Cal has signed the brother of 49ers guard Joe Looney to a financial aid agreement, becoming the 24th member of the 2014 recruiting class.
James Looney, transferring from Wake Forest, has filed an appeal for immediate eligibility with the Bears.
A 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive tackle from Lake Forest, Florida, Looney played in six games as a true freshman for Wake Forest last season, contributing three tackles and a fumble recovery. He did not start a game.
Looney has four seasons to play three at Cal, but whether he is cleared to participate next fall or must sit out as a transfer has not been determined, a Cal spokesman said. He was projected as a starter for the Demons Deacons before leaving the program at the end of spring practice.
Defensive tackle is perhaps Cal’s biggest position of need. Both starters left after last season, and Jacobi Hunter, who played in all 12 games last season as a true freshman, took a leave from the team late in spring ball to attend to personal matters. His status is still up in the air.
Also uncertain is redshirt junior Mustafa Jalil, a former four-star recruit, who missed all of last season and spring ball due to a knee injury.
“We are excited that James is joining the Cal football program,” coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “It is critical that we continue to recruit and develop players in the trenches to improve on both sides of the ball.
“James will help us do that on the defensive line and is also an excellent student that will fit into our program nicely both on the field and off.”
Looney, who turns 19 on Thursday, is the younger sibling of Joe Looney, who was a fourth-round draft pick out of Wake Forest by the 49ers in 2012.
James Looney was a four-year starter at Lake Worth High School in Florida and an Associated Press Class 7A all-state performer as a senior in the fall of 2012. He was a consensus three-star (out of five) prospect in high school.
Cal’s 2014 recruiting class includes players from California, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania and Washington.