Football: Sonny Dykes’ early remarks

Here’s what Cal coach Sonny Dykes had to say about players the Bears signed on Wednesday, courtesy of Cal’s sports information department:

 — Dykes on running back Tre Watson: “He’s probably as productive as anybody anywhere. He just had a great year and played on a great football team. He’s an instinctual runner with great lateral movement and finishes runs very well. He plays with really good leverage and makes a lot of big plays. He has an ability to be patient but at the same time anticipate things. He’s just kind of what you are looking for from a running back. He just has a lot of natural instincts and natural ability.”

— Dykes on linebacker Hamilton A’noa’i: “He’s a very versatile athlete. He did a lot of things for his high school team – in the defensive backfield, played some at linebacker, played some tight end, threw passes – he’s just a very productive football player. He was a team captain, high character and academic guy and a local kid. I’m just excited. I think he’s a great fit for our program. We were fortunate to kind of get on him late. He wanted to stay close to home. I think he really has a chance to be a good football player. He has a lot of length and can do a lot of different things.”

— Dykes onquarterback Chase Forrest: “We felt like he came in and performed well. He showed good strength, good mid-range accuracy. We thought he was a really good football player. He can move, he’s athletic. I think he’s got a lot of upside. He’s got good size. He moves his feet well for someone his size. He has the arm strength to make the throws.”

— Dykes on linebacker Aisea Tongliva: “He can run, plays physical and is a really smart kid. He has good football instincts. I think the thing that stands out with him is his athletic ability. I think he can really change directions and run. He’s an explosive player.”

— Dykes on offensive lineman Dominic Granado: “He’s a tough, physical, get-after-you kind of guy. That’s what we needed on the offensive line – someone who could come in right now and compete for a job and battle and grind. That’s what he’s going to do. We recruited him to come in and play. He’s the kind of kid that’s going to come in here and prepare himself to get ready to play when he steps on campus. He’s going to scratch and claw and fight for everything. I think he’s exactly what we needed on our offensive line.”

— Dykes on safety Quentin Tartabull: “He’s very, very productive. He’s very, very tough and a very good open-field tackler. Another kid who is a very, very productive.”

— Dykes on linebacker Noah Westerfield: “He’s kind of an under-the-radar prospect. He has good length and very good athleticsm. He’s going to get bigger. He’s going to be able to carry a lot of weight. I think he has a chance to grow into a good football player, so I’m excited about him.”

— Dykes on cornerback Darius White: “When you look at all the DBs this year, I think his tape was as good as anybody I saw. He’s got length, runs well, plays the ball well, competes, tackles well, plays with toughness. His athleticsm is really good, his size is good. I like the way he plays with some physical nature at that position.”

— Dykes on linebacker Chandler Leniu: “He has an ability to make a lot of tackles and plays with good instinct. His productivity was unmatched this year. He played for a great high school team. I think he’s tough and very, very physical. He’s a good tackler who plays with great leverage.”

— Dykes on linebacker John Porchivina: “He’s another versatile kid. He runs well, plays physical and is a very productive football player. I think the kid is very underrated. You look at his tape and his ability to run to the football and then you translate that to playing defense – I think it’s exactly what you’re looking for from a linebacker.”

–Dykes on quarterback Luke Rubenzer: Luke obviously had an incredible year. I think he’s just a very, very productive football player. A guy who just gets it done. He can run, he can throw, he can throw on the run. He makes good decisions. He’s a great competitor. He’s the kind of guy you want leading the program. I think he’s got a chance to be a pretty good football player.”

— Dykes on offensive lineman Kamryn Bennett: “He’s tough and physical, plays with good pad level. He’s kind of the tough-minded offensive lineman that we want. He’s a good athlete as well.”

–Dykes on wide receiver Erik Brown: “A guy that has a lot of upside. He’s going to get bigger. He’s going to get stronger. He’s going to get faster. He has really good ball skills. He’s a good route runner. I think he’s got a chance to be really productive.”

–Dykes on running back Vic Enwere: “He’s just kind of the tough-minded, physical running back. He’s still a little bit raw. He doesn’t have a ton of experience palying the position but he has a chance to develop into something really special. He’s a great kid. He’s stuck with us through a lot during the season. I just really have a lot of respect for him and the way he’s handled the recruiting process.”

Jeff Faraudo

  • Larry

    This was a good signing class. Go Bears!

  • Wehofx

    Way, way better than you’d expect after 1-11.

    SD and Co can recruit. Now if we produce on the field – to state the obvious – the recruits will only get better.

    Congrats to Coach Dykes and the staff!

    Welcome to all the new Bears!

  • Juancho

    Not really. 1-11 at washington state is different than 1-11 at Cal or ucla.

    This class is good. But good has no business talking about roses.

    And il alumn whos tired of the celebrated mediocrity of sandys tenure.

  • AngrySocialWelfareAdvisor

    Wow what a class Sonny…USC and Stanford are shaking in their cleats. This could be the start of a complete shifting of power in the Pac 12 North. LOL
    PS Maybe some of these guys will contribute enough for you to beat Sac State for your only win next year. LOL

  • Juancho

    Dykes said nick forbes is retiring due to injury.

    Remember when Juancho said the chronically hurt guys were ones we needed to not count on?

  • LA_Ed

    Better than I expected but then again I had low expetations. I hope these are the guys that Sonny beleives he can go to war with and the others have moved on.

  • Wehofx

    Sadly, yes. Big Bummer. Had high hopes for him.

    Forbes seems like a really good guy. I have no doubt he will succeed in whatever endeavor he chooses.

