A special edition of Cal links focuses solely on the commitments of today's California Golden Bears recruiting class. Just some quick-hitters from today and earlier this season, for those who want to get caught up on the reasons for why the athletes chose Cal. The answers are varied but all quite intriguing, leading you to believe these are a special group of kids who will be known not only for their athletic, but also even some of their academic forays.
- Ryan Yamamoto of News10 reports that Vei Moala will be Cal's only true nose guard on next year's roster with the departure of Derrick Hill. He will have to work hard to displace Kendrick Payne and Aaron Tipoti at the middle of the physical 3-4 front.
- Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee reports that both the Moala and Lopa families can't wait to tailgate in Berkeley and bring that famed Polynesian cuisine over. Just remember to bring a parking permit, because Berkeley traffic cops believe they are the alpha and the omega.
- ESPN Scouting Director Tom Luginbill on Kyle Boehm: "He certainly looks the part, thanks to his great arm and sturdy build with ideal height, and he has played under center probably more than the other participants on a regular basis. Boehm has such a good arm that he is capable of making all the throws you want, even if he is not set or balanced, so he can get away with doing some things that are unsound." "As far as a pocket passer, Boehm has tools, and there is a lot of upside for him." Jeff Tedford says he'll work very closely with Boehm on the playbook.
- Todd Barr has thrown himself into football for years (particularly at the defensive end slot) after encouragement from his head coach. It's hard not to see him succeeding and starting in a short period of time regardless of where he gets placed.
- With every passing article you read on Jason Gibson, you get the feeling he'll make up for the loss of Chris Martin in short order.
Avery Walls's interviews make him seem like a thoughtful and very forward-thinking individual, as he explains why he decided to matriculate early (keep ahead in his classes and be better prepared to help lead the new freshmen on the field). Here is Walls at the US Army All-American Bowl
2011 All-American Bowl: Avery Walls (via soldiersmediacenter)
- John Maffei of the North County Times reports Vista head coach compares Stefan McClure to the four Vista players who made it to the pros, believing that the cornerback is on their level (those four are Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Leon Hall, Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Russell Allen, Chicago Bears linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa and Oakland Raiders linebacker Travis Goethel).
- Brennan Scarlett liked Cal over Stanford because of the environment and atmosphere on Big Game weekend...all this despite the Golden Bears suffering their worst loss in the rivalry in decades. That should say a lot about how awful the Cardinal gameday environment must be.
- Oakland North profiles how C.J. Anderson has been casually been tossing up 200 yard rushing games on the junior college level, and his ability to mix in strength and agility on his runs.
- Jordan Rigsbee talked with Jim McGill of Bear Insider about how he's been participating in his dad's O-line/D-line camp at Chico for over a decade, his brother Tyler's (potential starting Cal offensive tackle next year) recovery from ACL injury, and his relationship with fellow Chico product Aaron Rodgers.
Jalen Jefferson enjoyed the early practices that Cal instituted this year so the football players could focus on their academics later at night.
- Kirk Kenney of Sign On San Diego did a profile on Mustafa Jalil before the fall season; the 300 pound defensive tackle stated his previous experience with roller hockey increased his lateral movement and his experience with soccer improved his footwork before becoming a full-fledged football player.
- In a discussion with Richard Obert of AZ Central, Jordan Morgan could play either safety position or might even be the heir apparent to Bryan Anger as the punter. He is also interested in the optometry school right next to California Memorial Stadium.
- Ryan Gorcey of Bear Territory talked with Maurice Harris, who cited family (cousins to both Keenan Allen and Zach Maynard as well as best friends with Chris McCain and Gabe King) as the main reason for his move from Greensboro to Berkeley.
Jeff Tedford discussed how athletic JuCo transfer offensive tackle Matt Williams is in the signing day press conference, and how he'll vie for playing time this season.
Brendon Bigelow has a long way back from injuries, but if he does, his upside is sky-high.
- Richard Rodgers's dad was involved in The Play, so that must be the reason he decided to come to Cal, right? Not exactly; the Worcester Telegram has the story.
- In a talk with McGill, Nathan Broussard expresses interest in the business and optometry schools at Cal. His versatility is what makes him such an intriguing football player, as he's shown he can be effective at both defensive end and linebacker in Plano West.
- Greg Biggins of ESPN ($) considers Joel Willis one of the top cornerbacks in the West.
- Biggins also reports ($) new secondary coach Ashley Ambrose had a lot to do with Kameron Jackson's commitment, according to Jackson's coach at Long Beach Poly.
KHOU's Daniel Gotera considers Daniel Lasco the best player in the Houston area, and he's shown the ability to handle injury by coaching up the rest of the running backs. Education was a factor as well. For those big on their hip-hop game, here's famed Houston rapper Paul Wall posing with Lasco.
- Here is a summer interview between a Scout reporter and Darren Ervin, where he talks about his Cal commitment. He talks about them being tops in his major, which McGill reports is engineering.
ervin7oninterview.MP4 (via ghostofbigroy)
The San Francisco Chronicle profiles Bryce McGovern and how he put his stamp on every game he played at Monte Vista.