Cal football: Ranking the Bears’ recruiting class

Who knows if these rankings really mean anything — we have our doubts — but here’s how Cal’s class of 25 signees was rated by four recruiting sources:

Scout.com: No. 7 in the Pac-12, No. 39 nationally

Rivals.com: No. 4 in the Pac-12, No. 27 nationally

ESPN: No. 8 in the Pac-12, No. 40 nationally

247Sports.com: No. 8 in the Pac-12, No. 38 nationally


Cal football: Victor Viramontes a different kind of quarterback prospect

Victor Viramontes won’t be part of a four-man spring practice battle for Cal’s quarterback job.

Viramontes, who became the Bears’ 25th and final signee on Wednesday, won’t arrive on campus until the summer, and isn’t likely to steal the job away from returnees Chase Forrest, Ross Bowers and Luke Rubenzer or fellow 2016 freshman Max Gilliam. Those four will get a head start on the competition in spring workuts.

But Viramontes, a senior at Norco High, brings a unique resume to Berkeley. He is 6-foot-1, 240 pounds, and used that power to compile crazy numbers during his prep career.

Viramontes passed for 4,680 yards and 42 touchdowns in three varsity seasons, and ran for 4,190 yards and 53 TDs. As a senior last fall, he accounted for 2,085 passing yards and 21 TDs along with 1,112 yards on the ground and 17 more TDs.

Coach Sonny Dykes is beyond intrigued by what Viramontes potentially brings to the table.

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Cal football: Bears sign 25-player recruiting class


Traveon Beck CB 5-10 160 Paramount
Had 10 interceptions on team that was 41-3 in his three varsity high school seasons

Russell Becker-x DE 6-4 255 Maple Grove, Minnesota
Totaled 15.5 sacks in 2 junior college seasons after converting from O-lineman

Camryn Bynum CB 6-1 180 Corona
Rangy defensive back becomes the fifth Centennial High product on Bears’ roster

Derrick Clark-x RB 5-11 195 San Diego
Compiled 3,916 all-purpose yards and 39 TDs in two high school varsity seasons

Jake Curhan-x OT 6-7 320 Larkspur
Regarded as an athletic run blocker after earning all-state honors for mid-size schools

Josh Drayden CB 5-11 175 DeSoto, Texas
Four-year varsity starter for powerhouse team that won 5-A state title as junior

Jordan Duncan-x WR 6-2 190 Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Caught 225 passes as prep, playing two seasons with Brett Favre as offensive coordinator

Zion Echols RB 5-10 175 Glendora
Rated the nation’s No. 14 all-purpose back, gained 6,511 yards, scored 90 TDs as prep

Nygel Edmonds CB 6-0 195 Chattanooga, Tennessee
Perhaps the Bears’ top defensive signee originally planned to attend Stanford

Marloshawn Franklin CB 6-1 185 Mesa, Arizona
JC transfer needed to complete one more class and won’t be here for spring ball

Logan Gamble WR 6-5 190 Seal Beach
A wideout & defensive end in high school, caught 67 passes for 1,136 yards as senior

Max Gilliam -x QB 6-2 200 Thousand Oaks
Dual threat had 6,333 passing yards and 69 TDs, 1,291 rushing yards 22 TDs in 2 seasons

Cameron Goode OLB 6-4 200 Spring, Texas
Father played at Oklahoma and was fifth-round draft pick but never played in NFL

Daniel Juarez OT 6-6 270 Corona
Never lost a league game at Centennial High on offense that averaged 47 points

Drew Kobayashi WR 6-3 200 Honolulu
Limited by injuries, caught 62 passes for 1,359 yards and 13 TDs in two seasons

Matt Laris WR 6-4 210 Renton, Washington
Caught 174 passes for 3,020 yards and 30 TDs in four varsity prep seasons

Tevin Paul DE 6-5 270 Austin, Texas
Had 20 career sacks on team that posted 15-1 record his senior season

