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.


Basketball: Tyrone Wallace a Cousy finalist

Cal junior Tyrone Wallace, in his first season at the position, is among 16 finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award.

Wallace averages 17.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the 16-10 Bears, who return to action Saturday at Stanford. He has posted 10 games of at least 20 points this season.

Other finalists for the award include Arizona’s T.J.McConnell, Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss and Utah’s Delon Wright.



Football: Cal schedules home/road vs. Ole Miss

Cal has scheduled a home-and-home football series against Mississippi, with the Rebels visiting Berkeley on Sept. 16, 2017.

The Bears will play the return game at Oxford, Miss., on Sept. 21, 2019.

In order to accommodate Ole Miss, Cal and Auburn have agreed to postpone their upcoming series for one year. The Bears and Tigers will meet at Auburn on Sept. 19, 2020, with the two schools playing in Berkeley on Sept. 18, 2021.


Basketball: Ex-Cal great KJ a Hall of Fame nominee

Former Cal star Kevin Johnson, a two-time all-Pac-10 selection and three-time NBA all-star, has been nominated to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

KJ, who played at Cal from 1984 through ’87, joins Kentucky coach John Calipari and former NBA star Dikembe Mutombo among 12 nominees for the Hall of Fame. The Class of 2015 will be announced April 6.

“You look up there at some of the players and you don’t deserve to be in that category,” Johnson said. “These are people who, I had their pictures on my walls growing up. Having a chance to stand with them is remarkable.”

One of the most popular players in Cal history, Johnson finished his college career as the Bears’ career scoring leader. He currently sits sixth on the school’s all-time list with 1,655 points to go with 521 assists

A 12-year NBA veteran and the current mayor of Sacramento, the 6-foot-1 point guard averaged 17.9 points and 9.1 assists as a pro. He averaged better than 20 points in five seasons and four times averaged double-digit assists.


Football: Sebastian lands at Notre Dame

Former Cal safety Avery Sebastian will play his final season of college football at Notre Dame, he announced via twitter.

“I have officially committed to the University of Notre Dame! Extremely excited & blessed to be part of the Notre Dame family. GO IRISH!”

Sebastian, plagued by injuries the past two seasons at Cal, will arrive at South Bend as a graduate student, immediately eligible to play his final season.


Football: Cal releases spring practice schedule

Cal announced that spring workouts will begin Monday, March 9 and conclude with its Cal Football Spring Experience and spring game on Saturday, April 18.

Most practices are scheduled to be open to the public.

“We want to share what we are working on with our great fans,” coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “We’ve been preparing diligently in our offseason conditioning program to get ourselves ready to get back on the field for spring ball.

“We’re excited about the work our guys are putting in and the upward trajectory our program is on.”

The Cal Spring Football Experience is an admission-free, interactive event that gives fans an opportunity to get to know players and coaches in the Cal program on an up-close basis.

Several former Cal football players have attended the event in the past. Super Bowl champion and NFL All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks made a surprise appearance in 2013.

Among the Cal Spring Football Experience activities scheduled to take place are …
•Cal football scrimmage
•Opportunities for fans to interact with Cal football players and coaches
•Commemorative posters (first 2,000 fans)
•Cal footballs (first 250 fans)
•Fun Zone with face painters, photo station and much more
•Additional activities, giveaways and details to be announced

Cal’s 2015 schedule begins Sept. 5 at home against Grambling State.

Monday, March 9 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 11 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Friday, March 13 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Monday, March 16 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, March 18 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 1 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Friday, April 3 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Saturday, April 4 (10 a.m. – Noon)
Monday, April 6 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 8 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Monday, April 13 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Wednesday, April 15 (3:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
Saturday, April 18 (11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Cal Football Spring Experience, Pac-12 Networks)

* All practices above scheduled to be open to the public at Memorial Stadium; Schedule subject to change.


Football notebook: Why Cal offensive coordinator Tony Franklin will be busier than ever going forward

Coach Sonny Dykes said adding running backs to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Tony Franklin’s plate was a natural and easy move.

The change was prompted when Mark Tommerdahl, who coaches special teams and fullbacks, was promoted to assistant head coach. Tommerdahl will still oversee special teams, but also devote time to administrative work to assistant Dykes.

Running backs coach Pierre Ingram, meanwhile, was shifted to outside receivers, creating a need for a new running backs coach. Dykes said Franklin has worked with running backs in the past.

Now they will spend most of their time with Franklin, but also work with new offensive line coach Brandon Jones to study pass protections and “nuances” of the run game.

“But Tony will be their primary coach and it makes a lot of sense,” Dykes said. “The running backs and quarterback are right next to each other. It’s easy for one guy to coach both of those players.”


Dykes said offensive guard signee Semisi Uluave has made no decision on when – or whether – he will take an LDS mission trip.

“I’ve heard some speculation about that. That’s a possibility, but I don’t think he’s leaning one way or the other at all,” Dykes said. “It’s a personal decision. It’s up to him to see how he wants to do it. It’s very far from set in stone.”


Dykes, asked about former Cal safety Damariay Drew, said only that the Livermore native is not enrolled in classes at Berkeley.

Drew apparently still is trying to arrange an out-of-court settlement for his nearly year-old assault case. Because Drew is not a student at Cal, Dykes is not permitted to discuss him.


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.