Football: Moving forward

The spring semester at Cal begins Tuesday, meaning the Bears can finally welcome a few players to their program. Grayshirts Zach Maynard, Cecil Whiteside and Chris McCain are all expected to be on campus and in class, which will also make them officially part of Cal’s program.

For two of the players — Maynard and Whiteside — the impact they make on the program could come pretty quickly. Maynard is expected to compete for the starting quarterback job, and that will begin as early as spring practice, which starts around mid-March. Whiteside, a highly recruited linebacker from Newport Beach, could compete for playing time immediately.

McCain was also a very highly regarded linebacker recruit who should be in the mix to play at some point.

The beginning of the semester also means the arrival of recruits who are getting a head start on their Cal careers, most notably four-star safety Avery Walls of McDonough, Ga. Also expected to be in classes  tomorrow is offensive lineman Matt Williams, a transfer from North Dakota State.

In other news, the announcement of the new offensive line coach is expected soon. Speculation is increasing that it could be former Cal OL coach Jim Michalczik, who was on Tom Cable’s staff with the Raiders. The Raiders announced tonight that Hue Jackson is the new head coach. With that chapter now complete and Michalczik’s time in Oakland presumably done, this would be the time for coach Jeff Tedford to make the announcement that he’s returning to Berkeley.

There is a little over two weeks until National Signing Day, and the Bears class is almost complete. There are still a handful of players Cal’s coaching staff is pursuing. The most important targets are four-star safety Marqise Lee of Serra-Gardena and four-star cornerback Stefan McClure of Vista.

McClure took an unofficial visit  to UCLA over the weekend and told ESPN.com’s Greg Biggins that the Bruins are now his leader. He previously had said his leaders were Cal and Boise State. McClure is taking one final visit to Michigan before making his final decision. He told Biggins it probably will come down to UCLA and Cal.

Lee is taking one final trip to Miami this weekend before making his final decision.

Cal also is in the mix for another cornerback, Kameron Jackson of Long Beach Poly. Jackson had previously given Washington an oral commitment but has re-opened the recruiting process and is believed to be considering Cal, Colorado and the Huskies.

The Bears have 18 commitments as of now, making up a class that ranks No. 10 nationally by rivals.com and No. 14 by scout.com.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • Jan K Oski


  • Well

    I’d love to see Michalczik come back and clean up all the mess Marshall created at Cal.

  • uh oh

    Much higher than #10 in terms of average ranking of individual player that has committed. We have 18, while other schools are in the 20’s, and that boosts their total # of recruit points, based on the way those ranking services tally it up.

    Also, in terms of Defense? We have to be no worse than 3rd, I would imagine.

    We have the LB’s from last year. The down linemen this year. If these highly touted DB’s join Safety Walls in this class, Cal would presumably have one of the top defenses in the country for several years.

    Now, if Michalczik (or anyone else) can get the O-line pieced together and one of the QB’s steps forward, we will be set. And they don’t need to be NFL quality – with the Defense we’ll have, just average is all we’re asking for.

  • rollonubears

    we need a kicker!

  • House

    That was the roughest three game losing streak to end the season I can ever remember. Coming into the offseason I couldn’t fathom we would be dealing with as much great news as we’ve had. If Coach M. really does come back, it will make this that much better.

    Go bears!

  • Davidson

    Moala, Jalil, Barr, Scarlett

    Hard pressed to find a better Dline recruiting class than that right there.

    GO BEARS!!!!

  • rollonubears

    Alualu names to all-rookie team. I guess that #10 pick wasn’t too shabby after all!

  • Kevin

    The biggest recruit win for us right now would be Jim Michalczik.

  • ondal

    there is no way Michalczik is coming back. he’s way too expensive.

  • SteveNTexas

    If we get 4 – 4 star recruits we would be third in the nation behind Texas and Alabama.

  • SteveNTexas

    * 4 more

  • Bears

    Great report JO.
    Thanks for all the good info.
    Really hope Coach M returns to Cal!
    Go Bears

  • Rocko

    When you’re out of a job and your previous employer wants you back with probably an increase in pay, I don’t think coach M will turn us down. I am sure JT has been talking to him and said if things don’t work out at the Raider Nation, come back to where you are beloved by the fans.

  • milo

    Coach M changed his mind after 2 months at UW as OC and went to the Raiders. At that time it was mentioned his family wanted to stay in NorCal. I think that’ll be as much of a motivation now but who knows. It would be nice but I’m thinking it’s a 50-50 deal.

  • rollonbears101

    “The beginning of the semester also means the arrival of recruits who are getting a head start on their Cal careers, most notably four-star safety Avery Walls of McDonough, Ga.”

    Stupid question, but doesn’t this guy need to finish high school?

  • blueonblue

    loved all the good news lately.
    2011 is a wash but watch out the golden bears in 2012.

  • davidson

    Rollon, he enrolled early at CAL.

    He is on campus as of today.

  • milo

    Rollon…those kids graduate early from HS. It’s a semi-common practice among elite recruits since early enrollment gives them spring training and 6 months to adjust.

  • heckyeah

    Jim McGill over at BI has just confirmed Coach M’s return!


  • Nathan

    Coach M. is back, there will be a PR release imminently.

    Biggins is mistaken about McClure, he is all Cal. I realize that was a quote from the player, but that is simply wrong. Unless Michigan absolutely blows him out of the water, we should finish strong with McClure, Jackson (the UW commit who reopened his recruitment because he saw the possibility of attending Cal) and possibly a WR.

  • Bears

    Coach M back at California is the best news I’ve heard in a long time!

  • JDub

    Now if we can just fire Ludwig, we’re in business.

  • DGarth

    Luck, Lockyer and others! WE NEED A QB!!