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Football: Bears land 3-star athlete

Zion Echols, a three-star “athlete” prospect from Charter Oaks High in West Covina, had offers from seven Pac-12 schools and announced Saturday he will attend Cal.

A 5-foot-10, 170-pounder, Echols also had offers from Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, Oregon State, Utah and Washington State in the Pac-12, along with Boise State, BYU, LSU and San Jose State.

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Football: Bears land another DB prospect

Cal got its third oral commitment from a defensive back Wednesday when cornerback Traveon Bell of St. John Bosco-Bellflower chose the Bears.

Bell announced his commitment on Twitter: “Well it’s official ! … I’m so happy and blessed to say I have committed to being a Cal Bear !! !!!”

Bell is rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder chose Cal over Arizona State, Washington, Wisconsin and San Jose State, among others, according to Rivals.com.

He is Cal’s eighth 2016 commitment, joining safeties Marquel Dismuke and Shurod Thompson.

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Basketball: Caleb Swanigan picks Purdue

The long wait is over, presumably.

On the day before the spring signing period ends, five-star center Caleb Swanigan committed to Purdue, alma mater of his legal guardian and former Boilermaker football player Roosevelt Barnes.

Cal went hard after the 6-foot-9, 265-pounder from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who last month de-committed from Michigan State. Top-10 recruits and Cal signees Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown — Swanigan’s teammates on the postseason high school all-star circuit — tried to get him to Berkeley.

Instead, he stayed home and, in the process, likely kept peace in his family.

Commitments are not binding until a letter-of-intent is signed.

Here’s the story posted by Evan Daniels of Scout.com, who first reported the news Tuesday morning. Here’s more, from ESPN.com.

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Football: Bears get commit from huge O-lineman

Cal got an oral commitment Friday from offensive tackle Jake Curhan, a 6-foot-7, 315-pounder from Redwood High in Larkspur.

Rated a three-star prospect by both Scout and Rivals, Curhan has a 3.97 grade-point average, according to the recruiting website.

He chose Cal after also getting offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Washington State, among others.

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Basketball: Caleb Swanigan decommits from Michigan State — let the frenzied speculation begin

Center Caleb Swanigan, who made a recruiting visit to Cal and at one time was said to be conspiring with Ivan Rabb and Jaylen Brown to attend Berkeley as a “package deal,” is back on the market after decommitting from Michigan State.

Is he Berkeley-bound?

Who knows?

Or, as coach Cuonzo Martin said Wednesday regarding his successful recruitment of Rabb and Brown, why not?

ESPN, which first reported the news, said Purdue may be the frontrunner.

Swanigan surprised most people by committed April 10 to MSU, but had not signed a binding letter-of-intent.

Click here to read the Detroit News’ story.

Here’s more from MLive.com.

Stay tuned.

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Basketball: How did Cal land Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb? Cuonzo Martin says, `Why not?’

Ask coach Cuonzo Martin how Cal landed two top-10 national basketball recruits and his answer is simple.

“Why not?” he said. “You’re talking about the No. 1 public institution in the world. Why not? You’ve got great academics as well as great athletics. Why not? That’s what people should say.”

Martin said Jaylen Brown, consensus five-star small forward from Georgia, did not simply drop in the Bears’ lap. Hard work, relationship building and circumstances combined to convince Brown to sign with the Bears over the likes of Kentucky, Michigan and North Carolina, giving them a recruiting class that Rivals.com ranks No. 4 nationally.

Martin, in his second season at Berkeley, said he began recruiting Brown when he was head coach at Tennessee and Brown was a freshman at Wheeler High in Marietta.

He recalls seeing a 6-foor-3, 170-pounder who took the game seriously and got high marks from those around him. “His coach was saying he’ll be the next guy when it’s all said and done,” Martin said.

Brown is now 6-7, nearly 220 pounds and led Wheeler to Georgia’s 6A state title. He also played in all of the major all-star games, where his relationship with fellow Cal signee Ivan Rabb of Oakland’s Bishop O’Dowd High began to blossom.

There was talk a month ago of Brown, Rabb and center Caleb Swanigan choosing a school as a “package deal.” Swanigan opted for Michigan State, but Rabb decided to stay close to home.

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Basketball: Rivals ranks Cal’s class No. 4

Topped by Jaylen Brown and Ivan Rabb, Cal’s recruiting class is No. 4 in final 2015 rankings released Wednesday by Rivals.com.

Cal coach Cuonzo Martin — like most coaches — has said he’s not obsessed with rankings. Even so, this is rarified territory for the Golden Bears.

Consider the Rivals top-5: 1. Duke; 2. Arizona; 3. Kentucky; 4. Cal; 5. LSU.

Brown, a 6-foot-7 small forward, is rated No. 3 by Rivals, and Rabb, a 6-10 power forward checks in at No. 7. Shooting guard Tyson Jolly is ranked No. 73. Still-to-be-signed small forward Davon Dillard is No. 147.

The only other school with two signed players ranked in the top-10 is Kentucky, with No. 1 Skal Laissiere and No. 10 Isaiah Briscoe.

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Basketball: Jaylen Brown’s signing is official

Cal officially signed high school All-America forward Jaylen Brown on Monday, adding to perhaps the most impressive basketball recruiting class in school history.

“Jaylen is one of the nation’s elite players and we are thrilled he is a Golden Bear,” Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said in a statement. “He is a strong, athletic player with a tremendous work ethic. Jaylen has the skill and ability to play four different positions on the floor.”

A 6-foot-7, 220-pounder from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia, Brown was rated as the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect by Scout.com, and is among the top five, according to every major recruiting service.

He joins fellow consensus top-10 prospect Ivan Rabb, a 6-10 power forward from Oakland, and four-star shooting guard Tyson Jolly of Oklahoma City in the class that will enroll at Berkeley next fall.

Brown averaged 28 points and 12 rebounds this season, leading Wheeler to a 30-3 record and the Georgia 6A state title. His two free throws with 0.6 seconds left were the difference in the state championship game, and helped Wheeler to a final No. 6 national ranking, according to USA Today.

“He’s one of the most talented kids I’ve had here at Wheeler, hands down,” said coach Doug Lipscomb, whose past players over 23 seasons include former Cal star Shareef Abdur-Rahim, who went on to a productive NBA career. “Both were very skilled-oriented kids, both rebound the ball, play defense and, most importantly, both are very good people.”

Lipscomb said Brown is versatile and unselfish on the court.

“He should definitely be a plus for Cal,” Lipscomb said. “He’s only going to get bigger and stronger.”

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Basketball: Shocker from Georgia — Bears top Kentucky, UNC and Michigan to land Jaylen Brown

UPDATED

Jaylen Brown, rated the nation’s No. 1 overall prospect by Scout.com, stunned the college basketball world Friday by announcing will play next season at Cal.

“I’m very surprised. He could have literally picked any school in the country and he chose Cal, which obviously is a huge statement for Cuonzo Martin and that program,” said Josh Gershon, a recruiting analyst for Scout.

“It’s one of the biggest surprises in recent recruiting memory.”

Martin landed the 6-foot-7, 210-pound small forward from Wheeler High in Marietta, Georgia, in competition with Michigan, Kentucky and North Carolina. Brown attends the high school alma mater of former Cal star Shareef Abdur-Rahim.

Rivals and 247Sports both rank Brown as the nation’s No. 3 overall prospect and ESPN rates him at No. 4. The website DraftExpress.com projects Brown to be the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA draft.

Brown will be paired with top-10 signee Ivan Rabb, a 6-10 power forward from Bishop O’Dowd High in Oakland, to give the Bears an elite recruiting class. Continue Reading