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Football: Recruiting’s big day finally arrives

By Jeff Faraudo
Wednesday, February 1st, 2012 at 7:45 am in Football, Recruiting.

7:35 p.m. Heading home. Just filed my story, which should be posted shortly on www.insidebayarea.com/sports or www.contracostatimes.com/sports. May have more later. Bye for now.

6:15 p.m. CB Raymond Ford of Serra-Gardena has announced he is signing with Cal. That brings Cal’s total to 17 — a final count for Wednesday. Tedford said there may be a couple more in coming days.

4:50 p.m. Said his mother told him always be a man of his word. “Going to be a great honor” to play with Keenen Allen, he said.

4:49 p.m. Cal!

4:48 p.m.  Treggs on TV with mom and dad and family. Very nicely dressed. Said he tied his own tie. “It’s been a bit stressful,” he said. Well, then get it over with, already! 

4:45 p.m. The FoxSportsWest show is comprehensive . . . but it’s dragging on a bit. A deep discussion of top SoCal quarterbacks, now running backs. Maybe wideouts next, but Tedford just stepped out. Hopefully he brings a large pizza when he returns.

4:41 p.m. Tedford just walked into the room as Treggs prepares to make his announcement on FoxSportsWest. Tedford looks relaxed — like a man who knows something the rest of us don’t.

4:25 p.m. Cal just tuned into FoxSportsWest’s live feed on an 8×5-foot screen here in the Cronk meeting room where the press conference will take place. Gee, wonder if that means they’re expecting good news on the Bryce Treggs question? You think?

4:24 p.m. Only six minutes to JT. Boy are we excited. (Is my sarcasm coming through or am I being too subtle. Hey, it’s been a long day!)

4:13 p.m. A hoops detour for those of you interested: Allen Crabbe was back at practice today. Apparently fine. OK, back to our regularly scheduled programming. Fifteen minutes to Tedford. Maybe.

3:55 p.m. I’m back. Let’s catch up — just in case you don’t already know. WR Kenny Lawler of Upland has committed — finally, a victory for Cal. But . . . and you saw these coming: DT Aziz Shittu picked Stanford and CB Brandon Beaver to Washington. Still awaiting word from Bryce Treggs. That’s supposed to come at 4:30 — exactly when Jeff Tedford’s press conference begins. Don’t you believe he will know — one way or the other — before stepping in front of the mic.  

2:24 p.m. Folks, I’m taking a brief hiatus to drive to Berkeley for the 4 p.m. press conference with Jeff Tedford. There may some developments in the meantime. Will try to catch up on them when I get there. Should be an interesting session.

2:08 p.m. Much chatter that Serra-Gardena CB Raymond Ford could be headed to Cal. He’s 5-9 or 5-10 (depending on who you believe) and 165 or 170 pounds. Rivals lists him as No. 35 CB, Scout at No. 38. Recently reopened recruiting after committing to UCLA in June. 

2 p.m.  Kennedy-Richmond WR Kenny Walker has faxed his LOI to UCLA. It’s done.

1:40 p.m. Interesting take from Jordan Payton’s coach at Oaks Christian HS in the LA Times. Here’s what Bill Redell had to say about the state of recruiting: “A kid commits, it doesn’t slow anything down. There is no such thing as your word anymore. I’m so mad at the situation. He shares some of the blame, but it’s not 100% on his shoulders. It’s the whole  recruiting situation. It’s not fair on the players. It’s not fair on the coaches.”

1:07 p.m. Well, except that WR Jordan Payton actually settled on a school: UCLA. And, yes, he signed. Does that affect Kennedy-Richmond’s Kenny Walker, who apparently is/was set to announce to the Bruins after previously committing to the Bears?

1:05 p.m. Yes, things have slowed. As in . . . to a screeching halt!

12:22 p.m. Lunch over. Actually chewing your food . . . not that important, right?

11:34 a.m. What does it mean that when I call up Cal on the “commitments” list on the Rivals.com site, I get a blank page and a message that reads: The selected team does not have a football program?

11:29 a.m. Cal has received Michael Barton’s faxed NLI, and word is Jeffrey Coprich Jr. has signed at a ceremony at his school. Among those committed already, only Treggs missing.

10:57 a.m. Cal site shows no new faxes since 7:53 a.m. Barton is signed. Bears still awaiting paperwork from RB Jeffrey Coprich Jr. . . . and Treggs. Will there be any surprise signings in Berkeley today? Maybe Kenny Lawler. Maybe Brandon Beaver. Word is Aziz Shittu leaning to Stanford.

