Cal Football Recruiting Commit: Michael Trani, La Mirada OL

Kelley L Cox-US PRESSWIRE

Sonny snags his first lineman for the #BearRaid14.

Yes it is, Coach. Yes, it is - and on this morning in particular, the Bears were able to add a new commitment to the 2014 class in guard Michael Trani [although he may not necessarily stay there...it's been reported that Sonny and co. like him at any of the line positions.]

Here it is from his coach:

One more for good measure. Let's check in with Coach Yenser, shall we?

According to 247sports, Trani made an unofficial visit this weekend to the Berkeley campus, which must've been enough to sway him to the Blue and Gold over other suitors like Arizona, Boise State, and Nevada.

Welcome, Michael!

The Rankings:

Rivals: 3 star

247Sports: 2 star [78]

Scout: 3 star, 21st ranked center

ESPN: 3 star [74], 49th ranked guard

The Tape:

Disclaimer. Not an expert at line play. By which I mean, I know a little about football, but in comparison, I probably know a negative amount about the nuances of what goes on in the trenches.

Even in the opening clips of this highlight reel, you can already see Trani's versatility - he lines up on either of the side of the line when asked, and does one thing as a guard: dominate his man. Rather than link you to a whole bunch of plays where that occurs, just take my word for it. He maintains low pad level when engaging, making sure to stay under and inside the guys he's trying to block, eliminating and overpowering whatever unfortunate soul happens to be lined up across from him.

But, depending on the situation, he even slides outside at left tackle. That play doesn't result in a big gain, but Trani neutralizes his assignment pretty well, punching and engaging with the rusher to hold him off, and then readjusting his positioning to keep him out of the play entirely. And at right tackle, the story is largely the same - Trani keeps his balance, and against the spin move, doesn't make get caught flat footed. At either tackle position, really, Trani has solid mobility, and a good enough base to fend off bullrushers, too.

One thing I didn't see a lot of, and would have liked to is his ability to pull and get to the second level, especially if the team plans to keep him at guard. The tape makes him look like a "block one guy and take him out entirely" kind of lineman, which is fine too. Perhaps the La Mirada system doesn't call for it - so that's not necessarily a huge knock on him as a player, and remains to be seen. It doesn't mean he can't or that he isn't mobile/quick enough, but maybe that he just isn't asked to. This play seems to suggest he can move around a good amount, for example. There's also no indication of what he can do at center, which is understandable - no need to rotate centers around if you don't have to.

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