  • BlakeStreetBear


  • BlakeStreetBear

    Losing Forbes sucks. He was literally Cal’s poster boy last season, gracing the entrance to Memorial as well as being Cal’s player-spokesperson on the pac12 network commercials. His frustratingly injury-riddled plight last season pretty much summed up that of the whole program, certainly the defense. This season, let’s hope that whoever they decide to put on the poster and speak for Cal in in the pac12 commercials actually gets to play some!

    Tough break for Forbes, he was looking like legit NFL MLB stock by the end of 2012. Good thing he is a Cal student though, his future should be bright regardless. And that is definitely something you can’t say that about medically retired $c “students” who mostly go right back across Vermont or MLK street and pick up the drug/thug trade they left before “enrolling” at that wonderful institution of higher “learning” – yah right. 😉

    Go Bears!

  • Boaltblue

    Brother BlakeStreetBear: your comments regarding SC’s student athletes can be interpreted as insensitive and politically incorrect at best, and placing you in a very bad light at worst. Please keep your comments classy. Many of SC’s student athletes come from the same neighborhoods from which Cal recruits. Not everyone coming from such neighborhoods are drug dealer or thugs.

  • Wehofx

    atoe is finally in.

    Posted argument against brother Juancho. It went to moderation? Still hasn’t posted.

    Anyone else exp difficulties?

  • covinared

    Blake’s bigotry does not reflect well on Cal. He went off on LA last year with the old LA vs. Bay area stereotypes I heard at Cal over 30 years ago. Now this. Shows a lack of critical informed thinking.

  • eastcoastbear

    Class is as advertised solid but closer to the middle- bottom of the very competitive pac 12 than the top – heavy on JCs which can be hit and miss and only have two years to learn the system. Biggest problem is that Dykes himself raised the barrier by referencing a top three class in the Pac 12. Like some of his initial coaching hirers, it makes you wonder about his judgement. The lack of local talent is certainly disappointing considering the hype over new facilities. But in trying to stay positive and look forward now it falls on the coaches to take these athletes and make them into a competitive team next year, if we don’t show more progress next year we will need a management change.

  • Eric

    Here’s a question. How does this class stack up to the recruiting class following the 2001 season? If equal to or better, than people shouldn’t be upset with Dykes but should applaud the class. If worse, then a reason to jeer. Granted, Tedford in 2002 was directly inheriting someone else’s mess versus Dykes inheriting (in part) his own mess, but something to think about.
    My personal view – the class is a little better than I expected. I am particularly pleased with the defense. I do wish we had more O-line help.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    Sorry for ruffling some feathers. I like to dish it out to the

    troll once in a while, can’t help it. I guess I can tone it down a tad though on what could be (mis)-construed as ignorance/bigotry.

    I got the BIG basketball game on my mind – fired up to yell and scream for the Bears in a few, and after a few. But…I don’t like $c and that neighborhood, sorry for that, even though my grandfather was a prof there for over 25 years and my dad went to high school in Redondo. I am not ignorant. I know LA a bit and I dislike that place, not because I think I am some superior douche but because I have lived in so-cal for many years and I HAVE CRITICALLY thought about LA a great deal and I see it as a total cancer and exactly NOT what to do when planning a city. It is a dirty, stinking, extremely dangerous, water-mongering, traffic hellhole with the most superficial values – it should be renamed Kardashiana. If you swim in the ocean during a rain storm you could die from the toxic runoff, it happens. I bet every lawn in West LA and Pasadena is bright green right now despite the epic drought! It resonates everything anti-Cal. The only things good to ever come out of LA were THE Dude and the freestyle skateboard. And, um, the, um, adult “film” industry. Sorry, I tell it like I see it.

    Go Bears!

  • covinared

    You remind me of the folks who drink Hech hechy water while complaining about mono lake.

  • Juancho

    Critiques bsb for generalizing then immediately generalizes.

  • Juancho

    Eric. This is dykes second class. So this should be compared to tedfords second class. Which was loaded.


  • LA_Ed

    I live in Pasadena and I take the Gov at his word, we are in a drought. My lawn is brown/green and I’ve learned to live wit it! I’m a native Angelino that thank god went to Cal, LA isn’t that bad, come on man. Show us some. Cali luv!

  • covinared

    My critique generalized only to hypocrites that drink hechhechy water and slam la for mono, not an entire region. La is not the Kardashians anymore than Frisco is Puck. We use less than half the water per capita than those in the north and our supplies are in much better shape than yours. I never swam in the sf bay because it was always dirty and cold.

  • Eric

    That’s right. Sorry. I guess I was thinking that Dykes stepped in late to Tedford’s recruited class.

  • eastcoastbear

    too be objective it is not so much that we are rated 8 or 7 in the conference it really is how far behind we are the top schools we were this year look at the lists — usc is certainly back much to my regret, ucla and stanford just killed it, arizona schools on a roll as u can see with the number of 4 star recruits and then there is oregon…we did beat out Oregon state but then again they have the best coach in the pac 12….u can only go up from a 7/8th ranked pac 12 class by creating excitement and winning games…all on the coaches and AD now…

  • Will

    Tedford’s class was great and had more four stars and overall recruits, but we picked up quite a few 3 star talents in this year’s class and had a better average star rating for recruits on Scout than that Tedford class. Three stars can be hit or miss. More often than not, miss. Let’s hope that we get a few big hits though.

  • LA_Ed

    As I look at NFL rosters, super bowl team rosters and pro bowl rosters I see several of Tedford’s Bears. I don’t see any Rose Bowls or BCS Games to match the talent he recruited. Let’s see what Sonny can do with the guys he wanted for his system. BTW, Easy Ed was already taken!