1999 Football Biographies
June 29, 1999
ASOMUGHA, Nnamdi SAF, 6-2, 195 Harbor City (Narbonne HS)
One of the nation's most highly recruited players who can play either cornerback or safety ... has a great combination of speed (4.5 in the 40) and size ... finished his senior year with 86 tackles and 7 interceptions ... returned one pick 98 yards for a school record ... known as a hard-hitter ... caused 8 fumbles last season and recovered 6 others ... returned two kickoffs for TDs and one punt return for a TD as a senior..also had 23 receptions for 408 yards and 6 TDs on offense ... played some QB, completing 14-of-22 passes for 192 yards and a pair of TDs ... was a first team all-state selection as a DB by Student Sports magazine ... rated the No. 7 defensive back in the country by Student Sports magazine and one of the Top 20 DBs in the country by SuperPrep as a member of its All-America team ... rated the No. 16 overall prospect in the Far West by SuperPrep ... a PrepStar All-American who was also a member of that publication's West Region's Super 30 prospects ... was a member of the Tacoma News-Tribune Western Top 100 ... received 6 votes on the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West poll ... listed by the National Recruiting Adviser as the No. 3 free safety prospect in the nation ... played in the California-Texas Shrine all-star game in late June ... chose Cal after considering offers from UCLA, Notre Dame and Michigan ... also a standout prep basketball player who earned all-league honors as a junior and senior ... lists his game-winning shot to beat Carson HS at the buzzer as his top athletic thrill ... his Nigerian name means "Jesus lives" ... has an older brother, Chijioke, who is a freshman cornerback at Stanford ... his cousin is fellow Cal recruit Joe Echema and is also a cousin of former Cal wide receiver Iheanyi Uwaezuoke, who is currently with the Miami Dolphins ... an excellent student who brings a 3.7 GPA and an interest in majoring in business at Cal ... mother, Lilian, is a pharmacist ... born July 6, 1981 in Lafayette, LA.
BECKHAM, Josh DL, 6-2, 275 Yucca Valley (Yucca Valley HS)
A high intensity prep linebacker who projects as a noseguard at the collegiate level ... was a four-year varsity starter (39 games) as a prep ... earned first team San Bernardino County honors and Defensive MVP of the Skyline League as both a junior and senior ... finished his senior year with 183 tackles ... earned first team all-state honors (small schools division) in 1998 ... was second team Southern Section All-CIF selection that included all 13 divisions in that part of the state ... also played offensive line and was credited with 49 pancake blocks his senior year ... had 158 tackles as a junior ... an excellent student with a 3.74 GPA in high school ... a dedicated weight-lifter with bests of 380 pounds in the bench press and 540 pounds in the squat ... also was a standout prep baseball catcher, batting .427 as a junior and earning first team all-league honors ... considered Texas A&M, Oregon and Oregon State before committing to Cal in early October ... father, Mark, played football at Cal Lutheran and is the head coach at Yucca Valley HS ... mother, Kathleen, is a teacher ... lists Levon Kirkland of the Pittsburgh Steelers as his favorite pro player ... born Oct. 10, 1980 in Houston, TX.
BLUNTZER, Nolan OL, 6-4, 255 New Braunfels, TX (New Braunfels HS)
An agile offensive lineman who has a lot of growth potential ... a three-year starter at New Braunfels HS in Texas ... earned first team all-district, second team Greater San Antonio Area and second team all-state honors as a senior ... a member of the SuperPrep All-Southwest team as the No. 111 overall prospect in Texas ... posted 163 knockdown blocks and 42 pancake blocks his senior year ... didn't allow a sack as a senior ... best game came against Clemens HS with 26 knockdowns and 7 pancake blocks ... honorable mention all-district as a junior ... an excellent student who was a member of the National Honor Society as a prep ... father, Thomas, who is deceased, played football at Baylor from 1970-73 ... mother is Anna Lisa ... recruited by several schools including Baylor, Rice, Army, Air Force, Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt ... born Aug. 20, 1980 in New Braunfels, TX.
