Football: Versatile commit perhaps headed to safety

The website Scout.com lists DePriest Turner as a wide receiver prospect. Rivals.com notes he is a dual-threat quarterback.

Cal got the Mobile, Alabama native to flip from Duke and give an oral commitment, and Turner may be earmarked to play safety for the Bears, according to Rivals.

A 6-foot-1, 184-pounder from Murphy High in Mobile, Turner is rated as a three-star prospect by both recruiting websites. Scout lists him as the No. 2 prep wideout in Alabama.

He would be the fifth defensive back commitment for the Bears, who also have four wideout commits. Cal has 20 players committed to its 2015 recruiting class.


Football: Cal makes it official by signing JC corner

Cal formalized the news from a day earlier that cornerback Antoine Albert had joining the Bears’ program by announcing his signing to a letter of intent.

Albert, from Diablo Valley College, becomes the fourth signed member of the Bears’ 2015 recruiting class and the second defensive back.

“It was important to address our needs at cornerback and we added a player today in Antoine Albert that gives us both size and length at that position,” coach Sonny Dykes said in a statement. “The thing that stands out most with him is that he’s a physical player.”

Although listed as bigger on a recruiting website, Cal identifies Albert as 6-foot-1, 190 pounds — still very good size for a corner.

He joins another JC transfer arriving to help in the secondary — junior Derron Williams-Brown of Mesa Community College in Arizona — who signed Wednesday.

Albert, who prepped at Oakland Tech HS, was a two-time all-conference player for DVC, which posted a 7-4 record this season.


Football: B.C. Lions official hire Jeff Tedford

The news we had heard a week ago became official today: The BC Lions of the Canadian Football League hired former Cal coach Jeff Tedford as their head coach.

Here is the club’s news release:

The BC Lions Football Club is pleased to officially announce this morning that Jeff Tedford has been named head coach.

Tedford becomes the 25th head coach in club history and brings a wealth of experience to the organization after serving most notably at the University of California-Berkley for 11 seasons (’02-’12).

“Jeff has competed on football’s biggest stages and achieved great success,” said Lions VP of football operations and GM Wally Buono. “It speaks volumes about our organization and our league that a coach of Jeff’s stature and appeal has chosen the Lions as his next great challenge.”

A native of Lynwood, California, Tedford departed Cal in 2012 with an 82-57 record, the most wins by a head coach in school history as well as five victories in eight postseason bowl appearances, a share of the PAC-10 title in 2006 and an NCAA ranking that reached as high as number two in 2007.

“I am excited and honoured to be the head coach of the BC Lions,” said Tedford. “The Canadian Football League has remained close to my heart since my days as a player and as an assistant in Calgary. Joining the Lions today is the beginning of a new chapter and I look forward to the challenge of bringing a championship to BC. My thanks go out to David Braley, Dennis Skulskyand of course Wally Buono for giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”

A graduate of Fresno State and a former CFL quarterback from 1983 to 1988 with stops in Hamilton, Calgary, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg, Tedford is reunited with Wally Buono with whom he worked with and under in Calgary as an offensive assistant from 1989 to 1991.

Earning a renowned reputation as an offensive innovator, Tedford enjoyed remarkable success at each of his collegiate stops including Fresno State (’92-’97), Oregon (’98-’01) and California while tutoring some of the NFL’s highest-drafted pivots including Aaron Rodgers, Trent Dilfer, David Carr, Akili Smith, Joey Harrington and Kyle Boller.


Football: Bears add cornerback, wide receiver

Cal got commitments Thursday from a junior college cornerback with size and a wide receiver from Hawaii, according to Scout.com.

Antoine Albert, a 6-foot-2, 220-pound from Diablo Valley College, picked Cal over offers from Arizona, Nebraska, Iowa State and Oregon State. The Oakland Tech HS grad is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.

Also headed to Cal is wide receiver Kanawai Noa, a 6-foot, 170-pounder from Punahoa HS in Honolulu. Also a three-star prospect according to Scout, Noa had offers from Hawaii, Washington State, Utah State and Yale.


Football: Ex-Cal QB Zach Kline lands at Indiana State

Former Cal quarterback Zach Kline, after one season at Butte Community College, has transferred to Indiana State, a Football Championship Subdivision program that plays in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Kline, from Danville, left Cal after the 2013 season when he was a backup to Jared Goff, a freshman at the time. He briefly appeared headed to Oregon State after departing Cal, then opted for Butte.

He will get the chance to start for the Sycamores after the departure of a senior quarterback. Indiana State was 8-6 this season and lost in the second round of the FCS playoffs.

Kline made a recruiting visit this fall to the Terra Haute campus – whose most famous athletic alum is Larry Bird – and said he was immediately comfortable.

“It was quite eerie,” he told the Chico Enterprise-Record. “I felt like I’d known the guys on the team for half my life.

“The coaches at Indiana State, they’re an amazing cast,” Kline said. “They’re the most supportive and spiritual men, guys that I want to surround myself with.”

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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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Basketball: Russ Critchfield to get Newell award

When Russ Critchfield was contacted by Cal athletics, he misunderstood and thought the caller was from an athletic equipment store.

“I was waiting for his pitch,” Critchfield said.

Turns out he was informed he was receiving the Pete Newell Career Achievement Award.

“I’m really excited, honored, certainly humbled,” said Critchfield, 68, who will be recognized during ceremonies Monday when Cal plays No. 5 Wisconsin at Haas Pavilion.

Critchfield, in is 17th season as head basketball coach at Butte College – the JC that spawned former Cal quarterback Aaron Rodgers – was a prolific sharp-shooting guard for the Bears from 1965-66 through 1967-68.

The 5-foot-10 native of Salinas averaged 22.0 points as a senior, 21.0 as a junior. He still sits 12th on Cal’s career list with 1,437 points and his 19.4 per-game average is third all-time (behind Ed Gray at 20.0 and Mark McNamara at 19.6).

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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: Daniel Lasco wins Cal’s MVP award

Daniel Lasco was chosen as team Most Valuable Player at Cal’s awards banquet Saturday night at the Orinda Country Club.

The junior running back, who became the first Cal player to rush for more than 1,000 yards since 2011, had the Bears’most combined rushing (1,115) and receiving (356) yards since 2008.

Quarterback Jared Goff, who broke 15 school records including single-season passing yards and touchdown passes, earned a Special Recognition award. The sophomore from Marin County finished among the nation’s top-10 in six categories.

Cal posted a 5-7 record this season and finished fourth in the Pac-12 North at 3-6, its highest finish since 2011.

Here are Cal’s other award winners:

* Joe Roth Award (Player Who Best Exemplifies Courage, Sportsmanship and Attitude) – Austin Clark. Sixth-year senior with career high 10 starts and 21 of 22 career tackles.

* Brick Muller Award (Most Valuable Lineman) – Mustafa Jalil. One of only two defensive players to start all 12 games • Career highs of 35 tackles and 5.5 TFL to lead all defensive linemen.

* Bob Simmons Award (Most Valuable Freshman) – Noah Westerfield. Played in all 12 games and made five of the team’s six starts by true freshmen • Tied for second on team with three QB hurries.

* Clint Evans Trophy (Most Intense Freshman Competitor) – Luke Rubenzer. Played in 11 of 12 games • Third on the team in rushing with 207 yards (most by a Cal QB since Aaron Rodgers in 2003).

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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.