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Cal Football Recruiting Updates: Ellis McCarthy, Jordan Payton, Eddie Goldman, Ifeadi Odenigbo On Radar

Filling in for solarise with a quick Cal football recruiting update. Not much of note has happened so far yet for the supposedly promising 2012 recruiting class, but things might be picking up soon. While we might not be earning pledges from prospects yet, we're at least getting our name on many short lists. We've already talked about how much Kenny Walker like the Bears. Who else is expressing interest?

Also, one Cal coach keeps on popping up. It's a shocker, really.

Ellis McCarthy, DT, Monrovia (Monrovia, CA), perhaps the best defensive tackle on the West Coast, has his top two: USC & Cal. Cal would be recruiting him to play defensive end, Adam Gorney of Rivals reports.

"I’ve been talking to them a lot," McCarthy said. "I’ve been talking to coach Tosh. He really stands out and I talked to the players when I went up there and it’s a really cool place. It’s a favorite with USC."

The 6-foot-5, 311-pound prospect from Monrovia, Calif., said Cal is recruiting him to play defensive end and he planned to work out at that position this week but because there are only a few defensive tackles in attendance he decided to move inside.

McCarthy isn't the only top-level Southern California recruit that might be thinking about the Golden Bears. Jordan Payton, WR, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, CA) recently decommitted from USC, and Cal is high on his list (Greg Biggins reportedly believes that Payton has Cal as his favorite ($)). Payton's relationship with Bryce Treggs could pay huge dividends if Treggs decides to become a Bear.

After the jump, a mixture of familiar and unique faces.

Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE, Centerville (Centerville, OH), considered one of the top 5 defensive ends in the country, has Cal (and Furd) in his final five. The Biggins article is paid, but the free section has a significant Cal snippet.

"I camped with Cal first and loved it there. I like the football team a lot and I have a really good relationship with their defensive line coach, Tosh Lupoi. I was blown away by the facilities that they're building there as well and when it's all done, I think they could be the best in the country. I have a lot of family in the Bay Area too so that's another huge plus for Cal.

Bryce Treggs, WR, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, CA) has a favorite. Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports reports.

"Probably Cal... definitely Cal," he said. "It's not a lock, I'm going to look at all of my other options. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make a decision before the season so I can get it out of the way and focus on having a good senior year. I hope I can lead my team to a CIF championship."

Treggs also favors the Cal coaching staff and seems to really have a connection with Zach Kline.

Eddie Goldman, DT, Friendship (Washington DC), considered the best defensive tackle in the country, really liked his visit to Cal, reports Jamie Newberg of ESPN. Has about a billion offers.

"I had a real good visit to Cal," Goldman said. "I like the coaches and I liked the campus. The staff is great. It's a quiet place but a fun place. I got to see San Francisco and it's beautiful. I hung out with some of the players. I camped there and did a morning session. I played well."

Aziz Shittu, DT, Buhach (Atwater, CA) has Cal listed in his top 10 schools. Shittu has talked about teaming up with his good friend McCarthy at the next level.

DeForest Buckner, DE/OLB, (Honolulu, HI) has the Bears high on his list. Jeremy Crabtree of ESPN Recruiting has more.

"Three that I know of are Oregon, UCLA and Cal-Berkeley," Buckner said. "I met coaches at all three schools, and they're really nice. Coach Tosh [Lupoi] at Cal is cool. He stayed and watched me work out at a practice for almost five hours in the spring. He was telling me, 'I know your mom is worried about academics, and if you are, then Cal is the place.'

Shaq Thompson, ATH, Grant (Sacramento, CA) prefers to go to a school that is at least eight hours from his hometown, although he does also list Washington and Notre Dame up with Cal, USC and UCLA. He's interested in playing offense at wide receiver as well. [SB Nation Bay Area]

KeiVarae Russell, RB, Mariner (Everett, WA) has a current three team listing of Notre Dame, Washington and Cal. Zach Kline is reportedly talking to Russell about Cal all the time.

Josh Garnett, OG/OT, Puyallup (Puyallup, WA), one of the top-ranked offensive linemen, is very interested in his academics, particularly pre-med programs.

During his unofficial visits Garnett will try to meet with professors and doctors in the school's medical sciences department and the schools recruiting him have tailored their approach to his needs.

"I get to spend a lot of time talking with the professors and talking about becoming a pre-med student," Garnett said. "I don't believe every student gets recruited that way but it's a big deal to me to research the department and maybe sit in on a few classes."

Don't be fooled. He's hardly just sitting there.

"It's exciting because I can sit in an organic chemistry class and understand what's being discussed," Garnett said. "I understand the terminology and whereas some of those things might go over a normal high school student's head, it's very comfortable for me."

Cal is in his top 11. Decision not likely until the new year.

Zach Banner, OT, Lakes (Lakewood, WA) wants to play with his good buddy Garnett in college as well ($). Contrary to earlier reports, Cal is still in the mix and wants to play with Garnett in college.

Matt Cochran, C, Buhach (Atwater, CA) visited Cal a few weeks ago, and the Bears seem to be moving on up his list. Rivals has the report ($).

Eddie Porter, JuCo LB, Blinn C.C. (Brenham, TX) has Cal in his final three, along with Arkansas and Mississippi State, reports Arkansas Preps.

Kyle Murphy, OT, San Clemente (San Clemente, CA), one of the top tackle recruits in the West (arguably the best), says Cal and Furd are pursuing him the hardest, with USC and Florida also showing the love.

Pio Vatuvei, DT/DE, Patterson (Patterson, CA), is up to double-digit offers (seven from Pac-12 schools including Cal) and could be making a decision soon, although his preference is USC if they give an offer. Has some of the fastest footwork at The Opening, according to Justin Hopkins of 247 Sports. More from Rivals ($).

Freddie Tagaloa, OT, Salesian (Vallejo, CA), planning official visit to Eugene for the Cal-Oregon game, reports eDuck ($).

Troy Hinds, DE, Davis (Kaysville, UT), has Cal in his final six with BYU, Utah, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Furd. His thoughts on the Bears.

"Again, they have a lot of things about them that are like Stanford. I really like the coaches there, and they offer a top education. I haven't been able to see them much, but I hope to go out to both Cal and to Stanford to see their programs up close."

Golden Commits

Zach Kline, QB, San Ramon Valley (Danville, CA) is at the Opening Event in Eugene, and he was the first overall pick in the 7-on-7s Draft. People keep on saying too many nice things about him, which always makes me nervous. High expectations always do.

"I'm a big Zach Kline fan," said Nike's Matt James, who will coach Alpha Speed. "I think he brings a lot of intangibles to the game.

"He's got good feet. He's got a big, strong arm, almost sometimes too strong of an arm. Want him to be able to learn to be a pitcher and not just a thrower sometimes."

James said Kline had shown some "happy feet" at times in the pocket during workouts this week, but his physical skills and decision-making won out.


While Kline was being deemed the best, he was working with a fellow teammate, giving him tips on passing technique.

"The players kind of rally around him," said James, his new coach. "He's got that energy and charisma to him."

Surprise surprise, Kline will also be taking part in the Elite 11 Camp in Pepperdine in a few weeks.