Basketball: Four-star 7-footer picks Utah over Cal

Four-star 7-foot center Jayce Johnson of Santa Monica has given Utah a verbal commitment. Cal was one of his three finalists.

Here’s more, courtesy of the Salt Lake Tribune.

Meanwhile, four-star small forward Vance Jackson, also a Cal recruiting target, is said to be ready to announce his college choice on Friday. Scout.com rates the 6-foot-8, 215-pounder from Prolific Prep in Napa as the nation’s No. 13 small forward prospect.

Jackson has made visits to only Cal and UConn, according to Rivals.com, but also has offers from Arizona, Maryland, Memphis, San Diego State and Washington.


Basketball: Is Cal about to land a 7-footer?

Consensus four-star center prospect Jayce Johnson of Santa Monica High is close to reclassifying to the class of 2015 and could announce his college choice by next week, Scout.com reports.

Among his three finalists: Cal, which Johnson plans to visit next week.

A 7-foot, 235-pounder, Johnson is rated a four-star prospect by Scout, Rivals and ESPN. Scout ranks him the No. 2 center prospect in the state, No. 12 in the country.

All three websites regard Johnson as a top-100 overall prospect, topped by his No. 59 spot on Scout’s list.

He currently is part of the class of 2016, but a family source told Scout that he expects to reclassify to the class of ’15. He has a 4.0 GPA and is an NCAA qualifier, the source said.

Johnson has narrowed his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah. He recently eliminated Stanford. If he enrolls in college this fall, he reportedly plans to redshirt his first year.


Football: Latest Cal signee has chance to play soonest

Four-star wide receiver Jordan Duncan of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, is the third committed Cal football prospect to sign a financial agreement with the Bears, allowing him to enroll in January and participate in spring workouts.

Don’t be surprised if you see Duncan on the field immediately as a freshman next fall.

His early arrival will be significant for the Bears, who will lose much of a veteran receiving corps after this season. Bryce Treggs, Trevor Davis, Maurice Harris, Stephen Anderson and Darius Powe all are seniors and junior Kenny Lawler may consider entering the NFL early.

Duncan, rated as a four-star prospect by both Rivals and ESPN, certainly will get the chance to help fill the void.

“Jordan Duncan is an elite athlete,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “He’s got good size and speed as well as great ball skills. He also has a fantastic work ethic and is one of the most mature young people I’ve ever met.

“Jordan is very focused and knows what he wants. I think he is going to be a very productive football player and because he’s going to graduate early from high school and go through spring ball he will have a great chance to play as a freshman.”

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Football: Second high school prospect signs financial aid agreement to join Cal in January

Offensive tackle Jake Curhan of Redwood High in Larkspur became the second high school senior to sign a financial aid agreement with Cal, meaning he can enroll at Berkeley in January and participate in spring practice.

A week ago, quarterback Max Gilliam of Thousands Oaks did the same thing.

Curhan, a 6-foot-6, 305-pounder, is rated as the nation’s No. 55 offensive lineman in the country by ESPN. Both Rivals and ESPN rank Curhan as the No. 76 prospect overall in the state of California.

Curhan, who first committed to Cal in May, is rated as a three-star prospects by Rivals and Scout.

“We need to sign tackles and Jake is exactly what we’re looking for,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “He’s a big tackle with good size and length, and he’s a good athlete. I think he’s going to develop into an excellent football player.

“Jake’s also a great student and a local kid. He’s exactly the type of student-athlete we want to have in our program.”

Curhan is a 3.8 student and a member of the National Honor Society.

“Making the decision to come to Cal means a lot to me,” Curhan said. “There’s so much history within the football program and the university, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. The whole time the most important thing for me was to find the best mix of academics and athletics, and Cal is just that.”


Football: Prep QB Max Gilliam signs early with Cal, will be on campus in time for spring ball

Quarterback Max Gilliam of Thousands Oaks became the first official member of the 2016 Cal football recruiting class when he signed a financial aid agreement Thursday.

The 6-foot-3, 195-pounder, who is beginning his senior year of high school, will enroll at Cal in January and be eligible to participate in spring practice. Rated as the nation’s No. 15 pro-style quarterback prospect by 247 Sports, Gilliam passed and ran for 3,545 yards and was responsible for 41 touchdowns last season at Thousand Oaks High

This fall he has completed 43 of 59 passes for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns, leading his team to a 2-0 start.

“We really like him,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. “He’s one of those guys we put the film on and we think he’s as good as any quarterback out there. He’s what we’re looking for. He’s a very good athlete. He can run, he’s got a good arm. He’s got the intangible part of it – he’s a great leader, a really good student.”

Dykes said the Bears expect to eventually sign a second quarterback in this class, although he is not permitted to publicly discuss unsigned prospects. But word is Armani Rogers, a 6-5 quarterback from Hamilton High in Los Angeles who committed to the Bears last February, may be looking elsewhere.

Various reports say Cal has made an offer to Jack Abraham of Oxford, Mississippi. Abraham, who earlier committed to Tulane, is expected to be on Cal’s campus on an unofficial recruiting visit this weekend. He is rated a three-star prospect by 247Sports, ESPN and Scout.


Football: Four-star wide receiver picks Bears

The Bears got perhaps their biggest recruiting news of the year on Monday when Jordan Duncan, rated a four-star wide receiver by Rivals, announced via Twitter he will attend Cal next fall.

“It’s Official! I AM A CAL BEAR! #CalGang16 LET’S GOOOO”

A 6-foot-1, 193-pounder from Oak Grove High in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Duncan made a campus visit over the weekend.

He caught 71 passes for 1,207 yards and 14 touchdowns as a junior, according to Rivals. As a sophomore, Duncan caught 65 passes for 926 yards and 10 TDs,  reported the website RecruitingNewsGuru.com.

Duncan also plays safety and cornerback for his high school team, helping the Warriors to back-to-back state championship game appearances and a title in 2013.

The 22nd player to orally commit to Cal, Duncan is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com. He chose the Bears among offers from at least a dozen schools, including Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisville, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, North Carolina and Tennessee.


Football: Three-star DE commits to Bears

Cal got its third oral commitment from a defensive end Friday when Evan Weaver, rated a three-star prospect by Scout and Rivals, picked the Bears over offers from 11 other schools.

Weaver is a 6-foot-3, 241-pounder from Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, Wash. Scout ranks him as the No. 2 defensive end prospect in the state of Washington.

Weaver also had offers Pac-12 schools Arizona, Utah, Washington and Washington State. Boise State and Army also offered Weaver.

Cal’s 2016 class now has 21 committed prospects, with Weaver joining Russell Becker of Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and Tevin Paul of Austin, Texas, as defensive ends.


Football: Bears land 20th recruit

Cal got a commitment from Byron “Gentle” Williams, a 6-foot-3, 278-pound offensive tackle from Florence High in Florence, Mississippi.

The Bears now have 20 oral commitments from prospects in the class of 2016.

Williams had just one other offer — from Southern Miss — according to Scout.com. Mississippi State reportedly also was interested.


Football: Bears nab Houston LB prospect

Cal got its 19th oral commitment for the class of 2016 this weekend when Cameron Goode, a linebacker from Klein Collins High in suburban Houston chose the Bears.

A 6-foot-3, 205-pounder, Goode picked Cal over offers from Boston College, Iowa State, Kansas, Fresno State and Louisiana Lafayette, according to Scout.

Rivals ranks Goode as a two-star prospect, Scout does not award him any stars.