Football: Latest on recruiting, for now


It never slows down . . .

— Just got off the phone with Guss Armstead, Arik’s father, who confirmed that Cal, USC, UCLA, Notre Dame and Auburn has made visits this week and Oregon and Washington will be at the house today.

“Today is the last day,” Guss Armstead said. “He’s still considering all the people. There have been a lot of different things involved with the schools, movement going on in different places that changes things. You’ve just got to adjust to it.

“Once this week’s visits are over he will be clear on what he wants to decide.”

Guss Armstead said his son’s ability to enroll for the spring semester at various schools (but not at others because the deadline may have passed) will not be the decisive factor in his choice. He also said the ultimate destination of big brother Armond Armstead — finishing the school at USC but planning to transfer — will have minimal impact on Arik’s decision.

“Arik is trying to figure out his own situation,” Guss Armstead said. “They’re kind of dealing with their own situations right now.”

— Greg Biggins of ESPN is reporting that Oregon’s Chip Kelly has an afternoon home visit with safety Shaq Thompson, and that Cal and UW are in tonight. He also reports that Thompson now plans to make a signing day announcement. That wasn’t the case Wednesday. Or so we’re told.

— Various sources are reporting this list of prospects will make Cal campus visits this weekend: CB Brandon Beaver (Dominguez-Compton), LB Markuss Eligwe (Stone Mountain, Ga), WR Chris Harper (Crespi-Encino), WR Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco-Bellflower), DB/RB Damariay Drew (Livermore), LB Michal Barton (De La Salle-Concord) and C Matt and OT Aaron Cochran (Buhach Colony-Atwater). Check out https://twitter.com/#!/CalBearReporter/status/162434131442139136

Jeff Faraudo

  • Juancho

    Jeff great job keeping up with all this. It must be hard with JO and Joe Stiglich not posting here anymore.

    Hopefully you can carry this momentum into baseball season and throw a baseball post up every now and again.

  • eric

    Interesting article on the espn.com Pac-12 blog:

    Brian Fremeau at Football Outsiders took a look at some of the teams that have overachieved in recruiting over the last five years and five that have underachieved based on their recruiting class rankings.

    Stanford and Oregon State find themselves in the overachiever column. Since 2007, Stanford has won 29 games with less-heralded recruits and Oregon State has won 24 games over that same span.
    Fremeau on Stanford:

    The Cardinal lead all teams in victories over the last five seasons in games in which they had a recruiting disadvantage. Of those 29 wins, 22 have come in the last three seasons with quarterback Andrew Luck at the helm. Luck was a highly touted quarterback coming out of high school (he ranked seventh among QBs nationally and 61st overall in the ESPNU 150), and he’s the most significant reason for Stanford’s meteoric rise over the last few years.

    Stanford is on the verge of signing what is expected to be one of the best classes in school history.
    Fremeau on Oregon State:

    Coach Mike Riley is one of the longest-tenured coaches in the conference, and Corvallis has been a challenging place for more talented teams to visit. The Beavers may never ascend to the top of the Pac-12, but they should be able to consistently contend and thrive in their giant-killer role.

    The Beavers aren’t in the conversation for having a top-rated recruiting class with just one commit from the ESPNU 150 list. Though their one is a good one — Isaac Seumalo — one of the top offensive linemen in the country and No. 19 on the ESPNU 150 list.

    Now, the flipside. UCLA checks in as one of the most underachieving teams in the last five years with 26 losses.

    Writes Fremeau:
    The Bruins have hit the reset button with new coach Jim Mora, Jr., and he’s already making solid strides on the recruiting trail. But his predecessor Rick Neuheisel had success in recruiting as well, and it never materialized on the field.

    UCLA hasn’t beaten rival USC (a traditional recruiting powerhouse) since 2006 and has only scored 35 points combined in its last five games against the Trojans. 26 losses to teams with inferior talent has been bad enough, but the uncompetitive nature of many of those losses has been worse. 13 UCLA losses to teams with inferior talent came by at least 17 points.

