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Over at SB Nation's College Football Recruiting Hub, Bud Elliott took the time to create the top ranked recruiting classes for all us to enjoy, and the Stanford Cardinal are standing proud in seventh place amongst a litany of powerhouses, led by the Alabama Crimson Tide.
The Card's 2012 class consists of 22 commitments, and is the highest ranked in the Pac-12, or in the West at all for that matter, highlighted by a triumvirate of offensive line juggernauts in Andrus Peat, Kyle Murphy and Joshua Garnett, setting the Cardinal offense up nicely for the next four years or so. Elliott called it "perhaps the best trio of offensive line recruits assembled by any one team in a century or more," high praise from a man who knows his stuff.
USC and UCLA were the closest teams in the Pac-12 to Stanford, coming in at 12th and 15th respectfully with strong 2012 classes of their own.
All in all, Stanford's 2012 recruiting class looks like this:
For more on the Card, head over to Rule of Tree.
The California Golden Bears have been hurting the past few weeks with recruiting defections, and lost two wide receivers in Jordan Payton and Kenny Walker (apparently both to UCLA). But Cedric Dozier stuck with his commitment to Cal, and now the Bears land their first victory of National Signing Day when they got Kenny Lawler to verbal to the Bears over Oklahoma State and Washington State.
Walker is definitely one of the top wide receivers in California and has taken his time making a decision as to where he wants to attend college. He does come with some academic concerns, but if he can get those straightened out, he should be able to thrive in a pro-style offense with his all-around skills.
To discuss Lawler and the Bears, head on over to the California Golden Blogs. To talk about Oklahoma State football recruiting, check out Cowboys Ride For Free. To discuss Oregon State football recruiting, go to Building The Dam.
Aziz Shittu has had probably the most fun out of any college football recruit concerning his commitment. The Buhach Colony defensive tackle from Atwater, California has tended to look all around the state for the school he wanted to be at. Shittu originally had the Stanford Cardinal in mind and committed to them early in the process, but reopened his recruitment to try and make the most of his visits.
Shittu settled on a final four of the Stanford Cardinal, USC Trojans, UCLA Bruins and the California Golden Bears. And at a high school press conference, Shittu recommitted back to his first school, Stanford.
The Cardinal are finishing the 2011-12 recruiting season on a roll, and could be contending for a top 10 class, perhaps finishing with the most complete class in the Pac-12.
To talk about Shittu's decision and Stanford football recruiting, head on over to Rule of Tree. To talk about recruiting at other schools, check out Conquest Chronicles (USC), Bruins Nation (UCLA) and California Golden Blogs (Cal).
Kyle Murphy, a consensus 5-Star recruit, has committed to the Stanford Cardinal, announcing the news on National Signing Day 2012 at a press conference at his high school. Murphy, who played offensive tackle for San Clemente High School in San Clemente, CA, ultimately chose the Card over USC, Oregon, and Florida, the three other finalists for his services.
Many scouts feel that he'll need to add some bulk, which is probably true seeing that he is only listed at 275 currently. But Murphy is as tough as it gets, already showing great technique, with his run blocking the most polished of his skills. Is also very agile and rather quick for his size with the ability to get downfield if need be. He'll fit in nicely with David Shaw's epic running game already in place.
Muprhy was the third highest offensive tackle in the Rivals rankings, and the 19th best overall talent heading to college this year. He joins a Stanford squad that already wrapped up another big lineman in Andrus Peat from Tempe, AZ, helping replace the beef lost with Jonathan Martin and others leaving for the NFL.
Michael Rector, a consensus 3-Star recruit, has committed to the Stanford Cardinal, announcing the news on television on National Signing Day 2012. Murphy, who played wide receiver for Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma, WA ultimately chose the Card over Washington, Washington State, and Oregon just to name a few.
Rector had a hard time not staying in the Northwest, according to the San Jose Mercury News Elliot Almond:
HS coach Tom Larsen on Rector: "A loyalty to the U. of Washington is part of the birth certificate here. That was not easy for him."— Elliott Almond (@ElliottAlmond) February 1, 2012
Rector was not ranked in the Rivals rankings, nor amongst the top 150 talents heading to college this year. He joins a Stanford squad that will be without Andrew Luck, but will need more wideout targets with many of theirs leaving soon.
For more on Muprhy and Cardinal Football recruiting, visit Rule of Tree and SB Nation Bay Area. Head over to SB Nation's College Recruiting Hub for more on National Signing Day 2012.
Two-Star safety recruit Jontrey Tillman out of West St. Mary's in Baldwin, LA committed to the Stanford Cardinal way back in the summer, but according to Scout.com's Mike Coppage, Tillman ultimately decided on playing for Houston because he was not admitted to attend Stanford at all.
"Stanford called Jontrey at 5 P.M. Friday and told him he wasn't accepted," said West St. Mary head coach Ryan Antoine. "Their defensive coordinator had been here five times and the DBs coach was here last Monday.
"They said they want him, but they can't question admissions or they will lose their jobs. I talked to Coach (David) Shaw on Saturday, and he said they can't control admissions. He said it's secretive."
As for Tillman himself, Antoine had this to say:
"Jontrey is devastated," he said. "This is a kid from a depressed socioeconomic environment who had been committed to Stanford since June. He turned down 20 scholarship offers and they tell him about this a week before National Signing Day?
"I read an article that said Barry Sanders has a 3.2 grade point average, and another commit has a 3.7. How do you explain that?"
Tillman has a carrer 4.0 GPA while in High School and great test scores, which means it must have been something else that kept him from coming to Palo Alto. Interseting development to say the least.
Andrus Peat, a consensus 5-Star recruit, has committed to the Stanford Cardinal, announcing the news on television on National Signing Day 2012. Peat, who played offensive tackle for Corona Del Sol High School in Tempe, AZ chose to play for the Cardinal over Florida State, Nebraska, and USC, the three other finalists vying for his services.
Peat demonstrates good explosion and playing strength at this stage, and has the size for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition such as Stanford. Peat has tremendous upside and should have a long and productive career with the Cardinal.
Peat was the 6-highest offensive tackle in the Rivals rankings, and the 32 overall player in the nation. He joins a Stanford squad in need of some fresh meat on the line with Jonathan Martin and others leaving for the NFL.
Here's a look at the Cardinal recruits thus far:
The 2012 National Signing Day is finally here and many of the nation's best and brightest football recruits will announce their final college decisions on Wednesday. One of those players is defensive lineman Aziz Shittu, who is nationally ranked No. 27 by Rivals. He earned himself more than 20 scholarships from programs around the nation.
The prospect out of California has long been connected to the Stanford Cardinal, although the Cal Golden Bears, USC Trojans and UCLA Bruins are all in the running. Shitu will make his announcement at 2 p.m. PT in front of his friends, family and teammates. The announcement will not be aired live on television, although it will likely be uploaded to various recruiting sites by the evening.
Most experts believe Shitu will end up with Stanford on Wednesday, but nothing is certain at this point. Fortunately, all the speculation will be over in just a few hours and a school will have a new defensive stalwart to work with.
Many West Coast recruiters seem to agree that there's no more of a sure deal to be a great offensive tackle from this class than Kyle Murphy of San Clemente. Murphy has all the agility to be a solid offensive tackle at the next level. He has two fine choices on NSD: The Stanford Cardinal and the USC Trojans.
For a long time, it looked as if Murphy was on his way to Stanford. The fit appeared natural. But in recent weeks it appears like USC has made a hard push to get one of their top O-line targets to look back toward Heritage Hall. As of today we still have no real idea who Murphy will pick.
Murphy appears conflicted, but it looks like he'll decide today. Unless he really doesn't know and postpones his decision, which could very well happen.
It's National Signing Day 2012, and 5-Star recruit Andrus Peat, a 6'7, 305 pound offensive tackle from Tempe, Arizona's Corona Del Sol High School, is set to announce his college of choice Wednesday morning at 10:35 PT on ESPNU. Peat has narrowed his choices down to Nebraska, Florida State, USC, and Stanford.
Though Nebraska is the likely favorite - Peat's older brother is already with the Huskers - Stanford is making a late charge to land the offensive lineman. The Arizona native recently tweeted:
Just got admitted to Stanford.. still haven't decided on a school yet tho— Andrus Peat (@AndrusPeat) January 22, 2012
lt would be a tough decision for anyone - both Nebraska and Stanford are known for producing NFL caliber offensive linemen and USC and Florida State are highly respected in that area as well. Beating out the three competing schools would be a bit of a coup for Stanford so it should be interesting to see which way Peat goes.
For more on the Cardinal, make sure you check out Rule of Tree, and to learn more about National Signing Day 2012 and where the nation's top recruits are headed, make sure you stop by SBN's College Recruiting Headquarters.
The California Golden Bears have lost some high profile recruits over the last few days. Could they be on the verge of making up some ground?
Markuss Eligwe is one of the top recruits landed by Florida State for their 2012 recruiting lineup; the Stone Mountain outside linebacker from Georgia is expected to be one of the top pass-rushers from this class. But Eligwe took an official visit to Cal this past weekend, and it seems like he's at least giving some consideration to the Bears before signing his LOI to one of these teams.
It is quite possible that Eligwe will just be doing this to reaffirm his commitment to Florida State and get some extra attention to a player that might help sway others to become Seminoles. . But it has to be a good sign for Cal that they've moved this far to get him to choose between the two schools.
The California Golden Bears have been hit hard the past few days by recruiting defections. Ellis McCarthy, Shaq Thompson, Jordan Payton have all left the Bears for schools like Washington and UCLA.
Cedric Dozier won't be joining them. The Lakes athlete held firm to his original commitment to Cal in an announcement at his high school, stopping the bleeding for a recruiting class that at one point was tops in the Pac-12.
Dozier is joining a wide receiver class that includes Bryce Treggs, Darius Powe and Chris Harper (potentially Kenneth Walker, although he's continuing to look around). The Bears should be able to stay afloat in recruiting with a few more commitments and maintain a top-25 recruiting class, and Dozier remaining on the path to Cal is a great bit of news for Jeff Tedford and Golden Bear Nation.
The California Golden Bears are seeing their much-heralded recruiting class crumble with top recruit by top recruit. First top safety Shaq Thompson changed his commitment from Cal and joined his main recruiter Tosh Lupoi on the way up to Washington. And now Jordan Payton is on his way to join him.
Payton has been floating around throughout his recruitment throughout the 2011-12 process. He originally was committed to the USC Trojans before opening things up and looking around. After a process that saw him looking at Notre Dame, Michigan, and UCLA, Payton committed to Cal. But the departure of his two main recruiters/coaches Tosh Lupoi and Eric Kiesau made him reconsider, and Payton eventually decommitted from the Bears and ended up joining them up in Washington as a Husky with his announcement on ESPNU this afternoon.
