Football: Recruiting emphasis is RB and DB

One of the benefits of Cal finishing spring workouts sooner than any other team in the Pac-12 — way back on March 23 — was the opportunity for the coaching staff to focus early on recruiting the high school Class of 2014.

The Bears’ priorities are clear, coach Sonny Dykes said. He wants to sign five defensive backs and two running backs next February.

He identified running back as “a position where guys have a hard time staying healthy through the course of a year. Those guys get beat up. You’ve got to have a good stable of running backs.”

Cal is hot after Joe Mixon, a 6-foot, 195-pound four-star running back from Freedom HS in Oakley. But so is everyone else. Mixon has perhaps three dozen teams pursuing him, including Notre Dame, Michigan, Ohio State, Texas, Florida and most of the Pac-12.

He’d be huge for Dykes and the Bears, but obviously he’s by no means a lock for the home team. 

Still, Dykes stressed, “The most important position is defensive back. Our numbers aren’t quite where they need to be.”

Cal already has a commitment from Koa Farmer, a two-way, four-star prospect from Notre Dame-Sherman Oaks, who may be used at safety.

The Bears are chasing a long list of other top players, led by cornerback Adoree Jackson of Serra-Gardena and Juju Smith, a safety from Long Beach Poly. Both are top-10 overall prospects, according to Scout.com, and both have much of the country after them.

Among Scout’s top-300 prospects, Cal is at least on the radar of six other DBs, including Budda Baker, a four-star safety from Bellevue, Wash., who is rated No. 42 overall by Scout.

Dykes believes the Bears’ manpower numbers are adequate elsewhere, especially after they signed five offensive linemen this year.

“We’re probably going to need to sign five DBs and two running backs and build a class of other good players around them,” he said. “Those are the two areas where we’ve got to sign a good crop of players, guys we think have a chance to come in and get on the field early.”


Jeff Faraudo

  • rotfogel

    Joe Mixon is the best RB in the nation which I’ve seen…and I’ve seen the guy from Louisiana, you can have him, I’ll take Mixon.

    It’d be nice to see another Lynch come through here.

  • Eric

    We obviously have to make a run at Mixon, but I also wouldn’t mind us finding big bruiser of a back – almost like Stanley Havili type FB, whoc can take pressure of the smaller, speedy guys.

  • ScottyBear

    Takkarist McKinley at running back!! Would be an unstoppable beast with his speed and size!

  • Boaltblue



    Or McKinley at tight end. Just give the big speedy man the ball, coach.

  • rotfogel

    Takkarist McKinley
    I have to admit, the guy is the biggest freak of nature the bears have ever recruited period…Love how the “scouts” really missed on him. Kinda typical for scouts to miss on Bay Area recruits for whatever reason.
    Takkarist McKinley is 6-3, 240 lbs and ran a ridiculous 10.7 100M dash. That’s just plain ol’ insanity. Should have been a 5 star recruit just based on height/weight/speed alone!

  • Tyler M.

    I bet McKinley can play safety as well, with his size and speed.

    Mixon is definitely a possibility. But I am pretty sure that we have no chance for Smith or Jackson.