Melquise Stovall-x WR 5-8 180 Lancaster
Cal’s highest-rated recruit gained 4,785 all-purpose yards in high school as back/receiver

Chinedu Udeogu DE 6-5 255 North Bethesda, Maryland
Began playing football in ninth grade after living nine years in Nigeria

Jordan Veasy-x WR 6-3 215 Gadsden, Alabama
The JC standout in Southern California is among three WR signees already on campus

Victor Viramontes QB 6-1 240 Norco
Dual-threat QB with great size rushed and passed for 4,000-plus yards each as prep

Dwayne Wallace-x OG 6-5 340 Riverside
Huge JC transfer figures to get shot at lone vacant O-line spot in spring ball

Evan Weaver DE 6-3 245 Spokane, Washington
State Player of Year after totaling 24 sacks and 1,000 rushing yards/17 TDs for 14-0 team

Gentle Williams OL 6-4 280 Florence, Mississippi
Four-year varsity player was a center in high school but could wind up at guard

Chris Yaghi DT 6-3 270 Santa Ana
Played nose tackle and fullback in high school, collecting 10 sacks as a senior

x-Midyear signees are already in school.


Cal football: Bears reload at wide receiver on signing day

Cal announced its 25-player signing day class on Wednesday, with one unsurprising defection, two last-minute additions and eight players already on campus as mid-year enrollees.

None of those eight will be more important to the Bears in the immediate future than wide receivers Melquise Stovall, Jordan Duncan and Jordan Veasy. The trio will get a running start in spring ball as the Bears rebuild a receiving corps that lost six players who caught 256 passes last season from former quarterback Jared Goff, totaling 3,878 yards and 38 touchdowns.

The change-of-mind by three-star offensive line commit Francisco Perez to UCLA near his hometown of Baldwin Park was widely anticipated in recent days. The Bears countered that by landing running back Zion Echols and quarterback Victor Viramontes for a class that was ranked No. 38 nationally and No. 7 in the Pac-12 by Scout.com, No. 37 nationally and No. 7 in the league, according to 247.com.

Coach Sonny Dykes – like every coach in the country – said he likes the class he signed. But he acknowledged securing just one Bay Area player as the Bears could not lure either of two high-profile De La Salle standouts, defensive tackle Boss Tagaloa (UCLA) and tight end Devin Asiasi (Michigan).

“We need to get those kids,” Dykes said. “You’ve arrived as a program when you can recruit your backyard and get those kids you want. Clearly we haven’t arrived as a program.”

In Stovall, Duncan and Veasy, the Bears welcome three confident and accomplished players whose ambitions rise well above winning starting jobs when spring practice begins next month.

“That group is going to be much better than people think,” Dykes said of the new receiving corps. “They’re going to be raw, but the athleticism and speed and big-play capabilities are definitely there.”

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Cal football: Bears sign Zion Echols and Victor Viramontes


Cal got good signing-day news from running back Zion Echols and quarterback Victor Viramontes, who both signed on with the Bears Wednesday.

As was speculated for the past week or so, three-star offensive guard Francisco Perez flipped from Cal to UCLA on national signing day Wednesday, staying close to his home in Baldwin Park.

The 6-foot-3 1/2, 300-pounder thanked the Cal coaching staff on Twitter and said the decision was not easy.

Cal also lost out on running back/linebacker Beau Bisharat, a four-star prospect from Jesuit High in Carmichael. The one-time Stanford commit signed with Colorado.

The Bears still were awaiting word from all-purpose standout Zion Echols of Covina, who was expected to choose between Cal and Washington State, and quarterback Victor Viramontes of Norco, who also was considering Utah and Arizona.

Cal, which signed nine mid-year players, got signatures from all 14 of the remaining commitments they had, including defensive back Josh Drayden of Dallas.

The Bears slipped five spots in Scout.com’s national rankings from No. 36 on Tuesday to No. 41 by midday. Scout rated Cal’s class No. 8 in the Pac-12. Rivals.com gives the Bears’ haul a more favorable ranking, listing them No. 33 nationally and No. 5 in the conference.