Cal is plummeting down the recruiting rankings, and it's hard to see things getting much better before Signing Day.
To discuss Cal football recruiting, head on over to the California Golden Blogs.
Shaq Thompson is perhaps the best high school prospect in Northern California in the past decade, and the California Golden Bears looked like they had locked him up after he made the call at the Army All-American Game in San Antonio.
Then Thompson's main recruiter Tosh Lupoi departed for Washington, and Shaq decided to reconsider his decision. Tonight, Thompson decided to make the call and move on up to UW.
Just committed to the UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON #HUSKYNATION— Shaq Thompson(Grant) (@ItsShaqThompson) January 31, 2012
This is a tough blow for Cal, who have already lost Ellis McCarthy to UCLA and Arik Armstead to Oregon. Once looking like the best recruiting class in the Pac-12 in 2012, the Cal defensive class is starting to look very vulnerable and a lot of other programs in the conference are benefiting.
Arik Armstead seemed all set to be headed to Cal before his future position line coach and current recruiter Tosh Lupoi departed for Washington. After that Armstead surveyed the situation, looked around for two weeks, and decided that the Oregon Ducks were his destination.
It's hard to fault Armstead for a decision where he'll be one of the most dominant linemen in the conference and almost assured of playing as soon as possible up in Eugene. He'll be one of the first big defensive recruits that Oregon has ever had, and he might turn loose as a defensive end in Nick Aliotti's aggressive schemes.
For those wondering about other reasons why Armstead might have picked the Ducks and more details about his recruitment.
Arik Armstead praises #Oregon's sports business program and Nike connections.— Dan Greenspan (@DanGreenspan) January 29, 2012
Arik Armstead says he will enroll at #Oregon in March.— Dan Greenspan (@DanGreenspan) January 29, 2012
To talk about Armstead and Oregon football recruiting, head on over to Addicted to Quack. To discuss Cal football recruiting, check out the California Golden Blogs. To learn more about Washington football recruiting, go to UW Dawg Pound. Also learn more about football recruiting at Auburn from Track Em Tigers; at USC from Conquest Chronicles; and at UCLA from Bruins Nation.
Arik Armstead on #Chip Kelly: "He was honest with me. They never talked bad about any other program. They recruited me without recruiting me— Dan Greenspan (@DanGreenspan) January 29, 2012
Pleasant Grove high school lineman Arik Armstead has been one of the very top prospects in the country for a while now. The senior stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs 295 pounds.
Armstead had made a commitment to USC prior to his junior season, where he was expected to follow in the footsteps of his older brother Armond Armstead, who is currently a member of the Trojans. However, in November 2011, Arik rescinded that commitment, possibly due to Armond butting heads with head coach Lane Kiffin and becoming disillusioned with the USC football program.
In spite of this, Kiffin was one of many college representatives paying home visits to the Armstead residence in the past week. A score of colleges are attempting to court the dynamic lineman prior to national signing day on February 1. One of the schools in pursuit of Armstead is the California Golden Bears.
The latest news, according to Joe Davidson at The Sacramento Bee, is that Armstead is expected to announce his final college decision on Sunday. If Cal ended up with the prospect, it would be a definite impact move.
For all news and information regarding Cal athletics, please visit California Golden Blogs.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have put together most of their 2012 recruiting class, and they're already starting to move along to 2013. They're moving quickly to try and lock into the best defenders around the country, and Michael Hutchings of De La Salle has become one of their newest targets.
Hutchings is considered one of the premier junior stars in the country, and considered to be even better than his senior teammate Michael Barton (current Cal commit). Here's a look at his sophomore highlights prior to this season.
Hutchings already has at least eleven offers, and the list figures to keep on piling up as the recruiting season moes on. Can Notre Dame keep the momentum going in California after landing recruits like Deontay Greenberry and Tee Shepard? All signs look positive that the Irish are trying to make big inroads into the Golden State.
To discuss Notre Dame football recruiting, head to One Foot Down.
Joshua Garnett was widely considered one of the top offensive lineman in the 2012 recruiting class on the West Coast. At 6'5", 295, he has the physical frame to be a dominant guard or tackle depending on where his coaching staff ends up playing him, and he would be a load for anyone to deal with. Take a look at his video highlights and you get an idea what you're dealing with.
That'll be the Pac-12's burden, as Garnett committed to Stanford over Michigan at a public ceremony earlier today. Garnett. Garnett likes the Stanford academic tradition paired along with their physical offensive line punch.
Stanford is putting together a monstrous offensive line class that could really bulldoze over much of the rest of the conference. The Cardinal seem to be secure in the trenches, and they will be a tough fight for any team that faces them.
To discuss Stanford football recruiting, head on over to Rule of Tree.
Less than a week to go until National Signing Day, and it looks like Shaq Thompson is all but ready to make a decision. Whether he knows where he's going to school remains an open question.
The wrench in the Cal feel-good story for Old Blues was hurled by Tosh Lupoi, the former Cal coach who recruited Thompson for well over a year and is now hot on his heels as the recently hired Washington assistant coach. Thompson is torn. First it was all Cal. Now Washington is in the mix. And so is Oregon. And so, suddenly, is UCLA.
He's back on the open market, twisting with each text, each call, each home visit, each thought of where best to go.
Shaq has plenty of options to choose from. With Cal he has the great academics and new athletic center along with being with most of his friends. With Washington he could be with his old high school friend James Sample. With Oregon there's the ability to instantly contend for Pac-12 championships.
UCLA has been on an all-out blitz to try and land the safety. The only question is if it's too late for Mora and company to land the safety.
To discuss Cal football recruiting, head to the California Golden Blogs. To talk Washington football recruiting, check out UW Dawg Pound. To look at Oregon football recruiting, head on over to Addicted to Quack. To discuss UCLA football recruiting, go to Bruins Nation.
Arik Armstead is one of the top prospects in the 2012 recruiting class, and his recruitment is being picked up as we come closer to signing day. Armstead was considered a heavy favorite to end up at Cal, but then his position coach Tosh Lupoi left for Washington, which made things a little bit more difficult.
Indeed, everyone seems to be seeing a chance to get in on Armstead's recruitment. Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee reports that two more schools are competing for Armstead's services.
* USC (yes, the Trojans are indeed back in play, with Lane Kiffin coming for a home visit soon; reports of bad blood with Armsteads and Kiffin simply not true).
* Alabama (Tide coach Nick Saban has spoken to Armstead and wants to come for a home visit, and when the boss of the national champs knocks, you answer).
Armstead was favored to end up at Notre Dame or Auburn, but that might change now that his brother Armstead is returning to USC. The brothers might end up playing at different schools next season, although it's not out of the question the two go to the Fighting Irish or the Tigers.
Expect Armstead's recruitment to go right down to the wire for everyone involved.
The biggest fall-out regarding Tosh Lupoi was bound to happen on the defensive line and the top-notch recruits the California Golden Bears were pursuing up front. One of the biggest ones was Arik Armstead from Pleasant Grove, who had recently decommitted from USC and seemed very interested in coming to Cal in recent weeks.
With Lupoi gone, that option appears to be out. Armstead will make his decision, but he won't be coming out West.
Armstead will likely choose one of those schools because it would mean he could play with his brother, who is likely about to transfer away from the USC Trojans. Either Notre Dame or Auburn would be picking up a pair of quality linemen who could greatly help their squad on the defensive side of the football. The Oregon Ducks are also a possibility, but they're probably a dark horse in this race.
To discuss Auburn football recruiting, head to Track Em Tigers. To talk about Notre Dame football recruiting, go to One Foot Down. To talk Oregon football recruiting, go to Addicted to Quack. To check out the latest on the Cal football recruiting front, go to the California Golden Blogs.
The California Golden Bears have a huge hole to fill with the departure of Tosh Lupoi to the Washington Huskies.
The Oklahoma St. Cowboys may have beaten the Stanford Cardinal in the Fiesta Bowl this past week, but the Cardinal may have just struck gold in the recruitment of Barry Sanders, Jr. The four-star running back, who is, the son of Hall Of Fame running back Barry Sanders, has officially committed to the Cardinal after announcing his intentions at the Army All American Game.
It was reportedly a two-team race to land Sanders, with Stanford and Oklahoma State in the lead. While his dad played at OSU, the Cowboys now feature a pass-heavy offensive attack that was likely unattractive for the talented running back. Stanford has developed two great running backs in recent years with Toby Gerhart and Stepfan Taylor and they will look to do so with Sanders as well.
Rule Of Tree, our Stanford team site, is excited about the commitment and grabbed this quote from the four-star tailback, "I get a chance to play with the greatest student-athletes in the world. They've been improving each year and they've got a bright future."
Congratulations to the Sanders family for their commitment to the Stanford Cardinal. This is a very big day for the program.
The California Golden Bears are having quite the recruiting day thus far and it only got better with the commitment of four-star safety Shaq Thompson. Thompson, who comes in a 6'1" and 215 pounds, had offers from many programs around the nation, including Auburn, Michigan, Notre Dame, and seemingly every team in the Pac-12. He announced his decision while playing at the Army All American Game.
Sacramento (Calif.) Grant safety Shaquille Thompson, the nation's #1-safety, has committed to California... #ZEROsurprise— Brandon Huffman (@BrandonHuffman) January 7, 2012
This is a great day for the Cal Bears and Shaq Thompson. Many viewed the Bears as the favorites to land Thompson, but the news finally became official on Saturday.
California Golden Blogs, our Cal team site, had this to say on the commitment:
Thompson joins DeSean Jackson and Keenan Allen as the top recruits coming out of high school in the Tedford era to end up in Strawberry Canyon. Thompson might be the most versatile of the bunch though, having shown the ability to play almost every skill position on the football field on offense, defense, and special teams.
This has been a great day for the California football program.
The California Golden Bears picked up a big commitment on Saturday afternoon as talented wide receiver Jordan Payton gave his pledge to the program. At 6'2" and somewhere around 200 pounds, Payton has excellent size for the receiver position. He is rated four stars by most major services, and is widely ranked as one of the top-20 receivers in the country.
Many teams had shown interest in Payton, including the Michigan Wolverines and Notre Dame Fighting Irish, but neither school could offer him what California could: a chance to stay home and play in front of friends and family. A senior at Oaks Christian High School in Westlake Village, Payton will play most of his games in the Golden State, which was obviously a huge advantage the Bears had over other teams.
