voeller has also said that both Washington and Stanford are also aggressively recruiting him. A decision could come late in the summer.
Myles Jack, RB/LB Bellevue (Bellevue, WA). One of two stud prospects from Washington prep powerhouse Bellevue High, Myles Jack is a versatile, big athlete. His offer list is split between those schools who are recruiting Myles as a running back and those looking at him as an outside linebacker. Cal is in the linebacker camp. Most of the Pac-12 has already offered, but Jack is also hearing from national programs like Virginia, Auburn, Georgia tech, and Wisconsin. Jack is a native Georgian, so a move down to SEC country would not be a stretch. I'd also say this makes him anything but a lock to UW, which is good news cosnidering Bellevue has been a bit if a Husky pipeline in recent years. Jack reminds me of Cecil Whiteside in terms of being a disruptive pass rusher. We could use a guy like that.
Sean Constantine, LB Bellevue (Bellevue, WA). Jack's Bellevue teammate, Sean Constantine is seeing his stock rise significantly. Seven of the Pac-12 schools have already offered, and Cal has been in steady communication and could be the next. Constantine has good size at 6'3/220, and would be an ideal ILB in Cal's 3-4 defensive front. He plans to make a decision some time in the summer. Washington will be tough to beat unless we can get Sean down to Berkeley for a visit.
Devon Allen, WR Brophy Prep (Phoenix, AZ). One of several elite prospects in the state of Arizona this year, Devon Allen is a true playemaker from the WR position. He has great speed, plus his size and physicality make him a handful for any defensive back. He's being recruited from coast to coast, with most of the Pac-12 offering, along with programs like Ohio State, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame and both Oklahoma and Okie State having offered. Cal is in communication with Allen, but hasn't offered yet. In a year where we're taking a minimal number of wide receivers, I can understand that. Look for Ohio State to be a big factor as Allen has admitted to being a lifelong Buckeye fan.
Jake Roh, ATH Chaparral (Scottsdale, AZ). Capable of playing wide receiver, tight end, or linebacker, Chaparral's Jake Roh is a versatile guy. He has the size and strength to be a mismatch for defensive backs on the outisde, and the speed to outrun most linebackers from the tight end position. Cal has been in communication with Roh and he'd like to visit in the coming months. I envision Roh playing an H-back kind of role in an offense, similar to the spot Spencer Hagen currently plays. Roh wants to make a decision prior to his senior season, so visits will be important. Stay tuned to see if he gets out to Cal and whether we extend an offer. Good player.
Kenny Lacy, OL Mountain Pointe (Phoenix, AZ). One of the more highly regarded offensive tackle propsects in the country, Kenny Lacy is, in his own, words "not one of those big, fat lineman". At a lean, long, and athletic 6'6/270, Lacy is pulling in offers nation-wide. Cal extended an offer back in early March, and Lacy plans to check out the campus and facilities next month while participating in a Nike Camp in nearby Oakland. There's a lot to like about Lacy's body type and ability, which is why he's such a nationally acclaimed guy. He's quicker than the the bulk of most tackle prospects. It's good that he'll be visiting Cal, but this will be long, drawn out recruitment. Lacy will take his offical visits prior to making a decision. With so much competition, this looks like a long-shot.
Priest Willis, DB Marcos De Niza (Tempe, AZ). Stud defensive back Priest Willis is yet another longshot kind of guy. Ten of the Pac-12 schools have offered, along with a who's who of other national elite programs. It's easy to see why; Willis has an NFL body at 6'2/200 with the speed and physicality to match. SC looks like the frontrunner right now, but Willis is close with fellow Arizona native Kenny Lacy, and plans to participate in the same Nike camp in Oakland. Hopefully that provides and opportunity for the Cal staff to get Willis on campus along with his buddy.
Chans Cox, LB Blue Ridge (Lakeside, AZ). Yet another ideal ILB prospect at 6'3/220, Blue Ridge's Chans Cox got a Cal offer a couple weeks ago. Cal joined a hefty offer list with the likes of Arkansas, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Washington, UCLA, and now USC...who's looking at Cox as a halfback. Not that crazy, considering Cox rushed for 862 yards and 13 touchdowns in his junior year. Still, he gained all-state recognition as a middle linebacker. He has a frame to add some good muscle and is a tackling machine already. He will be an early entrant at his school of choice, so a decision early in the fall is highly likely. There aren't currently any plans for Cox to visit Cal, but there's a long way to go in his recruitment.
Cole Luke, CB Hamilton (Chandler, AZ). In case you couldn't tell, Arizona is surprisingly loaded this year. Luke is a lockdown corner with elite potential. He has great hips and flexibility, allowing him to turn and run fluidly. He also has good anticipation; he can read a route quickly and jump it for eay interceptions or pass breakups. He's on the thin side (6'0/165), but not afraid of contact on bigger receivers or in run support. He earned all-state honors after recording 63 tackles and 6 interceptions in 2011. Cal has offered Luke, along with Michigan. Nebraska, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, and the bulk of the Pac-12. Luke hasn't planned many visits thus far, so I'll keep you updated if Cal factors in later on.
