Two safeties are already committed in the 2014 class, but there were expectations that the Bears would make room for a third, simply because depth in the secondary is so thin. With Jaleel Wadood's commitment at The Opening earlier today, Cal got exactly that, and ensured that there will be fresh faces in the defensive backfield for years to come.
A video of his commitment filmed by Bryce Treggs can be found here.
And speaking of Treggs, the 5'11, 165 pound Wadood will join him next year - and more Bosco boys could be on the way, as the Bears remain hot in pursuit of 2015 QB Josh Rosen, OL Damien Mama, and CB Naijiel Hale.
Rivals: 4 stars, 25th ranked CB
247Sports: 4 stars , 16th ranked S
Scout: 4 stars, 19th ranked CB
Unfortunately, I can't find Wadood's 2012 tape on Youtube, so no direct linking to highlights for this one.
While the first chunk of this is dedicated to offensive highlights, Wadood's future has been projected to be on defensive, particularly at safety. From those offensive clips though, you can easily notice Wadood's ability to change direction, stop, start, and go very quickly. He doesn't show off a top end speed gear too much when he has the ball in his hands, but the ability to cut and move fluidly is key for any defensive back, especially as they try to keep in front or close to receivers. That being said, when the tape cuts to defense, you get a better idea of how quick Wadood is - on one play in particular, he takes a bad angle a running back cutting outside, and still catches him.
He's really got a good closing burst in general - every time the ball is in the air in this video, he's already making up ground on the guy waiting for it, and you can see this best when the offense is trying bubble screens. By the time the pass goes up, Wadood is only a yard or two away, having recognized the offense's intent. No surprise that he played safety at Bosco. Pretty smart player, helped a lot by his athleticism.
Despite his size - he's only 5'10,
165 [I am told by MBC that he is bigger than that now] and I think I'd personally project him at corner because of it - Wadood is a very strong tackler, and very physical, always getting low and attacking the ballcarrier with good form. He'll have some size to put on here at Cal, but does have the skills to cut it at safety, and in my opinion, moves better than Quentin Tartabull, based on the limited tape. I could also see him being pretty effective defending out of the slot - playing safety at Bosco, he's already spent a lot of time lining up over those slot guys/third receiver guys anyway. Tight ends and rangier receivers might be a problem in the future, though.