Our second in a two-part series looking at Cal football recruiting. We examine the rest of the Pac-12, the freshmen that might make an impact, and overall grades.
If you were to rank Cal's position in the Pac-12 recruiting hierarchy, it would be ______ because ______.
JahvidKnowsBest: I'd say 4th. Simply because our class didn't have the same high caliber guys as UCLA, Oregon, and USC. Washington was ranked ahead of us according to every given survey, but I'm not set on that coaching staff being effective regardless of who is playing for them. They had a monumental class last year, but on the field they took a step backwards from the year before. I think Dykes will do better with his class of three and four stars than Sark will do with his highly touted class.
blueandgold15: 5th, because it is lacking in star power compared to some of the other schools (think UCLA or USC here), but still has taken care of critical needs...just with some less heralded guys.
atomsareenough: ...it would be middle of the Pac, because that's where we are, and that's what happens when a once-solid program like Cal slides into 3 years of mediocrity capped with a 3-9 freefall. Maybe I'm a delusional sunshine pumper, but I think that over the long run, we should be able to recruit at least on par with where Oregon and Washington are. Obviously UCLA's class this year was an outlier even for them, but I think if we're consistently winning games again, we'll be able to compete with them too. I think being in the top 15 or 20 on a regular basis is something the Cal should be capable of, and that would put us in the top 3 or 4 or so of the conference. Right now we're probably 5th or 6th, so that means moving up a couple of spots. Unless Kiffin really tanks the Trojans, I'm not expecting to consistently out-recruit USC anytime soon.
The player I think will make the most immediate impact for the Bears is ____________ because ________.
JahvidKnowsBest: Again Cochran. I think he is one of the few players who could potentially play right now in this class. Unless there are significant injuries to the RBs, then Muhammad could also see some PT. I know Dykes said Muhammad was the most ready out of everyone; I'm not sure if I believe that, especially if Bigs and Lasco are playing like good ball. We don't want to go back to a three-back system.
blueandgold15: Khalfani Muhammad - because Cal has a shortage of healthy backs, and someone who runs as fast as he does will find a place on the offense somewhere.
atomsareenough: Muhammad will probably be the most likely to play next season, because of how thin we are at RB, and he's extremely fast and talented as well. I also think Austin, if he cracks the receiver rotation, could also contribute fairly quickly. Kragen might see the field this year as well.
Who are the under the radar recruits to watch for in this class for Cal who could be on the field sooner rather than later?
JahvidKnowsBest: Cameron Walker. Insanely athletic kid who could help replace Marc Anthony and Steve Williams on the outside. Corner will certainly be a big question for us. I love Walker's instincts and ball skills.
blueandgold15: I think Chad Whitener could be a contributor fairly soon - he always knows where the ball is, has speed from sideline to sideline, is a solid tackler, and at 6'1", 240, he's already plenty big enough to play linebacker at the next level.
atomsareenough: Guys that jump out at me as being sneaky-good and better than their star ratings are... Jacobi Hunter, Edward Tandy, and Jack Austin. Hunter is a big, strong dude, and he was DPOY in a tough Texas high school league. Great motor. Tandy is crazy strong and hits like a freight train. Austin, as I mentioned before is big, physical, and smart. Also, I don't think Vincent Johnson will necessarily see the field soon, but once he grows into his body, he could be a really good lineman for us. I called out McKinley and Ragin a few questions earlier, but I don't think they're really under-the-radar at this point.
If you had to grade Cal's recruiting class it would be a ______ because________.
JahvidKnowsBest: I would give this class a B/B+. B simply because we couldn't sign any major recruits. I don't think it would have been possible for Dykes to field anything higher than a B this year anyway. The B+ is because we
filled our most immediate needs on the lines.
blueandgold15: B-minus. Losing Cameron Hunt in the final days before NSD took this grade down from a B, but all in all, coming off a 3-9 season, a coaching change and a severe need to recruit players who could qualify [and eventually graduate]? The Bears certainly could have done a lot worse.
atomsareenough: I can't give it an A, mostly because of the high caliber guys we were seriously in the running for and couldn't close the deal with. It just makes it feel like the class could have been measurably better. Also, the fact that we left some needs unmet, as we didn't get a single safety, and only got 1 RB. But I do like a lot of the guys we got. I especially like that in addition to being talented football players, they are also mostly very good students, as we need to turn the academic profile of the team around quickly. I feel like we got a lot of solid players who can and will contribute for us down the line, but there just aren't as many real standout talents as we've had in previous classes. Plus, a few of them (Allensworth, Sina, Hinnant) are coming off some major injuries and it may be a while before we know how they will turn out.
Anyway, my initial instinct was B-, but after seeing film on these guys, I guess I'd say it's closer to regular B.