Howdy all. As I write this, Khairi Fortt is still a Penn State Nittany Lion. And Cecil Whiteside is once again a California Golden Bear! That's pretty frigging awesome. The Fortt announcement will supposedly come towards the end of the week, but who the hell knows at this point. STAY TUNED.
Outside of the drama involving current college football players, there was some goings-on in the high school ranks as well. Busy week in the recruiting world, with lots of Cal targets committing elsewhere and coming off the board. Some of the guys were always long shots...and some were surprises. We'll review below.
If you get a chance, I highly encourage you to check out the new, improved, sexier CGB Recruiting Board for info on these dudes and additional Cal targets. Big kudos goes to atomsareenough for re-formatting the board into a more viewer-friendly look. Also, feel free to head on over to this week's Recruiting Discussion Thread for some good dialogue on all the goings on.
Olito Thompson RB, Concord (Concord, CA). Committed to Washington State. Committed to Washington State. Sad panda. I've been very vocal about my desire to see Olito at Cal, but the staff has not extended an offer to him as of yet due to some academic hurdles that he would still have to overcome. Unfortunate, because he's a three down back with great size and strength. His speed isn't elite, but he has a good burst and great vision. You don't rush for almost 3500 yards in one season by accident. Good kid, and a very nice get for Wazzu. I'm personally not quite ready to write this one off, simply because continued academic progress and Cal's proximity to Concord could see us continue to recruit Olito. Long way till February. We'll see what happens.
Hatari Byrd, S Central East (Fresno, CA). Committed to Oklahoma yesterday. Wow. I knew he was favoring both UCLA and the Sooners, but was pretty sure he'd end up a Bruin. Didn't see this one coming. What's interesting is whether this will push his Central East teammates LJ Moore and Johnny Johnson towards Norman. While none have openly indicated they'd be a package deal, all three have separately mentioned a high interest in Oklahoma. We'll see I guess. Byrd is a very good safety prospect. Fortunately, there is no shortage of quality DB's out west this year. I would hate to see us miss on either Moore or johnson as a result of this though.
Trevorris Johnson, RB Alief Taylor (Houston, TX). Committed to TCU. Unlike Thompson, I'm pretty certain this one is over...at least for Cal. Johnson is a Texas kid, who just committed to a Texas school. That's gonna be tough to beat. While Cal was listed among his top 3 (along with Arky and Boise State), seems an offer from one of the premiere in-state programs was the catalyst to get Johnson on board and locked up. While his junior stats didn't jump off the page (roughly 700 rushing yards and 7 touchdowns), his size and durability were intriguing to say the least. The commitments of both he and Thompson do make locking up Chaminade's Terrell Newby that much more important.
Torrodney Prevot, OLB Alief Taylor (Houston, TX). Committed to USC. WIGGITY WELP. Johnson's Alief Taylor teammate went ahead and pulled the trigger for the Trojans, theoretically ending their 2013 recruiting cycle as the 18th commit. Of course, that assumes they won't bounce anyone out of the class...which would be a silly assumption. Prevot had listed Cal in his top 5 previously, and would have been a very nice fit as an OLB in our 3-4. It's possible that the staff taking Takkarist McKinley meant they saw the writing on the wall. Prevot was always going to be a tough pull with one of the more impressive offer sheets you'll see. If he's slated for DE in SC's front, he'll need to add some weight onto his 6'3/205 pound frame. His talent cannot be denied though. One of the best pure pass rushers in a talent-rich state this year. Nice get for the Trojans. Unfortunate for Cal, but not shocking.
Antonio Riles, DE Archer (Lawrenceville, GA). Committed to Florida. Trey Cheek's Archer teammate and good buddy had a top two of Georgia and Florida for quite a while, and additional impressive offers from the bulk of the SEC. The Gators won out over the weekend. At 6'4/265, Riles has the perfect kind of powerful build and strength to play DE in Cal's 3-4. Alas, his current location in SEC country may make flipping him quite the task. We do have Trey in our favor, though. Perhaps if Riles can be persuaded to take an official visit out to Cal, he could be swayed. Would not count on that outcome by any means, however. Yet another DL off the board.
Sean Harlow, OL San Clemente (San Clemente, CA). Committed to Washington yesterday. Harlow visited Cal a couple weeks ago and had us listed among his top 5 schools along with Oregon State, Nebraska, Boise State and the aforementioned Huskies after that visit. Of course, he then visited Corvallis and Seattle. A couple days later, done deal and goodbye . This isn't all that much of a surprise frankly, and I'm not all that inclined to waste words on a kid that just committed to a school I hate. Harlow is a quality and versatile linemen who will likely play guard in college. Whoopty-do.
Vernon Hargreaves III, CB Wharton (Tampa, FL). Committed to Florida. We never had a shot. So.../Farts.
Kendall Fuller, CB Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, MD). Committed to Virginia Tech.../Farts some more.
Edward Tandy, LB Tustin (Tustin, CA). GOOD NEWS HERE. Says Cal is leading in his recruitment, per Rivals. Tandy has good things to say about Cal, and we are currently his lone offer. He has also expressed a desire to hold off on committing until after his senior season at Tustin. This is entirely understandable and yet somehow odd considering EVERY 2013 RECRUIT SEEMS TO BE COMMITTING EARLY. Good for you, Edward. He's a versatile athlete who plays a very physical style that would fit well at ILB in Cal's 3-4 defense. At 6'2/220, he also has a very strong frame that could add bulk. His play reminds me of Mychal Kendricks in the way he seems to be everywhere at once. He seems to want to wait and see who else offers at this juncture. Hopefully Cal's early interest and belief in him sees Tandy head this way in the end.
Marquel Combs, DT Pierce CC (Woodland Hills, CA). Cal offered the Ole Miss verbal commit yesterday, joining just about 30 other programs in pursuit of the big 6'3/305 pounder. Combs maintains that he is still solid to the Rebels (or whatver their mascot is now). Considering some of our DL recruiting woes and the lack of depth on the West Coast this year, I'm surprised it took us so long to go after a big, talented guy like Combs. Last season, he recorded 34 tackles (10 for loss) and 2.5 sacks for Pierce. He committed to Ole Miss back in April, but that hasn't stopped programs from all over the country in their pursuit of the big fella. He'll have 3 years to play 2 at whatever school he ends up at. Consider this a longshot until we hear otherwise. May or may not help that Combs is a teammate of talented Pierce TE Beau Sandland.
That's about it for this week (as of right now). Obviously the Whiteside news and the ongoing Fortt saga deserve the bulk of everyone's attention right now, but kids are committing at a heavy clip this year. Crazy to watch, crazy to track.
Thoughts? Comments? Thoughts in the comments.