Football: Cal gets commitment from 2016 safety

Cal football landed its second significant 2016 recruiting prospect in a week when four-star safety Marquel Dismuke of Compton announced via twitter he has picked the Bears over Michigan and Arizona State, among others.

A senior-to-be at Calabasas High, Dismuke is rated as the No. 11 safety in the country by Scout and No. 12 by Rivals. Both recruiting sites list him as a four-star prospect.

Dismuke, a 6-foot, 175-pounder, is the nation’s No. 190 overall prospect, according to Scout.

He joins dual-threat quarterback Armani Rogers, a three-star prospect from Hamilton High in Los Angeles, in Cal’s 2016 recruiting class. Commitments do not become binding until signing day in February 2016.


Football: Bears get 2016 QB commitment

Cal football got its first 2016 recruiting commitment from Armani Rogers, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound dual-threat quarterback from Hamilton High in Los Angeles, according to multiple recruiting websites.

Rogers, rated as a three-star prospect by Rivals and Scout, picked Cal over offers from Utah and Colorado State and also had recent interest from UCLA.

“New #Cal commit Armani Rogers is intriguing with his size, mobility and effortless release/arm strength, reminds of a young Cam Newton,” tweeted Scout analyst Greg Biggins.

Rogers led the Hamilton Yankees to a 12-4 record and the Los Angeles City Division II championship as a junior last season. According to Rivals, he threw 28 touchdown passes with just three interceptions and ran for seven TDs.

Rogers began his high school career at Crespi High, spent his sophomore year at Culver High, then transferred to Hamilton, according to the Los Angeles Times.


Football: Dykes praises new assistant Peeler

While talking up Cal’s 2015 recruiting class, coach Sonny Dykes gave credit to Jacob Peeler, the Bears’ newest fulltime assistant, for his good work.

Dykes confirmed that Peeler had a key hand in the recruitment of defensive end Russell Ude, wide receiver Brandon Singleton and defensive back DePriest “Trey” Turner.

“I was really impressed with Jacob,” Dykes said. “Kids really like him, kids trust him. He does a great job communicating and really enjoys it. I thought he did a great job. He knocked it out of the park. And I think he’s just getting started.”

Peeler spent his first two seasons at Cal as a graduate assistant working with Cal’s inside receivers. Now he has the primary assistant with that position group.

Promoted just weeks ago, after Rob Likens and Zach Yenser left for positions at Kansas, Peeler first gave Dykes a glimpse of his potential as a recruiter through his work as a GA. In that role, Peeler was able to communicate with potential recruits via phone and social media and meet with them on campus visits. A GA is not permitted to recruit off campus.

“Young people have a pretty good understanding of social media – certainly a better understanding than I do – and that’s the way these young people communicate with each other these days,” Dykes said. “He was able to make those connections and start to build those relationships even though he wasn’t allowed to be in their homes.

“He was talking to them every day. Before long, it became pretty apparent to me he was driving the bus on a lot of these recruits. It became apparent to me not only was he going to be an adequate recruiter had a chance to be a very good recruiter.”


Football: The class rankings — who do you believe?

Where does Cal’s recruiting class rank in the Pac-12 or nationally?

Well, that depends whose rankings you believe. Cal is rated 29th, 37th and 53rd in the three rankings below.

Our inclination is to believe none of them. They are educated guesses, nothing more. We’ll know for sure in two or three years.


1. USC
2. Alabama
3. Florida State
4. Clemson
5. Tennessee
6. Auburn
7. Georgia
8. LSU
9. Ohio State
10. Texas A&M
Elsewhere in Pac-12: 13. UCLA; 17. Oregon; 18. Stanford; 20. Arizona State; 29. Cal; 30. Washington; 41. Arizona; 42. Utah; 56. Washington State; 70t. Colorado; 70t. Oregon State.

1. USC
2. Alabama
3. Auburn
5. Tennessee
6. Georgia
7. Notre Dame
8. Texas
9. Ohio State
10. Texas A&M
Elsewhere in the Pac-12: 21. Oregon; 23. Washington; 25. Stanford; 37. Cal; 41. Arizona; 45. Washington State; 51. Utah; 64. Oregon State; 75. Colorado.

1. Alabama
2. Florida State
3. USC
4. Clemson
5. Tennessee
6. Ohio State
7. Auburn
8. Georgia
9. Texas
10. LSU
Elsewhere in the Pac-12: 11. UCLA; 15. Oregon; 26. Arizona State; 27. Stanford; 28. Washington; 39. Arizona; 53. Cal; 54. Washington State; 56. Utah; 67. Colorado; 68. Oregon State.


