Football: Bears lose 3-star O-line commit

Nick Buchanan, a three-star offensive line commitment from Dunwoody, Ga., de-committed from Cal on Monday night and is expected to sign with Florida, according to SB Nation. He also recently took a recruiting trip to Georgia.

Here is Buchanan’s announcement on Twitter:

“With a heavy heart, and in my best interest I have officially decided to deccommit from the University of California, Berkeley.

“Gotta thank the coaches for offering me a scholarship no doubt I wouldn’t be where I am with out that! Wish everyone there the best of luck!”

The defection of Buchanan, a 6-foot-4, 285-pounder, leaves the Bears with just two committed offensive linemen expected to sign Wednesday.

Buchanan is the second offensive line prospect to de-commit from the Bears since offensive line coach Zach Yenser left for a position at Kansas. Johnny Capra, a three-star tackle from Placer, flipped to Utah on Jan. 21.


Women’s basketball: Cal signee in McDonald’s game

Cal women’s signee Kristine Anigwe has been named a 2015 McDonald’s All-American and will represent the West in the 14th edition of the McDonald’s High School All-American game.

The Phoenix native becomes the 13th Golden Bear signee to be named a McDonald’s All-American.

Anigwe, named one of 16 nominees for the Naismith High School Player of the Year award earlier this week, is one of 24 girls selected for the McDonald’s game that will take place April 1 at the United Center in Chicago.

Anigwe is the third McDonald’s player recruited to Cal by coach Lindsay Gottlieb.

California Women’s Basketball McDonald’s All-Americans

Kristine Anigwe – 2015

Mikayla Cowling – 2014

Gabby Green – 2014

Reshanda Gray – 2011

Justine Hartman – 2011

Afure Jemerigbe – 2010

Lindsay Sherbert – 2010

Gennifer Brandon – 2009

Eliza Pierre – 2009

Tierra Rogers – 2009

DeNesha Stallworth – 2009

Alexis Gray-Lawson – 2005

Devanei Hampton – 2005


Football: Cal’s new recruiting geography

Four-star Texas wideout Carlos Strickland’s commitment to Cal on Tuesday made it nine prospects from the South headed to Berkeley next fall. That’s almost as many commits as the Bears have from all of California in the 2015 class.

Presuming Cal gets signatures from each of them next Wednesday, here’s the rundown on prospects from SEC territory that will become Golden Bears:

Alabama (2): Keith Washington, DB; DePriest Turner, Saf
Georgia (2): Russell Ude, DE; Nick Buchanan, OT
Texas (2): Billy McCrary III, Ath; Carlos Strickland, WR
Arkansas (1): Luc Bequette. DT
Louisiana (1): Brandon Singleton, WR
Mississippi (1): Ryan Gibson, C

Those nine players got 10 offers from eight different SEC schools.

Of course, coach Sonny Dykes and most of his assistants hail from that part of the country and have strong recruiting ties there. Dykes has said he wants to establish better relationships in the Bay Area, but that hasn’t happened yet.

The Bears’ current list of 23 commitments includes six from Southern California area, just two from the greater Bay Area and a total of 13 from out of state.

Consider that Jeff Tedford’s final two recruiting classes averaged 6.5 Southern California players, 5 out-of-state prospects and 4 from the South. Among that latter group, running back Daniel Lasco (Texas), receiver Maurice Harris (North Carolina) and punter Cole Leininger (Florida) remain.

The reality is only USC and UCLA have traditionally recruited as heavily in-state as Cal. And the Trojans and Bruins focus largely on Southern California, their talent-rich backyard.

Everyone else in the Pac-12, mostly out of necessity, looks beyond its own area, even its own state borders. You will note below that Arizona, Oregon and WSU have recruited no in-state players so far this season, and Oregon State has just one.

Here’s how the current 2015 classes stack up, geographically:

* ARIZONA (26 current commits). Southern California: 5; Out of state: 21; South: 6.

* ARIZONA STATE (19). SoCal: 7; Out of state: 14; South: 4.

* CAL (23). SoCal: 6; Out of state: 13; South: 9.

* COLORADO (18). SoCal: 4; Out of state: 14; South: 3.

* OREGON (21). SoCal: 7; Out of state: 21; South: 4.

* OREGON STATE (15). SoCal: 3; Out of state: 14; South: 7.

* STANFORD (18): SoCal: 5; Out of state: 12; South: 6.

* UCLA (17). SoCal: 8; Out of state: 6; South: 3.

* USC (20). SoCal: 12; Out of state: 5; South: 3.

* UTAH (22). SoCal: 6; Out of state: 16; South: 4.

* WASHINGTON (24). SoCal: 8; Out of state: 16; South: 1.

* WASHINGTON STATE (24). SoCal: 16. Out of state: 24; South: 0.


Football: Bears add fourth recruit in as many days

Cal didn’t need to trek to the Southeast to find its latest football recruit. The Bears went to the home of one of their current players.

Patrick Mekari, a 6-foot-5, 280-pound offensive lineman from Westlake Village, is the younger brother of current Bears’ defensive tackle Tony Mekari.

With signing day now just a week off, the Bears have added a player to their commitment list four days in a row, bringing their class to 23 players.