This is a big get for Jeff Tedford and Payton will likely see at least some playing time in 2012. Welcome to the program, kid.
For more on the Bears, head on over to California Golden Blogs.
Apparently being a dynamic runner runs in the family. Barry Sanders Jr, son of the famed running back, is a coveted running back from Heritage Hall in Oklahoma City, and was coveted by many top programs. Two of them that rose to the top were the Oklahoma St. Cowboys (his dad's school) and the Stanford Cardinal.
The case for Oklahoma State is pretty solid--follow in the footsteps of his famous dad, but Stanford offers the appeal of an attack dedicated to running the football. Oklahoma State is a pass-first offense, which might have limited Sanders's touches and made him the secondary focus of the offense.
It appears that case might be enough to sway him to the West Coast. Jason Kersey of the Oklahoman reports that the younger Sanders will pick Stanford this Saturday at the Army All-American Bowl.
But in December, Heritage Hall coach Andy Bogert said Stanford and OSU were Sanders' top two choices, and in that order.
One of the biggest factors, Bogert then said, was Stanford's higher academic standards. Sanders was still taking the required extra classes and working to get qualified.
But Sanders, in a telephone interview from San Antonio, said he has qualified.
Florida State and Alabama were also considered finalists.
Shaq Thompson is perhaps one of the most coveted player on the West Coast, as he's probably the most athletically ready player for the college game at this point at safety. Thompson apparently has two frontrunners for his services. Steve Wiltfong of 247 Sports reports.
The nation's top-ranked athlete recruit according to 247Sports, Sacramento (Calif.) Grant standout Shaq Thompson says he could have his college decision made by Thursday. He won't make his school of choice public until Saturday during the NBC broadcast of the U.S. Army All-America Bowl.
The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Thompson tells 247Sports that California and Washington are the front runners heading down the stretch. His mother will arrive in San Antonio on Thursday, and that's when he plans to iron everything out.
Shaq really loves Cal for multiple reasons. It's close to home (Cal is the closest big-time college to Sacramento), and Shaq has a great relationship with the coaching staff given that his brother Syd'Quan was on the team from 2005 to 2009. Shaq also has a great appreciation for Washington because his teammate James Sample is on the Huskies defensive squad.
Notre Dame, Oregon, and USC are potential possibilities as well, but it'd be a surprise if anyone other than Cal or Washington gets selected this Saturday.
The Stanford Cardinal need to get ready to replenish the coffers when it comes to landing big-time quality offensive linemen. Both David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin will depart this offseason, leaving the Cardinal with none of the top recruits that Jim Harbaugh brought in and helped mold Stanford into one of the top offensive lines in the country.
So offensive line is a bit of a priority for Stanford. The Cardinal picked up a big one today from the Midwest. Budd Elliot of SB Nation Recruiting has more on the story.
Nick Davidson, an excellent offensive tackle recruit out of Eden Prairie (Mn.) High School has committed to the Stanford Cardinal. Davidson is an elite recruit, holding offers from Stanford, Clemson, Colorado, Duke, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Oregon, South Carolina and Virginia Tech.
Stanford will still have some spots left over for the premium offensive tackles in the country like Josh Garnett (who has Stanford in his top three), Kyle Murphy (who seems to be thinking of either the Cardinal or the USC Trojans) or Andrus Peat (whose interest in the Cardinal has emerged most recently). But regardless of who else commits, landing a player like Davidson certainly will ensure the offensive line will rebuild itself back to form the next few years.
To discuss Stanford football recruiting, head over to Rule of Tree.
The Oregon Ducks have another big-time running back signed up, and he's the best runner in the Bay Area to boot.
Oregon landed a big name when they earned the verbal commitment of Byron Marshall from Valley Christian High in San Jose. Marshall is considered perhaps the best running back on the West Coast in this class. Just like his brother Cameron (now the starter at ASU), he figures to be an impact player down the line and could give the Ducks more fight in their rushing attack. Marshall commits to Oregon over schools like ASU, Cal, Notre Dame, USC and Washington.
Marshall's biggest strength is his overall measurables and strength conditioning. He's at 5'10, 200 lbs, 10.67 100M, has a 300+ pound bench, a 510 pound squat, a 485 pound dead lift, and a 255 pound power clean. This is one workout warrior who you figure will be tough to take down once he hits full stride.
Here's a look at his highlight tape.
The success of the Oregon run schemes must have really appealed to Marshall, who can showcase his talent in an offense conducive to putting up the yards and the points.
For more on Oregon football recruiting, Addicted to Quack is the place to go.
Now that Arik Armstead has officially reopened his recruitment after being a USC Trojans commit, he's starting to reexamine his options. One of the top recruits in the country is starting to look around and take his visits.
Armstead enjoyed his visit to Alabama this weekend for the Game of the Century, and his father Gus had this to say about his son's visit.
"Arik really enjoyed himself," said Gus Armstead, Arik’s father. "It’s really hard to describe what the atmosphere was like there. The Alabama fans are a really passionate group and the electricity in the air was pretty incredible. You had the top two teams in the country battling it out and Arik really enjoyed himself.
The rest of this article is paid, but this tweet from Greg Biggins (who wrote the article) indicates that two more visits are lined up--the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers are both getting trips. It does look like the lineman will be looking at all his best options nationwide.
Armstead might no longer be all USC, but he hasn't forgotten about the Trojans, as he will take an unofficial back to Los Angeles this Saturday. Don't count out USC reentering this race, as there are multiple teams in the race.
Tyrone Wallace is one of the guards that the California Golden Bears really wanted to get from this class. And today they received his official verbal to Mike Montgomery and Cal hoops, Josh Gershon of Scout reports. Wallace ended up picking Cal over Colorado, mentioning the proximity to home and Monty's experience in the NBA as the main reason he went with the Bears.
Wallace is from Bakersfield and played at Bakersfield High, and is ranked as the 78th top prospect in the country by Rivals, and the 27th best point guard by ESPN, so he should hopefully be able to emerge as a crucial bridge to the next era of Cal basketball.
Dominic Artis is the point guard that Cal fans had their eyes on early on, but after his commitment to Oregon, Wallace is probably the best available choice for the Golden Bears. Wallace provides more athleticism and strength at the guard spot and is a more versatile player who can play and plug into multiple positions. Wallace should slide in once Jorge Gutierrez departs into a combo guard position, whether as a backup or a starter, and could compete at either the one or the two spots for playing time as a freshman in 2012.
For more on Cal basketball recruiting, hit up California Golden Blogs.
The Michigan Wolverines have to be liking how things are going this season. They're ranked. They're winning. They're recruiting extremely well.
And they can really finish things up strong if they land one of the top recruits on the West Coast.
Ace Anbender, recruiting analyst of MGoBlog, reports that Shaquille 'Shaq' Thompson appears to be ready to take a visit to Ann Arbor. According to Joe Davidson of the Sacramento Bee, he'll be heading there at the end of the month when Michigan takes on Ohio State.
Michigan fans can't be quite ready to get their hopes up too high. Thompson took his official visit to Notre Dame and seemed to enjoy his time there. But in the end, he said it wouldn't be a good fit, probably mostly because of the proximity from Sacramento. You can guess if South Bend is a little distant, Michigan won't be much better, but Brady Hoke has pulled off some pretty big recruiting victories up to this point, so don't count Thompson-to-Michigan out until he takes the trip.
For more on Michigan football recruiting, go to Maize N Brew.
The Stanford Cardinal have picked up a crucial component to their 2012 college basketball recruiting class when they landed the services of 6'9" wingman Rosco Allen from Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas Nevada. Allen seemed to be debating primarily between the Cardinal and the UNLV Rebels (his hometown team) although he did take trips to Oregon and North Carolina as well. Stanford recruited him the hardest though, which is why he's on his way to Palo Alto. Ryan Greene of the Las Vegas Sun reports.
The commitment from Allen, who Rivals.com ranks as the No. 73 overall prospect in the 2012 class, is huge for Stanford. It strengthens a class for the Cardinals that already includes Houston shooting guard Christian Sanders and California power forward Grant Verhoeven. Aside from the obvious academic edge Stanford has over Allen's other finalists, he'll join a young team and have a chance to play big minutes right from the start.
Let's take a look at his highlights, which showcase a player still developing into his own form (and has some tremendous upside the further he grows under Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins).
As you can see from Allen's tape, he's got a natural ability to finish at the rim, using his hops to get right to the basket, and can spot up for jumpers and nail them with ease. Allen might need to bulk up a bit to be ready for the rigors of Division I basketball, but it looks like he's in good shape to make an impact.
For more on Stanford basketball recruiting, go to Rule Of Tree. For more on Oregon basketball recruiting, head to Addicted to Quack. For more on North Carolina basketball recruiting, head to Carolina March.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers have their eyes on a solid-looking prospect from the Sacramento area, and they might just be able to pluck him away from local Pac-12 schools!
Nate Iese from Sheldon Highhas received interest from local schools like UCLA, Oregon State, Washington and Nevada, but it's starting to look like an offer from the Nebraska Cornhuskers will trump anything else on the table. Sam McKewon of Big Red Today reports.
"I’m still open to any other program that wants to recruit me but right now I’m looking hard at Nebraska and UCLA," Iese told 24/7 Sports, a recruiting partner with The World-Herald. "Coach (Carl) Pelini is recruiting me from Nebraska and they are showing me a lot of interest. They are just a great football university and a great college academically."
"UCLA is also very solid in academics and football. They are obviously a lot closer to home, but that doesn’t matter to me. If Nebraska is the best fit for me, then I won’t think twice about leaving California."
Here's some tape from his junior season that proves that Iese could very well evolve into a monster on the next level.
Iese has shown the potential to play both tight end and defensive end, and Nebraska definitely needs some help at either position with depth pretty low there. Although UCLA seems to be the main competitor for his services, if you look at the upside of being a Husker defender over being a Bruins defender, it's no contest right now.
Although he hasn't come out and said it, it's starting to look like Andrus Peat has two clearcut leaders. The Corona del Sol offensive tackle has set up two official visits to the two schools that have been mentioned the last few weeks as his big destinations. Justin Hopkins of 247 Sports has more.
The nation's No. 5 player Andrus Peat has scheduled only his second official visit. Recently 247Sports reported Peat will visit Nebraska on Nov. 26 after being forced to miss his first attempt at a visit.
This week Peat reports he has plans to visit Stanford on November 19 when the Cardinal host the Ducks for a big-time Pac-12 showdown.
Peat does mention other schools like Florida, Florida State, Auburn, Notre Dame and Texas, but it's pretty telling that the offensive tackle would start off with an official to the Stanford football program. Peat must be really serious about his interest in the program. Stanford has had a pretty strong tradition of offensive line play lately, so it'd make sense that Peat would be down for playing in Palo Alto as opposed to traditional college football powers.
