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Football: Bears add two more recruits

Cal added two players to its recruiting class, signing Maurice Bennett (6-1, 295), a 3-star defensive tackle from Madison Central High in Madison, Miss., and Willie Fletcher (6-2, 185), an unranked cornerback from Lutheran High in Orange, according to Scout.com.

Cal had not officially announced the signings, which bring its class to 19 newcomers.

Jeff Faraudo

  • http://www.thewisdomcow.blogspot.com/ The Wisdom Cow

    I assume/hope Bennett was on Howard’s radar prior to coming aboard. Good size for DL in the 3-4.

  • bobsac

    Well, I would rather have the team do its best with these guys, than with the 4 or 5 stars who don’t understand the meaing of the word “commitment” in “verbal commitment”. Also, I think JT is a straight shooter who never imagined that an assistant coach & another university would conspire in what looks like a funneled bribe that went to the assistant coach/Cal man instead of the recruits stolen away. On the one hand we have young folks sacrificing in the Army & Marines in Afghanistan and in the Peace Corps around the world. At the other end of the scale is the former assistant coach who wouldn’t tell the U. of Washington that in honor of his mentor JT, his own alma mater, & his own standards, that he would not make a decision on the job offer until after signing day, even if that meant no offer.

  • covinared

    welcome Maurice and Willie!

  • DB

    Bob, I agree.

    Interesting article at aolsportingnews.com on the ire Urban Meyer is creating in the Big Ten. Apparently they’ve always had a gentlemen’s agreement there that once a kid “commits” others stop recruiting him. Urban don’t play that. Wisconsin’s coach has gone public with his anger about it.

    What Tosh did was well beyond that. Sarkisian and Lupoi were about as unethical as it gets. Big money was paid and received for treachery.

    Still, Cal will be fine even though this year was a major disappointment. Cal has new facilities and a great school that will attract recruits in the future. They won’t be stabbed in the back every year.

  • Jim

    Getting Bennett was a direct result of hiring Howard and he sounds like he has the potential, especially after a blue shirt year, of contributing to the rotation. He’s a big guy with a great attitude and sounds like he’ll work his butt off to learn and improve his skills. Cal has sent 3* DTs into the NFL.

    Fletcher sounds interesting. Finally, a tall CB who will also benefit from a year or so to develop.

    Nice additions.

    JT did a great job getting experienced coaching replacements with great credentials to replace the unethical duo. Those two low-lifes deserve to be at UDuh, and vice versa. Cal has replaced two losers with two winners on the coaching staff and the speed with which JT did it is commendable.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Tosh Lupoi was a creation of UCB.

    He was recruited to play football for you

    He played football for you

    He went to school there and I presume was taught ethics and morality in his American Studies program

    He became an assistant in the football program to Tedford

    He became the DL coach

    He was the lead recruiter

    He instructed DL to fake injuries against Oregon

    The point: Don’t blame UW and Sarkisian. UCB which educated him, coached him, employed him created the mess.

  • H8sRed

    While the whole Tosh affair bothers me, there is a facet of the story that has been mostly glossed over. In Tedford’s remarks on LOI day he said the Pac-12 would not allow Cal to make another home visit to Shaq because Tosh had taken one just hours before bolting to UW. Shaq is on record (Twitter?) saying that Tosh talked to him about the UW job, so shouldn’t that visit have been attributed to UW?

    Given Tosh’s mixed (at best) loyalties at the time, Cal should have been allowed another visit. What good is the conference if it refuses to promote fairness in how each team is able to recruit?

  • Juancho

    I’m going to post here to continue some of the QB talk we had going on the previous mega – meta – super blog post that nearly made it to 275 comments.

    @GoBears, I agree. I think there is zero chance Kline plays this year. He’ll redshirt. I think that’s a 99% probability. Nothing in Tedford’s time at Cal makes me think he’ll give this guy time as a true freshman.

