After he went over the defensive recruits (covered in Part 1), Cal HC Sonny Dykes shared his perspective about the incoming recruits on the offensive side of the football. Let's take a look.
Review of Offensive Recruits:
Dykes liked Erik Brown as much as any high school receiver he saw this year. Brown has really good ball skills, but he was on a bad team which had a hard time getting him the ball, and that limited his opportunities. He's a "consummate receiver" though, really understands routes and timing, and adjusts well to the football. Brown is very athletic as well and has a lot of upside, in Dykes' estimation. Even better, he's tall. Sonny said that he saw 25 highly rated receivers, and many times, even if they were listed at 6'2", in person they would be 3 inches shorter than him (that is, not even close to 6'2"). Brown is a legit 6'2".
Bennett's a tough, physical guard. He consistently puts opposing players in the turf. This class, Dykes said, they were looking for tough guys, blue collar guard types. They'll probably end up taking 3 tackles next year, but this time around they were focused on getting toughness inside, and Kam is part of that.
On that same note, Granado is also a tough, physical O-lineman. Of the guys they looked at, nobody played more physical than Granado. He plays with a chip on his shoulder. Dykes noted that the JC ranks are pretty full of really big guys who are maybe 6'7" but don't really know how to play, and are "projects", or works in progress at best. Dom Granado is ready to play.
Dykes liked several things about Michael Trani. He comes off the ball, plays physical, and finishes plays. He also moves very well and can block in space. He thinks Trani could end up being a pretty good player for us.
Enwere is 6'2", 225 lbs. Dykes says we wanted to get bigger at the RB position, as we struggled in short yardage situations. Vic is a long, rangy, athletic guy (there are those words again!). He only played running back for 2 years in high school, yet he had offers from 60 different schools. He's a smart kid, who's hard-working and comes from a great family. He was really fun to recruit, Sonny said. Although he hadn't played that long, he was extremely productive, got lots of yards and touchdowns. That said, he's a little on the raw side, but his best football is in front of him.
Watson, Dykes said, had a "ridiculously productive" high school career. Among his many accomplishments, he had a 500 yard game this season. Dykes noted that he himself played running back in high school, and 500 yards was more like an entire season's worth of yardage for him. He said Watson has very good vision and feel for the game, sets his blocks up very well. He has excellent lateral movement, and as a result, he just doesn't get hit very hard, as defenders never get a great angle on him. Sonny says that Tre has a body "made for the [running back] position" . He finishes his runs well, runs behind his pads, has good "body lean". He has all sorts of intangibles as well that great running backs tend to have. Oh, and he's a really good student to boot.
They had Chase in at a camp, and he outperformed one of the more highly rated 2015 QB recruits in attendance. They wanted 2 QBs in this class, so they were happy to get Forrest. He runs well, throws a great intermediate ball, which is useful in this offense. He's a mature kid, throws well, and has good athleticism. Dykes thinks they got a steal, because this guy was under-recruited, having only started a couple of years.
Luke is a winner. He's a tough kid, the coaches love his moxie. He set a national high school record with his 71.9% career completion percentage, and it wasn't because he just threw screens all day. He was extremely accurate on all types of routes. He's a good runner as well, and his arm strength is good. Even if he doesn't blow you away with his power, he's got a better arm than you might think.
All in all, Dykes says it's a good class. Some guys we were able to close on and flip from other schools, and a couple flipped from us to another school, which happens. A lot of times guys commit early but things can change. You don't always want too many early commits, because other players will improve and you may miss out on them. The true measure is in about 3 years, seeing who is still here and how have they improved. Player development is also critical.