    If UCLA does recover some of its glory days success under Mora, it will have to start slow. If the wins don’t come quickly, the Bruins have to keep themselves in those games. The talent is there to do so.

    The Bruins check in with the No. 24 ranked recruiting class and Mora has been able to scramble, picking up a key player in Ellis McCarthy — one of the top defensive ends in the country who ranks 43rd on the ESPNU 150.

  • BlueNGold

    So much of these recruiting ‘tidbits’ seem to be little more than reporting based on rumor and speculation. I think the sports writers keep putting this stuff out there to give themselves some new angles to report and predictions to make. Reading the statements attributed by JF to Greg Biggins just seems to confirm my suspicions. Personally, I think people read way too much into a lot of this stuff, especially the off the cuff (and sometimes rather cryptic)comments that athletes tweet about themselves.

  • The Wisdom Cow

    And I though delving into A Song Of Ice And Fire was complicated . . .

  • Juancho

    Nothing but speculation.

    But Washington wasn’t a “serious” player for Armstead until the past day or so.

    And in the past day or so Shaq went from not announcing on Feb 1, to now announcing Feb 1.

    If I had to bet, I’d bet they both end up in Washington. They have the best football / basketball combo package competition against Cal.

    Oregon’s basketball program is a joke. But Romar / Sarkisian seems competitive with Montgomery / Tedford. Even though of course I think Cal is better.

    Academically neither of those two schools are in the same universe as Cal.

  • Juancho

    I wish someone could point out this real world sample.

    In my experience working in the bay area, resumes from Cal and Stanford go in one pile. And everyone else goes in another. That’s a real world example of a Cal degree versus nearly everyone else.

    Of course experience and all that makes up for things. But when you’re trying to get that foot in the door – boy oh boy that college degree and name brand of the school sure as hell makes a different.

  • Juancho

    By the way the report now is that Sarkisian and company were trying to do one co-visit with Shaq and Armstead at the same time.

    This package deal thing is for rea.

  • Juancho

    My spelling sucks but it’s the damn nerves from all this recruiting. I can’t wait for this to be over.

  • rollonubears

    I’m not sure the degrees matter when your goal, and likely destination, is the nfl. Probably for broadcasting afterward, though. It really makes the parents proud though, when their kid goes to Cal and Stanfurd. That might be the difference here. Especially for the kids who say stuff like “a few more years and i can buy mom a house.” There are a lot of hard working moms out there going thru tough tough times. I’m thinking their opinions have a TON of weight. And they can probably see thru the to$h slime.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    What a laughable group of posters. Every Twitter this group wets its pants. Your quest to be a winning program in the top eschelon is a failed project. You have had plenty of good talent through the years and you still can’t manage anything more than a Holiday Bowl win. But keep posting. It’s great entertainment.

  • covinared

    Juancho: your real world example of the value of certain degrees seems a bit provincial, no?

  • Will

    MoreNCS_are_ignored and sanctioned! troll post blocked

    If you don’t play football, degrees are important so that you can move out of your daddy’s basement. We have Exhibit A right here on this site LOL!

  • Juancho

    Potentially yes Covinared, potentially yes.

  • Dan

    Hey Jeff- Did you ever think you would have HS kids and their parents programmed into your phone and you’d have to try to be their new friend that they will divulge what’s going on those 18 year old brains? It sure has become a different world pretty quickly.

    Thanks for staying on top of this stuff and keeping us all updated. You really go over and above, and do it really well. Thanks again Jeff!

  • discdude

    Yup, it’s a different world for sure. If last year was a 1 or 2 on the social media scale and this year is an 8 or 9, next year will be a 20. You pretty much know that 99% of the info is wrong. It’s so suspect that I’m inclined to only believe a kid when he shows up to fall camp.

  • Well, there are two factors that Cal has over UW for both Shaq and Arik. One, family can see games easily, and two, the weather.