    I think Maynard starts this year (2012). I think he starts all season unless he gets hurt. This is the bed we’ve made so we have to lie in it. Benching Maynard in his senior season when his brother is our best player just has trouble written all over it.

    2003 is where it gets interesting, here is how it projects:

    2013 – Kline (Redshirt Freshman), Boehm (Redshirt Sophomore), Brdigford (Redshirt Senior), Hinder (Redshirt Junior)

    2014 – Kline (RS Soph), Boehm (RS JR), Hinder (RS SR)

    2015 – Kline (RS JR), Boehm (RS SR)

    2016 – Kline (RS SR)

    2013 I think Bridgford gets the nod to start the year. However, I think that if he stumbles we’ll see Kline or Boehm.

    My point is this. If it’s close Kline will get the nod. Because the pressure for Tedford to play Kline will be unlike any we’ve seen so far at Cal. Kline will be the most hyped and anticipated QB in Tedford’s tenure. One could say he already is.

    If Kline wins the job in 2013 or 2014, it would be in Boehm’s best interest to transfer. This is because Boehm has one year less of eligibility than Kline. So if he stuck around he’d be resigned to being a career college backup.

    If Boehm wins that job from Kline, then that means that if Boehm does a good job that we won’t see Kline until Boehm graduates. At which point Kline will be a Senior and will have one year of play at Cal. I do not see that happening.

    Kline is that ace in the hole for Tedford. He’s that spoonful of sugar we’ll need when things get tough, if things get tough.

    It will be “hella” interesting as they say.

  • Boaltblue

    Question: Did Nate Longshore start as a true freshman only to get hurt in the first game of the season against Sac State in 2005?

  • Brian A

    Boalt, Nate was a redshirt freshman in 05.

  • ScottyBear

    Heard from a former Cal player and very good source that Maynard is indeed on the verge of being in trouble academically and could possibly miss next year. Not just four games. If so, he is done since he already used up his redshirt year in 2010. This is the reason Kline enrolled early and is already practicing. Kline has been coming to Cal camps for years and Tedford feels that Kline is worth putting in the mix now. If all true, makes sense since he would have Kline for 3-4 years as a starter rather than the usual waiting in the wings until junior year and only 1-2 years as a starter. He started Longshore as a freshman (granted, a redshirt frosh) so it’s not unheard of. Juancho, yes, Kline is Tedford’s ace in the hole. Time to call!

    Another note, I agree with a previous post about Tedford’s closing practice. We have yet to see any new gimmicks or innovative formations so what the heck reason did he close practices? It was a few years ago now, which coincidentally is when we started getting beat badly in big games (especially big time televised ones) so maybe it is karma. Open up practice, open up the game plan, take off those damn sunglasses! Thoughts??

  • Juancho

    Scotty, I heard the same thing recently. That Maynard is on pace to not be eligible for the season. Pure speculation. But sometimes these things are right.

    I wish I was still dating a girl from the registrars office.

  • Juancho

    Agree with ScottyBear. I think the closing of practices was more about Tedford going into hiding than anything else. Same reason why he hasn’t bought into social networking. Same reason why he threw on those sunglasses.

    I hope he opens it back up. Make it more fun for the alumni and help create some new fans.

  • Concordbear

    The best QB will play regardless of year. Tedford has had a lot of things debated. Two things that are undeniable about him is he plays the QB most likely to get a win and is a great offensive coordinator.

  • Suttree

    Everything I have seen says those Maynard rumors hold zero weight.

  • SportsBrah

    I hope we’ve seen the last of Zach Maynard. Seems like a good kid, but he has absolutely no business being the starter of a BCS conference football team.

  • Juancho

    Miscellaneous QB Research.

