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Football: O-line commit flips to Utah

Three-star offensive line commit Johnny Capra of Placer High has flipped to Utah, the Salt Lake Tribune reported.

Capra, a 6-foot-5, 280-pounder, had committed to Cal months ago. But he visited the Utes last weekend and announced he will sign with them Feb. 4.

Capra’s change of heart lives the Bears with currently just two offensive line commitments — three-star prospect Ryan Gibson of Bay St. Louis, Missouri, and two-star Nick Buchanan of Dunwoody, Georgia.

Cal still has 19 prospects either committed or signed as mid-year enrollees.

It’s unclear whether offensive line coach Zach Yenser’s recent departure for Kansas influenced Capra’s decision. In his brief comments to the Salt Lake Tribune, Capra said only that he was convinced to go with Utah after his visit.

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Meanwhile, Louisiana prep wideout and state 300-meter hurdles recordholder Brandon Singleton told the Times Picayune of New Orleans that he has decommitted from Georgia Tech and will visit Cal this weekend.

The 6-foot, 170-pounder from Hahnville, High, has been recruited hard by Miami and Georgia, and also has offers from Cal and Minnesota. He told the Times Picayune is also still is considering Georgia Tech but wanted to be free to consider all his options before signing day.

Scout.com rates Singleton as a three-star prospect and ranks him as the 10th-best wide receiver prospect in Louisiana.

 

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Football: RB recruit Powell enrolls at mid-year

Cal got a jump on letter-of-intent day with the announcement that running back Lonny Powell, who gave an oral commitment in May, has signed a financial aid agreement and is joining the Cal program as a mid-year enrollee.

Powell, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder from Sacramento High, played in the recent Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. He is rated as a four-star “athlete” by Rivals.com, a three-star linebacker by Scout.com. The letter-of-intent signing period begins Feb. 4.

“We’re excited about Lonny and his future at Cal, and we’re excited that he is a part of our program,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “Lonny has done a great job in being able to graduate early from high school. He is coming to Cal as a running back but is a unique athlete who was a really productive player on both sides of the football in high school.

“Lonny brings toughness, strength and a strong work ethic to our program.”

Powell, who is expected to begin his Cal career as a running back, played three seasons of varsity football from 2012-14 with his teams combining for a 29-9 overall mark and an 18-3 Metropolitan League record.

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Football: Sonny Dykes talks recruiting

My conversation this week with Cal coach Sonny Dykes on the state of their recruiting with less than three weeks until signing day.

* How have you guys been received since the end of the season? And given that nothing is final until signing day, what do you think of the state of your class so far?

“I’m really encouraged. I think it was pretty obvious to people across the country that we got better. Certainly potential college football players see the trajectory of the program. The first year you’re just trying to hold onto the class they’d recruited here. The second year was tough just because of the kind of season we had. This year I think kids can see where we’re headed and I think they’re excited about it. I feel like we have a lot of momentum.

“We’re a lot further along than we were a year ago. We’ve identified guys a lot earlier. We’ve established much better relationships with coaches and players. There’s just a lot more doors that are open to us now. I’m really encouraged and I think it’s going to continue to get nothing but better.

“There’s four or five key players that we need to close strongly on. If we can do I think we’ll be really excited about this class and ready to start on the next one. The next one will be better than this one.

“That’s what we’re doing – we’re making sure we get better every year. They saw how close we were to being a really good football team in the best league in college football. They see the youth on our team and the number of returning starters coming back. And they get a pretty clear message that we’re headed in a good direction and I think they want to be a part of it.”

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Football: Bears on way to solid recruiting class

Recruits may be waiting to see if Cal football’s improvement can be sustained before making a mad rush to Memorial Stadium.

With signing day four weeks away, the Golden Bears appear on their way to landing a solid class of newcomers capable of addressing some specific areas of need. But the 20 prospects Cal already has lined up don’t constitute a recruiting haul significantly better than a year ago, even though the Bears made a leap from 1-11 in 2013 to 5-7 in coach Sonny Dykes’ second season.

“They’re developing a good class,” said Adam Gorney, West Coast recruiting expert for Rivals. “They just have to win on the field and kids will take notice.”

Currently, Rivals rates Cal’s class No. 35 in the country and ninth in the Pac-12. Scout has elevated the Bears from 11th in the conference six weeks ago to ninth, but lists them just 49th nationally.

A year ago, Cal was rated No. 44 by Scout, No. 46 by Rivals, and eighth in the conference by both recruiting services.

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Football: Versatile commit perhaps headed to safety

The website Scout.com lists DePriest Turner as a wide receiver prospect. Rivals.com notes he is a dual-threat quarterback.

