With the season over, the priority now turns to recruiting, and filling all the crucial positions of need this season. The moment Cal knew that their season had come to an end, their coaches began piling on planes and trekking around the country to try and convince every prospect around the country that they need to come to Cal.
Cal has big issues in the secondary, particularly at safety. With Michael Lowe and Bryce McGovern graduating and Avery Sebastian transferring, Cal is left with only Stefan McClure and Griffin Piatt as safeties with definite experience in Art Kaufman's defense at the position. The Bears could potentially move Cameron Walker back here and see if Quentin Tartabull is ready, but that is tenuous. Cal could use safety help in the worst possible way.
One of the possible solutions could involve Damariay Drew. As you might remember, Drew was involved in a felony incident for defending himself against a dog attack last spring, and he was suspended for the entire 2014 season. Drew spent the fall in Butte with former Cal quarterback Zach Kline. More on the story:
Perry said she is aware of Drew’s legal status, but that his presence on the team doesn’t violate the school’s Student-Athlete Code of Conduct, which states accused felons may play sports following an investigation into charges by Butte’s athletics director. She also claims it differs from the Banks case because, while Banks was expelled from Vanderbilt, Drew was not permanently banned from UC Berkeley
Here are his junior college highlights.
I'm not sure if Drew has actually been cleared or charged for anything yet, but it appears he will be back in Berkeley in the spring. Whether he will actually rejoin the football team is still up in the air.
More on Cal recruiting targets.
Crescent City (Ca.) Del Norte cornerback Quenton Meeks announced a top 5 that included Cal, Arizona State, Washington ... and Stanfurd.
Just like promised. These are my top 5 schools. Thank you to everyone that recruited me!! pic.twitter.com/fGLHQeGZzA
— Quenton Meeks (@ShowtimeQM) December 4, 2014
Meeks is widely considered as a top 50 recruit in California and at cornerback. This is a critical commitment the Bears would love to secure. They need all the talent they can possibly get at the position.
One of the biggest prospects on the board who is still interested in us is San Diego (Ca.) St. Augustine safety Frank Buncom IV. Buncom had Cal in his top 8, dropped them when he narrowed it to three, and now has them back in the mix.
This was a few weeks ago, so not sure how serious a threat we are to dislodging the main three of Stanford, Vanderbilt, and Notre Dame (who were in his original top 3). We shall see though.
Georgia DE/TE Daniel Imatorbhebhe is another impact recruit. Cal has worked their way into the picture against powerhouses like Ohio State and Florida. And this interest is legit.
Imatorbhebhe is reportedly interested in being an early entree, so if Cal ends up being the pick, a decision might come sooner rather than later. He is active in the community, wants a serious degree in college, and has a 3.7 GPA, as well as an equally talented and well-rounded 2016 brother willing to be recruited. This would be a huge commitment.
Pleasant Hill (Ca.) Diablo Valley C.C. cornerback Antoine Albert had Cal in his final five and Oregon State was the favorite. Then Mike Riley bolted for Nebraska, where he offered Albert there.
Albert has an inspiring story and I think would very well within the Cal culture.
San Gorgonio (Calif.) athlete Nathan Meadors is a late arriving name to the party, but he received an offer late in the mix. UCLA and Notre Dame have also thrown their hats into the mix. More from Brandon Huffman.
"The Cal and UCLA offers were big because those were two of my favorite schools growing up," said Meadors. "Then Notre Dame offered and it really came out of the blue. I was kind of already talking to them before hand, but then they offered and it shocked me because it is so prestigious."
I'd expect the Bruins to be favored here, if they do really have their eyes set on recruiting Meadors.
Riverside C.C. defensive end Devante Wilson committed to Washington State along with a few of his other teammates last week, but he will be visiting Cal this weekend.
From last night: WSU picked up THREE verbals - all defenders - from a California JC. Huge for the Cougs: http://t.co/v0JiXw9ijf
— CougCenter (@CougCenter) December 7, 2014
Devante Wilson to visit #Cal next weekend (12/12) instead of this weekend
— Ryan Gorcey (@RGBearTerritory) December 5, 2014
I don't know if this is over. Keep your eyes peeled.
Gainesville (Ga.) WR/DB Chris Williamson recently received an offer as well, and he likes what he sees from Berkeley too. More from Ryan Gorcey at Scout.
It was kind of quick, actually," said Williamson, whose greatest strength is, appropriately enough, his quickness and his ability to break on the ball, as well as his acceleration. "They liked the breaking on balls and making plays on the defensive side. I’ve actually got offers on both sides of the ball, but they saw me breaking on balls and making interceptions, and they said that I’ve got good ball skills, which comes from me playing wide receiver well."
Sound familiar? Dykes has said just that about the Bears’ trio of wide receivers-turned-defensive backs, including Bryce McGovern, Griffin Piatt and Caleb Coleman. Franklin, in fact, relayed the success of those three to Williamson, who has no problem playing defense, and, as his highlights show, he absolutely loves to hit.
Williamson has a list that includes BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Navy, Northwestern, and Iowa State. There will be a lot of solid competition to try and get him.