Officially onboard after committing earlier were: defensive linemen Tevin Paul, Chris Yaghi, Chinedu Udeogu and Evan Weaver, linebacker Cameron Goode, wide receivers Logan Gamble, Matt Laris and Drew Kobayashi, offensive linemen Daniel Juarez and Gentle Williams and defensive backs Nygel Edmonds, Camryn Bynum and Traveon Beck.


Cal football: Will Bears retain or add to 24-player class?

These are the 24 players who already have signed or who have orally committed to Wednesday.

The nine players who have signed are enrolled in school. According to Scout.com, three more players could be added on Wednesday — running back Zion Echols, a former commit who is choosing between Cal and Washington State; quarterback Victor Viramontes, who will announce Wednesday at 1 p.m. between the Bears, Utah and Arizona; and running back Beau Bisharat, who recently decommitted from Stanford.

On the down side for Cal, Scout is predicting offensive guard Francisco Perez likely will sign with UCLA.

Traveon Beck — Position: CB. H/W: 5-10/171. Hometown: Bellflower

Russell Becker-x — Pos: DE. H/W: 6-4/255. HT: Maple Grove, Minn.

Camryn Bynum — Pos: CB. H/W: 5-11/164. HT: Corona

Derrick Clark-x — Pos: RB. H/W: 5-10/195. HT: San Diego

Jake Curhan-x — Pos: OT. H/W: 6-7/305. HT: Larkspur

Josh Drayden — Pos: CB. H/W: 5-10/165. HT: Dallas

Jordan Duncan-x — Pos: WR. H/W: 6-2/190. HT: Hattiesburg, Miss.

Nygel Edmonds — Pos: CB. H/W: 5-11/182. HT: Chattanooga, Tn.

Marloshawn Franklin-x — Pos: CB. H/W: 6-1/185. HT: Mesa, Az.

Logan Gamble — Pos: WR. H/W: 6-5/200. HT: Long Beach

Max Gilliam-x — Pos: QB. H/W: 6-1/185. HT: Thousand Oaks

Cameron Goode — Pos: OLB. H/W: 6-3/205. HT: Klein, Texas

Daniel Juarez — Pos: OT. H/W: 6-4/250. HT: Corona

Drew Kobayashi — Pos: WR. H/W: 6-2/180. HT: Honolulu

Matt Laris — Pos: WR. H/W: 6-4/210. HT: Sammamish, Wa.

Francisco Perez — Pos: OG. H/W: 6-3/300. HT: Baldwin Park

Tevin Paul — Pos: DE. H/W: 6-4/255. HT: Austin, Texas

Melquise Stovall-x — Pos: WR. H/W: 5-8/180. HT: Lancaster

Chinedu Udeogu — Pos: DE. H/W: 6-2/245. HT: North Bethesda, Md.

Jordan Veasy-x — Pos: WR. H/W: 6-3/215. HT: Gadsden, Ala.

Dwayne Wallace-x — Pos: OG. H/W: 6-5/340. HT: Riverside

Evan Weaver — Pos: DE. H/W: 6-3/241. HT: Spokane, Wa.

Gentle Williams — Pos: OT. H/W: 6-3/278. HT: Florence, Miss.

Chris Yaghi — Pos: DT. H/W: 6-3/270. HT: Santa Ana

Some of the heights and weights are from Scout.com recruiting lists.

x-Mid-year signee and enrolled in school.



Cal football notebook: Recruiting class close to complete

Cal has 24 recruiting commitments, including nine players who have signed scholarship papers and will enroll for the spring semester. But that’s not the end of the Bears’ 2016 recruiting class.

Coach Sonny Dykes said he anticipates signing 28 players on Feb. 3.

“A couple guys we feel pretty good about that have told us privately they’re coming,” he told reporters Wednesday.

He expects to land one more wide receiver, offensive and defensive lineman and linebacker. Possibly a 10th player could enroll for the spring semester, he said.

