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Cal football with three 2017 early enrollees: Gabe Cherry, Taariq Johnson, Elijah Hicks

Go Bears!

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

Cal will have three early Bears joining early in 2017. They’ve all arrived on campus to attend their first classes of the spring semester.

Here’s a look at each of them!

Here’s a little from our scouting report on Cherry:

Overall Gabe has a ton of raw strength and skill that could take him far. His strength is evidently dominant at his current level and will only increase with more training. His size makes him a huge presence in a quarterback's periphery, literally and figuratively. With some work on his mental game with strategic positioning, he has the potential to knock passes out of the sky before they even have a chance. He is versatile and clearly comfortable at either end or tackle.

From CalBears.com:

He was a three-year varsity starter who compiled prep totals of 136 tackles, 22.0 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks (-35 yards), two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 23 quarterback hurries in 31 career games while helping his squad to a pair of playoff seasons.

Athlete Elijah Hicks, La Mirada (Ca.). Three star (0.8896) on 247Composite, 331st best prospect, 37th best cornerback, 36th best California prospect. Hicks was a surprise commitment late in the cycle. In fact Hicks became a Bear officially AFTER the firing of Sonny Dykes. But Hicks was an impressive Notre Dame flip and could end up being the best prospect in this class.

From CalBears.com:

Hicks ... compiled two-year varsity totals at La Mirada of 1,324 all-purpose yards and 15 total touchdowns while his squad compiled a 23-5 overall record, won a state title as a junior and Suburban Football League titles during both of his varsity campaigns. He was the Whittier Daily News All-Area Player of the Year as a 2016 senior when he totaled 1,001 all-purpose yards, 10 touchdowns, 40 tackles and five interceptions.

  • Athlete Taariq Johnson, Buena Park (Ca.). Three star (0.8838) on 247Composite, 368th best prospect, 54th best wide receiver, 41st best California prospect.

Here’s our CGB scouting report from Johnson:

Overall, Taariq is a solid physical player with room for growth. He has great ball-tracking skills and a good pair of hands that make difficult over-the-shoulder catches seem routine. His speed and quickness aren’t anything to write home about, but are impressive considering his size. He has the potential to take his game in any one of several directions. By focusing on his speed he can make himself a very real outside threat while focusing on his strength can solidify him as more of an inside target and also help position him on the defensive side of the ball.

From CalBears.com:

Johnson was a solid contributor for a pair of prep teams that combined for a 20-5 overall record, a 9-1 Freeway Football League mark with one conference title and a pair of trips to the CIF Southern Section Division 3 playoffs. The two-year varsity starter compiled prep totals over 19 games of 61 receptions for 884 receiving yards and 10 touchdown catches.

National Signing Day is a few weeks away. Cal currently has 12 commits in this class. I’d imagine the Bears would like to close on four to five more prospects before attention turns to transfers, grad transfers, and the late signing period.

Welcome to Cal Gabe, Taariq and Elijah! Go Bears!