Tedford Signs A Strong 2006 Class
Courtesy: Cal Athletics  
Release:  02/01/2006

Feb. 1, 2006

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BERKELEY, Calif. - Two prospects ranked among the top 100 players in America, 10 high school All-Americans and six of the top 50 players in the state of California highlight the 2006 University of California football recruiting class, announced Wednesday by head coach Jeff Tedford.

The February class of 19, coupled with two previous signees, will likely once again place the Bears' group of newcomers among the best in the country and near the top of the Pacific-10 Conference. The incoming class features a total of 21 newcomers, including 16 from the high school ranks, four community-college players (including a December signee) and one player from the 2005 class that began attending school at Cal in January.

"This class really addresses our needs," Tedford said. "A high percentage of the class is composed of offensive and defensive linemen, and we have signed a lot of speed and athleticism at other positions.

"This group strikes a real balance," he added. "They have great character. We are proud of their academic achievements as well as their athletic accomplishments."

Tedford's fifth recruiting class includes two SuperPrep All-America running backs, 10 players named All-America by at least one recruiting service and signees from five states, including the top player out of the state of Oregon, and top prospects from the states of Washington, Colorado and Hawai'i. Seven of the future Bears are ranked among the top 250 players in America by Rivals.com, including two among the top 100. The class also includes an All-America junior college player and eight players ranked among the top 20 in the country at their respective positions. Six players are listed as SuperPrep All-Americans.

Two local standouts, defensive linemen Michael Costanzo from Danville's Monte Vista High School and Oakland McClymonds product Derrick Hill, Jr., inked with Cal.

The balanced class features numbers in the trenches on both sides of the ball. The Bears will welcome five offensive linemen, including two players that will be juniors, and five new defensive linemen. Three running backs have been added to the fold, along with three defensive backs and a pair of receivers. Cal also added one player at the positions of quarterback, linebacker and punter.

Cal once again inked players from up and down the West Coast with a total of 17 coming from the in-state talent pool. Eight players will arrive in August from the southern California ranks, including Los Angeles Crenshaw teammates R.J. Garrett, son of the school's head coach, and heavily recruited defensive back Darian Hagan. Overall, the 2006 class will include five players from Los Angeles County, two from San Diego, one from Imperial County and one from Orange County (via community college).

Northern California remains a cornerstone of the Bears' recruiting efforts. The incoming Bears represent the Bay Area well with players from Danville, Napa, Oakland and Santa Clara. In addition, Cal signed two student-athletes from the Sacramento area and three from the Central Valley.

The new class includes two players ranked among the very best in the United States. According to Rivals.com, Oakland McClymonds' Hill and Hagan are among America's top 100 high school players, regardless of position. Hill checks in at No. 5 among defensive tackles, and Crenshaw's Hagan is fifth among safeties. He could be a corner at Cal.

The accolades for Hill have been rolling in throughout his career. He is a consensus All-American and the most decorated player in the East Bay. Hagan is a playmaker with all of the physical tools. He excelled on both sides of the ball in leading Crenshaw to the Los Angeles city championship.

The depth of the class is best displayed by the seven players ranked by Rivals.com among the top 250 in the country, again regardless of position. That group includes defensive lineman Costanzo, Colorado offensive lineman Chris Guarnero, Hagan, Hill, Rancho Cordova running back James Montgomery, quarterback Kevin Riley, the Gatorade player of the year in Oregon, and Clovis East running back Tracy Slocum. Slocum was heavily decorated despite suffering a broken leg during his senior season.

The Bears also plucked 10 players off of SuperPrep's top 100 Californians, including six players listed among the state's top 50. That service listed Hill at No. 8, Hagan at No. 14, Montgomery at No. 19, Slocum at No. 29, Costanzo at No. 47 and Los Angeles Dorsey defensive end Keith Browner, Jr., at No. 48 among all California seniors.

The rest of the state's top 100 who are headed to Berkeley include Clovis Buchanan offensive lineman Justin Prueitt at No. 53 and Santa Clara Wilcox lineman Isaac Leatiota at 54. San Diego Westview receiver Daniel Lofton checks in at No. 67 and running back Garrett of Los Angeles Crenshaw is listed at No. 79.