BOLLER, Kyle QB, 6-4, 195 Newhall (Hart HS)
One of Cal's most decorated recruits in the last two decades ... earned California state Player of the Year honors after an incredible season ... led Hart HS to the Southern Section Division IV title with a 13-1 record ... passed for an all-time state best of 4,838 yards and threw for 59 touchdowns, the second-best mark in California history ... only had 3 interceptions all year for a remarkable TD-to-interception ratio ... ended the season completing 290-of-454 passes (63.9%) ... threw for 475 yards (29-36) and 7 TDs against Burbank HS and 423 yards (28-39) against Burroughs HS ... considered the best prospect to emerge from the San Fernando Valley since John Elway went to Granada Hills HS in the late '70s ... rated the No. 1 quarterback prospect in the nation by PrepStar and was that publication's national Offensive Co-Player of the Year ... also rated No. 1 nationally by Max Emfinger's Recruiting Service, No. 2 by SuperPrep and No. 3 by Student Sports ... was the SuperPrep Far West Offensive Player of the Year, ranking as the region's No. 1 overall prospect in the West ... earned Parade All-America honors ... picked as a member of the California team to play in the California-Texas all-star game in late June ... also was the MVP of the San Fernando Valley all-star game in early June when he completed 17-of-23 passes for 216 yards and 3 TDs ... a member of the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West team with 8 votes ... also on the Tacoma News-Tribune Western Top 100 list ... has amazing arm strength as Valley locals still marvel about the pass he threw against Canyon HS which went 73 yards in the air for a completion ... comes from same Hart HS program that produced former Cal All-America QB Joe Kapp ... did not start as a junior as he played behind David Neill who went on to a prolific freshman season at Nevada in 1998 ... started at safety as a junior ... played defense the last few games of the '98 season, registering a crucial interception in the final minute of the section championship game to preserve a 17-14 victory over St. Paul HS ... has grown more than eight inches over the last two years to his present height of 6-4 ... father, Bob, is a former nationally ranked high jumper who cleared the 6-11 barrier ... mother is Karen ... sister, Candace, is a starter on the Loyola Marymount volleyball team ... lists golf and skiing among his hobbies and John Elway as his favorite pro athlete ... born June 17, 1981 in Burbank, CA.
CALLEN, Atari CB/RET, 5-9, 185 Bay Point (De La Salle HS)
One of the most decorated high school players in the nation who led nearby De La Salle HS to an undefeated season and the No. 1 ranking in the country ... a superb athlete who was recruited heavily as both a cornerback and a running back ... is projected as a cornerback for the Golden Bears and could also play a big role as a return specialist ... will also be given an opportunity to carry the ball in spot duty on offense as he was one of the most explosive offensive players in the country last year ... ran for 1,473 yards and 19 touchdowns despite missing a pair of games with a rib injury and often retiring for more than half of several games after De La Salle built huge leads ... averaged over 11 yards per carry ... registered 40 tackles, including 3 sacks, and one interception ... had 11 carries for 280 yards and 6 TDs in North Coast title game as a senior ... ended his prep career with 3,806 rushing yards, 70 TDs, 4 interceptions and 180 tackles ... was a SuperPrep All-America selection, rating as the No. 9 cornerback in the country ... was also the No. 13 overall prospect in the Far West by the same publication ... was a PrepStar All-American as well as a member of the West Region's Super 30 prospects by the same publication ... was also the Northern California Player of the Year ... rated the No. 1 prospect in the East Bay by the Contra Costa Times ... was a member of the Tacoma News-Tribune Western Top 100 list ... received 6 votes on the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West poll ... picked as a member of the California team to play in the California-Texas Shrine all-star game in late June ... an excellent prep sprinter who finished seventh in the state 100 meters race as a junior ... posted a 10.65 time as a senior ... chose Cal after considering Ohio State, UCLA, Washington and Arizona, among others ... parents are Leon and Connie Callen ... brother, Leon, is a tailback at Arizona ... baseball star Ron Gant is a cousin ... has an interest in majoring in social welfare at Cal ... born Nov. 10, 1980 in San Leandro, CA.
