National Signing Day: Cal Football 2013 Recruiting Class Overview

Ezra Shaw

Let's take a look at the young men who have pledged to wear the Blue and Gold.

Jared Goff- Quarterback, Marin Catholic High School- ESPN 4 Star Recruit

Goff has been with us for sometime. He committed in March of 2012, and hasn't waived at all since then--even with Tedford's looming and eventual retirement. Goff is a tall, intelligent pocket passer, with arm-power to spare. I for one really appreciate Goff's unwavering and unequivocal commitment to Cal. In an ideal world, all our recruits would be like this kid. Goff may or may not compete for the starting job in 2013, but he certainly will be a major figure in the following seasons. Congrats Jared, we're happy to have you.

Aaron Cochran, OT, Buhach Colony High School- ESPN 4 Star

Cochran is a massive player, standing at 6'8, 364 pounds. With the proper coaching, weight room and technique training, Cochran has the physical tools to play on Sundays. Cochran's recruitment was somewhat uncertain, as he did some to be drawn to Oklahoma. Fortunately, Aaron was certain he wanted to come to Cal after a visit earlier this month.

Erik Bunte - OT, Mission Viejo High School- 4 Star ESPN Recruit

Similar to Cochran, Bunte is another massive offensive line recruit.

He's a definite big boy at 6'7", 310 pounds, and as an offensive tackle out of Mission Viejo has a good chance to become an immediate member of the rotation.

Khalfani Muhammad- RB, Notre Dame High School- ESPN 4 Star Recruit.

Speedster Running back from SoCal. Muhammad will provide some much needed depth at running back--after Bigelow and Lasco there really isn't much else there. Muhammad will also probably be able to contribute immediately on special teams--he could be a dangerous kick returner.

Sione Sina- DE, College of San Mateo - ESPN 4 Star Recruit

Sina hails from the College of San Mateo and also figures to be in the mix to play right away. At 6-4, 250 and running a 4.7 40, Sina figures to be one of those rush DEs who can get to the QB. 247 Sports ranks him the 109th best JuCO prospect, the sixth best JuCo weakside defensive end, and the 30th best JuCo prospect in California.

Sina picked Cal over BYU and Washington State, enjoyed a host of offers from schools like the Oregons, UCLA, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Pitt, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA and Utah. Sina has three years to play two, tallying 38 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and piled up six sacks his freshman year. Here you can find Sina's video highlights on Hudl.

Cameron Walker - CB, Loyola High School - ESPN 4 Star Recruit

Walker is around 5-11, 180 pounds, posts a 4.51 40 time, and has a GPA of 3.4.

Here are the rankings.

  • ESPN: Four stars, 36th best cornerback, 47th best recruit in California
  • Rivals: three stars, 44th best cornerback, 47th best recruit in California.
  • Scout: three stars, 49th best cornerback.
  • 247 Sports: Three stars, 36th best cornerback, 39th best California recruit.

Here are his video highlights below via his YouTube channel. You can also view a full reel of his junior and senior tape via Hudlr.

Jack Austin - WR, Chino Hills, ESPN 3 Star Recruit.

Though he offers a decent sized frame at 6'3", 195, Austin's reported 4.68 40 time could be an immediate worry for some - especially since we have been spoiled with the likes of Brendan Bigelow and Desean Jackson in recent years. However, a quick look at Austin's tape on Hudl shows him beating a handful of defenders and moving fluidly in the open field, hinting that he may be "football fast", despite his lack of straight line speed. The latter of these two skills should make him a good fit for the Bear Raid - his jukes at 2:55 and 3:12 both come off 5 yard hitch routes right out of Franklin's offense, and he's shown catching a good amount of screens on the outside, as well. All of this - combined with the routes he runs throughout the clip - suggests he could be a factor in the short to intermediate game, at least. Austin also displays a solid sense for locating the football in the air, making a number of difficult looking catches, even though he doesn't appear to be much of a deep threat.

Darius Allensworth - CB/ATH, Heritage High School- 3 Star ESPN Recruit.

After verbally committing to Arizona back in April, Allensworth had made no secret of the fact that he was still looking around. He also saw several new programs offer after his stock jumped significantly over the late spring and summer thanks to some very good camp performances. Cal extended an offer back in mid-July and things started looking good from there.

In 2011, Allensworth starred on both sides of the ball for Heritage; totaling 64 tackles and 4 interceptions on defense while also recording 30 receptions for 395 yards and 5 touchdowns as a wide receiver. That kind of versatility and athleticism is a big part of what Darius brings to the table as a defensive back prospect.

