Football: LB prospects picks Bears over UW

A good night for Cal football recruiting.

Linebacker Aisea Tongilava of Orange-Lutheran High announced via Twitter on Monday night that he has picked Cal over Washington.

A 6-foot, 210-pounder, who originally committed to San Jose State, Tongilava is rated as a three-star prospect by both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

With barely a week left before national signing day, Cal also picked up commitment Sunday night from one-time Northwestern pledge Noah Westerfield, an outside linebacker/defensive end from Wakefield High in Frisco, Texas.

Scout rates the 6-foot-3, 210-pounder as a three-star prospect while Rivals gives him two stars.

The Bears lost Saf/OLB Koa Farmer to Penn State last weekend, but now have landed three defensive players since Art Kaufman came on board as defensive coordinator.


Football: Bears get commit from Petaluma OLB

Cal got a commitment Sunday from John Porchivina, a 6-foot-1, 210-pound outside linebacker from Casa Grande HS in Petaluma, according to both Scout.com and Rivals.com.

Porchivina, rated by both recruiting websites as a two-star prospect, originally committed last month to Fresno State but flipped to Cal.

Porchivina may turn out to be a splendid player, but the math is bad. On Saturday, the Bears lost OLB/safety Koa Farmer — a 3- or 4-star prospect — to Penn State. A day later, they replace him with a consensus 2-star player.


Football: Koa Farmer flips to Penn State

Safety/OLB Koa Farmer has decommitted from Cal and will sign with Penn State, he announced via his Instagram account. Rivals.com also reported that Farmer has flipped.

Farmer, a 6-foot-1, 205-pounder from Notre Dame HS in Sherman Oaks, is rated as a 3-star prospect by Scout.com and a 4-star by Rivals.com.

In either case, he was one of coach Sonny Dykes’ top oral commits and his change of heart would be a huge loss for the Bears.

Commitments cannot become binding until Feb. 5, national signing day.


Football: Bears land two junior college prospects

Cal nabbed two JC commitments on Sunday, led by three-star cornerback Darius White, according to Scout.com.

White, a 6-foot, 170-pounder from Itawamba JC in Mississippi, is rated the No. 14 JC cornerback prospect in the country by Scout. He had six interceptions this season.

Scout also reported that the Bears also got a commitment from Dominic Granado, a 6-foot-5, 270-pound offensive tackle from Golden West JC.

Granado, who attended Edison HS in Huntington Beach, is rated as a two-star prospect by Scout.com.


Football: No surprise — Mixon is out

C’mon, are you really surprised?

Five-star running back Joe Mixon crossed the hometown school off his list of final three schools today.

The Freedom HS-Oakley standout tweeted that the choice will be among Wisconsin, Oklahoma and UCLA. Cal is out.

 On Dec. 3, Mixon announced that Cal was one of his top four teams, but that’s as far as it went.

I talked with Mixon little more than a week ago and he said that Cal’s 1-11 record would not be a deterrent. That’s a little hard to believe, especially considering that recruiting experts say Cal appeared to be the leader three months ago.

Mixon rushed for 1,704 yards and 28 touchdowns in 11 games his senior year, including 470 yards and nine touchdowns in two North Coast Section playoff games. He produced 4,281 rushing yards and 76 touchdowns during his three-year varsity career.

Mixon intends to make his announcement on Jan. 4 at the Army All-American Game in San Antonio.

My guess: UCLA. It’s not home, but it’s close. And it’s not 12 degrees in Westwood in January.



Football: Dykes on the Bears’ newcomers

Sonny Dykes called it “a good day.”

The Bears signed four JC players and an early high school graduate on Wednesday.

Here’s more from Dykes on Cal’s signees:

SAM ATOE: S/OLB, 5-11, 205, College of San Mateo
“Sam was one of the best football players I have seen in this recruiting cycle. He does it all on special teams and can play a bunch of different positions on defense. He’s an incredibly versatile athlete and very dynamic football player who runs, hits, plays in space and tackles. He has a tremendous work ethic and attitude, and he plays with great passion. He’s going to bring a lot of leadership to our program.”

