Tagaloa officially commits to Cal

Salesian High senior Freddie Tagaloa, one of the top offensive line recruits on the West Coast, has orally committed to Cal, Pride coach Chad Nightingale confirmed Thursday.

The 6-foot-8, 300-pound Tagaloa had received scholarship offers from several Pac-12 schools, including Stanford, USC and Oregon. Recruiting website rivals.com ranked Tagaloa as the 28th-best offensive tackle in the country and the fifth-best in California. Tagaloa was not available for comment.

Cal has now received commitments from several of the East Bay’s top recruits this year, including San Ramon Valley quarterback Zach Kline, linebackers Michael Barton of De La Salle and Hardy Nickerson Jr. of Bishop O’Dowd and receiver Kenneth Walker of Kennedy-Richmond.

Salesian is preparing to play in the North Coast Section Division IV championship game Saturday against Ferndale. Salesian’s last elite recruit, running back Jahvid Best, committed to Cal in 2006.


Former Tech star Fred Thompson dies

The reports are flying left and right and it’s shocked me tonight to learn that former Oakland Tech High football star Fred Thompson has died. Oregon State officials confirmed in a release that Thompson died early Wednesday evening. Bay Area News Group colleague Phil Jensen also confirmed Thompson’s passing with Oakland Tech coach Delton Edwards, who was understandably shaken. Thompson had been playing basketball at a recreation center on campus when he collapsed. He was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

On a personal level, this is pretty tough to hear. Thompson was a standout for Tech. In his senior year in 2009, he collected 90 tackles and seven sacks and even had an interception returned for a touchdown. The first time I ever interviewed Thompson was after the game in which he had the pick six. As good of a player as he was, he was an even better kid with a great personality. I would routinely see him whenever I was at a basketball game at Tech and he was always there as the biggest and loudest cheerleader.

When he signed his letter of intent to Oregon State in Feb. 2010, I remember talking to him. I relayed some of the feedback about him we had received during the process of selecting that year’s Cream of the Crop. (He was No. 2 behind current Stanford quarterback Brett Nottingham of Monte Vista). One quote was something to the effect of, “If there’s a player from this group that can play on Sundays, it’s him.” His eyes lit up at that. He had the talent and had the fire to make that happen. It’s very sad to see that pursuit come to an end. I got a chance to see and speak briefly to Fred in the tunnel of AT&T Park about a month ago when Oregon State was playing Cal. He wasn’t on the active roster this year, but was at the game and I stopped and talked to him briefly. It’s shocking now to know he’s gone. My prayers go out to his family, friends and the Oakland Tech and Oregon State communities.


NCS Division I championship to air on CSNBA

Got the official release today that the North Coast Section Division I title game between De La Salle and San Ramon Valley will air live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Good crew in the booth too, with Roxy Bernstein and Mike Pawlawski up top being assisted by Dapper Dan Dibley on the sideline. It will re-air Monday, Dec. 12 at 4:30 p.m. on CSN California and then Tuesday, Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. on CSNBA. It will also be available On Demand.


Concord’s Thompson nears record

By the end of the game last night at Rancho Cotate, Concord running back Olito Thompson had come oh-so-close to setting a new East Bay record for rushing yards in a single season.

Exactly where does Thompson stand in his quest to break Jahvid Best’s record? Jahvid rushed for 3,224 yards in 2006. Thompson rushed for 275 last night, so that brings his season total to 3,203. What makes Thompson’s chase even crazier is the fact that he’s now rushed for 1,102 yards in three playoff games. Not a bad average of 367 yards a game, I’d say.

So, Thompson needs exactly 22 yards Friday against Windsor to set the mark. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Santa Rosa HS.


Live blog: East Bay prep football updates Saturday at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Join us for in-game updates from four NCS playoff games on Saturday, as we bring you the latest from the 1 p.m. games — Encinal vs. Marin Catholic and Healdsburg vs. Salesian — as well as the 7 p.m. contests — Concord vs. Rancho Cotate and San Ramon Valley vs. Monte Vista.