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Golden Nuggets: Shaq Thompson, Ellis McCarthy, and Jordan Payton on Why They Committed to Cal

With two five-star defensive players and one four-star receiver, Cal's 2012 recruiting class is making the jump from excellent to elite. Let's take a look at why these guys decided to join the Bears.

Shaq Thompson is motivated to help take Cal to its first ever BCS game.

When asked about Cal's stellar class, with earlier commitments today from Oaks Christian receiver Jordan Payton and Monrovia defensive end Ellis McCarthy, Thompson said: "We just always feel really comfortable there, and we're gonna change the game."

Thompson's decision was a popular one with his family, including Denver Bronco safety Syd Thompson, his brother.

"Oh man, it's a good fit for him," said Syd Thompson. "The Bear family was always good to me, both while I was there and after and I'll make sure they're good to him, too.

Like Thompson, McCarthy also wants to get Cal to that next level. Tosh appears to have played a big role in getting the five-star DT to join the Bears.

"I'm gonna pick Cal," said McCarthy as he put on his Cal hat. " I just really like Coach Tosh. I like the program a lot, and he's really teaching me a lot. I've built a relationship with him and the team."

And when asked what he hoped to accomplish at Cal: "Probably just go in and try to get a BCS bowl or a Rose Bowl, and just help my team out," said the always-understated McCarthy.

Payton, the 20th-rated wide receiver, appreciated the family atmosphere and academics.

"Overall, I feel the best there," Payton said. "It's like a family for me. It's like talking to one of my parents. They're good guys.

"I know all of the players up there. They all welcomed me. Overall, it's just the best place for me. It's not too far from home, but far enough away to where I can kind of do my own thing. Everything's's just the right school. Academics - which is what I'm about - it's perfect

After the jump Aaron Rodgers continues to be awesome and the women's basketball team almost had more rebounds than points allowed in a big win over Oregon.