DAVID DAVIS: DT, 6-2, 295, Long Beach City College
“David is (a) defensive tackle that plays with great pad level and great effort and is very productive. He is also a hard worker with a great mind that comes from a tremendous football family. He knows what it takes to be great.”

DEVANTE DOWNS: ATH, 6-2, 225, Fr., Mountlake Terrace (Wash.) HS
“Devante is an exceptional athlete who is big and athletic and can play a variety of positions. He’s gone back and forth about where he want to play. We’re going to let him play where he wants to. He’s got great size and explosiveness and is powerful. We’re really excited for him to get in here and start contributing to our program. He’s physically advanced for a kid coming out of high school and that will give him an opportunity to play early and help us win football games. He’s a complete total fit at Cal both academically and athletically.”

JONATHAN JOHNSON: DE/OLB, 6-4, 260, Pierce College
“We needed to sign a difference maker as a pass rusher and when we put the video on we thought that Jonathan was the best one we saw. He’s a great speed rusher who plays with tremendous effort. He has a passion for the game that is contagious. I love the way he plays the game. He has a huge upside and I think he will be a significant contributor to our program from the day he sets foot on campus. Jonathan Johnson is exactly what we needed as the defensive end spot.”

TREVOR KELLY: DT, 6-3, 305, College of San Mateo
“Trevor is a powerful and explosive athlete who is very productive at the defensive tackle position. He plays with great pad level, uses his hands well and has tremendous strength in the weight room. Trevor Kelly is a load inside, he’s a man.”


Football: Dykes upbeat about recruiting outlook after signing five mid-year prospects

On the day he announced the signing of four junior college defensive players and a versatile mid-year high school graduate, Cal coach Sonny Dykes predicted even bigger recruiting news.

Dykes said the coaching staff has been “incredibly well-received” by potential recruits on the heels of a 1-11 season, and he has high expectations for the Feb. 5 high school signing day.

“I would expect it to be a top-three in the league (class). I would be shocked if it’s not,” Dykes said. “I don’t think (the 2013 season) had any negative impact on recruiting at all.”

The Bears currently are nowhere close to a top-three Pac-12 class, at least according to the online recruiting sites. Scout.com rates Cal’s list of oral commitments as No. 9 in the conference, while Rivals.com ranks the Bears No. 10. Dykes said he expects to sign 13 to 15 high school players.

On Wednesday, the Bears addressed some immediate needs on defense. They got defensive end Jonathan Johnson to flip from Arizona State, giving them a pass rusher they lacked last fall.

Johnson, a 6-foot-3, 240-pounder, grew up in Pittsburgh, Pa., and played the past two seasons at Pierce College in Los Angeles. He is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout.com.

The Bears also signed three earlier commitments: defensive tackle Trevor Kelly and safety/outside linebacker Sam Atoe from College of San Mateo and defensive tackle David Davis of Long Beach City College.

All four will enroll in classes after the semester break and be available for spring workouts, and Dykes said he expects all of them to compete for starting jobs.

Cal also signed mid-year high school graduate Devante Downs, a fullback/linebacker from Mountainlake Terrace, Wash.

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Football: Bears get another JC defensive commit

Cal apparently will announce at least four new defensive players later today on the first day of the junior college signing period.

Jonathon Johnson, a defensive end from Pierce College, has decommitted from Arizona State and will sign with the Bears, according to Scout.com.

Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 240-pound native of Pittsburgh, Pa., is rated as a three-star prospect by Scout. He will have two years of eligibility for the Bears.

Earlier, the Bears got JC commitments from DTs Trevor Kelly of College of San Mateo and David Davis of Long Beach CC, along with safety Sam Ateo of CSM.


Football: Another CSM commit to Cal

The Bears landed their second College of San Mateo commitment on the defensive side of the ball after weekend campus visits when safety Sam Atoe joined teammate Trevor Kelly, according to a report on Scout.com.

Atoe,  listed as 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, is rated as a two-star prospect by Scout. He will arrive next fall with two years of eligibility remaining, plus a redshirt year available.

A former running back at Maria Carrillo HS in Santa Rosa, Atoe also had offers from Texas Tech and TCU.