That being said, Nebraska is his next visit, so you'd have to think that the Huskers are very much in the mix.
*Disclaimer: The article says Peat would be visiting November 19th for the Oregon game, but Stanford is playing Cal on November 19th. We have to presume that either Peat is visiting November 12th for Oregon or November 19th for Cal.
The quest to land perhaps the most athletic West Coast big man in the 2013 class goes on, and the list has grown a bit. Some new names have entered the picture from the last time Aaron Gordon actively discussed his list, and there are new faces making their presence felt for the Archbishop Mitty star from San Jose.
On the recruiting front, Gordon appears to be focusing on the left coast. He named Arizona, Washington, Stanford and Oregon, as well as Kansas as the top competitors for his college services at this time. With a sister and brother (Drew – UCLA/New Mexico) that have played basketball at the collegiate level, Gordon noted that he and his family are comfortable with the recruiting process, and savvy enough to weed out dishonest influences.
Stanford and Oregon both entering the picture are intriguing. Both programs appear to be on the rise in terms of overall talent, and should each have a great shot at competing for the top spot in the conference.
Interestingly, Gordon no longer lists New Mexico, despite the fact that his brother Drew is a member of the team. Perhaps Gordon feels that he'd be better off in a major conference program rather than having to compete for attention in a midmajor program.
Still, it looks like Washington and Arizona are the favorites so far, as they've been the names that have been in it for Gordon since the start.
Oh yeah, here's video of 15 year old Gordon dunking on life this summer.
For more on college basketball recruiting on the SB Nation network regarding Gordon, hit up Arizona Desert Swarm (Arizona), UW Dawg Pound (Washington), Rule of Tree (Stanford), Addicted to Quack (Oregon), and Rock Chalk Talk (Kansas).
Josh Garnett is one of the premier offensive tackles on the West Coast, and has not really narrowed his list up to this point. But he could have given off a huge clue as to where he might end up with a little piece of news that was broken a few days ago.
Brandon Huffman of Scout gave the report that Garnett has officially been admitted to Stanford on an official basis. This doesn't mean Garnett is committing to the Cardinal football program, but it's a positive sign that he's strongly considering heading to Palo Alto next year.
It would make sense for Garnett to really like Stanford. The Cardinal probably have mounted one of the toughest offensive lines in the conference through the last three seasons, and they will likely send two linemen like David DeCastro and Jonathan Martin to the NFL. The academically-inclined Garnett would have to be attracted to the stability of Stanford as well.
For more on Stanford football recruiting, check out Rule of Tree.
Arik Armstead just decommitted from the USC Trojans. Could he be turning right toward their archrivals for a new college home?
The highly rated Pleasant Grove tackle prospect took his official to South Bend this weekend for the Notre Dame-USC game, and he really enjoyed his time there. Jason Sapp of Blue And Gold Illustrated caught up with Armstead, who told him that he ranked his visit a '10'. The praise doesn't get much higher than that, does it?
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish could really use defensive linemen, so Armstead could definitely fit right in here since this is his preferred position. That being said, it'd be hard to believe Armstead is totally all-in on the Irish this early in the recruiting process, considering its only his first official. Let's see if Notre Dame remains on top down the road, especially with trips to powerhouses like Alabama and Texas coming up.
Byron Marshall has kept his recruitment close to the vest. The Army All-American named a top six--(ASU, Cal, Notre Dame, Oregon, USC, Washington), and really hasn't revealed anything past that. Until now.
According to various Notre Dame recruiting sites, the Valley Christian running back from San Jose cancelled his official visit to South Bend for last weekend ($). The reason he didn't visit is private (you must have a paid account with 247Sports to find out why), but what is known is that the Fighting Irish are no longer in contention to land him. That is a pretty significant blow to Notre Dame recruiting.
If I had to guess what Marshall's final five would be, they'd be the remaining five schools that he listed earlier--the Arizona St. Sun Devils, the California Golden Bears, the Oregon Ducks, the USC Trojans, and the Washington Huskies all seem to be in the running for one of the top runners in the West. Looks like the Pac-12 will have at least one marquee runner joining their ranks next season.
For more on the state of Notre Dame football recruiting, go to One Foot Down. For more on the various Pac-12 recruiting news, head to Addicted to Quack (Oregon), California Golden Blogs (Cal), Conquest Chronicles (USC), House of Sparky (ASU) and UW Dawg Pound (Washington).
Arik Armstead might be the top college football recruit in the country, and he hasn't really seemed to be that interested in the discussion when he was committed to USC. Now that he's reopened his recruitment, it looks like he's planning to make the most of it and take all the visits he can possibly take. He visited Notre Dame this weekend, and you'd figure more top-profile visits will be on their way.
According to Wiliam WIlkerson off ESPN, one such visit by the Elk Grove Northern California prep tackle will be to the University of Texas, apparently arranged sometime later this year. It's not clear how interested Armstead is in schools like Texas, but an official visit to Austin is a pretty big deal, and the Longhorns must be serious in reciprocating their interest. Texas needs some push in the line of scrimmage on either side of the ball; Armstead could be the talent the Horns coaching staff is looking for to provide that spark.
To discuss Texas football recruiting, Burnt Orange Nation is the place to go.
Now that Pleasant Grove High School top talent Arik Armstead has decommitted from the USC Trojans, he can restart his recruitment and look at all the top schools around the country to see what they have to offer. Three schools have immediately focused their eyes on him according to Scott Schrader: The Texas Longhorns, Oklahoma Sooners, and the Oregon Ducks.
Armstead is probably looking at all potential options before he ends up making a decision, and there will be a lot of doors opening. He's even looking for an offer from LSU ($).
"Texas, Oregon and Oklahoma have all offered," Gus Armstead, Aric’s father said. "The one school that hasn’t offered yet that we’re still waiting on is LSU. Hopefully, they’ll come through, but this is exciting. It’s what we were looking for when Aric de-committed. The more options the better right now, so it’s all good."
Armstead has plenty of time and lots of doors to choose from. Where he ends up is anyone's guess. He already supposedly is high on Alabama, Notre Dame (a school he'll be visiting this weekend), Cal and Washington, and he can always end up back at USC. We'll just have to wait and see.
For more on football recruiting regarding all three schools, head to Crimson and Cream Machine (Oklahoma), Burnt Orange Nation (Texas) and Addicted to Quack (Oregon) on our SB Nation college team sites!
The Stanford Cardinal keep on finding high-quality recruits, and are piecing together what could be one of the top classes in the country when all is said and done. Their latest recruit is defensive end Luke Kaumatule, considered the best recruit in all of Hawaii.
The Punahou defensive end could provide Stanford with a strong student-athlete who is also plenty capable athletically and could plug in right away to the 3-4 defense. One of the big reasons he chose Stanford was their great academic tradition, although the athletic success of the program couldn't have hurt either. Greg Biggins of ESPN has more on the decision.
"I actually committed last week, Kaumatule said. "I really liked everything about Stanford. Academics were the No. 1 thing for me, I said that from day one and academically, you just can't beat Stanford. Not only that, they have one of the best football programs in the nation so I'm getting the best of both worlds right now."
Standing at a tall 6'7", Kaumatule actually has more the height to be a dominant offensive tackle, but he'd have to put a lot of weight on before he's ready to contribute on that position. He seems more fit to be a speedy defensive end that could potentially be a mismatch for slower offensive tackles in the Pac-12, before rounding into true physical form and becoming a monster off the edge.
Here's video showcasing his playmaking ability.
For more on Stanford football, check out Rule of Tree.
Jabari Parker won't be uninformed when he makes his college decision. The current top basketball prospect for the class of 2013 is making the rounds well before he decides where to make his official visits.
This past week, Parker visited the BYU Cougars, Utah Utes and Stanford Cardinal. Parker has made his interest in BYU well-known, being one of the members of LDS, and he supposedly visited one of the practices last week.
Of more interest to Bay Area folks is Parker's visit to Palo Alto. According to Reggie Rankin of ESPN, Parker really enjoyed his visit and talk with Stanford head coach Johnny Dawkins. This could bode well for the Cardinal, who have really been struggling to even tread water in the Pac-10 the past few years. Landing an impact recruit like Parker could signal a shift in fortunes for Bay Area college basketball recruiting.
There are only a few recruits every year who everyone agrees can be the best high school prospect in the country. Eddie Goldman from Friendship Academy in Washington D.C. is one such individual. All the top services agree that Goldman is a can't miss player, someone who should thrive at the next level.
So it comes as a HUGE surprise that Cal has made Goldman's final seven, according to Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports. The list also includes the Maryland Terrapins, Alabama Crimson Tide, Clemson Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Florida State Seminoles, Miami Hurricanes.
It was suspected that the presence of national recruiter of the year and Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi would have some impact. But to still be in the game this late for the top defensive tackle in the country? This is uncharted waters for the Golden Bears to be in the race for a defensive line prospec.
For more on Cal football recruiting, go to the California Golden Blogs.
Christopher Santini is a local prospect who has always been high on the Boise St. Broncos, and he ended up committing to the blue and orange today; Brandon Huffman of Scout reports. Santini plays for Leland High in San Jose, and had offers from Army, Cal Poly, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Oregon State, San Jose State, UC Davis, Utah, and Utah State.
Here are the recruiting rankings from the major services.
Santini played multiple positions on defense, most notably linebacker, safety, and nickel back. He was named to the GSP All State Team 2010, the Cal Hi Sports All-State Team 2010, an All-County 1st team Selection, a Mount Hamilton Division Defensive Player of the Year.
For more on Boise football recruiting, go to One Bronco Nation Under God.
Aziz Shittu decommitted from the Stanford Cardinal earlier this year, and since then his recruitment has been up in the air. The big-time defensive tackle from Buhach in Atwater, California has plenty of teams on his radar which still include Stanford, but also include the California Golden Bears, Washington Huskies, UCLA Bruins, USC Trojans, Michigan Wolverines, Texas A&M Aggies.
Shittu visited Cal this weekend to take in one of their fall practices. However the two campuses he mentioned the most were UCLA and Texas A&M. He said he really liked the UCLA campus, which is admittedly one of the most pristine in all of college sports. The wild card appears to be the Texas A&M, who Shittu says are recruiting him the hardest. A&M is a bit off the beaten path compared to all the other schools on his list, but Shittu seems to have enough of a favorable opinion of them and will be taking his first in-season visit to the 12th Man in College Station.
