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Cal Football Recruiting 2021 Targets: Offense

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Currently ranked in the top 25 nationally, who else is on the big board for Justin Wilcox and Co.? We take a look at those offensive targets.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 30 Redbox Bowl - Cal v Illinois Photo by Bob Kupbens/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Cal Football 2021 recruiting class is already shaping up to be a fine one with two four-star commits and two more three-star players on the list.

Currently committed are Jermaine Terry, 4-star TE; Mavin Anderson, 4-star WR; Akili Calhoun, 3-star DE; Bastian Swinney, 3-star OT.

The class is already widely-recognized as one of the best early commitment lists in the country and ranks as the 25th-best nationally and 3rd-best in the Pac-12 by 247Sports. So it begged the question, who else on head coach Justin Wilcox’ list could make the class even stronger, and just how high could that put them in the national recruiting ranking?

We’ll start right at the top and on offense today.

4-star quarterback Miller Moss from Bishop Alemany is the country’s 50th-best prospect and fifth-best pro-style quarterback. He currently has 27 scholarship offers but seems to be a big, big target for the Cal coaching staff. Bill Musgrave has recruited him personally and it seems that Cal is in the final leaderboard for Moss’ services come commitment time, according to crystal ball predictions that have Cal and Michigan on the shortlist.

Moss would be a huge get, obviously, but would cement this class with a cornerstone at the position most important to team success in college football. This would definitely move Cal’s place up a few notches on the national leaderboard.

Then there’s the running back prospects. Currently offered, and uncommitted, are Damir Collins (4-star), Byron Cardwell (4-star), Brandon Epton Jr. (3-star) and Jordan Hornbeak (3-star). Epton is set to announce on May 1, as we discussed this week, but is considered a lock to SMU. Collins is considered to be a lock to stay home and head to Oregon so that leaves Cardwell and Hornbeak.

Cardwell just received an offer from Florida State and it seems that he’s still mulling options, rightfully so as offers continue to be coming in for him. Hornbeak finds himself in the same boat as he’s starting to roll in with offers also. They’re both solid additions to the backfield and would have their chances at a solid senior season to be able to possibly increase their ‘star ranking’ to obtain a fourth star.

A running back clearly seems like it’s in the cards for Cal this offseason so we’ll watch this unfold as it goes but definitely as it pertains to their overall ranking. You can bet if Epton commits to SMU on May 1, the pressure on the rest of the offered backs will heat up from Wilcox and Co.

So at wide receiver, it’s likely they’ll add at least another option in addition to Mavin Anderson and as of right now, it looks like the Bears are in contention for five players they’ve sent offers to. At the top of that list is Junior Alexander, who just released Cal in his top 6 schools. He’s a four-star receiver prospect just like J.Michael Sturdivant and Jabez Tinae, each of who have offers and are considering Cal.

Sturdivant is a big guy from Texas and would almost definitely boost the Cal class up at least one national spot. Tinae hails from Washington state and would do the same at 6’1 and ranked as the eighth-best player in the state.

And then there’s Hal Presley and Jaedon Wilson, each also hailing from Texas as three-star recruits. They’re both three-star recruits and both stand at 6’3. Presley plays at Mansfield Summit High School while Wilson plays at DeSoto High School and both have Cal among their top offers.

You’d have to think that the addition to any combination of those players with the already committed Anderson would only make current QB Chase Garbers and potentially new QB Miller Moss that much happier. And bump them up a few spots.

Terry remains the leader in the clubhouse as highest-rated commit for this class so far but Cal had been rumored to four-star and No. 2 overall tight end Brock Bowers, until he released his shortlist of Georgia and Penn State. He’s considered an especially strong lock to head to Georgia so this looks like Terry is going to stand as likely the only tight end on this recruiting class until they send more offers.

Swinney tops the tackle prospects they’ve offered as well, but behind him are Thomas Cole, William Reed and a few others, but Cole and Reed are thought to have Cal in their top schools of choice.

Reed is 6’5, 260 pounds and hails from Washington, considered a three-star recruit and inside the top 100 tackle prospects in the class. Cole is from San Luis Obispo High School and at 6’7, 255 pounds, he ranks as the country’s 47th-best tackle prospect. While either of these two likely won’t move the needle in terms of nationally ranking, it’s important to note that at least 10 Power-5 schools, including Cal, have offered each of these two.

Rounding out the look on the offensive side of the ball is the guard position, where Wilcox and his staff have sent just one offer: Owen Prentice. From O’Dea High School in Seattle, Washington, Prentice is considered the 10th-best guard nationally and fifth-best player in the state of Washington. This would be a big out-of-state get for the Bears as he currently has 14 offers including most of the Pac-12. Pulling him from Washington would be a massive coup and a huge plus in their recruiting ranking.

All in all, this is a dramatically improved recruiting class from earlier last decade and this sets Cal in a great place for future dominance in the conference if they can keep it up.

We’ll be back with the defense next.