Be on alert, college football recruiting world. Sonny Dykes is looking for linemen, and yours could be next.
The new Cal head coach scored his 5th lineman of the 2013 class with a commitment today from Vincent Johnson out of Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento. Johnson had been previously committed to Iowa State. News of his commitment comes as a slight surprise, as the 6'5", 260 pound lineman had not really been associated with Cal until very recently.
Here's a recent writeup from Bear Insider on the commitment. Johnson appears to be a great student and is familiar with the Tony Franklin system having played in it in high school, so he looks like one of those natural fits to be a Bear.
Here are his rankings across the four major recruiting services:
247sports: 70 (2 star), 190th ranked tackle, 222nd ranked player in CA
Rivals: 3 star, unranked
Scout: 2 star, unranked
ESPN: 72 (3 star), 116th ranked tackle, 150th ranked player in CA
A quick look at his highlight tape shows some nice mobility - Johnson is shown pulling on sweeps and getting to the second level throughout. However, what is more impressive is how he regularly takes his man out of the play. Time and time again, Johnson can be seen pushing opposing linemen several yards backward before bowling them over, as well as sustaining blocks to ensure they do not get back up. [The usual words of caution about him not facing off against players his size should apply.]
Still, there is much to like about this addition, since it signifies - and underscores - Dykes' commitment to recruiting locally and to rebuilding up front. It is of yet unknown whether or not Cal's recruitment of Johnson is a response to Cameron Hunt's recent visits at Ohio State and Michigan, but that interpretation doesn't seem too farfetched.
What do you think of this unexpected addition - and with the offensive line class now at 5, how many more would you like to see Coach Dykes go after, ideally? Sound off below.