The Bears’ recruiting class currently is ranked fifth of sixth in the Pac-12 by most of the online recruiting services, and Dykes said Cal’s 8-5 record and bowl game appearance in 2015 is only one reason the program is having more success luring talent to Berkeley.

“The program has much more credibility than it has before,” said Dykes, who took over in 2013 after the Bears went 3-9 in coach Jeff Tedford’s final season. Cal was 1-11 in Dykes’ debut. “People know we can win. They’ve seen us compete, see we’re not that far off.”

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Cal football: Bears flip 4-star DB from Stanford

Cal scored a rare football victory over Stanford on Tuesday when four-star cornerback Nygel Edmonds of Chattanooga, Tennessee, flipped from the Cardinal and committed to the Bears, according to multiple recruiting sources.

Edmonds, a 6-foot, 180-pounder from the McCallie School for Boys, had committed to Stanford last April and was admitted to school last month, according to Rivals.com.

But after also receiving offers from the likes of national championship combatants Alabama and Clemson, Edmonds chose Cal.

He is rated as a four-star prospect and the nation’s No. 27 cornerback by ESPN. Rivals has him as the No. 12 cornerback prospect and a four-star recruit. Scout lists Edmonds as a three-star prospect.

The Bears now have five defensive backs in their 24-player 2016 recruiting class. The letter-of-intent signing day is Feb. 3 and oral commitments aren’t binding until then.

But, for what it’s worth, landing Edmonds helps the Bears continue to climb in the latest recruiting rankings:

Rivals: No. 5 in Pac-12, No. 21 in nation

Scout: No. 6 in Pac-12, No. 33 in nation

247Sports: No. 6 in Pac-12, No. 32 in nation


Football: Cal signs 4-star wide receiver

Melquise Stovall, a consensus four-star wide receiver from Paraclete High in Lancaster, has signed a financial aid agreement with Cal and becomes the ninth member of the Bears’ 2016 recruiting class who will arrive on campus for the spring semester and be available to participate in spring workouts.

Stovall, a 5-foot-9, 185-pounder (listed by Scout as 5-7 1/2, 177) , is projected as an inside slot receiver for the Bears. He is among three receivers who will enroll at midyear and compete for openings at a position where Cal is losing five seniors.

Rated as the No. 3 all-purpose player by both 247Sports and Rivals, Stovall totaled 4,785 all-purpose yards during his three-year high school varsity career. Stovall played on both sides of the ball and as a senior scored 14 touchdowns, including at least one rushing, receiving, returning a kick, a punt and an interception.

He caught 46 passes for 740 yards and five TDs this fall, along with 450 rushing yards and six more scores.

As a junior, he totaled 2,455 all-purpose yards — 1,603 of them rushing — and scored 24 touchdowns.

Stovall had offers from every Pac-12 school except Stanford and Oregon, according to Scout, along with Miami and Notre Dame. He committed to Cal on Dec. 21.


Football: Texas visit can have recruiting dividends

Texas native Vic Enwere was having a little fun with Cal teammate James Looney, who grew up in Florida.

“I’m always going to say Texas high school football is better,” said Enwere, the Bears’ sophomore running back.

“Florida has the best high school football by far,” countered Looney, a sophomore defensive tackle.

Enwere got the last word: “You rank Texas first, California, Wyoming . . . then Florida.”

For the Bears, Texas sits behind only California as a key recruiting ground. Cal has six Texans on its roster and three commitments from the state who intend to sign in February.

As a result, Texas is where the Bears want to be this week. Fort Worth – site of the Bears’ Dec. 29 date with Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl – is their ideal postseason landing spot.

“This is a big deal,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said of playing a bowl game in his home state of Texas.

Assistant head coach Mark Tommerdahl, one of six members of the Cal staff who recruits in Texas, said the value of heading to the Lone Star state is “immeasurable.”

“This is a great place for us to go and spend five days,” Tommerdahl said.

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