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Cal Football Recruiting Chat: More ManBearCal! How Luke Rubenzer Fits

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Marc Tausend of Cal Rivals returns to talk 2014 recruiting targets. Who's left on the board?

Ezra Shaw

(For those who missed Part I, click here!)

Who are some under-the-radar kids who don't have offers yet, but could soon?

Most true under-the-radar guys won't be in line to get an offer until the staff has gotten an opportunity to see how they perform this coming season. One such case is Bosco linebacker Chandler Leniu. He's looked very good this Spring and Summer. But it's possible that an offer to Leniu is contingent upon the staff missing on a couple more highly coveted targets. This would be the case with most potential offerees at this point.

A couple other possible offers down the line are defensive tackles Sione Tamoeanga out of Rooselevelt (Portland, OR) and Sharif Williams of Central East in Fresno.

How does Rubenzer compare to the other QBs on the roster?

Luke's really a different quarterback than any guy on Cal's roster right now, and it's not just because he's a shade under 6 feet tall. He can really run, and uses his legs not only on designed runs, but also to turn potentially negative plays into positive ones....something that the last "mobile" Cal quarterback did the exact opposite of way too much. Both Goff and Hinder can run a bit, but not like this guy. Hus ability to run would bring a different dimension to the offense. But Luke himself would tell you that he's much more than a running quarterback, and that's absolutely true. He's an accurate passer with a good arm, but not a cannon. He knows how to survey the field and go through his progressions, he doesn't just tuck and run willy-nilly. But really, that ability to turn a potential sack into a long gain, be it with his arm or with his legs, is what I like about him so much. Very few negative plays when he's on the field. He just makes things happen.

Frankly, I was pleasantly surprised at how well Luke performed at the Elite 11 Finals last month. I didn't feel that a competition of that nature played to what I perceived as the strengths of his game (throwing on the run, eluding pressure, improvisation, etc). It was great to see. And Luke is a guy who can run Tony Franklin's offense. Coach Franklin believes this, and so does Luke. He'll have a level of familiarity with this system before he ever gets to Cal.

Defensive recruiting is moving a bit more slowly. Who are the players that really catch your eye on that side of the ball that the Bears could use and are receiving mutual interest from in this recruiting cycle?

The staff is going hard after defensive backs, and even with three committed they aren't slowing down much. There are still a few guys out there that Cal is in good shape with, including Adarius Pickett (El Cerrito), John Plattenburg (Lamar, TX...formerly Centennial Corona), Armand Perry (Bishop Gorman) and John Bonney (Lamar, TX). Rounding out the DB class with 2 of these 4 would be fine by me.

At linebacker, there may only be one spot to fill for 2014. I previously mentioned Chandler Leniu as a guy the staff will take a hard look at, but they do have offers out to uncommitted guys like Brandon Lee and Joey Alfieri. Either would be a nice pull. Lee has stated his intention to take an official visit to Cal, while we may need to make up some ground to get in good with Alfieri.

The defensive line isn't being neglected either, but it isn't a great year out west for DL. Cal recently offered defensive tackle Marcus Griffin of Bellevue (WA), a Wazzu commit. He's a disruptor inside and his recruitment could be worth watching. There is still apparently some mutual interest between DT Tashon Smallwood of Central East (an SC commit) and Cal. Two Oregon prospects, Henry Mondeaux and Connor Humphreys seem to like Cal and an official visit looks possible for both, though I wouldn't consider Cal the favorite to land either of them. Then there's DE Matt Dickerson of Junipero Serra in San Mateo. He's racked up a very impressive offer list already, and I'd really like to see the staff keep the 6'5/260 pounder at home. There is definitely mutual interest there.

He's pretty unheralded, so what do you expect out of Isadore Outing?

Honestly, not sure. Outing was a starter for half of his sophomore season on a DeKaney team that won a state championship in their division. He's a big dude (6'4/245) with some impressive athletic numbers on display (a 4.7 40 time and a 295-pound power clean max). If we stop there, that sounds pretty good in a defensive end. But his junior tape don't really show the kind of disruptive and explosive force I'd expect him to be. He looks to be a good run defender who is strong at the point of attack and can hold his ground. But there's a serious lack of "wow" moments that should be readily apparent when a guy has the kind of size, length, and athleticism that Outing is supposed to possess. He wasn't even the best defensive end on his own team last season. All that said, he played a good chunk of the season with an ankle injury that did cause him to miss 3 games. Would that explain the lack of explosiveness in his film? Probably.

I'll be very curious to see what he does this year when he's healthy and bulked up. Right now, Outing is the biggest unknown to me in this class.