 10:52 a.m. Cal signee Matt Cochran, the top-rated C in the West, not whining about Bears’ recruiting losses. Far from it, with OT Freddie Tagaloa of Vallejo and OT Steven Moore also onboard. Noting Stanford’s signing of 5-star OT Andrus Peat, Cochran tweets: “Stannys gonna get (Kyle) Murphy obviously, solid oline. Can’t wait to play yall boys.”

 10:27 a.m. From Upland 4-star wideout Kenny Lawler a few minutes ago via Twitter: “By far this is the hardest decision of my life cal osu or wsu.” Expected to announce at 3 p.m. or so.

 10:19 a.m. Wondering why Jordan Payton didn’t consider Stanford, where his mirror-namesake, the late Payton Jordan, was a track and field coaching legend. Maybe there’s still time . . .

10:12 a.m. Bryce Treggs’ St. John Bosco Prep teammate, ATH Dalis Bruce, has committed to Eastern Washington. Treggs to declare at 4:30 p.m. on SoCal TV.

10 a.m. Greg Biggins of ESPN on WR Jordan Payton: “Not trying to bash the kid I promise, but I labeled Payton the player, ‘most likely to transfer’ out of this class months ago, not reneging.”

9:57 a.m. Christo Kourtzidis, No. 8 TE in country according to Rivals.com, has committed to Florida State over Cal. He is 6-4, 230 from Lutheran HS in Orange.

9:52 a.m. Apparently WR Jordan Payton is determined to commit to every school in the Pac-12. Most recent rumor — not necessarily true — is that he now is UCLA-bound. May just be wishful thinking on his part. Previously had committed to USC, Cal and UW. Stay tuned.

9:50 a.m. Barton on having to start at the bottom as a freshman at Cal:  ”It’s refreshing to start from the bottom of the totem pole and climb your way back up. I love competition and being able to go in there and prove myself all over again is what I want to do.”

9:49 a.m. On the craziness of the past couple weeks, Barton tells our reporter Ben Enos: “It’s been a little hard. I got close to quite a few guys. … At the end of the day, I know everybody’s going to make the best decision for themselves and the guys that are there, I know they’re there for the right reasons, the same reasons I’m there for. I know those are the guys I want to play with.”

9:46 a.m. LB Michael Barton signed this morning at a ceremony off campus along with De La Salle teammates Bart Houston (Wisconsin) and Josh Jenkins (Army).

9:42 a.m. Markuss Eligwe tells Warchant.com: “When I was there (FSU), I really felt at home and already part of the team. Family is everything to me. It always felt like a second family to me whenever I was there.”

9:32 a.m. 247Sports is reporting that OLB Markuss Eligwe’s signed letter is on its way to Florida State. If true, no surprise. He was a longshot.

9:19 a.m. Word from John Breech, CBS Sports, is that 3-star Saf Zach Hoffpauir, once a Cal commit, has signed with Stanford.

9:17 a.m. Shaq Thompson to Joe Davidson of the Sacto Bee: “Oh man.A lot of weight lifted,a lot of stress.Had to dig down deep,take my time.I made the right decision (w Washington).”

9:15 a.m. Elk Grove DE/PF (and maybe eventually OT) Arik Armstead has signed with Oregon. Another possible would-be Bear.

9:08 a.m. DT Ellis McCarthy, the first to de-commit after declaring for Cal on TV during the U.S. Army Bowl, has signed with UCLA, as expected.

9:06 a.m. It was one hour ago when someone tweeted: Markuss Eligwe Any moment, will sign with FSU. We wait.

8:36 a.m. Washington announces two-time Cal oral commit Shaq Thompson, highest-rated safety in the country, has signed. No surprise.

8:30 a.m. Still awaiting word on Georgia OLB Markuss Eligwe, but Florida State seems a good bet.

8:28 a.m. Damariay Drew of Livermore, expected to play safety for the Bears, is signed and sealed.

8:25 a.m.: Cedric Dozier, a 4-star ATH who will play wideout for Cal, just faxed in his signed letter. That’s 11 officially signed.

8:05 a.m.: No one seems to know what Treggs’ St. John Bosco-Bellflower teammate Dalis Bruce is planning for today.

8 a.m.: Cal got a signed NLI from OL Steven Moore of Elk Grove a few minutes ago. That makes 10 officially signed players, including QB Zach Kline and OT Christian Okafor, both already enrolled.

Good morning. We’ll do our best to keep track of all that’s going on on National Signing Day.

After a few rough days, how much can Cal recover?

Already Wednesday morning they have signed letters from LB Hardy Nickerson, OT Freddie Tagaloa, WR Darius Powe, K/P Cole Leininger, WR Chris Harper, C Matt Cochran and FB Maximo Espitia Jr.