The quiet recruitment of Byron Marshall might be getting just a tad louder. Joe Healey of Devils Digest tweeted this list from the young star running back: The Arizona St. Sun Devils, California Golden Bears, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Oregon Ducks, USC Trojans, and Washington Huskies are his top six.
If this list doesn't look right to you, you're not alone--where are the Stanford Cardinal?
It's curious that Stanford is omitted from this list, because it was long thought that if Marshall would play in the Pac-12, it would be in the Bay Area. But this new list seems to place Marshall with only the Golden Bears as his Bay Area fallback. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if Stanford find its way back into the mix at some point.
For more on recruiting at SB Nation, go to House of Sparky (ASU), California Golden Blogs (Cal), One Foot Down (Notre Dame), Addicted to Quack (Oregon), Conquest Chronicles (USC), and UW Dawg Pound (Washington).
Jordan Payton had been a USC Trojans commit for quite sometime, but as it became clear that the scholarship reductions were going to severely impact the program, wide receiver became less a priority for USC in the 2012 class, and both he and Jaydon Mickens started wavering on their commitments. The Oaks Christian star (located in Westlake Village) decommitted from USC weeks ago, and now it appears he's looking elsewhere.
Payton has been looking around, and it appears he has two schools at the top of his radar. He divulged the identity of the two schools in an interview with the Los Angeles Daily News High School podcast.
Interviewer: I know you're really heavily recruited. You had committed to USC, then all of a sudden you weren't going to USC. ... What is the very latest update, Jordan, with your recruiting situation? And you are also perfectly welcome to make your commitment with the Daily News right now if you so choose.
Payton: (laughs) Right now I'm going through the process ... my top two schools are Cal and Michigan, those are the two schools I'm really interested in right now.
Cal needs wide receivers to tag along with the very talented Bryce Treggs, and Payton could help provide that instant one-two punch for the future of the Cal passing game.
Rosco Allen is probably best known for being Shabazz Muhammad's teammate at Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas. However the 6'8", 215 pound power forward is fast coming into his own as a top recruit himself. Coast2Coast Hoops reports that Allen will be on his way to visit Johnny Dawkins and the Stanford Cardinal at the end of the month.
Watching his recruiting tape, Allen certainly looks comfortable in his mid-range game. He's good at pulling up and knocking down jumpers from outside. He could be very valuable as a big man who can stretch the floor, although it remains to be seen how effective Allen is in the post and how well he can get score easy points in college.
Allen has received multiple offers from big-time schools, including 10 of the 12 Pac-12 schools (Arizona, Oregon, UCLA and USC included; Cal is one of the schools that is not recruiting Allen). But the hometown UNLV Rebels have long been rumored to be the team to beat for Allen, so all these schools will have to step up their efforts to land him.
For more on Stanford basketball, go to Rule of Tree.
Aaron Gordon is one heck of a phenomenal talent, and you'll probably be hearing his name a lot the next two years if you're a follower of high school hoops. The 6'7" 2013 power forward from Archbishop Mitty in San Jose is already drawing massive raves, and his dunks have become the stuff of legends.
At the moment though, his eyes are casting wider than the Bay Area. Although he says the entire West Coast is after him, Gordon can point out some early favorites to Matt Prehem of 247Sports after the Global Games. Four schools are already starting to make their mark on him--the Arizona Wildcats, the New Mexico Lobos, the Kansas Jayhawks and the Washington Huskies. Not a good sign for Cal basketball fans looking for a big star to land in their backyard.
Mike Montgomery has had his fair share of troubles trying to get top Bay Area recruits to play basketball for the California Golden Bears--in his four years at Cal perhaps the best local recruit he's landed has been Brandon Smith. He might have to start bracing for some failures in 2013 too. Battles to Washington and Arizona are bad enough. But when you're losing the edge to New Mexico, you might have to reconsider your recruiting strategy just a tad.
For more on Arizona basketball recruiting, go to Arizona Desert Swarm. For more on Kansas basketball recruiting, check out Rock Chalk Talk. For more on Washington basketball recruiting, go to UW Dawg Pound.
Byron Marshall is one of the few standout running backs in the 2012 recruiting class. The San Jose product from Valley Christian has been offered by nearly every major Pac-12 school and is likely to stay West Coast.
Marshall reported he did pick up a crucial offer yesterday from the USC Trojans. It's puzzling why USC has decided to offer two running backs like Marshall and KeiVarae Russell after already accepting the offers of two others. Lane Kiffin seems to be very close to waddling into oversigning territory with these offers.
In either case, because USC is USC, Marshall will probably have the Trojans very much factored into his decision-making. I would suspect based on earlier reports that Arizona State (where his brother Cameron currently starts), the two local Bay Area teams (Cal and Stanford, and Marshall just recently visited Cal ($)) are all being factored in by Marshall, and now USC are teams very much in the mix to land Marshall as their back of the year.
For more on USC football recruiting, Conquest Chronicles is the way to go.
Sean Miller wasn't kidding when he said he'd be recruiting the Bay Area heavily the next few years. Both Brandon Ashley and Jabari Bird are big-time targets for Miller's Arizona Wildcats program, and it looks like Stephen Domingo may be next in line for heavy recruitment. The local recruit from St. Ignatius High in San Francisco has blown onto the national landscape over the past year, and could be poised to rise higher in his junior year.
In an interview with Coast2Coast Hoops, Domingo (on crutches after breaking his foot in an Indianapolis tournament with his Dream Vision AAU team), spoke fondly of the Wildcats, and why Arizona was recruiting him. Full interview is below, but here's a transcript of the Arizona-relevant sections.
Interviewer: Who are you talking to at Arizona?
Domingo: I've been talking to Coach Pasternak and Coach Miller a lot. My mom just talked to Coach Miller couple days ago during the week that we could talk to them. Coach Pasternak's been handling my recruiting pretty much, besides Coach Miller when I talk to him.
Interviewer: And what has he telling you about what they want to do with you in the Arizona system or what you can bring to the program?
Domingo: They really like how I can stretch the floor, they really feel like I can fit into their system, especially the pieces they're trying to bring in my class ... they really feel like my class ... will be really well-rounded.
Interviewer: What'd you think of how they [Arizona] did [last season]?
Domingo: I really liked them. I followed them...obviously they beat Duke in that NCAA game which was big. They handled the Pac-10 pretty easily this year ... it's been fun to watch them ... and I'm gonna keep my eye on them definitely for this next year and a half before I make my decision.
According to DeAnte Mitchell of CollegiateHoops, Domingo has offers from over a dozen schools, including Arizona, Cal, Georgetown, Harvard, Memphis, Penn, Santa Clara, San Diego State, USC, USD, UNLV, USF (San Francisco), Washington and Washington State. Domingo was named the 36th best recruit by Rivals and the 11th best small forward and 57th best recruit by ESPN for the 2013 class. Domingo says Arizona, Washington, UCLA, Cal, Georgetown, Memphis, Texas have been recruiting him the hardest, so expect a long drawn out process with the wing.
For more on Arizona basketball recruiting, head to Arizona Desert Swarm.
Another basketball recruit with ties to the Bay Area is headed elsewhere. Ricardo Gathers, who recently had been playing at Riverside Academy in Louisiana but has family ties in the Bay Area, committed to Steve Lavin and the St. John's Red Storm.
"I picked St. John's because of the coaching staff and I liked the way (St. John's) Coach (Steve) Lavin communicated with me throughout the process," Gathers told ESPN New York. "A year ago he was recruiting me and I didn't think much of it, until I saw how they played on television and how much success they were having.
Gathers had high interest early in the process in Cal and had an offer extended early to him, but St. John's quickly emerged as a big leader for Gathers as time went by and Lavin turned his attention to his recruitment. The offer to play in New York City was too tempting for Gathers to resist, and apparently he was influenced by Spike Lee, Denzel Washington and Ray Allen in his decision.
"I can't wait to play in New York. Watching the movie 'He Got Game' got me really excited about playing there."
Good stuff, huh? Makes you think that every major college basketball program needs to have a Hollywood program. But doesn't Cal have Coach Carter to rely on? Teenagers can be fun to deal with.
Check out Ricardo's dunking ability!
For more on Cal basketball recruiting, California Golden Blogs is your place to be.
It was only a matter of time before point guard Dominic Artis from Salesian High hit the big-time, and once he got his offer from the UCLA Bruins it appears he seemed set on heading to Westwood. Artis picked UCLA as his college destination this weekend, and it looks like neither of the two top Bay Area local prospects (who are both transferring to Findlay Prep in Nevada) will be playing their college ball in their region either. Evan Daniels of Scout has the report.
“I really like Ben Howland’s style of play,” Artis told Scout.com. “When I went down there for the visit all the guys were real cool and it just seemed like a good fit for me.”
“When they first started recruiting me they told me they really wanted me to be apart of their program,” he said. “Once I started playing better after Pangos, they really stressed to me that they needed a point guard and I could come in and play.”
UCLA gets a sterling young point guard with all sorts of promise at the next level. He can shoot, he can maintain multiple handles, he can get to plenty of spots on the floor, and he can pass the basketball. Artis should be a nice young talent that can hopefully aid in landing Brandon Ashley as well, and help usher in the next age of UCLA basketball.
Dominic Artis has Stupid Handles... Best 2012 PG on the West Coast (via Yayareasfinest2006)
Dominic Artis Serving at PANGOS All-American Camp... #1 PG on the West Coast (via Yayareasfinest2006)
Cal always wanted to get Artis and head coach Mike Montgomery was on him early, which is why this is a pretty bitter defeat in terms of local recruiting. The Bears will have to regroup and try and find another point guard to fit their suddenly dire 2012 needs.
Hardy Nickerson Jr. is treading the footsteps of his famous father. He plays linebacker, he's a local Bay Area prospect, and he's now a California Golden Bear. Nickerson Jr. had coveted the Cal offer most of the offseason, and when he finally got it a month ago, it was only a matter of time before he decided to commit. Jim McGill at Bear Insider has the full story.
"I really like Cal because they're well-rounded, with their great academics and campus life," said Nickerson, Jr. "I also really like all the change that's happening there, with the new coaches, new facilities and new stadium. It just seems like there's a new excitement coming to Cal football and I want to be a part of it."
Nickerson Jr. is a late bloomer, and isn't highly rated by any of the recruiting services, but there's a lot of potential filled in his frame. He's a lot bigger than his dad was at his age, and he improved quite a bit from his sophomore to junior season (helping him earn the Cal offer from Kenwick Thompson). There's definitely a good chance he works his way up to starting level if he keeps the right attitude about it (and being a Nickerson, he's definitely got a good head on his shoulders).