DeBISE, Joe SAF, 6-2, 200 Sacramento (Grant HS)
An excellent athlete who has the type of size the Bears were looking for in a safety ... transferred high schools prior to his senior year and thus was overlooked by some in the recruiting process ... attracted the attention of the Cal coaches with impressive senior stats ... recorded 121 tackles, 16 for loss, a pair of interceptions (one of which was returned for a TD), 6 caused fumbles and 4 recovered fumbles ... also blocked three punts, which is an indication he'll be a fine special teams player as a collegian ... played at Luther Burbank HS as a junior before transferring to Grant.
DT, 6-3, 275 Torrance (Torrance HS)
A rugged interior lineman who brings with him a wealth of intensity and intelligence ... coaches also note his quickness and ability to fight through double teams ... was a member of the All-Far West team by SuperPrep as the No. 99 overall prospect ... was a PrepStar all-region selection ... finished his senior season with 77 tackles, including 14 for loss, and 4 fumble recoveries ... as a junior, had 6 sacks among 45 tackles ... a dedicated athlete with good numbers in the weight room as he bench presses 350 pounds and squats almost 500 pounds ... was an all-league performer as a shot putter ... an excellent student who comes to Cal with his eyes on medical school after graduation ... earned a 3.4 GPA in high school ... lists "Lord of the Flies" as his favorite book and the Minnesota Vikings as his favorite team ... was a member of his high school band ... chose Cal after considering offers from Oregon, Arizona and Oregon State ... parents are David (physician) and Mary Deutsch ... has a pair of uncles living in North Dakota who were drafted by the NFL ... born Aug. 27, 1981 in Fargo, ND.
ECHEMA, Joesph RB, 5-11, 185 Hawthorne (Hawthorne HS)
A strong runner who hopes to double as a track athlete ... ran for 1,525 yards on 165 carries for an average of 9.2 yards per carry and 27 TDs ... also returned a pair of kickoffs for TDs and caught 2 TD passes ... has good strength and can break tackles ... was his conference's Back of the Year in 1998 ... also was a standout defensive player who had 42 tackles and an interception as a senior ... a member of the SuperPrep All-Far West team as the No. 60 overall prospect ... a member of the PrepStar All-America team as the No. 10 running back prospect in the West...had a best of 21.57 in the 200 and 48.65 in the 400 as a junior...ran for 608 yards and 6 TDs as a junior...also caught 7 passes for 172 yards and 2 TDs...chose Cal last August after receiving offers from Wisconsin and Arizona...also drew interest from UCLA and Nebraska ... a native of Nigeria, full name is Adimchinobe Echemandu ... is a cousin of fellow Cal freshman Nnamdi Asomugha ... parents are Joe (teacher) and Charity Echema ... born Nov. 21, 1980 in Lagos, Nigeria.
HAYS, David C, 6-2, 270 Brentwood (Liberty HS)
An intense offensive line prospect who figures as a prototype college center ... has excellent strength and mobility ... coaches love his intensity ... was a part of the California state all-star team that played against Texas in the Shrine all-start game in llate June ... earned first team San Francisco Bay Area honors as named by the San Francisco Examiner ... also was a first team all-county selection by the Contra Costa Times and a first team East Bay selection by the Alameda Newspaper Group ... was a second team all-state selection ... was a PrepStar All-America selection, rating as the No. 20 offensive line prospect in the West ... earned SuperPrep All-Far West, rating as the No. 122 overall prospect in the region ... rated the No. 6 prospect in the East Bay by the Contra Costa Times ... earned first team Bay Valley Athletic League honors as both a junior and senior ... anchored a dominant offensive line that helped team average 205 rushing yards per game in '98 ... at a prep combine before his senior year, he was timed in 5.06 in the 40, had 32 reps of 185 pounds in the bench ... had an amazing 85 pancake blocks his senior season after recording 30 as a junior ... best game may have been against Pittsburg HS with 16 pancake blocks ... also was recruited by Oregon, Arizona, Colorado State, Hawaii and Nevada ... has a cousin, Deron Thorp, who is an offensive tackle with the Detroit Lions ... lists "Of Mice and Men" as his favorite book ... as a junior in high school, spent time mining for gold with his grandfather, a successful endeavor as the family reaped $30,000 over a two-year period ... parents are William and Rochelle Hays ... born Sept. 21, 1980 in San Leandro, CA.