Here’s a tentative schedule on when other prospects have said they will announce:

    — 8:15 a.m.: LB Markuss Eligwe. The OLB from Stone Mountain, Ga., who committed to Florida State in April but visited Cal last weekend, will choose between the Seminoles and Bears.

  — 10 a.m.:  Zach Hoffpauir, a 3-star Saf from Peoria, Ariz., is down to Cal, Stanford and Arizona State.

   — 11:15 a.m.: Drew Damariay, a 3-star ATH from Livermore, waffled briefly on Tuesday but will sign with Cal. 

   – 2 p.m.: Aziz Shittu, a 4-star DT from Buhach Colony in Atwater, will choose among Cal, Stanford, USC and UCLA. 

   — 2 p.m.: Kenny Walker, a WR from Kennedy-Richmond, will flip from Cal and sign with UCLA.

   — 3-4 p.m.: Brandon Beaver, a 4-star corner from Dominguez-Compton, seems to be leaning toward Washington or Utah over Cal.

   — 3-5 p.m.: Kenny Lawler, a 4-star WR from Upland, may be picking between Cal and Oregon State.

   — 4:30 p.m. Four-star WR Bryce Treggs, after some late heavy breathing from USC, is expected to stay with the Bears.

 

 

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  • wehofx

    Just hit refresh to proof my post. “Look what I found.” I’m #250. I’ll take it.

  • daredevilfan

    Maynard was fine when we just gave him some select rollouts and he singled in on his brother finding space. But MJ was completely left out of the game. With the receivers we now have, they will be completely under utilized with Maynard as I just don’t believe he has it in him to be a pocket passer and make a bunch of tough passes. With the receivers we now have, we Must upgrade ourselves at QB to utilize them. With another year at OC, hopefully JM starts to really hit his stride and if JT can just focus on the young QBs, and open up his mind to really putting them out there, I’m excited to see what our offense can be like.

  • Gobears49

    Daredevilfan,

    The college game has evolved quickly in the past years. Teams such as Oregon and Auburn (and Nevada two seasons ago), and many others, have shown that you need a mobile QB to maximize your offensive potential and make it explosive. So pocket passers represent 20th century offenses, not the 21st century ones. Optimally, what is needed is a fast QB who can run directly, move about in the pocket, and elude the rush because of their mobility, as well as pass accurately. Longshore had a great arm and was a very good QB for his time, before his injury, but he is a perfect illustration of an old style QB that is not optimal in this new day and age.

    Maynard has the ability to be a mobile passer and to run directly and when flushed out of the pocket (I saw Kline do a bit of that as well). Maynard’s problem is that he is not a consistently accurate passer. And (and this may be just because I did not watch all of the games and thus did not watch all of Maynard’s plays on TV), I don’t think he can roll right and throw accurately (in contrast, Kline can roll left and throw very accurately, as he did that in the Norcal championship game a few times).

    Tedford considered switching to Bridgford when Maynard was having his mid-season problems, but essentially said he was sticking with Maynard because of his mobility and ability to escape the rush. I think he will have a difficult time departing from that decision again next year unless Kline and/or Boehm show an acceptable amount of mobility and also that they are much more accurate passers than Maynard.

  • Gobears49

    BTW, I favor opening up the practices and also allow to buy T-shirts with the name of this blog. Then we all could sit together at the practices, wearing our blog T-shirts and argue amongst ourselves about who should be our QB and other subjects. Then go out for a beer afterwards.

  • daredevilfan

    GoBears, I agree with your comments but I didn’t make my point very well. By referring to Pocket Passer, I only meant that we need someone who can at least do that when the situation permits. In contrast, Maynard seems to only be able to have one set play as a pocket passer, and then if that isn’t available, he can’t check down in that situation to other options, but needs to “escape” just to make a play in more of a sandlot methodology. I agree that we can’t have a quarterback who is immobile like a Dan Marino. But hopefully our young guys aren’t that. I think they can do all of the above. I just am not sure I am in favor of going with Maynard just because he is the “experienced” option. JT always does that. Let’s get the best player out on the field and let’s not babysit our quarterback but really get someone who can do all of the above. I remember watching Riley in games and he only had 3 or so passing routes that he practiced before the game, and then those were the only 3 he ever threw during the game. I feel like Maynard is somewhat like that too. We will have a top notch wide receiver group, we don’t need a quarterback who has training wheels still on. And I don’t think we need to go with gimicky offenses like Oregon and Nevada. With top notch personnel and effective playcalling and coaching, we should be able to have a passing offense that just executes better than the defense.

  • covinared

    juancho: you seem to be the one putting on all the pressure for kline to start and excel.