Football: Jaylinn Hawkins — the last signee

An hour after Cal coach Sonny Dykes completed his news conference Wednesday, introducing the Bears’ recruiting class of 2015, that class officially grew from 23 players to 24.

Jaylinn Hawkins of Buena Park High came on board, giving the Bears another player with the potential to play multiple positions.

Hawkins is rated among the nation’s top-25 wide receiver prospects by both Scout and Rivals, but it’s also possible he might end up playing defensive back.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pounder totaled 152 catches for 2,443 yards and 21 touchdowns. A two-way starter, he also had 11 career interceptions, 21 pass breakups, and 223 tackles for a program that was 25-9 over his three varsity seasons.

Scout and Rivals rated Hawkins as a four-star prospect, 247Sports and ESPN list him as a three-star player.

Here’s what is being said about him:

► Sonny Dykes: “Jaylinn is one of the best players in Southern California. He can do a lot of different things. I really love the way he plays the game. He’s very physical for his size. He can play a variety of positions. He’s a rangy fast athlete that’s very tough, very physical, and has a chance to really be a good football player.”

► ESPN: “Hawkins is an explosive, space player that is quicker than fast and likely going to see more upside if moved to the inside. He possesses some natural playmaking instincts as a pass catcher and knows what to do with the ball in his hands.”

► Scout: “He can make a corner look silly because of his smooth route running and then shows the speed to blow by him.”


Football: Bears’ class has Southeastern feel

Cal coach Sonny Dykes unveiled a 24-player recruiting class Wednesday with a distinct Southeastern flavor.

Despite losing two potential signees from the Southeast quadrant of the country in the past three days, the Bears landed seven players from states where Southeastern Conference recruiters generally have their way.

“I was really pleased to see we were getting some guys from the South. Obviously, the South is where the best football is played — that’s a fact,” said defensive end Russell Ude, a defensive end from Atlanta who had offers from three SEC schools, including Georgia. “It shows that Cal can come into SEC territory and snatch up SEC talent.”

The Bears also signed players from Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama and Texas, where Carlos Strickland was a consensus four-star wide receiver in Dallas. Strickland said no to SEC powerhouse Alabama to come to Cal.

“I kind of want to go somewhere where we can rebuild and be a part of the come-up,” said Strickland, who became a Cal fan growing up when he followed the likes of Marshawn Lynch and DeSean Jackson.

The geographical slant to Cal’s recruiting seemingly netted a positive result this year. Rivals rated the Bears’ class in the top 30 nationally, and Scout has the Bears in the top 40.

Click here to read the rest of this story.


Austin Aaron: WR Napa 6-5, 210
Third-generation Cal athlete had 115 career catches, 2,082 yards, 23 TDs

Antoine Albert: CB Oakland 6-2, 220
Oakland Tech grad expected to join team in fall after 2 years at Diablo Valley College

Greyson Bankhead: WR Corona 5-10, 160
Excellent route-runner caught 137 passes for 2,061 yards and 22 TDs in prep career

Luc Bequette: DT Little Rock, Ark 6-2, 285
Mother Debi Thomas is a Stanford grad and 1988 Olympic figure skating bronze medalist

Ross Bowers: QB Bothell, WA 6-1, 175
Four-star ESPN recruit passed for 37 TDs for unbeaten state championship team

Derron Williams-Brown: Saf Laveen, AZ 6-2, 195
Mid-year JC signee arrives with three years’ eligibility and chance to find place in spring ball

Ryan Gibson: C Bay St. Louis, MS 6-3, 265
Started four years in high school, father played defensive back at Navy

Jaylinn Hawkins: ATH Buena Park 6-1, 180
Rated a four-star prospect by Scout and Rivals, could end up at WR or DB

Trevor Howard: DL Westlake Village 6-4, 235
Injured most of senior year; father played at Kansas, uncle at UCLA, grandfather at Wisconsin

Zeandae Johnson: DL Fresno 6-5, 250
Primarly a high school tight end, Johnson will play on the defensive side for Cal

Dylan Klumph: P Encino 6-3, 230
Golden West CC punter arrives with three years to play; could also do kickoffs

Billy McCrary III: Ath Leander, TX 5-10, 195
Dual-threat prep QB accounted for 72 career TDs, but will get first look as DB

Patrick Mekari: OL Westlake Village 6-5, 300
He is the younger brother of current Cal defensive tackle Tony Mekari

Kanawai Noa: WR Honolulu 6-0, 170
Prolific prep receiver had 146 career catches for 3.195 yards, 34 touchdowns

Lonny Powell: RB Sacramento 6-1, 205
Mid-year enrollee averaged 11.5 yards per rush or catch, with 38 career TDs in 38 games