J.D. Hinnant - OL, Fountain Valley High School- 3 Star ESPN Recruit

Hinnant will be one of those players you have to root for. Hinnant was one of the highest-ranked offensive linemen on the board before a horrific accident fractured his pelvis and tailbone and caused a head contusion. He avoided spinal, neck and internal injuries and appears to be on the road to a full recovery.

It is no secret that the cupboard is bare at offensive line for Cal – the unit ranked among the worst in the country last season, and will have to replace three starters up front in 2013. Hinnant also seems well equipped to handle the academic rigors of Berkeley, sporting a reported 3.75 GPA and 1860 SAT score.

Drake Whitehurst - WR, CCSF- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

Whitehurst had a preferred walk-on offer from Oregon before the Bears coaching staff managed to snag him. Whitehurst had 29 receptions for 286 yards and 4 touchdowns with the Rams this season, and will be the second receiver that Sonny Dykes’ staff recruited specifically for the Bear Raid offense.T

hose numbers seem rather ordinary, but these aren’t - at 6’6" and 215 pounds, Whitehurst immediately becomes the tallest wide receiver that the Bears have, most of whom stand in 6’3" or below. A look at his highlight tape shows that he knows how to use that frame, as well –he is seen catching a number of lobs and fades, as well as possessing an ability to go up and get the football.

Edward Tandy - LB, Tustin High School- 3 Star ESPN Recruit

If this video is any indication, the Bears will be getting a very versatile prospect. Pass rushing? Check - the reel opens up with him blitzing through the A gap untouched for a sack. Pursuit? Check - the second play shows him running down an off-tackle run from the opposite side. Instinct? Check - Tandy demonstrates that in the run and pass game, reacting quickly to balls thrown near him and attacking nearby backs. He even lines up to cover players on the outside, snagging more than a handful of interceptions.

Matt Anderson- Kicker, San Ramon Valley- 3 Star ESPN Recruit

Jim McGill of Bear Insider has the link:

Playing a position where confidence and calm nerves are necessities, Anderson makes sure that he doesn't get too caught up in the moment when his time comes to perform, blocking out any distractions and simply focusing on the task at hand.

"You have to think of it like a practice kick, almost," said Anderson. "You just have to do the same thing every time and not change with the situation -same movement, same steps back, same steps to the side and just focus on execution and technique."

Anderson showed strong range in camp, hitting on a 58-yarder.

"I think I can hit it for 60," said Anderson. "After my camp next weekend (Chris Sailor kicking camp), I'll come back and hit the weight room the next week to continue to build strength and get ready."

Garrett Hughes - DE, Centennial High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

Hughes is 6-3 and weighs 250 to 255 pounds. He isn't ranked by any of the major recruiting services, but all you have to do is watch the tape and see the schools were showing interest (Boise State, UCLA) to realize that he's clearly got talent.

His midseason senior season highlights indicate that (courtesy of Hudl). Here are his junior highlights.

You can see how good Hughes is at anticipating the snap. He has great agility, good pursuit, takes strong angles, and seems to have solid technique. He's versatile enough to play both inside and outside, although you figure that he's looking more like a defensive end.

Jacobi Hunter- DT, Cypress Falls High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

Brandon Chatmon of ESPN reports ($).

Buoyed by its academics, beautiful landscape and the opportunity to join a program that could be on the rise, California made a major impression on a three-star defensive tackle this weekend. So much so he decided to end his recruitment and pledge to the Golden Bears.

Hailing from Houston Cypress Falls, Hunter was originally committed to Indiana back in the summer, but started showing interest in Cal and the Hoosiers ended up pulling his scholarship offer. Hunter took his official visit up to Cal this weekend and saw enough to make the call.

Here's a free commitment story from Scout.

"I had options," Hunter said. "Luckily, I was blessed with a lot of interest in me, even coming up to the last weeks, so I didn’t sweat it. If they felt that way, then that speaks to them, and I didn’t think anything of it. I just worried about what I was going to do."

Kyle Kragen - DE, Diablo Valley College- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

Kragen flipped his commitment from Illinois to Cal, and it didn't take much to sell him on the merits of the Bears. Kragen hails from Pleasant Hill and attended school last year at Diablo Valley College. At 6'3, 255 pounds, Kragen registered 14.5 sacks and compiled 17 tackles for loss. 247 Sports ranks Kragen as the 177th best JuCo prospect, the eleventh best JuCo weakside defensive end, and the 60th best JuCo prospect in California. Kragen enjoyed offers from Buffalo, Houston, Illinois, and others.