    And personally, while the program may superior in basketball, the nod easily goes to Monty if Arik wants to really improve his game and actually learn basketball. Romar’s success is built on athleticism first and foremost. Monty’s game is much more about position and fundamentals. What happens when Monty has athletes? Final fours and top ranked teams.

    I have been pretty consistent that basketball is a bigger reason as to why I want Arik on board, though I have no douobts regarding the impact he may have on the football field. It’s just that one player can make such a significant impact on a basketball team. He is someone Monty could truly build around.

  • For those of you (maybe nobody is) disputing the difference between a Cal education and one at uw listen up: I went to both schools as an undergrad (graduated from Cal in ’02, Applied Math) and let me tell you, Cal is WAY WAY WAY MORE RIGOROUS, especially in math/science. I took an upper division applied math class while at uw (I like to call it uduh) and the entire grade was based on one project. And that project consisted of implementing Dijkstra’s algorithm, like 7 lines of matlab code. I was done in 15 minutes and got my A. Can you imagine a similar story at Cal?, not a chance. Go Bears!

  • For the heck of it, I will pretend I am actually giving these guys advice. Basically, if each young man (a) identifies his priorities (does not have to be ahead of time), (b) makes a decision based on how he weighs those priorities, and (c) can honestly look himself in the mirror and believe he made the best decision he could at the time, then he did well.

    This is no easy task for an 18 year old. I mean, it would be easy to see one’s priorities become skewed after a visit where a recruit “meets” a beautiful girl or two. Such a happenstance would make it easy to want to believe everything a coach says to you in a sit down (“Want some touches at QB in the wildcat?”), because a girl you just met has tilted your judgement.

    Cal may not be their best choice, but I suspect the more each recruit gives real thought to it, the higher Cal would climb on their lists. Such is why I never rip a kid who chooses Stanfurd. Also, any kid that opts against the Bears because he does not want to learn has done himself (and us) a service as well.

    How horrible is it that I am even more computer bound than usual during this week before LOI day. Nothing to do but [refresh].

  • Juancho

    Amen wisdom. Im actually considering taking wednesday off from work.

  • ThisisCal

    Talk of world class universities, like Cal and Stanford, gives Moren an anxiety attack.

  • Dave

    The choice is fairly simple. I would not care to associate with anybody who, while still employed by Cal, calls up recruits to tell them not to go to Cal. Employees have a duty of loyalty to employers. They are not suppose to steal from employers nor are they suppose to shoo customers (in this case, recruits) away. I would use Lupoi as a learning tool – there is a right way and a wrong way. It’s all about integrity. Recruits have a choice. It’s their decision who they want to associate with on and off the field.

  • Easy Ed

    Hey Shaq and Arik we’d love to have you on board. However, if the actions of Tosh don’t give rise to concerns and you still want to play for Sarsleazian then go ahead and come to Berkeley this fall to get the A$$ whipping you have earned.

  • Rollonubears

    They may both end up at Oregon. Hope not.

  • Juancho

    I would bet these guys go to the same school. We could speculate so much with these quotes. No ucla trip for arik. So maybe no ucla for shaq either ?

    All these reporters are making careers off high school. Weird if you think about it. I mean recruiting guys like biggins.

  • Juancho
  • Pc

    I cannot wait until this is all over.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I thought about going onto Bear Insider and causing more ruckus but your posters do such a great job of it why should I be bothered. This recruiting thing has revealed the true nature of your fanbase – paranoid, whiny, heartless, rumor mongers, and spiteful. Stay off of the boards and go hear Pastor Rick this Sunday.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    covinared Says:
    January 26th, 2012 at 1:14 pm
    Juancho: your real world example of the value of certain degrees seems a bit provincial, no?


    That’s an understatement. How about arrogant, lacking in reality and untruthful. Someone who got their degree at San Jose State in EE or CS has a much better job waiting for them then someone who graduates in Social Welfare, Sociology, Ethnic Studies or American Studies from your school. At least 26 of your “student athletes” on the football team were enrolled in those programs.

    What I hope is that the recruits see right through the sham of what you call a “student athlete”. Name me one just one pre-med or engineering student from your football program in the last 5 years.