    2002 – Boller (Senior), Reggie Robertson (Soph), Richard Schwartz (Fresh), Steve Levy (Fresh), Zac Wasserman (Soph)

    2003 – Robertson (Junior), Aaron Rodgers (Soph), Schwartz (Soph), Levy (Soph)

    2004 – Rodgers (Junior), Robertson (Senior), Cary Dove (Fresh), Levy (Junior)

    2005 – Joe Ayoob (Junior), Nate Longshore (RS Fresh), Levy (Junior per media guide), Kyle Reed (Fresh)

    2006 – Joe Ayoob (Senior), Nate Longshore (RS Soph), Steve Levy (Senior), Kyle Reed (RS Fresh), Cory Smits (RS Fresh), Bryan Van Meter (Soph)

    2007 – Longshore (RS Jr), Riley (RS Fresh), Kyle Reed (RS Soph), Brock Mansion (Fresh), Cory Smits (RS Soph), Van Meter (Junior)

    2008 – Longshore (RS Sr), Riley (RS Soph), Mansion (RS Fresh), Beau Sweeney (Fresh)

    2009 – Bridgford (Fresh), Mansion (RS Soph), Riley (RS Junior), Sweeney (RS Fresh), Ryan Wertenberger (RS Fresh)

    2010 – Bridgford (RS Fresh), Mansion (RS Junior), Riley (RS Senior), Sweeney (RS Soph), Austin Hinder (Fresh), Wertenberger (RS Soph)

    2011 – Kyle Boehm (Fresh), Bridgford (RS Soph), Mansion (RS Senior), Hinder (RS Fresh), Zach Maynard (Junior), Werternberger (RS Junior)

    More or less – looks like it’d be completely against the odds for Kline not to redshirt.

  • Juancho

    Suttree, Ryan Gorcey who covers Cal for Rivals (cal.rivals.com) and does the Bear Territory podcast also said a couple episodes back that he spoke to someone in the program who implied Maynard is having grade issues. That he isn’t ineligible just yet – but that he’s on pace to be ineligible.

    There’s a rumour that Tedford will hold Maynard out of spring football to focus on grades. If that happens we’ll have a big hint that his grades are not up to par.

    THIS IS PURE SPECULATION. But sometimes that’s all we have to go on.

  • http://www.thewisdomcow.blogspot.com/ The Wisdom Cow

    Sorry, Concordbear, but “best QB” is not only subjective, but it also changes dramatically depending on the weights given towards different priorities.

    I disagree with the approach I believe Tedford takes, but respect it. Tedford will play whomever he feels is the QB giving his team the best chances to win the next game. He does not think in terms of season (well, little evidence there, truly), or multiple seasons. He will play a QB marginally better than one which can still develop, because it can win a game, rather than build a young QB with the best skills in order to win more games down the road while risking current games.

    I do respect this position because it is college ball and not pro program. He wants every player to have their day. I think the prospect of making a group of seniors suffer through a season of QB development, when a different player gives them a better chance to win, is simply not in Tedford’s character. Again, I disagree, but it is a matter of subjective priorities.

    Personally, as an individual’s college career usually ends their playing days, I look at it differently then most. In the few team sports I played, I very much enjoyed teaching the new kids what the old guys taught me when I first joined. [So much so, I once met an attorney I did not recognize, who upon realizing who I was bursted out, "no way, you were my mentor!" Anyways . . .] A Senior year season, like life, doesn’t have to end on a winning climax, especially when the program stresses character and life equal to or more important than winning. Sacrificing wins now for the others that follow you should, and I think for the most part, would be embraced.

    This may come across as a “start Kline” ad, but I am actually 100% behind Maynard right now. I presume he will have been working on his mechanics all off season. Now, if his accuracy is still a problem come summer, I’d hope the long term quality of the position is considered.

  • Juancho

    Just started listening to the new episode of Bear Territory podcast that came out today. They said it looks like Maynard is now on track to be eligible “by the skin of his teeth”.

    Good for him and hopefully he does play a lot better this coming season.

  • Juancho

    According to that bear territory podcast.