California's out-of-state players were also heavily decorated. Riley, of Oregon's Beaverton High School, is considered the top player in that state and was Oregon's 2005 Gatorade Player of the Year. He is ranked as the sixth-best pro-style quarterback prospect in the country.

Defensive back Brandon Jones of Seattle hails from O'Dea High School, the same program that produced Cal's 2005 freshman All-America linebacker Anthony Felder. Jones topped off his career by being named as the fifth-best prospect in the state of Washington and the 28th-best defensive back in the country, despite fighting injuries throughout his senior year.

Guarnero, of Denver Mullen, was not only a member of the Rivals 250 list, he was named as the third-best prospect in Colorado by Rivals.com, the 17th-best prospect in the Midlands region and is one of six incoming Bears listed as a SuperPrep All-American.

The other SuperPrep All-Americans include two running backs in Montgomery and Slocum. They are both considered among the top 20 backs in the country by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. Riley, Hagan and Hill complete the SuperPrep list.

Junior college All-America offensive lineman Mike Gibson, one of just three February signees from the community college ranks, is also heavily decorated. SuperPrep considers him among the top 60 two-year players in America and listed him as the ninth-best offensive line product in the nation. Two other services consider him one of the nation's top 15 junior-college prospects. He prepped at nearby Napa High School before enrolling at Solano Community College.

The Bears inked plenty of athleticism in the class. Fresno Edison defensive back Charles Amadi is listed as the nation's top triple-jumper. He is also a standout student and is considering a career in medicine. The lone linebacker in the class, Brawley's Michael Mohamed, is another academic standout.

Jeremy Ross, from Elk Grove's Laguna Creek High School, clocked the fastest 40 time (4.39) recorded in May's Nike Combine at Stanford.

The new class features no less than six players that are the sons of coaches. Included in that mix is San Diego Westview receiver Daniel Lofton, who is the son of former NFL receiver and current San Diego Chargers assistant coach James Lofton.

Cal's offensive line class is ranked as the seventh best in the country by Scout.com, as is the three-member class of running backs.

Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu, rated as the second-best prospect in Hawai'i when he signed with Cal in 2005, is now attending classes and will participate in the Bears' spring practices.

2006 Golden Bears Football Signees
NamePositionHt.Wt.Hometown (High School)
Tyson Alualu**Defensive Lineman6-2270Honolulu, HI (St. Louis)
Charles AmadiDefensive Back5-11175Fresno, CA (Edison)
Keith Browner, Jr.Defensive End6-6235Los Angeles, CA (Dorsey)
Michael CostanzoDefensive Tackle6-2300Danville, CA (Monte Vista)
Rulon DavisDefensive End6-5275Covina, CA (Mt. San Antonio College)
R.J. GarrettRunning Back5-11220Compton, CA (LA Crenshaw)
Mike GibsonOffensive Lineman6-5290Napa, CA (Solano Community College)
Chris GuarneroOffensive Lineman6-4270Arvada, CO (Denver Mullen)
Mark Gray*Center6-2280San Pedro, CA (El Camino CC)
Darian HaganDefensive Back5-11180Los Angeles, CA (Crenshaw)
Derrick Hill, Jr.Defensive Tackle6-2280Oakland, CA (McClymonds)
Brandon JonesDefensive Back5-9175Seattle, WA (O'Dea)
Andrew LarsonPunter6-1190Mission Viejo, CA (Saddleback College)
Isaac LeatiotaOffensive Lineman6-4295Santa Clara, CA (Wilcox)
Daniel LoftonReceiver6-2190San Diego, CA (Westview)
Michael MohamedLinebacker6-3200Brawley, CA (Brawley)
James MontgomeryRunning Back6-0205Rancho Cordova (Cordova)
Justin PrueittOffensive Lineman6-5275Clovis, CA (Buchanan)
Kevin RileyQuarterback6-2200Portland, OR (Beaverton)
Jeremy RossReceiver5-11185Sacramento, CA (Elk Grove Laguna Creek)
Tracy SlocumRunning Back5-11195Fresno, CA (Clovis East)
*December 2005 signee
**February 2005 signee, enrolled in January 2006

To view the list of signees and bios, click on the "Signing Day Central" button on the front page or on the football page of CalBears.com or click here.