When you go 1-11, you're going to lose the interest of a few 17-18 year old high school prospects. Already we've seen a few recruits take their talents elsewhere (Jalen Harvey and Jaleel Wadood come to mind) and it wouldn't be a surprise to see more coming. It happens. Such is life.
That being said, it does complicate things a lot on wrapping things up by National Signing Day. Most of the high school recruits you've been pursuing have probably turned themselves off at the prospect of spending the next four to five years of their lives as part of a possible rebuilding project. That forces the coaching staff into many Plan B or C options that will force them to take chances or take less talented players who might not be able to provide that upgrade. If they can't find enough high schoolers, the JuCos are the next stop!
So let's take a few looks at what Cal has in store for them for the next month. First things first: Hanging on to the players we already have.
Koa Farmer (learn more on Farmer here), Sherman Oaks (Ca.) safety at Notre Dame: Farmer is still committed to Cal and has been committed to Cal since he was a junior in high school, but it's a soft commit and he is taking visits. Farmer did check out Utah recently, but is ambivalent about tripping to Washington now that Steve Sarkisian has departed the premises. Cal needs defensive back talent in the worst way, so losing their best defensive back prospect would really sting.
Tre Watson (learn more on Watson here), Corona (Ca.) running back at Centennial: Watson has blown up the past few months, leading me to believe we're in a perilous situation. UCLA is after Watson hard, and if they don't get Joe Mixon I imagine he becomes Jim Mora's number one priority. I'm not sure how the firing of running backs coach Steve Broussard will affect his recruitment, but considering how dysfunctional the Bruin run game sometimes got this season they need to fill depth at that position.
Vic Enwere (learn more on Enwere here), Sugar Land (Tx.) running back at Fort Bend Austin: Enwere has been committed all season, but Michigan is coming calling and a visit will be scheduled to Ann Arbor for December 13th. Enwere seems like he will stick with Cal (the coaching staff discovered him early and they should get the last official). Enwere also has had contact with Missouri too.
It's imperative for Cal to hang onto Watson and Enwere. The Bears cannot go into next season with no running backs after the unit's disastrous 2013 outing. And the recruiting pitch is simple: Come in and play immediately.
Devante Downs (learn more on Downs here), Mountlake Terrace (Wa.) athlete: Downs remains committed to Cal and seems ready to join the Bears in January as an early admit. He is taking visits to Arizona State (this past weekend), Oregon State and possibly Washington State. But hopefully he sticks; he is currently our best committed defender.
I haven't heard as much about any of the other recruits so far, so I'm going to presume most of them are sticking with Cal. And don't worry about Luke Rubenzer. He's as solid as they come.
Joe Mixon, Oakley (Ca.) running back from Freedom: I'm still not certain about our chances with Mixon, but we're in the top 4, so that's always fun. I'd guess that Oklahoma is the frontrunner right now (the Sooners have their pipeline into Northern California/Fresno well-established) with Cal either 2nd or 3rd with UCLA. I'm guessing the Bruins have two targets in Mixon and Watson and are trying to get one or the other. Hopefully we can get one of the two (or better yet both).
Marcus Griffin, Bellevue (Wa.) defensive tackle: Griffin verballed to Washington State, reopened his recruitment, and now seems to still have Washington State pretty decently ahead of everyone else. Griffin does have Cal on his shortlist of favorites along with Arizona, and Lord knows Cal needs all the beef they can get up front. But they have a lot of ground to make up on the Cougs.
Trevon Lee, Fort Lauderdale (Fl.) wide receiver out of Cardinal Gibbons: Cal might no longer be in the running as Furd, Furd east (Duke) and Furd south (Vandy) have all gotten into the action. But if Erik Brown stays put here (and his late switch is promising for us), the Bears should be alright this year with taking only one or two wide receivers.
Kolton Miller, Roseville (Ca.) offensive tackle: Miller is getting the full press from Wisconsin and Oregon State, so it's difficult to see if Cal is going to have enough time to make up the margin back (the offer came a month ago). He'd be a welcome local edition.
Maurice McKnight, San Bernardino (Ca.) defensive back from Arroyo Valley: Currently a soft verbal to San Jose State. McKnight is coming to Cal December 14th a week after his visit to San Jose and a trip to New Mexico State. McKnight doesn't have a Cal offer yet, but with NO cornerbacks currently part of the 2014 class and Cal needing about a dozen of them I imagine something is coming.
Kennedy Emesibe, Oak Hills (Ca.) defensive end: Emesibe is visiting in January and has some quality offers from the Arizona schools, Mississippi State and Washington State. I'm sure Cal would like to add more line depth and find as many edge rushers as they can put on the field, so this could be a crucial visit.
Dalton Schultz, South Jordan (Ut.) tight end out of Bingham: Not betting on this one, just wanted to imagine us recruiting a tight end ever again. Schultz is probably Furd bound, with Notre Dame, Utah and Washington in the mix.
Coming tomorrow: JUCO recruiting!