Meanwhile, as expected, four-star defensive back prospect Frank Buncum IV of San Diego picked Stanford over Cal and other suitors.

Patrick Mekari is rated as a two-star prospect by Scout.


Basketball: Bears land four-star WR from Texas

Cal’s late recruiting push netted a significant commitment Tuesday when Carlos Strickland, rated a four-star wide receiver from Dallas, became the 22nd prospect to join the Bears.

Scout.com reported that Strickland, a 6-foot-4, 195-pounder from Skyline High, picked the Bears over Alabama, Ohio State, Texas, UCLA and Wisconsin, among others.

Scout, Rivals and ESPN all rate Strickland as a four-star prospect.

He is described on the Scout’s evaluation as “tall and wiry-strong wide receiver who always seems to be open. He runs clean routes and then uses his size and reach to make sure catches. One of his best attributes is his blocking ability.”

Strickland’s lone stated weakness is his lack of high-end speed.

But, Scout added, “He is a weapon in the red-zone using his size to make a mismatch over smaller defensive backs. He is a pretty good route runner as well. Just very well-rounded.”

He is rated by Scout as the nation’s No. 101 overall prospect, the 14th-best wideout on its list. Rivals has him at No. 132 nationally and the No. 12 wide receiver.

According to Rivals, Strickland caught 41 passes for 896 yards and 15 touchdowns last fall, after grabbed 33 receptions for 719 yards and 10 TDs as a junior.

Strickland’s commitment boosts Cal to No. 27 in Rivals team rankings, No. 42, according to Scout.

Commitments are not binding until the Feb. 4 national signing day.


Football: Latest wideout boosts Cal class to 21

Cal added a another wide receiver to its recruiting class, getting a commitment Monday from three-star prospect Brandon Singleton, who visited campus last weekend after de-committing from Georgia Tech.

Singleton is a 6-foot, 170-pounder from Hahnville HS in Boutte, Louisiana. He also is the state recordholder in the 300-meter hurdles, so he brings track speed. Singleton is rated as a three-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Singleton joins Aaron Austin, Greyson Bankhead and Kanawai Noa as prospects being brought in specifically earmarked to play wideout. Rivals lists Billy McCrary as an athlete, leaving his future role open.

With Singleton, the Bears now have 21 commits or mid-year signees just nine days out from national signing day.

Rivals now has Cal’s class rated as tied for No. 32 nationally, while Scout boosted the Bears two spots to No. 48. These rankings are very fluid and will change daily — if not hourly — before Feb. 4.

The position breakdown of Cal’s recruits: WR — 4;  Safety — 4; Offensive line — 3; CB — 2; DE — 2; QB — 1; RB — 1; DT — 1; OLB — 1; Ath — 1; TE — 1.


Football: Cal adds sixth DB prospect to class

Cal got an oral commitment Sunday from cornerback Keith Washington, a consensus three-star prospect from Prattville HS in Alabama. Washington, 6-2, 170 pounds, runs a 4.30 40-yard dash, according to Scout.com.

Washington’s commitment boosts Cal’s national ranking to No. 35 by Rivals.com, which gives three of the Bears’ prospects as four-star players, and 15 others as three stars. Scout puts the Bears’ prospective class at No. 50, ranking 18 of their 20 commitments as three-star players.

Washington is the sixth high school or junior college defensive back expected to join the Bears next fall. He is rated by Scout as the No. 4 corner prospect in the state of Alabama.

Washington chose Cal over offers from Duke, Indiana, Louisville, Miami, North Carolina and Missouri, among other schools, according to both Scout and Rivals.


Football: Cal OT commit visiting Georgia

On the same day Cal commit Nick Buchanan, a three-star offensive tackle from Dunwoody, Ga., began a weekend recruiting visit to Georgia, Scout.com on Friday released its final top-100 California prospects.

Topping the list is De La Salle High defensive lineman Kahlil McKenzie, who is headed to Tennessee.

There are 13 USC commits on the list – 11 of them ranked among the top 41 – and 10 players expected to sign Feb. 4 with UCLA.

Arizona State and Oregon have claims on six of the top-100 from California. Washington and Washington State are each poised to sign five of them, Arizona four.

Cal has three from the state’s elite list, none in the top 50.

Running back Lonny Powell of Sacramento, who already is enrolled as a mid-year high school graduate, checks in at No. 62 on Scout’s list of top CA prospects. Also expected to join the Bears are No. 78 WR Aaron Austin and No. 79 CB Malik Psalms.

There are 22 non-committed players on the list, but Cal is by means a lock to get any of them.

Coach Sonny Dykes seems on pace to land a decent class, with 19 players currently committed. But Scout’s listings are a reminder that the new coaching regime still has ground to cover before it can claim a fair share of the in-state market.

Earlier this week the Bears lost three-star offensive lineman Johnny Capra of Placer High, who flipped to Utah. Now Buchanan is being pulled by Georgia and its SEC rival, Florida.

Cal also is hosting recruits on campus this weekend, including San Diego prep defensive back Frank Buncom IV.

Stay tuned. It’s that time of the year when uncertainty and chaos reigns.


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.


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.