Cal has their first two signees of the 2017 recruiting class! Our junior college prospects signed up and made their decisions earlier this week.
Meet Alex Funches and Da’Quan Patton! Both are JuCo players out of Trinity Vallye Community College, are ranked around the top 160 among 2017 JUCO prospects, and both play on the defensive side of the football (Patton a linebacker, Funches a defensive end). Both should immediately contend to start for a Cal defense bereft of any solutions last season.
Here’s Adam’s scouting report on Funches.
At 6-3, Funches has long arms and would figure to contribute as a pass rusher, as his length and speed allows him to both swat down balls and protect the flats. His tape shows him exploding off the line to get to the quarterback or shed blocks and tackle the running back.
Funches has some interesting raw talent and hopefully some college-level weight training and a hard work-ethic will allow him to see time on the field.
He was a first-team All-Southwest Junior College Football Conference pick this past season, racking up 64 tackles and 7.0 sacks, while he and Patton led TVCC o an 11-1 record, a second straight league title and a C.H.A.M.P.S. Heat of Texas Bowl win.
Over the last two seasons, Funches played in all 22 games possible, totaling 86 stops and 10.5 sacks.
Here’s what Sonny Dykes had to say about Funches.
“He was a late bloomer coming out of high school but has added more size while retaining his athletic ability during two junior college seasons. He had his most productive season as a sophomore a year ago and is really just beginning to come into his own as a football player.”
Now, here’s Da’Quan Patton!
As a freshman, he tallied 44 tackles, and as a sophomore, he more than doubled that. With 89 stops, 6.0 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks, Patton was named SJCFC Co-Defensive Player of the Year, and was first-team all-league.
What did Sonny Dykes have to say about Patton?
"Da'Quan was one of the best junior college defensive players in the country last year," Dykes said. "We have a need for strong and athletic linebackers with a lot of game experience, and he will certainly fill that need and challenge for playing time immediately. He checks all the boxes in what we are looking for at that position."
Funches and Patton will both step on campus in January 2017 and will be eligible for spring practice. Patton has three years to play two, Funches two years to play two.
Defense will be a priority for the Bears for the rest of this class, and the Bears still need plenty of help on the front seven. Cal has only two other defensive line and linebacker commits in linebacker Paul Scott and defensive end Gabe Cherry. Cal getting a good defensive coordinator who can recruit to close this class will be paramount.
Welcome to Cal Alex and Da’Quan! Go Bears!