Welcome back. It's almost time for FOOTBAW, which means we'll have a chance to see how our commits and main recruits perform in their senior seasons. Pretty standard stuff to cover this week. Some good, some not so much. Commitments, visits, top 5's.
Remember to check out the CGB Recruiting Board for rankings and highlights of these guys.
Darius Allensworth, CB Heritage (Menifee, CA). Committed to Cal on Thursday. WOOT. This is a very good pickup of a quality cornerback prospect...a need position this year. Allensworth really shined over the summer and saw increased interest from a lot of programs prior to making the call for Cal last week. In fact, he's been bumped up to a 4-star prospect and added to the newest Rivals 250 as of yesterday (# 239). Well deserved. Allensworth is a fluid athlete whose wide receiver background helps him with tight coverage and an ability to go agressively find the ball. He's fearless. Very happy to have him in the fold.
Kevin King, CB Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, CA). Committed to Washington on Sunday night. POOT. Washington came in late to the mix on King, as it initially appeared that this was a Cal/West Virginia battle. Well apparently not. The timing of King's verbal to the Huskies is interesting, considering Cal got Allensworth's commitment late last week and we may or may not be done at cornerback for the 2013 class. SIDENOTE: I hope we're not. Dashon Hunt, LJ Moore and Johnny Johnson (to a lesser extent) are still out there. With Willie Fletcher failing to qualify and Raymond Ford signing with Wazzu after also failing to qualify, cornerbacks just got a lot more important in 2013. While I like Allensworth a lot, King brings a unique skillset to the table thanks to his height and long frame. He also had a very good summer. This is a nice get for Washington. Regardless of where he fit into the Cal staff's plans, it hurts to see a talented local kid go elsewhere...especially to the Doogs.
Cameron Hunt, OL Centennial (Corona, CA). The Cal commit was offered by UCLA last week, and plans to take official visits to both Westwood and Arizona State (in addition to Berkeley). This could get interesting. Hunt himself has said that a UCLA offer a couple months ago may have changed everything. However, he's built a very good relationship with the Cal staff since then and has been doing his own part on the recruiting trail for the 2013 class. Whether UCLA can gain some ground remains to be seen. It's worth noting that Hunt is tight with former Centennial teammate Darius Allensworth, has gotten close with Jared Goff, and is also close to La Costa Canyon OL Scott Quessenberry who is also liking Cal. I'm not real pessimistic yet, and I really want to keep Hunt in the fold. He's very good. In fact, I expect him to pick up his 4th star from Rivals today. So that's cool too.
Terrell Newby, RB Chaminade (West Hills, CA). Has scheduled an official visit to Nebraska for September 21. His top 4 remains Cal, Nebraska, Oregon and UW, but it certainly seems like it'll be us or the Huskers in the end. Newby also saw his Rivals rating get a nice bump, as he's now a 4-star prospect and also included in the Rivals 250 (#231). Again, this is well deserved. He seemed to be the most underrated running back on the West Coast, but no longer. He'll be the key piece of Chaminade's offense this season and should be poised for a big year. I'm feeling good about our chances of landing Terrell, but don't be stunned if he gets a lot more attention this Fall. MUST GET.
Tyler Foreman, S Crespi (Encino, CA). Lists a top 5 of Oklahoma, Cal, UCLA, Utah and Minnesota. Still feels like it could be us or UCLA, with Oklahoma certainly having a shot for the simple inexplicable reason that they always seem to pull good players out of California (they win I guess). Foreman had a pick in Crespi's win over Salpointe Catholic out of Arizona last weekend, and it looks like he and Brandon Arnold will be poised for big years. This is a guy I really want, and I'd be thrilled if we landed both he and Arnold.
Dashon Hunt, CB Westlake (Westlake Village, CA). Wants to take an official visit to Cal, in addition to Nebraska and Washington. Nothing real new here, but Hunt is a guy that I really want, especially with Kevin King off the board. Hunt is a dynamic two-way player who has the kind of quickness and explosion to make a big difference on the defensive side of the ball. While he's on the slighter side (5'10/175), that can be helped with maturation and a college strength program. After seeing his film, Hunt's size is not a concern of mine. I'm hopeful that the staff will continue recruiting him, despite Allensworth's commitment. The loss of Ford and Fletcher from last year's class is ample reason to take a fourth cornerback in 2013.
Khalfani Muhammad, RB Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, CA). Is going to wait until after his senior season to take official visits and make a decision. As of now, Muhammad has mentioned Washington and Notre Dame as likely destinations for two of his official visits. Given Cal's need for possibly more than one running back in this class, he'd be an ideal compliment to the more sturdy Newby. That said, I don't know that Cal has been in steady communication with Muhammad since we aren't mentioned as a potential visit. We'll need to wait this one out and then see if we get a visit before counting him as a possibility. In terms of fit, I do prefer Newby as a more durable and versatile option, but Muhammad's speed would add an interesting dimension to an offense. We all know how awesome sprinter speed can look on a football field.
Kevin Palma, OLB Mission Oaks (Tulare, CA). Lists a top 3 of Oregon State, Colorado and San Diego State, but has been told by Cal and other schools that they could offer after seeing film of his first three games this season. I like Palma, and he had a very good summer on the camp circuit. He's powerfully built and really shined in pass-rushing drills...sans pads. As a result, I'm okay with the staff wanting to see how he looks and performs IN pads before extending an offer. For his part, Palma seems to understand and respect the approach as well. We've got a few offers already out to other linebackers, so seeing who performs best in the Fall could determine who the staff most aggressively pursues. For his part, it sounds like Palma will be featured all over the field this season; playing some wide receiver, linebacker and defensive end. Gotta love that kind of athleticism and versatility.
Johnny Ragin, LB Wilsonville (Wilsonville, OR). Like Palma, Oregonian Johnny Ragin came onto the radar of several programs after a strong camp showing and an impressive athletic display at the Nike Combine. Holding an offer from nearby Oregon State as well as BYU, Ragin has been told by Cal (amongst others) that they'll be anxiously awaiting footage of his first couple games before possibly extending an offer. He's an intriguing prospect at 6'3/215, with the ability to rush the passer and drop back into coverage. Regardless of whether Cal does offer, it wouldn't surprise me to see Ragin end up a Beaver. They're nearby and have a good relationship with him already. One to watch though.
Taquan Mizzell, RB Bayside (Virginia Beach, VA). Committed to Virginia yesterday. We hadn't been a factor with Mizzell for months, but it's another running back off the board. Makes getting Newby that much more important.
I'm pretty pumped for both high school and college football seasons to start. It's time. I want to see how our committed guys do this year, as well as our key recruits. It'll also be fun to see what new names pop up once we get a few weeks in.
Going forward, I'll continue to drop interesting recruiting tidbits into the GRW, but I'll also be keeping everyone abreast of just how our guys are doing in their senior seasons. I'm expecting good things.
FOOTBAW!!! Go Bears!