Football: Cal’s recruiting class taking shape, but a few key questions remain unanswered

Signing day is two days away and Cal’s recruiting class is pretty much set.

The Bears have commitments from 20 players (including five who signed at mid-year) and, despite taking some substantial hits along the way, they have climbed to No. 43 nationally, according to both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Rivals ranks Cal’s class as the seventh-best in the Pac-12 and Scout has the Bears at No. 8 in the conference.

Not great, especially by the program’s standards over most of the past decade, but a sizable improvement from a month ago.

The coaching staff has secured seven commitments since Art Kaufman was hired as defensive coordinator two weeks ago, and has made strides to address some of the team’s biggest needs, including defensive line and linebacker.

Between now and Wednesday, there are three main questions to be answered:

— Can the Bears hold onto Centennial-Corona running back Tre Watson? Washington is making a late push for the 5-foot-9, 185-pounder, who rushed for more than 3,400 yards and scored 48 touchdowns last fall.

Update: Both Brandon Huffman of Scout.com and Adam Gorney of Rivals.com told me this afternoon they expect Watson to stay with Cal.

— Will the Bears land four-star defensive end Nifae Lealao of Capital Christian in Sacramento. The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder, who is rated as the top DE in the West by Scout and originally committed to Stanford, visited Vanderbilt last weekend.

Update: The consensus between Huffman and Gorney is that Lealao will wind up at Vandy, although he hasn’t announced yet.

— Can Cal sneak in and grab four-star defensive tackle Marcus Griffin? Originally committed to Washington State, the Bellevue, Wash., prospect visited Cal, Arizona and Mississippi State the past three weekends. Griffin recently suggested he will wait until signing day to announce his plans.

Update: Huffman believes Griffin will sign with Arizona while Gorney suggests that Griffin’s friendship with Cal mid-year signee Devante Downs of Washington could give the Bears an edge.

Stay tuned.

Jeff Faraudo

  • AngrySocialWelfareAdvisor

    Ricky Town…remember that name and thank me that I called your attention to him.
    Ebenezer of whatever is the name of that QB you got will be another along the glorious line of Longshore, Aboob, Life of Riley, Reed, Sweeney, Dove, Brick Mansion, Zach Wayward, De-Kline, etc.

  • Juancho

    Didnt lealao commit to vandy yesterday?

  • sunshipballoons

    24/7 sports tweeted that he did, but there’s no confirmation.

  • Wehofx

    Juancho, assuming Bennett, Granado and trani sign loi, what do u think of yenser? IMO he done good. Same for Ingram assuming we hold onto Watson.

    Griffin? Sure hope he signs.

    Akina? Please, please join the staff.

    For what little it’s worth, if the above sign, we’ll have 3rd best class in North:).

  • Eric

    Let’s not forget “And a child shall lead them…” to the single greatest collapse of a preseason #1 and to permanently riding the bench.
    Or forget Butt Fumble, the consensus #1 play on ESPN’s Top Ten Worst List every week since it happened.
    Or forget the guy brought in to save the Raiders, only to be so bad that Pryor took his job.
    Or forget John David Whose He?
    Or forget Mr. Lienart, who couldn’t even beat out Jeff Tuel.

    Good luck Ricky Townie, you’ve got it all made.

  • Gobears49

    Longshore was a very good QB until he hurt his ankle. Riley was just OK. Ayoob was just average, but could run. Never like Maynard, who got the QB job because he didn’t really have any competition.
    Goff had an excellent freshman year.

    I admit that, overall, Cal’s Elite 11 QB’s have not performed well. But both Goff (from what he’s shown) and Rubenzer (potentially a Johnny Manziel-type QB) should turn around how our Elite 11 QB’s do at Cal.

  • Tommy Kelly

    And he hurt his ankle in the very first game he ever played, which means he was very good in the preceding fall camp. Yes, Riley was OK, as long as you are willing to overlook his I-think-I’ll-run-the-ball-now-and-knock-us-out-of-the-#1-ranking. Ayoob was average????? I am biting my tongue to avoid taking the Lord’s name in vain. As for Luke, maybe we should see him play in a few games before we jump on the “potential Manziel” bandwagon. And with Goff on the scene, who knows how soon he might actually play in those games.

  • Juancho

    Wehofx those guys are okay. None is a game changer. If our goal for yenser is to be a decent recruiter than its been met. And its only 3.

    I think ingram is the only valuable young guy on the staff.