Cal has now a plethora of strong California linebackers (and the second one in this class, as Michael Barton of De La Salle committed a few months ago) that should hopefully recharge what's been an erratic 3-4 defense the past few seasons.
For more on Cal football recruiting, the California Golden Blogs is your place to be.
It looks as if the East Bay will have two fine senior quarterbacks lining up under center this fall. Both San Ramon Valley's Zach Kline and De La Salle's Bart Houston have acquitted themselves admirably at the Elite 11 camp in Pepperdine. It should be no surprise that the two were among the final eleven named as Elite 11 quarterbacks in 2011. The Nike Elite 11 Coaching staff gave their assessment, and they placed Kline in 5th place and Houston in 10th according to Barton Simmons of 247Sports.
Kline has impressed everyone in attendance with his ball placement and the power in his arm. Brian Stumpf of ESPN stated that he won the strongest arm award, beating out the two big prospects in Gunner Kiel and Jameis Winston. Houston's accuracy was his biggest attribute, and his ability to be solid and consistent all week ensured him a spot among the top 11.
From shaky to solid to firm ground, San Ramon Valley High quarterback Zach Kline continues to ascend up the performance-meter at the Elite 11 camp in Malibu. After having trouble controlling his arm strength early on through the camp, he managed to get his accuracy down by Day 3, and now it looks as if Kline managed to mesh it altogether for his best performance at the camp. Barton Simmons of 247Sports with the report.
Kline is still bubbling with energy and there has certainly been no drop off in arm strength. Kline came out and made all the throws fitting his passes into some tight windows that very few quarterbacks would be able to hit. One of his best throws of the day came on a perfectly placed ball on a vertical route off of a double move. Though the receiver dropped the football, hurting Kline’s completion percentage, the throw was on the money and he showed natural leadership by immediately picking the receiver up and praising the route.
This is the second day in a row that Kline has been praised for his ball placement, which should come very well in handy in breaking down the zone defenses of the Pac-12. By combining it with his arm strength he now looks like one of the best quarterbacks on the field (besides the currently immaculate BYU commit Tanner Magnum, who continues to shine in all areas). It's starting to look like Cal has a complete quarterback who could challenge for playing time very soon after his arrival in Berkeley.
For more on Cal football recruiting, California Golden Blogs is your destination.
Bart Houston has a proud tradition of winning at De La Salle High in Concord, California, and he appears ready to continue that tradition in Madison. The Wisconsin Badgers appear to be the perfect match for Houston, and this profile by Steve Wiltfong on 247Sports seems to further indicate how much his college choice matches with his current high school.
De La Salle mostly runs the veer, so he'll have to make some shifts to Wisconsin's traditional I-formation power run style of play, but Houston is an accurate passer who throws plenty of touchdowns, so it should hopefully not take too long for him to adjust.
10. Bart Houston – Wisconsin commit
Cerebral and savvy, Houston is not the flashiest of quarterbacks but the ball always seems to be in the right place. Through the first two days, Houston had positioned himself as the No. 2 performer according to the Elite 11 staff and while he likely won’t be that high in the rankings following day 4, he won’t be far down the list. Houston doesn’t make mistakes, he has plenty of arm for the tough throws and though he has slow feet, he moves well functionally within the pocket.
For more on Wisconsin football recruiting, check out Bucky's 5th Quarter.
So much for the early concerns that Cal football quarterback Zach Kline would have issues with his accuracy. After having trouble with his touch when showing off his arm strength the first few days, the San Ramon Valley product recovered with a solid performance on Wednesday. The main passing competition involved quarterbacks getting two series of four reps in 7-on-7 competition and showcasing their stuff. Kline went 6 for 8 (3 for 4 including one deep catch on each of the two sets according to Mike Grimala of ESPN Rise). Barton Simmons of 247 Sports reports on Kline's overall performance.
10. Zach Kline – California commit
Don’t be surprised if Zach Kline throws some interceptions early in his career. He’s got a mentality that there isn’t a throw he can’t make. And why not? He has possibly the best arm at the event and was absolutely humming it in the 7on7 attempting to fit into some windows that no other quarterback could think about. More importantly though, he was still making good decisions and the correct reads. He finished 6 of 8, completing 3 of 4 in each of his two series.
It's odd that Simmons would say Kline would throw interceptions because he fits ball into tight windows. Usually that kind of accuracy is prized at the high school level, and it's certainly the type of skill that is hard to come by this early in your career. Defenders would have greater difficulty trying to catch balls that are put in the right places rather than errant throws that are off-target and fall into their zones. All in all, it's certainly a promising sign that Kline is able to perform this well with his reads and his placement, as those are two skills Jeff Teford places a premium on.
For more on Cal football recruiting, California Golden Blogs is your go-to destination.
The Cali-5 might be taking shape, and it could mean big things for the California Golden Bears. First, quarterback Zach Kline pledged to Jeff Tedford and Cal last fall. Second, Shaq Thompson committed to the Bears in early winter and reopened his recruitment a few weeks late, but still is considered a strong Cal lean. Third, wide receiver Bryce Treggs committed to Cal a few weeks ago. And now, the two remaining targets are favoring the Bears as well. Justin Hopkins of 247Sports.com reports on these developments.
Ishmael Adams and Jordan Payton both play at Oaks Christian in Westlake Village, California. Payton plays wide receiver, Adams cornerback, so both are quite familiar with each other on the field as well as off of it. Payton decommitted from USC a month or so ago, and supposedly has had the Bears high on his radar ever since he made that move. Adams recently received a Cal offer, and he also might favor playing football in Strawberry Canyon.
Athlete Kenneth Walker from John F. Kennedy in Richmond is also supposedly high on California, and could have committed at The Opening, but decided to wait. These are three promising young athletes who could certainly bring the home-grown talent that Cal desperately needs.
Top defensive tackle Ellis McCarthy retains his interest in the Bears, and also has Cal in his must-visits along with Florida and USC.
For more on Cal football recruiting, check up on the California Golden Blogs.
Zach Kline hasn't had the greatest performances at camps lately, particularly at the Opening in Eugene or Day 1 of the Elite 11 camp in Malibu. The Cal football quarterback commit from San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, California seemed to show capable arm strength, similar to that of the two highest-rated quarterbacks, Gunner Kiel and Jameis Winston. However, that came with a caveat; according to Scott Kennedy of Scout, he struggled with his accuracy and had trouble overthrowing his targets.
Kline seemed to perform much better on Day 2. Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports has a further report.
The California kid was sporting a Rafael Nadal-like look on Tuesday with long hair and a headband. Though he was one of the most outgoing and relaxed players on the field, that masked his workman-like approach to learning as much as he could from the coaches and counselors at the event.
"A lot of things like making every throw count and the little things matter the most," he said about what he learned. "Even the smallest thing down to a drop, the fake on the play action matters more than anything and is the difference between a completion and an interception. And just kind of getting to know these guys and the things that they see."
Kline seems to be focusing on the little details in his mechanics and his decision-making, which has to please a quarterback guru like Cal head coach Jeff Tedford; he seems to have the mental part of the game down. But the accuracy issues have to be worrisome, considering that Cal quarterbacks have struggled with making completions in the previous three seasons. Can it be fixed, or is this just a camp issue?
For more on Cal football recruiting, head to the California Golden Blogs.
It's been two days at the Elite 11 camp in Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, and it should be a good day for De La Salle fans everywhere. Quarterback and Wisconsin Badgers commit Bart Houston was highlighted early on at the camp, and Houston performed exceptionally well. So well, in fact, that coaches grade Houston as one of the top performers through Monday and Tuesday. Mike Gramala of ESPN Rise has the story, and Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports reports.
If there's anyone who could be labeled Mr. Consistent, it would be Bart Houston. He doesn't wow you out of the gate but he's got the perfect mix of arm strength, frame, throwing motion and accuracy to know he'll be a perfect fit at Wisconsin.
Interestingly, Chad Voytik of Cleveland (Cleveland, TN) is considered the top performer so far, and he is currently uncommitted. Voytik apparently has a top three of Pitt, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State, so there could be one impressive quarterback out there for a decent school to grab in the upcoming months. But Houston's performance has to be encouraging for Wisconsin fans, who seems to grasp all the fundamentals of being a signal-caller.
For more on Wisconsin recruiting, go to Bucky's 5th Quarter.
Forward Brandon Ashley will not be staying local in college, and he will not be staying local for the remainder of his high school days either. Ashley is transferring from Bishop O'Dowd to the renowned basketball factory, Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada for his senior season, reports Mitch Stephens of Prep Insider from the San Francisco Chronicle. Both Ashley and Salesian point guard Dominic Artis are heading to Findlay together, depriving the Bay Area of perhaps its two best senior high school basketball talents, and raises the possibility of an Artis-Ashley combo teaming up together in college as well.
Of more interest to college basketball recruit-nuts is Ashley's top seven. He named it last night at Kezar Pavilion in San Francisco while watching the Pro-Am. As expected, the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks made the cut, and there were five other schools on the list--the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, the Kentucky Wildcats, the Syracuse Orange, the Texas Longhorns, and the UCLA Bruins.
"Those are the schools that recruited me the hardest and longest since Day 1," Ashley said. "It's definitely nice to be wanted. Those are the people you develop the strongest relationships with."
It's another blow to Mike Montgomery, who continues to struggle to land top-quality local recruits. Not even landing in Ashley's top 7 has to make you wonder if the California Golden Bears will have the mettle in the recruiting game to become a top-notch basketball school. It looks as if Monty will have to double his efforts with his coaching to keep the pressure up.
To discuss Cal basketball, head to the California Golden Blogs.
The Oregon Ducks already have one local prospect from Northern California in Jake Rodrigues (Whitney High in Rocklin, California), and last week they added another. They're not only two prospects, but they also happen to be two quarterbacks.
Jeff Lockie plays for Monte Vista High in Danville, CA. He runs a spread offense that closely matches the offense the Ducks run. He has a quick release and fast feet, and thus could be another strong runner for Chip Kelly and the Oregon fast-paced attack. His highlights do display the type of characteristics that you'd like to see in a Ducks quarterback, particularly as someone who can make quick decisions.
Rodrigues is considered the better of the two quarterbacks, as Lockie's ratings (5.6 from Rivals, 71 from ESPN, 2 from Scout) aren't anything impressive. In college football though, you always want to have as many capable QBs as possible, and Lockie provides a nice second option.
For more discussion from Oregon fans, go to Addicted to Quack.
We talked already about Jabari Bird being the best junior guard in the local area yesterday. But the best high school basketball junior recruit in the Bay Area resides in the South Bay in San Jose. Aaron Gordon is a top ten blue-chipper for the 2013 class, and he could develop into a wrecking machine by the time he's ready to play college basketball in two year's time.
