We move away from our team's most pressing needs (Offensive line and receivers) to the remaining components of the offense that need to be tinkered with.
It's not very often that you'd think tight ends would be the most urgent area of need among the three areas. However, with Anthony Miller a senior and both Spencer Ladner and Jarrett Sparks juniors, it's become a far greater priority. With Cal loading up on running backs last year, we're probably only in need of one this season. And with two more quarterbacks entering the rotation this season, and another quarterback from this year's class firmly committed to wearing the blue and gold, Cal will not likely need another signal-caller.
This means Cal could take as many tight ends (two) as running backs and quarterbacks combined. Crazy, huh?
Taylor McNamara, Westview (San Diego, CA); 6'5", 235 lb
Offers: Arizona, Cal, FSU, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, Furd, USC, Washington
Video: Sophomore highlights | More sophomore highlights | Even more sophomore highlights
More news: Considered 9th best recruit in state of California by Cali High Sports thanks to great hands and recognition for finding the soft spot in the defense | Ohio State, Arizona, and Florida were his top three, although I don't believe he has a Gator offer
Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick, Whitney (Rocklin, CA), 6'5", 250 lb
Offers: Cal, Oregon State, UCLA
Video: All of his junior highlights available at Hudl
More news: Considered 10th best recruit in state of California by Cali High Sports, perhaps one of the most physically gifted players in the country and very difficult to play against one-on-one | According to his head coach, also plays defensive end and timed 4.8 at the 40 at the USC combine | Looks more like an offensive lineman ... until he starts running.
No offer yet, but is worth watching out for
Ian Taubler, Bullard (Fresno, CA); 6'4", 235 lb
Offers: Fresno St., Yale (I think this wins the Jeopardy question, "What are two schools you're least likely to ever hear mentioned in the same sentence?")
Video: Talks recruiting, will attend Cal's Junior Day
More news: Taubler stood out at the Passing Down Camp ($) a few days ago; Coach M is looking at Tabuler as a tight end | On track to be a four year varsity player, named to All-State Sophomore Team; played tight end, defensive end, and spot quarterback duty | All-CIF Central Section Preseason Second Teamer
Running back (for now, listing only the backs offered; if one of them commits, he's probably the only tailback we'll take)
Byron Marshall, Valley Christian (San Jose, CA)
Offers from 30 schools, including at least five Pac-12 schools (the Arizonas, Cal, Oregon State, & Furd).
Video: Junior highlights (see above) | Sophomore highlights | Interview with EENER Sports
More news: Made US Army All-American Combine Team ($) | Cali High Sports ranks him the fifteenth best prospect in the State of California for the 2012 class | Considered the top running back on the West Coast by Brandon Huffman of Scout | prefers running out of shotgun spread | he's being pursued heavily by the Bears ($) | visited Cal during Homecoming week against UCLA ($) | Profiled by MaxPreps
KeiVarae Russell, Mariner (Everette, WA), 6'0", 170 lb
Offers: Cal, Furd, Boise, Washingtons, & Wyoming
Videos: Junior highlights (see above) | Sophomore highlights
More news: Interview with Seattle Post-Intelligencer, models his game after Reggie Bush & also plays hoops, his favorite school is Miami | Supposedly has a very quick change of pace at the second level | 2012 Scout Spotlight ($)) | Had three favorites in September ($)
Keith Marshall, Millbrook (Raleigh, NC), 5'11", 190 lb
Video: Junior highlights (see above) | Sophomore highlights | More sophomore vid | MORE sophomore vid | Marshall talks visits, particularly USC ($)
More news: High GPA, so really good in the classroom. Will be tough to get him out of the South, but he could be the top running back in the Class of 2012 when all is said and done.
No Cal offer yet, but interested in the Bears
Dami Ayoola, St. Thomas Aquinas (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Offers: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Rutgers, South Florida, UCF; interested in the Bears
Video: Junior highlights (see above) | Sophomore highlights
More news: Might be favoring Oklahoma ($)
Corey Coleman, Pearce (Richardson, TX), 6'0", 180 lb
Offers: Baylor, Oklahoma State, Virginia, West Virginia. Interested in the Bears.
Video: Junior highlights (see above) | Rivals highlights ($)
More news: Plays basketball in Texas 10-4A
Visa Thach, Kentwood (Kent, WA), 5'9", 235 lb (Fullback)
Offers: Interested in Cal, Florida, Michigan, Navy, San Diego St, Texas, UCLA, USC, Washington
Video: National Rudy Award winner (top 50 inspirational player) | National Underclassman Scholarship winner | Rivals Camp highlights | Freshman highlights | Nice Double Lead Block (see above) | More videos on this YT channel
More News: Presidential Academic and Athletic Award winner maintaining a 3.8 GPA, wants to attend Michigan
Chevelle Walker, Eastside Catholic (Bellevue, WA), 6'0", 175 lb
Offers: None, but interested in Cal, UCLA, Boise, Oregons and Washingtons.
Video: Junior highlights (see above) | Sophomore highlights | More highlights from Scout ($)
Kenny Walker, Kennedy (Richmond, CA), 6'1", 175 lb
Has one offer from Washington.
Video: Junior highlights (see above)
More news: Finished 2nd in the 55 meter hurdles with a 7.50 as a junior (Devon Blackmon was first with a 7.39)
Zach Kline, San Ramon Valley (Danville, CA), 6'2, 205 lb; firm verbal to Cal
Video: Junior highlights (see above) | Sophomore highlights | Elite 11 workout at 3:50 mark | Rivals interview @ Elite 11 camp | Passing drills with Theder | Kline doing a 122.5 lb back squat
Junior stats: 2000 passing yards, 60% completion rate, 10 touchdowns, 8 interceptions
More news: Famed quarterback coach and former Cal football head Roger Theder has claimed Kline is perhaps the best he's ever coached.