Cal needs defensive line talent in a hurry, and the junior college ranks appear to be the best place to find said talent.
Long Beach City College defensive tackle David Davis committed earlier this week to hopefully provide a bit of strength on the inside (read Nam's story for more info on Davis). But the Bears still have plenty of scholarships that they need to fill up with this class, and the staff is looking far and wide.
Down recruiting and saw in Marianna,FL the alternative school sits across from the prison -would be enough motivation to get my life right!— PIERRE INGRAM (@PIngram1) December 11, 2013
That is far. Why was Ingram there? To check up on Tallahassee (Fl.) North Florida Christian running back (and Florida State commit) ($) Johnathan Vickers. Not exactly sure what our chances are of getting a decommit from a national championship-bound team, but we can dream.
One such player the Bears are looking at is Woodland Hills (Ca.) Pierce C.C. defensive end Jonathan Johnson, a top 50 JuCO prospect from the state of California. Grant Marek has more from Rivals ($).
Jonathan Johnson had zero offers coming out of high school. Zero.
And now, following two years at Pierce College, he's weighing two -- one from the Pac-12 Championship runner-up, and one from the top public school in the country.
"I'm just blessed to have this opportunity -- out of high school I didn't have any D-I offers, last year I was injured," Johnson told GoldenBearReport on Monday. "It's all just a blessing."
Johnson recently committed to Arizona State, so it might be tough to pry him away. Could the allure of immediate playing time be enough to get him over here?
Two more big talents are on the way
The secondary is another place that could use a talent infusion. Contra Costa C.C. cornerback Dominique Harrison has been committed to Oregon for awhile, so it'd be something if we could take him away from the Ducks. But maybe Family 1st will help us here--Harrison is the cousin of Marshawn Lynch. More from Marek ($):
He was supposed to fax his LOI to Eugene on Sunday, instead though, he was in Berkeley, finishing off a three-day official visit.
So wait, he's been committed to the Ducks for six months and suddenly he's visiting another Pac-12 program?
"You know, just being a local guy, always been interested in them, and my cousin went there, so I wanted to see what it was like."
Harrison has three years to play two.
College of San Mateo (Ca.) defensive tackle Trevor Kelly has a final three of Illinois, Colorado and Cal, and a decision on where he's likely to transfer ($). Kelly has visited the Illini and Buffs recently, and the Bears are next. The Buffs could be the leaders at this point, so the defensive staff will have a lot of convincing to do.
The work doesn't end there. Fort Scott (Ks.) College defensive end Demetrius Hill will also be in town this weekend, but he currently has South Florida on top.
Another under-the-radar prospect is Santa Rosa (Ca.) College of San Mateo safety Sam Atoe. Atoe is down to a top three.
Then there's Sacramento (Ca.) American River College offensive tackle Bobby Keenan, who is following up his Colorado visit with a Cal visit. Expect the Bears and the Buffs to be two of the three finalists.
Three finalists for Keenan: For Bobby Keenan, the floodgates opened after Colorado extended a scholarship offer. http://t.co/uy5HD8buaa— NorCalPreps.com (@NorCalPreps) December 11, 2013
Among the regular high schoolers, San Bernardino (Ca.) Arroyo Valley defensive back Maurice McKnight is a hot prospect for the Bears. McKnight has already decommitted once in the process. He verballed to San Diego State, flipped to San Jose State, and now is only a soft verbal to the Spartans. Now Cal seems to have entered the fray.
McKnight will be checking out Berkeley this weekend and look for an offer. New Mexico State and UTEP have also offered him.
Two academically inclined defensive standouts might be on our radar too. Orange Lutheran (Ca.) outside linebacker Aisea Tongilava has been getting the full-court press from the defensive staff, and Tongilava might be on the verge of flipping his commitment from San Jose State to Cal ($).
Tongilava is an excellent student, listing a GPA of 4.
Another tough player is Pasco (Wa.) Chiawana linebacker Alex Weber. He holds offers from half the Ivy League and has advanced way ahead in his studies ($).
The high school senior will pick up his AA degree before his high school diploma, having spent the past year plus doing double duty as both a high school student and a full-time community college student at Columbia Basin College.
And there's this.
In the future (2015)
2015 Oakley (Ca.) Freedom offensive lineman Dominic Frederickson has been visiting Cal frequently ($). As you can guess, Fredrickson is one of Joe Mixon's favorite blockers.
Also, Cal offered a young impressive standout. You can see a clear focus on the line.
In other Phoenix-related news, #Cal has offered 2015 DE Caleb Peart from Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton.— Rob Cassidy (@Cassidy_Rob) December 12, 2013
In terms of offensive line talent (which is always a huge priority, West Hills (Ca.) Chaminade offensive lineman Bar Milo seems to want to stay in-state. Cal is the only Pac-12 California school to offer at this point.
For those wondering what our former commits ended up doing...
Former Cal commit Jaleel Wadood has picked UCLA. The Bruins continue to dominate Pac-12 recruiting and figure to have the best class in the conference two years running.
Former Cal commit Jeremy Winchester is looking between Fresno State and Kansas as his potential new school.