The early signing period has come to a close, and the Bears have signed a solid class for 2018. What does this class mean for the future of the Cal football squad? How will they fit in? Who do we expect to be impact players early? Who do we expect to be late-bloomers? Let’s delve into the class.
First. A position by position break down.
1 - Defensive Tackle.
1 - Inside Linebacker.
2 - Outside Linebackers.
3 - Defensive Ends.
1 - Safety.
1 - Long Snapper.
5 - Offensive Tackle.
2 - Running Backs.
1 - Tight End.
1 - Wide Receiver.
Its clear to see the emphasis for this class was the offensive line and the defensive front seven. The Bears added 5 offensive linemen who will find immediate playing time on the two deep. Cal loses the likes of James Looney, Devante Downs, Raymond Davison, and Tony Mekari in the defensive front seven, so it was obvious we had to shore up all those positions and the bears did just that signing a total of 7 players to play in the front seven. Tight end was a position of need and we were able to secure the signing of McCallan Castles. Running back and wide receiver were luxury signings, but we got some solid recruits to play long term at the position.
So which of these guys will be impact players immediately?
The greatest need was on the front 7 and judging from the tape, Aaron Maldonado, Nick Alftin, Lone Toailoa, Colt Doughty will look to plug and play immediately. Will Craig on the offensive line will play his way into the 2-Deep as soon as he arrives on campus this fall. The dark horse to play immediately would most likely be McCallan Castles and Chigozie Anusiem. Castles could easily be the most naturally talented TE on the roster and Anusiem may play his way into the void left by Marloshawn Franklin and Darius Allensworth.
What about long term?
Louie Bickett is the intriguing player here. He looks to have alot of the intangibles you want from a linebacker, but the question remains about his athleticism and if he could get to the physique of playing Power 5 football. Johnny Adams Jr. could have been an easy pick to be an immediate impact player, but the Bears currently have a log-jam at running back with Patrick Laird, Derrick Clark, Biaggio Ali-Walsh and potentially Tre Watson. Adams Jr, could easily be getting snaps by the 2019 season.
So what does this mean for the recruiting classes the next few years?
With the OL shored up and front 7 containing a plethora of underclassmen and redshirt players, the Bears will look for more skill players the following years to plug in for the potential losses of Demetris Robertson, Vic Wharton III, and Kanawai Noa. On the defensive side, the staff may look for more explosive talent at linebacker and defensive line to create more depth.
How do you feel about the recruiting class? Who do you think will be impact players? Who will be later impact players? Let us know your thoughts on the class in the comments below!