Malik Psalms: CB Chino Hills 6-3, 175
Rated as a 4-star prospect and nation’s No. 27 cornerback by Rivals

Evan Rambo: Saf Pasadena 6-3, 190
Played exclusively on defense as a senior; could play several DB spots for Cal

Cameron Saffle: DL Sammamish,WA 6-3, 225
Played on two state title teams; expected to play defensive end for the Bears

Brandon Singleton: WR Bouttee, LA 6-0, 175
Speed receiver owns state high school 300 hurdles record; father Nate played for 49ers

Carlos Strickland: WR Dallas, TX 6-5, 200
Four-star prospect, who caught 25 TDs past two seasons, picked Cal over Texas, UCLA

DePriest Turner: Saf Mobile, Ala 6-1, 180
Passed and ran for more than 6,000 yards and 61 TDs as prep QB, will play DB for Bears

Russell Ude: DE Atlanta, GA 6-4, 250
Four-star prospect expected to play as freshman and provide boost to sagging pass rush

Semisi Uluave: OG Honolulu 6-5, 320
Rated by Scout as a 4-star and top prospect in Hawaii; does LDS mission factor in future?

DeVante Wilson: DE Corona 6-5, 245
December signee began career at USC in 2011 before knee injury sent him to Riverside CC


Football: Class gets a lift from Hawaiian guard

Cal’s football recruiting class netted at least one surprise Wednesday morning when Semisi Uluave, a huge offensive guard from Honolulu, joined the Bears on signing day.

Uluave, a teammate of Cal-bound wideout Kanawai Noa at Punahou School, picked the Bears over UCLA, Texas Tech and Oregon. Although Noa had reportedly been campaigning for Cal, Uluave’s decision was a bit unexpected.

But it was a welcome addition to a position group that took a couple hits in Cal’s recruiting over the past several weeks. Placer offensive lineman Johnny Capra flipped to Utah, then Nick Buchanan of Dunwoody, Georgia, withdrew his commitment to Cal on Monday.

Click here to read the rest of this story.


Football: Signing day is here


Cal’s coaches went to bed Tuesday night wondering what national signing day would bring for two of their commitments from the Southeast.

Wednesday morning arrived and the Bears kept one and lost one.

Defensive tackle Luc Bequette of Little Rock, Arkansas, sent in his signed letter-of-intent, choosing the Bears over strong, late pushes from Florida and Georgia.

But defensive back Keith Washington of Prattville, Alabama, flipped to Michigan, where he signed with new coach Jim Harbaugh.

Otherwise, things moved quickly and went according to form for the Golden Bears. By 8 a.m., they had 13 signed letters in hand, to go with four players who signed at mid-year and already are enrolled in classes.

In particular, Cal closed the deal on its biggest recruits – wideout Carlos Strickland of Dallas and defensive end Russell Ude of Atlanta. The Bears signed all four of their four-star commitments, also securing defensive back Malik Psalms and running back Lonny Powell, who signed at mid-year.

Bequette’s status was unclear after he’d taken trips the past two weekends to Georgia and Florida. In the end, he stayed with Cal, as Dykes signed seven of eight players from the Southeast with whom they had commitments.

“Proud to be a Golden Bear,” Bequette posted on his Twitter account. “This is going to be a great next 3-5 years. Thanks for the supporters. Next up . . . Prove everybody else wrong. . .”

“Luc is an under the radar student-athlete that we saw at our camp last summer. He has played both offensive and defensive line, and we like him as a defensive tackle,” Cal coach Sonny Dykes said on the school’s athletic website. “We thought he really moved well. He is a young player with a tremendous upside that we think makes a lot of sense.”

Click here for video highights of Bequette in action.

Bequette has some serious athletic genes in his favor. His father Chris played football at Arkansas, his mother, Debi Thomas, is a Stanford grad and was the 1988 Olympic bronze medalist figure skater, and cousin Jake plays for the New England Patriots.

Cal also got Wednesday morning letters from: OL Ryan Gibson, Ath Billy McCrary, WR Brandon Singleton, DB DePriest Turner, DL Zeandae Johnson, DL Cameron Saffle, P Dylan Klumph, OL Patrick Mekari and DL Trevor Howard.

Already signed at mid-year, in addition to Powell, are QB Ross Bowers, DB Derron Brown and DE DeVante Wilson. All four will participate in spring practice.

Here are Dykes’ first comments on several of his top signees, courtesy of Cal’s website:

On Ude: “Russell is your prototypical defensive end. He has great size, great speed and is a very productive football player. He’s also an excellent student who comes from a great family and is just a solid person. He’s one of those kids that has the maturity to potentially come in and play early. We really like his upside. He’s going to continue to develop and we really like what he brings to our program.” Click here for video.

