Hey gang. This will be the third and final installment in our "getting to know you" regional series for the 2013 recruits. After this, our focus will begin to narrow down a bit more to focus on the guys that Cal is seriously after, and start looking like a more standard GRW with updates and weekly tidbits as necessary. So...you've got that to look forward to.
We've already discussed some of Cal's key targets both in Northern California and out of state. Now it's time to take a look at what SoCal has to offer. And its offering a bevvy of talented prospects across the board. Below we'll get to know some of the guys Cal is after. As per our previous regional posts, I'm only listing uncommitted prospects where there is some indicated mutual interest. In some cases, there isn't much interest...but the player is to good to not include (see: Cravens, Su'a).
So read on, and edumacate yourselves on these guys.
Su'a Cravens, S Vista Murrieta (Vista Murrieta, CA). Cravens isn't coming to Cal, but he's the best prospect in the west, so I had to include him. He's planning to commit in early June, and it will probably be to SC. Oh wellz. Moving on.
Max Redfield, S Mission Viejo ( Mission Viejo, CA). A big, athletic, prototypical safety. Currently claiming a top 3 of SC, Oregon, and Notre Dame, Redfield looks likely to be a Trojan. Again, too good not to include on this list, but he's also not coming to Cal. Sad trombone.
Nico Falah, OT St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA). With roughly 20 offers already, Nico Falah is a hot commodity. He visited Cal for the Spring Game, and seemed to really dig it. Doesn't hurt that Bryce Treggs was a teammate at Bosco either. Falah has great size and a frame that can easily add more weight to it. He's got long arms and good footwork. Basically, he's an ideal tackle prospect. Both SC and UCLA will be tough to beat, but we are definitely in the picture. A 2013 tackle pairing of Falah and Aaron Cochran would be recoculous.
Steven Mitchell, WR Bishop Alemany (Mission Hills, CA). One of Wes Chandler's first offers as Cal wide receivers coach went to Alemany's Steven Mitchell. Cal joins a long list of suitors for the smooth wideout, who runs great routes and can make things happen in the open field. Next to Freedom's Darrell Daniels, consider Mitchell to be the top wideout prospect in the state...though their skill sets are very different. He likes Cal, but his recruitment will be a battle. UCLA will be a factor, and Oregon could be as well. He has offers from all over the country, but I think its likely he stays in Pac-12 country. Time to see how Coach Chanlder handles a full recruiting cycle.
Sebastian LaRue, ATH Santa Monica (Santa Monica, CA). One of the top playmakers in the state, and the whole region, Cal offered LaRue last week. There's already a high demand, however, as LaRue has over 20 offers at this point. Those include Michigan, Texas A&M, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Florida State, Oklahoma, and th bulk of the PAC-12. Watch his tape, and you'll see why. LaRue snagged 18 touchdowns through the air as a junior, while also returning four kicks for touchdowns. He grabbed four interceptions as well. He can do it all, and do it well. My hope is that Cal isn't late to the party here, which sounds ridiculous considering it's May. But recruiting is getting pretty damn absurd. LaRue is an incredible athlete and very high on my 2013 wish list.
Joe Mathis, DE Upland (Upland, CA). Northern California has Eddie Vanderdoes, consider Upland's Joe Mathis as his Southern California counterpart as an elite DL. At 6'4/260, he projects as a monster DE. Mathis has great strength and explosiveness already, and has been noticed by some of the country's elite programs. That includes most of the Pac-12, half the Big 10, and half the SEC...including Alabama. Cal offered a few weeks ago, and we do have a connection as former Upland teammate and god-brother Kenny Lawler will be arriving to Cal in the summer as part of our 2012 class. Mathis lists a top three right now of Nebraska, Michigan, and Washington, but more visits could change that. There may be an academics/qualifying issue, but the talent can't be denied.
Tahaan Goodman, S Rancho Cucamonga (Rancho Cucamonga, CA). In a year heavy on talented defensive backs, specifically in California, Rancho Cucamonga's Tahaan Goodman is one safety prospect to watch. He has the size and speed reminiscent of an SEC saftey already...similar to Fresno Central East's Hatari Byrd in that regard. He's another 20+ offer guy, which means he's not exactly a secret in the recruiting community. Teammate Chris Hawkins has already committed to SC, and Goodman also received an SC offer a few weeks ago. He wants to wait on making a decision, however. He's visited Cal previosuly, but I fear he may end up either in SEC country or with his buddy Hawkins at SC. Another great talent though.
