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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.