Lowell Lotulelei, DT Bingham (South Jordan, UT). This is a need year for Cal's defensive line recruiting, and there's some quality talent available. Lowell Lotulelei is the younger brother of Utah's beastly defensive tackle Star Lotulelei...the anchor of Utah's vaunted run defense in 2011. Obviously the Utes will play a major factor in the younger Lotulelei's recruitment, but he's claimed he's keeping an open mind. Coach Howard has been in contact with him, and a Cal offer would not surprise me. Lowell is extremely strong, with a low base that makes him tough to move. He's already used to eating up double and triple teams, so spending time in the weightroom is a must and its something he's accustomed to.. Like his brother, he's tough against the run but also has the agility to penetrate at times. Very good prospect, currently sporting offers from Utah (duh), BYU, UCLA, Utah State, Oregon State and UCLA. We could get in the mix sooner than later.
Dan Skipper, OT Ralston Valley (Arvada, CO). If you like length in offensive tackles, Ralston Valley's 6'10 tackle prospect Dan Skipper has you covered. Yes, he's 6'10. DAMN. That height might sound like hindrance, but Skipper is surprisingly good at maintaining a knee bend and getting under the pads of defensive linemen. That flexibility and pad level, combined with a wingspan than an albatross would be jealous of, is what makes him so good. At 280 lbs, Skipper can add goodweight and muscle without losing that flexibility and agility. Skipper has been hearing from Cal and has plans to visit this summer. We have yet to offer, but both CU and CSU, Duke, Vandy, both Washington schools, Utah, Wyoming and Missouri have already. CU could be tough to beat, but Skipper wants to do his due diligence. A planned visit means there's interest!
Taquan Mizzell, RB Bayside (Virginia Beach, VA). Mizzell was one of Cal's first RB offers to go out for the 2013 cycle. Unlike current commit DJ Martin or NorCal targets Justin Davis and Olito Thompson, Mizzell is undersized but a serious playmaker. He's fast, shifty and low to the ground. He currently has over 20 offers, and will be a very difficult pull from the East Coast. He does plan to visit West Coast schools like Cal, UCLA, and SC, however. The appeal of a Cal education may be a big factor for Mizzell, who sports a 3.7 GPA. Being a Jahvid Best fan may help too. Still, consider this a longshot.
Kanyia Anderson, LB Oscar Smith (Chesapeke, VA). Cal was the first BCS offer for Virgina athlete Kanyia Anderson, which is crazy considering he registered 110 tackles, 21 for loss, forced 5 fumbles and had 22 SACKS last season as a defensive end. At 6'2/215, with a tremendous first step, tenacious pass rushing and great instincts , Anderson going under the radar is a bit of a mystery to me. He has since picked up additional offers from Indiana, Old Dominion and James Madison, and is also now hearing from Illinois and Miami. He's a rush backer in our 3-4 all the way. Obviously the big rub will be pulling Anderson from across the country. He's a good student, but as soon as neighboring ACC schools start showing interest, he may be tough to get. Quite a find by the staff. Like Myles Jack, Anderson reminds me a lot of Cecil Whiteside.
Peter Kalambayi, LB Butler (Matthews, NC). Kalambayi is an enormous high school linebacker at 6'3/235, with the versatility to play inside or outside. He's very strong and has great vision and instincts. He seems to be in the right place too much for it to be a simple coinicidence. Out of over two dozen offers, he recently named a top 5 of Cal, Stanford, Oregon, Virginia and North Carolina. Kalambayi will likely take visits late in the summer or early fall, and will plan to make a decision some time in the fall. He would be a tremendous pull.
Henry Poggi, DL Gilman (Baltimore, MD). Poggi has offers from everyone...tallying roughly 50 BCS offers in total. Normally, that wouldn't be enough for me to include him on this particular list, but he's mentioned Cal specifically as a place he'd like to visit. That interest can be attributed to Cal DL Coach Todd Howard, who is an old college teammate of Poggi's father, Biff, from their days at Texas A&M. Poggi being comfortable with Coach Howard is pretty nice. The guy is a consensus top 5 DT, despite being a tad undersized at 6'3/250. What makes him so good? Well, he's extremely strong and uses his hands very well at the point of attack. He also has a very strong base, which makes him difficult to move. Couple that strength with a lack of bad weight and he's very quick. Being from a football family also means Poggi has great instincts and football IQ. Watch his highlights and you'll see a guy who makes plays. Getting him to Cal would be an enormous coup, but it could possibly happen.
So who do you guys covet from the above list? Who did I leave off? Let's hear (see) your thoughts in the comments section.