Gordon seems to be conjuring up a similar list of schools as Bird--the Arizona Wildcats and Washington Huskies are the two premier Pac-12 schools vying for him, with the Kansas Jayhawks also figuring prominently into the mix. Only instead of Arizona, he has Washington as his favorite. PointGuardU.com with the report.
"I'd say Washington is on top right now, but Arizona's close. I have a great relationship with coach Romar so they're definitely in the lead right now, but it's close," Gordon said.
Though Washington leads for Gordon, he was adamant that he is open to recruitment and does not plan on making a decision any time soon, which is good news for Arizona fans.
"The Arizona coaches came to see one of my practices," Gordon said. "I talked to them and really liked what they're trying to do."
Washington might be Gordon's leader right now, but that's far from reassuring for Husky basketball fans, since it's clear he's going to take his time with the process. Considering how well Sean Miller has done in recruiting players from the Oakland Soldiers, you'd have to think Arizona is very much a player for Gordon's services before all is said and done.
Here he is dominating at the Pangos Camp.
Local Bay Area prospect Brandon Ashley is doing his thing at numerous summer camps, and usually it ends with him impressing the scouts monitoring his game. At 6'10", his competitive spirit as a big complements his versatility, and it gives him a much-needed boost in his basketball profile. Here he is at the Nike Peach Jam Camp in North Augusta, South Carolina competing for his AAU team, the Oakland Soldiers.
PeachJam1-Ashley.m4v (via UKWildcatX)
Ashley also made it clear he's cutting his list of schools, and at least two Pac-12 squads--the Arizona Wildcats and Oregon Ducks--will appear in his top 5. Bobby Bancroft of National Hoops Report has more.
"The two schools that are on me the hardest right now are the two schools that are close to home right now – Oregon and Arizona. They are coming to all of my games. I’ve seen them front row in every game I’ve been to."
Although it's far from certain that Ashley stays on the West Coast, the fact that he keeps on throwing out Arizona and Oregon out there has to bode well for both of these schools, especially considering he's likely to make a decision sooner rather than later. This is the type of talent that can really lift up a college basketball program, so the Ducks would love to have this type of player.
Let's look ahead a year into the future at the 2013 recruiting class, and the two local recruits that'll garner the most pub. We start by looking up north toward Richmond and the best local guard in the region.
Jabari Bird will be a junior next year, but already as a sophomore he's vaulted his way into national prominence. Unranked nearly a year ago, Bird has soared into the RIvals100, and is now considered the 21st best junior in the country. Right now Bird seems to be weighing three options, according to Alex Schwartz of Northstar Basketball.
Bird seems to be favoring Arizona, according to his latest comments.
"Schools that stand out to me—I'd probably have to say Arizona, Washington and Cal are definitely my top three right now, but I'm still young so I got time to think about it," Bird said of his favorites. Arizona is currently at the top of the list for Bird, who also said that the Wildcats are coming after him the hardest.
Seems promising enough for Wildcats fans, butt 2013 is quite awhile away, and you'd have to figure this recruitment will be ongoing even if he does make an early decision.
Oh yeah. Here's his mixtape.
Jabari Bird Sophomore Season Mixtape... 5 Star Talent in 2013 (via Yayareasfinest2006)
These aren't as common as the fever-pitched USC/UCLA recruiting battles that polarize Southern California every winter, but a Cal/Stanford recruiting fight could also be brewing in men's hoops.The California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal appear to be two candidates for a player that seems to draw many comparisons to one Mark Madsen, and considering Madsen played for one school and was instructed by the coach of the other school, it makes sense that both would be after him.
Grant Verhoeven of Central Valley Christian High in Visalia, California has been under the microscope lately as he progresses from being under the radar to flickering within range of prominent status. Verhoeven showed off his stuff at the Double Pump Summer Tip-off in Los Angeles, and he showed off that impressive motor that can make him a rebounding force in the conference. Monty has been showing interest in Verhoeven for quite some time, and Stanford is also pursuing him hard. Here's the report from Hoopniks on his basketball game.
Verhoeven’s motor and work ethic can’t be questioned as he is one of the rare big men who sprints from defense to offense and vice versa. He competes on both ends of the court as he tries to get inner position for every rebound, offense or defense. When he does come down with a defensive rebound, you will find the ball tucked under his chin with elbows out and his eyes looking up. He lacks any offensive skills but it is hard to believe that his tough play and size wouldn’t be able to help a PAC-12 program.
Will either Cal or Stanford land him? Both appear to be the current favorites.
St. John's Bosco wide receiver Bryce Treggs has enjoyed a big coming-out party at this weekend's Opening 7-on-7 Tournament in Eugene. Treggs hauled in a number of big catches thrown to him by BYU commit Tyler Magnum, including an 80 yard score on Friday. Of all the offensive players in attendance, Treggs was one of those guys that shined the most relative to the strength of his overall recruiting profile.
Today, Golden Bear Nation can share in his joy. According to Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports, Treggs picked the California Golden Bears over schools like the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Stanford Cardinal, ASU Sun Devils and UCLA Bruins on ESPNU this evening. Treggs had been hinting at joining up with the Bears for some time. His father Brian played with the Bears two decades ago as a receiver, and Treggs is also good friends with Cal quarterback commit Zach Kline.
Treggs is only the third recruit for the Golden Bears, but at least Cal has to be happy that they're getting the guys that want to be Bears.
For more on Treggs, head over to the California Golden Blogs.
The Stanford Cardinal continue to stockpile their class with great-looking talent from outside the state. On Saturday they traversed the Lone Star State and picked up their eleventh recruit. Ikenna Nwafor looks like he's on his way to Palo Alto, and he will do his best to clog up the middle for the majority of Pac-12 rush attacks. Nwafor remains ranked on the periphery or along the edge of the major recruiting services, and also enjoyed offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas, Illinois, Ole Miss and Missouri, plus a host of Ivy League schools.
The best thing about Nwafaro is his measurables, which already project him to being a great physical talent once he masters the techniques of line play at the collegiate level. At 6'5", 298 pounds, he figures to be a load and a potential nose tackle/defensive end in the current Stanford 3-4 defensive alignment.
Nwafor's not done visiting schools though, particularly if he gains more offers. Hence, this is far from a solid verbal. For now though, he's with Stanford.
For more on Stanford recruiting, Rule of Tree is your place to visit.
Cal basketball is looking to land a strong 2012 recruiting class after a nondescript 2011 class of two. One of their primary targets is point guard Dominic Artis, who could be one of the top points in the nation when all is said and done. Artis is currently showcasing his abilities at the LeBron James Skills Academy, and everyone is starting to take notice. Reggie Rankin and Dave Telep of ESPN have more on Artis.
Artis is a true point guard who the defense better guard because he can make it pay with his ability to shoot the ball. He could be a bit more vocal when he runs the team, but he always shows up to compete. Artis is stable and dependable and plays with heart. He has speed and quickness to make plays with the clock winding down. When he is on the floor you never have to wonder where the lead guard is. Artis said his list consists of California, UCLA, Oregon and Florida State.
Artis is reportedly one of those players that Mike Montgomery has been following very closely the past few years, so that might win him over to the Bears at the end of the recruiting cycle. However, Artis might be starting to pick up the national buzz (particularly now that he's transferring to a national program like Findlay Prep), and ride it to some stellar D-I offers. UCLA has already extended its hand, and Oregon isn't too far behind. This is one recruiting battle many Cal fans would like to see Monty win to feel reassured of the direction of the basketball program.
For more analysis of Artis, head over to the California Golden Blogs. Check out Artis's tape below.
Dominic Artis has Stupid Handles... Best 2012 PG on the West Coast (via Yayareasfinest2006)
Dominic Artis Serving at PANGOS All-American Camp... #1 PG on the West Coast (via Yayareasfinest2006)
The buzz has been brewing around five star tackle San Clemente offensive tackle Kyle Murphy for quite some time. During the offensive line/defensive line challenge at the Opening Event in Eugene, Murphy was the immovable object. JC Shurburtt of 247 Sports has more.
During the offensive line/defensive line challenge, Murphy again showed why he’s one of the top prospects in the country and a five-star prospect according to 247Sports. The 6-foot-7, 280-pounder was dominant during one-on-ones. He has such good feet and balance and his strength (which will improve in time) allows him to stonewall defensive linemen that attempt to bull rush him. Murphy’s recruitment could come down to Oregon and Stanford, according to the buzz we heard on Friday.
The last nugget is certainly what will draw the most interest. Oregon & Stanford?
The Ducks certainly need help in the offensive line. They lost many of their starters from their National Championship team, and tackles Mark Asper and Darrion Weems are both graduating. Murphy could play immediately--his technique is sound and he'd be instantly a hassle for many Pac-12 defenders.
But Stanford, with their traditional power pro-like offense, seems like the natural fit. Regardless of what you might think of the greatness of Andrew Luck, the resurgence of Stanford has had as much to do with their dominant offensive line play. With the Cardinal tackles moving toward graduation (Jonathan Martin a junior, Tyler Mabry a senior), Murphy could be that force that negates the pass rush of numerous blitz-happy teams like Oregon, and catapults him further in status up NFL Draft boards. Add in the fact that the Cardinal are pursuing him the heaviest (along with Cal, for that matter), and Murphy might look beyond the traditional power of USC and move onto the next big program.
The top Bay Area basketball prospect is trimming his list down to the top five or six, and two Pac-12 schools are very well in the mix. Dublin power forward/Findlay Prep transfer Brandon Ashley is looking up at Eugene and down at Tucson as potential landing spots. Adam Zagoria has more on the Zags blog (with video included) after talking with Ashley at the LeBron James Skills Academy.
Current teams that have offered Ashley? All of the original Pac-10 schools, UConn, Kansas, Kentucky, Ohio State, Texas, Wake Forest. But the two names he's been clear will make the cut? The defending Pac-10 champion Arizona Wildcats, and the up-and-coming Oregon Ducks.
Rest assured that when he cuts his list, Arizona and Oregon will appear on it.
“I can’t really say if there [are] any schools that’s ahead for me; I’m still even-keeled with everybody right now,” Ashley said. “But they are two of the schools that’s recruiting me the hardest out of all the schools recruiting me.”
Arizona makes plenty of sense. Sean Miller has been a master recruiter and players just seem to love to play under him, and the Wildcats seem to be returning to national relevance in a hurry. The Oregon love takes a little bit more searching. Although the Ducks received a huge commitment from Jabari Brown last year, the Ducks are not likely to make noise in the near future. Unless Ashley is planning to stick around a few years, the best perk is playing time, the second best is playing in Nike Arena or whatever it's called.
