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.


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.


Football: Bears get commit from OLB/DE prospect

Cal got its 15th oral commitment when Cameron Saffle, a 6-foot-3, 220-pound outside linebacker/defensive end from Sammamish, Washington, accepted a scholarship offer, according to Scout.com.

Saffle, who played at Skyline High, is rated as a two-star prospect by Scout and Rivals. He played linebacker in high school, but said he may be moved to the defensive line in college.

Saffle also had offers from Air Force, Eastern Washington and Idaho, according to Rivals.


Football: Bears get commitment from JC safety


True to his word, coach Sonny Dykes landed help for the Bears’ defensive secondary on Sunday, securing an oral commitment from Derron Williams-Brown, a freshman safety at Mesa (Ariz.) Community College, Scout.com reported.

According to the Mesa athletic website, Williams-Brown had three interceptions this season on a 5-5 team, earning second-team All-Arizona Community College Athletic Conference honors.

At 6-foot-2, 195 pounds, Williams-Brown would have three years of football eligibility at Cal.

“He’s a big, physical kid with good ball skills,” Mesa coach Ryan Felker said. “This is a tough league to come in and be successful as a freshman.

“He’s a workhorse,” Felker said. “He’s going to outwork anybody, do what he needs to do.”

Williams-Brown had three interceptions and caught 11 touchdown passes as a wide receiver as a junior in the fall of 2012 at Fairfax High in Laveen, Arizona, according to MaxPreps.com.

Williams-Brown missed his senior season at Fairfax with a toe injury, according to Felker, and as a result fell off the radar a bit with college recruiters. “He didn’t fall off ours,” Felker said.

Here is a video highlight reel of Williams-Brown, courtesy of Hudl.com.


Football: Bears land elite defensive end from Atlanta

Cal got a significant recruiting commitment Wednesday when Russell Ude, a top defensive end from The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga., picked the Bears over a glut of top schools.

Ude, rated as a four-star prospect by Rivals.com, announced his decision on Twitter:

“They Told Me I Couldn’t Do It. Proud To Announce I Am Committed to The University of California #GodIsGood #CalGang15

Scout.com rates Ude as a three-star prospect, but either way he helps address an area of need for the Bears.

Yeah, defense.

Ryan Gorcey of Scout.com reports that Ude actually gave Cal a “secret” commitment two months ago, but decided the time was right to make it public. Oral commitments, of course, are not binding until signing day, and Ude told Scout he still intends to take other visits.

Ude is 6-foot-3 and somewhere between 245 and 260-ish pounds, depending on which website you believe.

Others liked him, too: Oregon, Washington, UCLA and USC showed interest among Pac-12 schools. Wisconsin, West Virginia, Vanderbilt, Tennessee and Michigan State also made offers.


Basketball: Ivan Rabb trims list to 5, including Cal

Five-star East Bay basketball prospect Ivan Rabb has trimmed his list of potential colleges from seven to five, and Cal remains in the hunt, his high school coach confirmed Friday.

Rabb, a 6-foot-10 forward from Bishop O’Dowd High and a top-10 national recruit, eliminated North Carolina and Georgetown from consideration.

Still in play are Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA . . . and Cal. It’s heady competition for the Bears, but new coach Cuonzo Martin has made Rabb a priority since he was hired last spring.

“He seemed very relieved today to have it down to five,” O’Dowd coach Lou Richie said. “He called all the schools before it went public. It’s taking a long time, but he’s handling it the right way.”

Richie said Rabb is making his first official campus visit this weekend, leaving Saturday for Kentucky. He has not yet scheduled his other four trips.

Rabb was not available for comment.


Basketball: Four-star guard to choose among 3 on Friday

Shooting guard Kerwin Roach, a top-100 prospect from Houston who visited Cal three weeks ago, says he will announce his college choice on Friday morning.

Roach has narrowed his field to Cal, Texas and Wichita State, and has made official visits to all three. A 6-foot-3 senior at North Shore High, was at Texas last weekend.

“Any decision dealing with your life is difficult,” said Roach, when asked if the decision will be easy.

Roach is rated as a four-star prospect by Scout, Rivals and ESPN. Rivals has him ranked as the No. 34 overall recruit in the nation, while Scout puts him at No. 82, ESPN at No. 99.

He said he enjoyed his visit to Berkeley on the first weekend of October.

“I was really impressed by the weather,” he said enthusiastically. “The program’s about to take off, about to rise with Coach Martin. I really liked his vision.”