Cal got the Mobile, Alabama native to flip from Duke and give an oral commitment, and Turner may be earmarked to play safety for the Bears, according to Rivals.

A 6-foot-1, 184-pounder from Murphy High in Mobile, Turner is rated as a three-star prospect by both recruiting websites. Scout lists him as the No. 2 prep wideout in Alabama.

He would be the fifth defensive back commitment for the Bears, who also have four wideout commits. Cal has 20 players committed to its 2015 recruiting class.

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Football: Cal makes it official by signing JC corner

Cal formalized the news from a day earlier that cornerback Antoine Albert had joining the Bears’ program by announcing his signing to a letter of intent.

Albert, from Diablo Valley College, becomes the fourth signed member of the Bears’ 2015 recruiting class and the second defensive back.

“It was important to address our needs at cornerback and we added a player today in Antoine Albert that gives us both size and length at that position,” coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “The thing that stands out most with him is that he’s a physical player.”

Although listed as bigger on a recruiting website, Cal identifies Albert as 6-foot-1, 190 pounds — still very good size for a corner.

He joins another JC transfer arriving to help in the secondary — junior Derron Williams-Brown of Mesa Community College in Arizona — who signed Wednesday.

Albert, who prepped at Oakland Tech HS, was a two-time all-conference player for DVC, which posted a 7-4 record this season.

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Football: Bears add cornerback, wide receiver

Cal got commitments Thursday from a junior college cornerback with size and a wide receiver from Hawaii, according to Scout.com.

Antoine Albert, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound from Diablo Valley College, picked Cal over offers from Arizona, Nebraska, Iowa State and Oregon State. The Oakland Tech HS grad is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.

Also headed to Cal is wide receiver Kanawai Noa, a 6-foot, 170-pounder from Punahoa HS in Honolulu. Also a three-star prospect according to Scout, Noa had offers from Hawaii, Washington State, Utah State and Yale.

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Football: Two JC defenders, prep QB arrive next month

Cal announced the mid-year signings of two junior college players who will arrive on campus next month and participate in spring ball.

Defensive end DeVante Wilson of Riverside Community College will have two years of eligibility and safety Derron Williams-Brown of Mesa Community College will be a sophomore next fall.

The two JC players will join high school quarterback Ross Bowers of Bothell, Washington, who signed a financial aid agreement in September and will also begin his Cal career in January.

“They are all very high character kids that fit well into our program,” coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “We’re excited about their potential to improve our football team but most importantly to be good student-athletes, get their Cal degrees and be successful when they graduate.”

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Football: Bears land DE, OT — await word from DBs

Cal’s big recruiting weekend has netted two oral commitments so far, but as of this writing still hadn’t gotten the nod from any of at least five defensive back prospects who were on campus.

Another position of needs is defensive end, where 3-star JC prospect DeVante Wilson of Riverside JC committed after flipping from Washington State, according to Scout.com. A native of Corona, Wilson is 6-foot-5, 245 pounds.

Cal also got a commitment from 6-4, 285-pound offensive tackle Nick Buchanan of Dunwoody HS in Georgia.

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Football: Big recruiting weekend for Bears

A huge recruiting weekend for the Bears, who have at least 11 prospects on campus, including five defensive backs, according to Scout.com.

Topping the list is Frank Buncom, a 4-star safety from St. Augustine HS-San Diego, who is rated the No. 7 prospect nationwide at his position by Scout. Others in pursuit of the 6-foot-1, 195-pounder include Duke, Notre Dame, Stanford, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt.

Also visiting Berkeley is Nathan Meadows, a 6-2,180-pound 3-star safety from San Gorgonio. He also is being recruited by Notre Dame, Boise State and UCLA.

Another 3-star prospect on campus is Chris Williamson, a 6-1, 185-pound cornerback from Gainesville, Ga. Williamson, who caught 52 passes for more than 1,000 yards as a wideout in Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin’s system, also has suitors from BYU and Cincinnati.

Brandon Stewart, a two-star cornerback from Trinity Valley JC-Athens, Texas, and Christian Taylor a safety from Jersey Village HS-Houston, also are in the Bay Area.

Others making visits are defensive end DeVante Wilson (3 stars) from Riverside HS, wide receiver DePriest Turner (3 stars) of Murphy HS-Alabama, tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhee (3 stars) of North Gwinett HS-Suwanee, GA, and offensive tackle Nick Buchanan (no stars) of Dunwoody HS-Dunwoody, GA.

Two players who already have given Cal oral commitments also are visiting this weekend: quarterback Ross Bowers (3 stars) of Bothell HS-Bothell, Wash., and defensive tackle Luc Bequette (2 stars) of Catholic HS-Little Rock, Ark.