Tony Mekari- DT, Westlake High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

McGill:

As for academics, Mekari sports a 3.86 gpa at Westlake with a schedule that's anything but Mickey Mouse according to his coach, Jim Benkert.

"His gpa's built on big-time classes," said Benkert. "He's taking tough classes and he told me he'd one day like to be a doctor.

"Cal's got great academics and that was definitely attractive but that in itself wasn't enough to cause me to switch from Arizona," said Mekari. I know I could've gotten a good education there," said Mekari. "If there was a place that had the best academics in the world but didn't feel like home and didn't feel like a good fit from a football standpoint and comfort level, it wouldn't be the place for me. I'll be living there for 4-5 years of my life so you have to look at the big picture."

Ray Davison-DE, Crespi Carmelite High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

Here's some ESPN analysis ($).

Davison is an active high school defensive end who could likely see a position change in college. He could potentially see a transition to the next level as an end, but will more likely see a move back to outside linebacker.

Chris Borrayo - OT, Paramount High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

Here is a quick run down of Borrayo's rankings across the 4 major recruiting services:

  • Rivals: 3 star, 63rd ranked tackle, 84th in state
  • 247sports: 77 (2 star), 124th ranked guard, 195th in state
  • Scout: 3 star, 54th ranked guard
  • ESPN: 74 (3 star), 79th ranked guard, 123rd in state

Highlights on Hudl can be found here.

Welcome to Cal, Chris!

Ray Hudson - Tightend, Foothill High School- 3 Star ESPN Recruit

Here's the writeup from the tight end previews of Hudson.

Hudson's versatility is definitely a big plus to me. He was an all-EBAL performer last season for Foothill as a WR, but at 6'4/225, he projects as a TE at the next level. He also plays outside linebacker. As a tight end, he's fast enough to create matchup problems for most linebackers or be split out wide and outmuscle/outleap most defensive backs. Obviously he'll need to add a little weight in order to be more effective lined up off tackle, but he has a frame capable of doing so with ease, and without sacrificing too much speed or athleticism. Cal has been by Foothill to check him out and will likely continue to evaluate him. Currently Vanderbilt and Colorado are recruiting Hudson the hardest, though he has yet to secure any offers. I think we would leap into the lead for his services if we were to offer.

Caleb Coleman- WR, Saint Mary's College High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

McGill from Bear Insider.

With offers including Yale and Air Force Academy and a 3.8 gpa, academics are a high priority for Coleman and the Bears' proximity and Cal offered the perfect combination of Pac 12 football, hometown appeal and top academics for Coleman.

The speedy (4.48 forty) Coleman comes from an athletic family, with his grandfather a legendary track coach in the Laney College Hall of Fame who coached and trained Jim Hines for the '68 Olympics and father Paul a former collegiate baseball player at Central Michigan who also played the amateur golf circuit.

Chad Whitener- ILB, Mansfield High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

One thing that stands out right off the bat is that Whitener is built like a truck. At 235 or 240 pounds, he has college inside linebacker size already. And it isn't bad weight; he's very strong and pretty explosive. He uses that strength well when he comes into contact with the ballcarrier, often times negating their momentum and pushing or hauling them backwards. He's a very sure tackler, in case there was something about "194 tackles in a season" that you found confusing. He can lay a hit, and keeps his hands active. Once Chad gets his hands on a guy, they don't get much further. He's very strong against the run, capable of stuffing holes inside and also showing the sideline to sideline speed to chase down plays to the outside. He shows a great motor when in pursuit and has a nice burst when firing towards the line. When he reads a play, he's decisive and gets to the ball in a hurry. His speed is not elite, but we're talking about a 230+ pound linebacker, not a 170 pound running back. He has very good speed for his size and especially for a guy playing inside. Just note the number of outside runs he chases down.

Vincent Johnson- OL, Christian Brother's High School- ESPN 3 Star Recruit

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.

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.

Takkarist McKinley- DE, John F. Kennedy High School- Unranked according to ESPN

McKinley is starting to gain some significant notoriety on the state and national level. He goes to John F. Kennedy, which I believe is not a major football power; this is probably why he has been such an under the radar recruit (he's not even ranked on ESPN). At the Cal State game, McKinley was noted as being the top performer at a California all-star game.

Marcus Manley- DT, SMCC- Unranked according to ESPN

Here is some more info on Manley:

The 6'2, 279 lbs freshman from Fairfax High had 35 tackles, a fumble recovery and blocked field goal this year for the Corsairs.

Manley was named to the Region V All-California team by the California Community College Coaches Association and the JC Athletic Bureau earlier this week.

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