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Cal football recruiting: Army All-American safety K.J. Jarrell has Bears in top 3

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But it’s a formidable top three.

NCAA Football: Texas at California John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

Good news! Cal is in the mix for a US Army All American! Better news: He’s a hard hitting safety, the type of player the Bears so desperately need to begin the defensive renaissance.

Bad news! We’re probably decided underdogs.

Good news! Four star safety K.J. Jarrell put Cal in his top three back in November, and it still remains pinned to the top of his Twitter, which has to be a good sign that we’re still in the top three.

Bad news! The other two programs are hometown Arizona State (Jarrell plays for Saguaro in Scottsdale) and USC (a program Cal has had difficulty winning head-to-head recruiting battles with, particularly on defense).

Here’s what Jarrell said about the three programs in a November interview with 247Sports.

USC: "They are known for putting people into the league. I really like their coaches and the area down there."

Cal: "The area is cool and it's a college town."

Arizona State: "That's my hometown. I like the coaches."

...

"I'd say ASU definitely still sticks out," Jarrell said. "I'm just waiting to see how everything goes on my officials. I have to do what's best for myself. It's got to feel right. I know when it will feel right."

Jarrell is pondering January official visits to Arizona State, USC, Cal, and Nebraska. Junior highlights below (Hudl profile here)

It’s easy to see why Jarrell is an Army All American just by watching his tape. He attacks the football with intelligence and discipline. Cal would have their best safety prospect this decade if Jarrell ended up in Berkeley. He would almost certainly be the player from the 2017 class most likely to see the field immediately.

A four star (0.8919) prospect according to 247Composite, Jarrell is ranked as the 25th best safety in this class, the fifth best prospect in the state of Arizona.