    DJ Foster is trying like hell to get a release from Arizona State. He wants to leave since their running back coach left after he sent in his letter of intent.

    That’s why Ron Gould wasn’t there for the Tedford press conference. He’s trying to help. If Foster gets a release he’s coming to Cal. That would be HUGE. He would play as a freshman. He’s got Jahvid Best type potential.

  • http://www.thewisdomcow.blogspot.com/ The Wisdom Cow

    Who left ASU? I don’t see any stories elsewhere.

  • ScottyBear

    Juancho: Who ever you are I love you Man! Start your own site and I’m on board!!

  • wehofx

    Juancho does it again with your lists and reasearch. Bravo!

    Hope it’s true about djf – who wouldn’t want to have RG as position coach and jm coached ol to run behind. Also shock of shocks, ncaa has its head up its ass – ie, extra shaq home visit denied – if it doesn’t release a kid from his loi when his position coach bails the next day.

    Wisdom #19, totally agree. If ZM wins the job, good for him. But real competition for starting qb with ZK will only make him/them better for it. Re:#22 I’ve read it on twitter, for what it’s worth.

    A coupla thoughts: Thank God Coach Mihalczik (sp) is back. In addition to his skills as line coach and pushing jt on game plans and play calling. He still has the touch at recruiting top quality ol.

    I believe Juancho thinks Sebastian Avery – aka #calgang – is going to start at safety next year. I hope SA balls out. If he makes it to NFL, great. But #calgang sure seems like the next great Cal recruiter, social media pro and coach. (Except SA has integrity unlike the’ho.) It seems like JT knows it, too.

    I’m so glad jt conducted himself with his usual buttoned down, no nonsense demeanor. L Miles is making an ass of himself calling out 18 yo Gunnar Kiel(sp?) for going to nd. A qb ZK totally outperformed in Elite 11.

    Wasn’t ek the qb coach? Does jt become qb coach again? What I hope. Or does he hire a qb coach/oc?

    Finally, hire SA to tutor you on social media skills. Adapt or DIE! JT, you hve every reason to roll your eyes at out criticism of your game planning and everything else football related. We are amateurs. But, as far as opening practice back up, listen to all the old Blues, they are giving you great advice! Real world advice.

    Go Bears!

  • wehofx

    …and I hope I’m wrong but did MikeD – one of the big reasons for Great LOI Thread – not Post? If not for Grease Monkey, I don’t think we have the great discussions, analysis, conviviality and commiseration.

  • Juancho

    Wehofx – Marcus Arroyo is the quarterbacks coach. He was QB coach at San Jose State, was considered one of the hottest young rising coaches and took the offensive coordinator position at Wyoming. It didn’t pan out great and he came to Cal last year I believe to learn from Tedford.

    Apparently Arroyo wanted to play at Cal but was never offered so he’s always wanted to be in the program.

    In that bear territory podcast they told a story that Tedford jokingly told Avery Sebastian that he needs to get him an office for how good he’s been for recruiting and our program. I hope that kid becomes a star this year. He’s real easy to root for.

    Haven’t been able to find any articles on DJ Foster, but let’s hope we get good news during the next few days.

    He has to be one of the guys that Tedford referenced when he said he still hoped to sign another few in the coming days. Boy oh boy wouldn’t DJ Foster and Stefon Diggs be a hell of a way to recapture some of that momentum.

  • H8sRed

    With a full year of starting experience at Cal under his belt, I fully expect Maynard to improve next year. The rumors regarding eligibility issues are ridiculous unless supported by a source. If he is unavailable, whether because of academics or any other reason, I see no reason that Z Kline would not be in the mix as a competitor for the starting position.

    Although Rodgers was a sophomore in 2003, it was his first year in Cal’s program. (Was he even present for Spring ball that year?) Kline has been going to Cal camps for years, and he’ll have the benefit of Spring practice. He seems to be a smart, focused, hard-working kid. I think Cal will be in good shape no matter who is under center.