On Strickland: “Carlos is one of the elite wide receivers in the country. He has the exact size and speed everyone is looking for. When you put the film on I don’t know that anyone has a better combination of that in the entire country. He can go get the ball. We’re really fortunate that he has chosen to become a part of our program. He has an opportunity to get on the field relatively quickly and become a special player.” Click here for video.

On Psalms: “Malik was a very productive high school football player and is exactly what we’re looking for as a defensive back. He’s got length and tremendous athleticism and knows how to play the ball. He really changes direction well for someone with his size. He is also a great student.” Click here for video.


Football: Cal’s commit list on eve of signing day

With one day to go before national letters of intent are signed, here is Cal’s expected recruiting class, currently at 23 players.

Because commitments aren’t binding until paperwork is in, things remain fluid. Word is that three-star DT Luc Bequette is waffling and considering a late offer from Florida.

Also, Cal Rivals is reporting that Alabama prep defensive back Keith Washington is now considering an offer from new Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh and will announce Wednesday morning at 5:30 a.m. PT.

The Bears already have lost offensive lineman Johnny Capra and Nick Buchanan in recent weeks.

I will update Cal’s signings Wednesday in this space or via Twitter (@JeffFaraudo).

Cal will announce signings beginning Wednesday morning on CalBears.com/Signing Day 


Austin Aaron: WR, Napa, 6-5, 200
Antoine Albert: CB, Oakland, 6-2, 220
Greyson Bankhead: WR, Corona, 5-9, 155
Luc Bequette: DT, Little Rock, Ark 6-3, 290
x-Ross Bowers: QB, Bothell, WA, 6-1, 175
x-Derron Brown: Safety, Laveen, AZ, 6-2, 195
Ryan Gibson: C, Bay St. Louis, MS, 6-2, 271
Billy McCrary III: Ath, Leander, TX, 5-11, 187
Trevor Howard: OLB, Westlake Village, 6-3, 224
Zeandae Johnson: DL, Fresno, 6-2, 240
Dylan Klumph: P/PK, Encino, 6-3, 225
Patrick Mekari: OL, Westlake Village, 6-5, 280
Kanawai Noa: WR, Honolulu, 6-0, 170
x-Lonny Powell: RB, Sacramento, 6-1, 205
Malik Psalms: CB, Chino Hills, 6-2, 175
Evan Rambo: Safety, Pasadena, 6-3, 190
Cameron Saffle: DL, Sammamish, WA, 6-3, 221
Brandon Singleton: WR, Bouttee, LA, 6-0, 170
Carlos Strickland: WR, Dallas, TX, 6-4, 195
DePriest Turner: Safety, Mobile, Ala, 6-2, 170
Russell Ude: DE, Atlanta, GA, 6-3, 245
x-DeVante Wilson: DE, Corona, 6-5, 245
Keith Washington: CB, Prattville, Ala, 6-2, 170

x–Already have signed financial aid agreements and are enrolled in classes, enabling them to participate in spring practice.


Basketball: Cal 4-star SG target commits to Oregon

It’s not all football recruiting this week.

Shooting guard Tyler Dorsey, one of three elite-level prospects being chased by Cal coach Cuonzo Martin and his staff, has committed to Oregon.

The 6-foot-4 scorer from Pasadena, is rated by Scout.com as the nation’s 11th-best shooting guard, the No. 40 overall prospect. ESPN.com rates Dorsey No. 38 overall in the country. He picked the Ducks over Cal, Arizona State, Colorado and Kansas.

Update: Dorsey scored 48 points Tuesday night — 22 of them in the fourth quarter — leading Pasadena-Maranatha to an 83-74 win over Village Christian.

The Bears continue to be in the hunt for a pair of top-10 prospects rated as five stars, including Bishop O’Dowd High power forward Ivan Rabb, a 6-10 power forward who is rated as the nation’s No. 5 overall prospect, according to Scout.

Rabb has trimmed his list of potential schools to Cal, Arizona, Kansas, Kentucky and UCLA.

The Bears also are in the mix with 6-9, 265-pound center Caleb Swanigan of Homestead Senior HS in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Swanigan, rated the No. 9 overall player in the nation, has offers from many of the country’s top programs, including Arizona, Duke, Kansas and Kentucky.

ESPN.com ranks Rabb and Swanigan as the Nos. 6 and 8 prospect in the nation.

Martin, while unable to comment on unsigned prospects, said Tuesday he would like to bring in two recruits for next season. Currently, the Bears have no signed or verbally committed players in the class of 2015.