Cal and Stanford are both in the mix too, but it'd be a huge surprise if either of them made the final five/six.
Two top offensive talents from California (one from the East Bay) could potentially be committing to the California Golden Bears sometime this weekend. Wide receiver Bryce Treggs from St. John Bosco's in Bellflower and athlete Kenny Walker from John F. Kennedy in Richmond have stated they are planning to announce their collegiate teams at this weekend's Opening event in Eugene, Oregon. Dave Hooker of ESPN Recruiting reports.
Treggs, from Bellflower (Calif.) Saint John Bosco, is a three-star receiver. The 5-foot-11, 170-pounder is considering Arizona State, Notre Dame, California, UCLA, and Stanford.
Walker is a 5-10, 169-pound three-star athlete prospect from Richmond (Calif.) John F. Kennedy who is considering Cal, Colorado, Boise State, Washington and Washington State. He is listed at The Opening as a receiver.
Treggs, son of Brian Treggs (Cal WR from the late 80s/early 90s) has long been considered one of the favorites to end up a Golden Bear. His friendly relationship with Cal quarterback commit Zach Kline has long been thought of as a huge positive, and Treggs has hinted in the past that he's been thinking California all the time. He could enter the wide receiving rotation in short time.
Walker is a local Bay Area prospect that the Bears have looked at for some time. He could play both at running back, wide receiver, also as a special teams returner. Cal has been looking for receivers, and Walker and Treggs could be the first players that could fit that need.
In a strong year for linemen and receivers with regards to West Coast recruiting, the search for backfield workhorses doesn't run quite as deep. But there are always good talented names out there, and running back KeiVarae Russell appears to be one of them. The Mariner High prospect from Everett, Washington is one of those guys that seems to not only have a strong upside, but also has the profile in place to fit the typical Cal football recruit. Dave Hooker and Corey Long of ESPN recruiting have the details.
"It's all about academics for me," Russell said. "If you get a degree from Cal or Notre Dame, you are set for life, and Washington's academics are getting stronger each year.
Russell has named his top three, and they include schools that are known for having strong academic and athletic profiles. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have long been rumored to be Russell's favorite, and they will certainly have great pull as a traditional power. The Washington Huskies are the hometown team, and they would be a rather convenient pick in terms of location; they're also winning to let Russell play slot receiver, the position he favors. Finally, a dark horse that's emerging in the race is the California Golden Bears, who would want him at running back. With Brendan Bigelow, Darren Ervin and Daniel Lasco all positioned in the class in front of him (plus Trajuan Briggs and Dasarte Yarnway yet to make their make), Russell would probably be given time to develop before he'd be ready to see the field as a Bear.
Interestingly enough, Russell is being recruited hard by current Cal commit Zach Kline, according to Corey Long of ESPN recruiting. Is that a promising sign for a future commitment from Russell?
Two Bay Area and Northern California quarterback prospects appear to be near the top of the line of the 2011 Opening event in Eugene, Oregon. Both of the signal-callers were drafted one and two by 7-on-7 coaches.
San Ramon Valley High quarterback Zach Kline was the first pick. Currently committed to Cal, the local Danville prospect appears to be the most highly considered prospect, particularly with no Gunner Kiel in attendance. Dave Hooker of ESPN Recruiting reports how Coach really likes Kline, and is enamored with his footwork and his arm. Jeff Tedford is a stickler for footwork, and to be this advanced this early in his mechanics bodes well for his future at Cal.
Also, Cal fans have to love quotes like these:
"The players kind of rally around him," said James, his new coach. "He's got that energy and charisma to him."
Whitney High quarterback Jake Rodrigues from Rocklin was also in attendance, and was the second overall pick. An Oregon commit, he also has similar desirable physical attributes with regards to his passing ability. It remains to be seen whether he has the speed and decision-making to run the Ducks offense effectively, but there's certainly a lot of potential present for both of the two prospects.
One of the top high school football prospects in the Northern California area is starting to give teams an idea as to his inclinations, and none of them are all too surprising. Shaquille 'Shaq' Thompson from Grant High has been pondering the possibilities for his collegiate career, and the California Golden Bears have been featured prominently. His current wish-list could be a strong step in that direction. Miller Safrit of ESPN recruiting reports.
Shaq Thompson, a member of the ESPNU 150 and the No. 3 safety in the class of 2012, said that playing in the heat of Dallas reinforced his wish to play closer to home for college. Hoping to stay at most eight hours away from home, a number that does include the Los Angeles schools. Thompson said his top five are Washington, Cal, USC, UCLA, and Notre Dame. Though all five are talking to him about safety, he does hope to play some wide receiver in college.
Thompson has always been high on Cal. His brother Syd'Quan was an All-Pac-10 cornerback for four years with the Golden Bears, and Thompson already has committed to Cal once before reopening his recruitment. And it seems like the closest prominent Division I destination for Shaq, which would satisfy his need for proximity to his hometown of Sacramento. The LA schools also would fulfill the eight hour limit.
Additionally, the desire to play offense could fit in with many places. The Cal receiving corps could use a boost next year, and Shaq might be just another piece of the puzzle, regardless of which side on the field he plays on.
The California Golden Bears seem to be engaging in numerous recruiting battles for some of the best athletes all-around California, and one of their targets could be the best recruit in the state. Ellis McCarthy is a behemoth defensive tackle from Monrovia, and he is ranked highly by all the recruiting services.
Ellis McCarthy: Monrovia High Class of 2012 - Junior Year (via utrhighlightvideos)
Watching him on tape is absurd. McCarthy nearly doubles the size of his blockers, and teams are often committing double/triple teams to keep him in check. It's clear that whoever gets McCarthy will have someone who should have someone who can ably plug the middle of the field as an interior linemen, either as a three technique defensive tackle or a nose guard/nose tackle.
McCarthy has been rumored to be favoring the USC Trojans for awhile, but Cal has found its way into the last cut of favorites. McCarthy told Adam Gorney of Rivals ($) that Cal and USC are his two favorites, with Washington, Oregon and Florida all in the mix (according to the WeAreSC staff). The Bears would love to add more depth inside for ace recruiter/defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi to lead into the trenches, and McCarthy could help give Cal a defensive edge they haven't seen in ages.
For more on Cal recruiting, check out the California Golden Blogs.
Of all the wide receivers the California Golden Bears are looking at for next season, Bryce Treggs from Bellflower seems to be the likeliest to commit. Treggs has blood connections deep with Cal--his father Brian played for the Bears from 1988 to 1991. So it would seem like Treggs would have a slightly positive disposition to the little football team up in the Bay Area.
What seems to be most convincing is that Treggs is close to current Cal quarterback commit Zach Kline, and has tweeted about how he and Zach are going to ball out (even adding a #GoBears hashtag for good measure). In his live chat on Rivals, Treggs indicated his preference for the Cal coaching staff.
"Probably Cal... definitely Cal," he said. "It's not a lock, I'm going to look at all of my other options. I'm pretty sure I'm going to make a decision before the season so I can get it out of the way and focus on having a good senior year. I hope I can lead my team to a CIF championship."
Although all the signs seem to indicate Cal, nothing is concrete quite yet until Treggs gives that verbal on record. Treggs does like several other schools, including the cross-Bay rivals the Stanford Cardinal (it'd be interesting to see how Golden Bear dad Brian would react to such a decision), but also schools like Notre Dame, UCLA and Arizona. Treggs, along with Jordan Payton, are probably the two most highly sought-after receivers in California, and Cal landing one or both of them would be a huge recruiting victory.
Bryce Treggs Junior Season Highlights (via BrycesFan1555)
For more on Cal recruiting, check out the Bears SB Nation website at California Golden Blogs.
The Stanford Cardinal football team received their tenth verbal commitment of their 2012 recruiting class as Arizona linebacker/tight end Blake Martinez announced his intentions before the holiday weekend. Martinez is a three-star recruit as a linebacker but there is a decent chance he’ll play a little too-way football as a tight end for Stanford in the mold of recent graduate Owen Marecic.
The Cardinal interest apparently started out fairly lukewarm with a pretty standard visit that was not too flashy. However, after Stanford checked out his highlight reel, the Cardinal quickly offered Martinez a scholarship during their June 19 camp. Although Martinez considered waiting, he decided to commit to Stanford over offers from Oregon State, Boise State, San Diego State, San Jose State, and New Mexico.
Among inside/middle linebackers, the rising senior is ranked No. 27 by Scout.com, No. 34 by Rivals.com, and No. 29 by ESPN. He is not highly ranked as a tight end but was all-region as a tight end after catching 24 passes for 555 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The California Golden Bears football team is recruiting heavily for wide receivers this year; with Marvin Jones, Michael Calvin and Coleman Edmond all graduating, the Bears need pass-catchers in a bad way to replenish the coffers this year. Cal is expected to take around three to four wide receivers with this class, and they are aiming high.
One potential player is Oaks Christian star Jordan Payton, perhaps the best wide receiver in all of California in the 2012 recruiting class. Measuring up at 6'2", 200 pounds, Payton has the height to leap for jump balls and good looking moves.
Payton has been a USC Trojans commit since as early as March 2010, but he decommitted this past week ($) and seems to be exploring all his options. Cal has been considered a strong contender for Payton's services, and his relationship with fellow wide receiver and potential Cal lean Bryce Treggs could also play a huge factor in where he decides to go.
Payton also has schools like ASU, Florida, Michigan and Oklahoma listed in his top 5, but the Bears have to like where they stand with the receiver.
For more Cal recruiting coverage, check out the California Golden Blogs.
The California Golden Bears and Stanford Cardinal continue to target many of the top talents in the nation on both the football and basketball circuits. While Cal has had great success in recent years on the recruiting trail in football (landing two top-15 quality classes in 2010 and 2011), their abilities to land top basketball recruits has been a bit more checkered as of late. Stanford has done quite well in both sports, landing top quality recruits on the gridiron and on the hardwood thanks in large part due to their national recruiting approach.
This year, things are looking up in terms of recruiting for both schools. The West Coast is loaded with great talent that figures to be in play for both schools, particularly along the offensive line and the receiving corps. Both Cal and Stanford will be looking to replenish and rebuild for a new age in their programs. Basketball also has plenty of talented players that figure to be in play for both schools.
This will be our stream at recruiting for Cal, Stanford, and general Bay Area/Northern California recruiting. Follow California Golden Blogs (Cal) and Rule of Tree (Stanford) for more extensive coverage of the recruiting game.
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