Khalfani Muhammad, RB Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, CA). The current state favorite in the 100 and 200 meter dash, Muhammad is a BURNER. Cal offered the speedy running back last week after talking with him for several weeks, joining Washington, UCLA, Oregon State, Cincinnati, Duke, and Arkansas. Despite his slight stature (5'7/160), Muhammad's explosiveness and speed make him a serious weapon out of the backfield (DURR). He rushed for over 1100 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Muhammad plans to visit Cal this summer and take his time with the process. With the banger that is DJ Martin already in the fold, a guy like Muhammad would be an incredible complement to him. We have a nice "track" record (hey-o!) developing running backs who possess sprinter speed, which Muhammad is well aware of.
Terrell Newby, RB Chaminade (West Hills, CA). Chaminade's Terrell Newby has been on Cal's radar for a while, attending our Elite Junior Day back in February. While we have yet to offer, plenty of other schools have. Newby reports offers from Nebraska, both Oregon schools, ASU, Utah, Wazzu and Colorado.He's doing just fine. Similar to Muhammad, Newby is the change-of-pace, playmaking kind of dude that would be a really interesting complement to a bigger, bruising running back. He's not as fast as Muhammad, but he's also a litle bigger at 5'10/180. And there isn't anyone in the state that's as fast as Muhammad. He keeps a low center of gravity and has some nice moves and vision. And he produces; he ran for over 2100 yards and 34 touchdowns last year for Chaminade. Newby is supposed to head up to Cal in a couple weeks, and an offer could be coming soon. Well deserved, IMO. He lists Cal in his top 5 right now, but expect our chief competition to come from Nebraska and the Ducks.
Pierre Cormier, RB Madison (San Diego, CA). In case you couldn't tell, we're looking to load up on running backs this year. With all the departing guys, I wouldn't be stunned if we take as many as 3 backs in 2013. Cormier is another quick and shifty runner at 5'10/180 who is gaining interest amongst West Coast programs. He currently lists a top 3 of UCLA, Boise State, and Arizona, but that list could change with more offers. Cal is one such team that has started courting Cormier. In his junior year, he rushed for 1471 yards and 20 touchdowns for Madison, and he has the kind of speed and gamebreaking ability that would help a lot of programs. Personally, I think he looks like UCLA's to lose. And I prefer Muhammad or Newby over Cormier.
Riley Sorenson, OL Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA). Big Riley Sorenson (6'5/320) is one piece of perhaps the best high school offensive line in the country. If they aren't the best, they might be the biggest. A couple of Sorenson's Santa Margarita linemates, center Dane Crane and tackle Erik Bunte, have already committed to Pac-12 schools (Washington and UCLA). Also teammate and safety Connor O'Brien just committed to the Huskies on Monday night. Sorenson currently holds offers from Colorado, SMU, and both Washington schools. There's been no indication that Sorenson plans to commit any time soon.
Chris Borrayo, OT Paramount (Paramount, CA). Cal was the first school to offer Paramount's Chirs Borrayo, but we weren't the last. Colorado offered shortly after, and both Washington schools followed our lead two weeks ago. Expect even more interest to head his way. At 6'5/290 with a great wingspan, Borrayo could play either tackle or guard. He seems content to allow more offers to roll in, and I don't blame him. Still, Coach M seems to really like Chris. Though he's unranked by most recruiting services, there's clearly something there. And you can never have too many offensive linemen per class in my opinion. Lots to like about this big guy, who won;t escape the attention of the recruiting sites come Fall.
JD Hinnant, OT Fountain Valley (Fountain Valley, CA). Hinnant is another talented OL who is seeing his stock skyrocket. Sitting at nine offers as of now, including ones from Nebraska, Oregon, Cal, and Washington, that list will grow even more. He plays on both sides of the ball for Fountain Valley, but most teams see his future as an offensive tackle. He's 6'5/260, and has excellent lateral mobility and footwork. Those could be maintained with added weight as well. He finishes his blocks and has the appropriate mean streak necessary to excel in the trenches. Oregon seems to be a favorite right now, but...it's May.
Robert McGee, C Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA). McGee attended Cal's first junior day back in February and came away very impressed. While we haven't offered yet, we've continued to actively recruit the 6'3/315 pounder from Oaks Christian. McGee is hearing from Cal, Colorado, and Washington, primarily. Although he's played tackle for Oaks previously, he'll be playing center this year...the position he projects to in college. Similar to Matt Cochran, McGee is a real mauler and has the kind of size and strength necessary to hold up well against hefty defensive tackles. If he handles the transition to center well, expect him to get a lot more attention.
Sean Harlow, OL San Clemente (San Clemente, CA). From the same school that brought 2012 5-star tackle Kyle Murphy, San Clemente has another rising offensive line prospect in Sean Harlow (6'5/260). As of now, Harlow holds offers from the eight Pac-12 schools not located in California. That may change. Cal has been talking to Harlow and an offer could come soon. Despite his size, Sean is a versatile guy, playing right tackle, both guard spots, and center at various times in his past two years as a starter for San Clemente. He has a frame that, with maturation, should see him add a lot more muscle. That will allow him to dominate a bit more at the point of attack. He plays with light feet and good hands, and has a pedigree to boot; his dad Pat was an offensive lineman at SC. Once he fills out, he may project more as a guard than a tackle.
