The Cal defensive backfield is dangerously thin in talent right now, with a noticeable downgrade in quality from the first to second string. Joel Willis went as far as to say the group was "one deep" last week, and the secondary has been one of Sonny Dykes' admitted worries throughout camp.
Though the staff can do little about it this season, they have taken steps to correct it in future seasons, by picking up yet another defensive back for the 2014 class: Texas cornerback Jeremy Winchester.
Winchester becomes the Bears' 4th defensive back for next cycle, joining Jaleel Wadood, Koa Farmer, and Quentin Tartabull, and selected Cal from a final five that included Colorado, Duke, Houston and Utah.
#Cal just got a commit from Spring (Tex.) Klein Collins CB Jeremy Winchester.— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) August 26, 2013
Some other tidbits you'd probably like to know about Winchester:
Rivals: 2 star
247sports: 3 star , 89th ranked S
ESPN: 3 star , 52nd ranked S
For a guy who just started playing defense, he looks pretty good - not world beating yet, but pretty good.
One promising asset with Winchester has to be his size - he is listed at 6'0", 175, which would give the Bears a bigger cornerback than they have had recently. He played out at corner and at free safety last season, giving him a positional flexibility that should come in handy at the next level.
His athleticism is shown a couple of times in the tape, particularly at 1:01, where he gets physical with the receiver at the line, and then manages to use his closing speed to recover and break up the pass. A similar play happens at 1:41 - the receiver has beat Winchester to the inside on a post, and the quarterback thinks he has an open target...but he doesn't. Pass deflected.
On top of that, he looks equally comfortable with turning and running - a cornerback motion - and maneuvering in open space, more of a safety motion, but fights hard off blocks regardless of where he is positioned.
Still, there's not a lot of tape to go off of, and like Isadore Outing, he's probably going to be a guy Cal fans will want to track this upcoming season. Judging by his rankings, he's not a particularly known commodity yet by most recruiting services.
Welcome to Cal, Jeremy! Go Bears!