Greetings Cal fans, and welcome to this edition of "Too Many 'Croots." I'm your host, and on this time around, the Cal coaching staff got five recruits in the course of one week (in the middle of writing this, we've picked up our sixth). We covered Josh Drayden last week, and right now, it's time to take a look at Logan Gamble. Now, Gamble was quickly joined by Drew Kobayashi in committing to Cal from the wide receiver slot. Gamble will be playing the Y at Cal, utilizing his 6'6" frame in a similar vein to Richard Rodgers, or in a best case scenario, Rob Gronkowski. With the mass exodus of receivers set to happen after this year, Gamble will be able to join with the 2016 class in competing for open slots in the receiving core. Gamble will be an asset if Cal is breaking in a new QB in 2016, or if Goff decides to stay and take us to the promised land of milk, honey, and the Stanfurd Tree going through a chipper. Either way, Gamble adds a new dimension to the offense that it currently lacks.
On a different note, I went back to look at the classes of Tedford's heyday. The entirety of the 2003 class came from the state of California. Considering a few of the recruits that have committed in recent days, this recruiting agenda doesn't exactly emulate that plan, but there are more recruits from California at this point than last year. This was a complaint, but Sonny and company are making good on it. And from the sound of it, Gamble is trying to help recruit some other players, such as DJ Morgan from St. John Bosco. This is definitely a good thing.
- It's a little weird looking at Gamble's film, considering that he plays defensive end in the majority of the tape. He's not going to play defensive end for us, as Tony Franklin would probably play some Home Alone-esque pranks on Art Kaufman and Fred Tate until he got on the offensive side.
- Something that translates from either side of the ball is explosiveness and Gamble does have that from the defensive end spot. On his first play, he slants in, sheds a block, and plants the running back way in the backfield. I'm pretty impressed at the speed of him getting off the ball, and how low he stays in order to make a play in the backfield. Gamble may not play out of the 3-point stance too often at Cal, but he could slide into the role Stephen Anderson has been playing, or come out of the backfield in the bone.
- There's no questions about this guy's aggressiveness, as he is quick to make a play in the backfield or to look for somebody to block downfield. At around :23, he looks for someone to hit as his teammate tries to pick up some yards after the catch. It springs his teammate for a touchdown.
- At :29, Gamble runs a smooth post route, getting great separation and juking a defender at the end in order to get to the endzone. He's got some good speed for a big guy, much like Bane in Dark Night Rises, but without the silly voice. His size is going to be perfect for running seam routes and other intermediate routes against safeties. He's going to be a tough cover for Pac-12 safeties, and could end up as a safety blanket for whichever QB succeeds Goff.
- An example of Gamble's hustle is evident at about :50, where he burst through the line, and stretches out to strip the ball carrier. The big frame will be a plus in blocking, as he uses the leverage of having a big body very well, getting under the offensive lineman. When he's assigned to block downfield, he'll be able to get under whichever linebacker, safety, or corner is on him.
- One minute in, with a go route. He dwarves the corner to make an easy touchdown catch. There will be fade routes with this guy. I apologize for all those who want to ban the fade route, but it's here to stay.
- At 1:26, he runs an easy corner route, hauls in the pass with soft hands for an easy six. He's going to have to tighten up his cuts on routes like that at the next level. He doesn't quite plant on his routes, which will have to be corrected at the next level. It'll help him get open where raw size and ability may fail.
- At 1:42, Gamble runs a quick hitch, and his defender makes the mistake of playing off him. Gamble can make moves after the catch, stiff arming the corner, shedding a tackle, and making reservations for six. The size difference won't be this pronounced at Cal, but Gamble could gain a bit more muscle and terrorize defenses like Austin Sefarian-Jenkins did to our secondary repeatedly.
- All in all, I love the idea of having a big target in the slot. If I'm coaching him, I would make sure that he has as much access to Gronk film as possible, as that's the type of player this kid can be. He may not be to that level of talent and skill, but time and study will help to bring him to a high level. Plus, he wants to be at Cal and to bring other people to Cal. That's the kind of player we want.