Luca Bruno, DE Oak Park (Oak Park, CA). Bruno attended the Spring Game and Junior Day two weeks ago. He's a load at 6'4/280, but comes with a serious motor. He amassed 133 tackles, 6 sacks, and forced four fumbles in his junior year. That's a LOT of tackles. Bruno currently has offers from Arizona, Fresno State, Oregon State, and San Diego State. Cal has been talking to him for a few weeks, but has yet to offer. We are recruiting Bruno as a DT, though. With his size and motor, you can see how he would fit well in our 3-4 defensive front. Worth mentioning he's a UCLA legacy, so a Bruin offer could close his recruitment quickly if it comes.
Koa Kaleopaa, ILB La Mirada (La MIrada, CA). At 6'3/250, Kaleopaa is a BIG linebacker. He's got the kind of size and aggression that would be an ideal fit in the middle of Cal's 3-4 defense. He's an athletic guy who is dominant in run support. He's also versatile in that he could line up on the defensive line. Depsite his size and power, he's fast too, able to make plays sideline to sideline. Koa currently holds offers from Cal, Arizona, Arkansas, and Colorado. This is a guy I'd love to get.
George Frazier, ILB Monrovia (Monrovia, CA). Frazier is another big dude (6'3/230) who would be an ideal fit for Cal's interior linebacking corps. Currently holding offers from Colorado and San Jose State, Frazier has been hearing from Cal. Despite his size, he's a very versatile athlete; he's Monrovia's backup quarterback and accounted for 587 yards of offense last season. In Monrovia's 3-4 defense, he plays outside linebacker and will play with his hand on the ground when they go with a 4-3 look. I like him as inside guy in college, though. He's a smart player who hits hard and knows how to fill a gap.
Julius Wilson, WR Culver City (Culver City, CA). Wilson is an explosive, playmaking wide receiver. At 6'2, he can go up and get the ball, but he excels in gaining yards after the catch. Claiming offers from UCLA, Washington, Wazzu, Utah, San Diego State and Utah State, Wilson averaged over 15 yards per catch last year and added 5 touchdowns. He's a hell of an athlete with good size and wheels. Supposedly Cal has offered as well. I know we're being stingy with our WR offers for 2013, so I'm not sure if that's true. But Wilson's talent may justify it.
Davonte Young, RB St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA). Yet another former teammate of Bryce Treggs at Bosco is a guy to keep an eye on in 2013, and that would be running back Davonte Young. When he runs, Young packs a punch. He hits the hole hard, but also exhibits the patience to wait for said holes to develop. At 5'8/190, he keeps a low center of gravity and rarely goes down at first contact. Less finesse than Newby or Muhammad, more power. Young currently has a lone offer from Arizona, but that will change. Cal's pursuit of Young likely hinges on the decisions and status of a few other running back targets, but there is interest.
Jayme Otomewo, S Dorsey (Los Angeles, CA). Dorsey safety Jayme Otomewo is a great combination of height, size and athleticism. He can cover a bit too, and he's willing to come downhill and lay the wood. A track background can be attributed to how fast he plays from the secondary too. The 6'2/190 Dorsey safety currently has offers from Arizona State, Colorado, and San Jose State. He's been hearing from Cal and other Pac-12 programs as well. He recorded 67 tackles and 4 picks for Dorsey last year and looks poised for a nice season this year. Early playing time will be a factor in Otomewo's school of choice.
Daquawn Brown, CB Dorsey (Los Angeles, CA). Otomewo's Dorsey teammate, Daquawn Brown has been gaining interest due to some strong camp showings where he's really put his coverage skills on display. Brown also has the kind of size you like in a cornerback at 5'11/185. Brown claims offers from Cal, Wazzu, Arizona State and San Jose State as of now, But Washington and Oregon have been showing interest as well. He currently names Wazzu as his leader, but expect Brown to let the process play out. In a year where Cal will need to stock up in the secondary, a guy like Brown would be a very nice addition.
Obviously there will be more SoCal recruits that pop up on Cal's radar later in the year, so consider this a bit of primer. At the current rate at which 2013 prospects are making decision, things are already heating up quite a bit. Yes, its getting to be a little much. But in the interests of keeping you, loyal readership, informed on the goings on in the recruiting world, I will persevere. Just don't expect me to start keeping you abreast of any offers to 2014 or 2015 prospects any time soon. One year at a time here.
So who do you like? Who do you hate? Who did I miss? Let's hear it.