  • Juancho

    Agree with you pc. Can you imagine how recruiting will be five years from now if the ncaa doesnt get a grip on twitter. And i think the ncaa needs to clamp down on espn and reporters talking to these high school kids.

  • Juancho

    So the big development last night is dalis bruce.

    A teammate of treggs and close friend of shaq. Apparently he is choosing to walk on to either cal or ucla today. And the rumour is cal may offer him a scholarship to lock up shaq and bryce. Hope so. He deserves one anyway.

    Dj foster announces in a few hours.

  • covinared

    Moren: you don’t need to have a geek major to get a good education. If college is for job training only, you might as well go to ITT Tech.

  • Pc

    I was a EECS major at Cal and I loved it. Top 3 program in the country. However I that’s all that matters these kids should go to MIT.

    There’s more to an education than getting a job in silicon valley. You might want to look up his thing called the Nobel prize.

  • So, there’s a possibility I’m hoping is correct.

    It was a rumor, but a decent one that might even be true, that Shaq’s original “opening his recruitment” (the one way back when, not the one after Tosh) was not just to take visits as mini vacations, but to eat up the time of other recruiters while doing a bit of Cal recruiting himself. Should it be believed? eh, why not? He did grow up watching Syd in Blue and Gold, after all.

    Then, Tosh. You all know the story.

    But what if it, like that original “opening recruitment” story is just a story. I mean, first, no one knows better than he if Tosh acted unethically in the switch to UW, and following Tosh (who was not going to be your position coach) just doesn’t fit as much as it gets written. I would have thought Shaq’s first reaction would be betrayal, no? So let’s go with that . . .

    If betrayed, would you follow, or would you exact revenge. Chew up as much of UW’s recruiting efforts as you can. Even declare you will wait until after 2/1 to declare in hopes they keep a scholarship open, thereby not using on another. Heck, get as many of the other savy recruits as you can to play the same game.

    Sure, this is dripping with wishful thinking, but it does seem more likely to me than wanting to freeze your jewels off in Washington. After all, the pundits keep saying, “all is fair on love and recruiting.” It would be a guy like Shaq (knows Syd’s experience) that could turn the game on it’s head.

    How sweet would it be to see all the rumored advances UW is making lately come to nothing?

  • rollonubears

    I love that theory. It would be sick to get everyone and then some on feb1. We don’t really have the space for any more than 4 guys now, though, i don’t think. And after hearing about stanfurd and ucla booting guys at the last minute, I’d feel awful if we had to ask guys to go who were fully sold on the bears.

  • Juancho


    Thats the link to view dj foster make his announcement. At 1045 california time.

  • wehofx

    I like the theory, too. A lot. I just hope it’s true.

    Juancho, the updates are much appreciated.

    Like most of you, people with real jobs, I’ve been checking this site and twitter WAY TOO much the last coupla weeks. Can’t wait for loi day.

    Go Bears! Beat furd!

  • Juancho

    Was hoping for good news. DJ Foster chose Arizona State.
    Our class now will include zero running backs. We’ve been swinging and missing with running backs in the past few years.

    Past 3 or so we haven’t brought in a top flight recruit at that position. What happened?

  • rollonubears

    We snatched Biegelow out of texas and before he got hurt his junior year, he was the #1 back in the nation. He was supposedly 100% healed last year, but JT never let him run. His KO returns were nothing to write home about, but it would have been nice to see what he could do behind the line. Perhaps he’s the secret weapon this year. We did used to have that reputation as THE place to go to be a back, though.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Pc Says:
    January 27th, 2012 at 8:07 am
    I was a EECS major at Cal and I loved it. Top 3 program in the country. However I that’s all that matters these kids should go to MIT.

    There’s more to an education than getting a job in silicon valley. You might want to look up his thing called the Nobel prize.

    And how many of the football players really care about that? It’s called “eligibility”.

  • Juancho, is Cal still in the running for Diggs at all as a RB. He wants to play offense.