HOSEY, Calvin OLB, 6-4, 235 Bakersfield (Bakersfield HS)
A fine prospect who can play either outside linebacker or defensive end ... has superior size and coaches like his ability to change directions ... should be a valuable special teams performer as he blocked 5 punts during his final 2 years in high school ... had 132 tackles as a senior, including 7 sacks ... was a PrepStar all-region selection ... earned first team South East Yosemite League honors as a junior and senior ... also earned first team All-Northern California honors ... had 99 tackles, 2 interceptions (one returned for TD) and 7 sacks as a junior ... father, Clarence, is a sheriff; mother is Mary ... chose Cal after considering offers from Arizona State, Arizona and Hawaii ... born Feb. 15, 1981 in Bakersfield, CA.
HERSHEY, Jeremy PK/P, 6-0, 180 San Bernardino (Pacific HS)
One of the top placekickers in the country who is expected to immediately contend for starting duties at Cal this fall ... was 8-of-18 in field goals last year with 3 blocks and 6 misses over 50 yards ... was a perfect 7-for-7 on field goals inside the 40-yard-line ... also hit 51-of-53 extra points and had 50 touchbacks on kickoffs ... also an excellent punter who averaged 40.1 ypp, including a long of 69 yards ... earned first team San Andreas League honors 3 consecutive seasons ... was a PrepStar All-America selection, rating as the No. 2 kicking prospect in the West ... was a member of the Tacoma News-Tribune Western Top 100 list ... was a first team Inland Empire and All-CIF Division VIII selection in '98 ... turned down an offer from UCLA, which wanted him as a punter, to sign with Cal ... also was recruited by Wisconsin and Texas A&M, as well as most of the Pac-10 schools...was a pre-season PrepStar All-America selection ... an excellent prep soccer player who has won several honors in that sport ... parents are Dave and Sherry Hershey ... born June 23, 1981 in San Bernardino, CA.
HUNTER, Wayne DE, 6-6, 280 Honolulu, HI (Radford HS)
A massive player who was overlooked by some colleges, but was among Cal's top recruiting priorities as the coaches love his unlimited potential ... has superior strength and runs extremely well for his size ... has put on 20 pounds in the last six months and now is a major physical presence ... played mostly at linebacker as a prep, but projects as a rush end in Cal's scheme ... earned PrepStar All-America honors, rating as the No. 11 defensive line prospect in the West ... chose Cal after considering Arizona, Washington and Oregon, among others ... was a standout track and field weightman as a prep ... also competed on his prep canoe team, which had races as long as three miles or more between the islands ... plans to major in sociology or psychology at Cal.
IGBER, Joe RB, 5-8, 190 Honolulu, HI (Iolani HS)
Comes to Cal after a brilliant prep career in Hawaii and with a load of potential ... has game-breaking abilities every time he touches the ball with his quickness and ability to change directions ... reminds some of Barry Sanders in that regard ... was the Offensive Player of the Year in the state of Hawaii ... set 7 Hawaii state rushing records during his prep career ... had 1,567 yards and 21 TDs as a junior ... came back with 2,017 yards (just 8 yards shy of the state single-season record) and 27 touchdowns (a state record) as a senior...his yardage totals were even more amazing in view of an undersized offensive line with three of the starters weighing less than Igber ... finished his career with 4,472 yards and 56 touchdowns, both state records ... also has state records for single-season points (162), career points (336), touchdowns in a game (6) and single game rushing yardage (352 vs. Pac-Five) ... also had 204 yards against state champion St. Louis HS ... a member of the SuperPrep All-Far West team as the No. 58 overall prospect ... a superb student who achieved a 4.0 GPA his senior year ... course load during final HS semester was creative writing, symmetry science, calculus and conceptual physics ... has an interest in architecture as a major ... father, Joe Sr., is a professor in Hawaii and mother, Theresa, is a teacher ... born in Nigeria ... chose Cal after considering offers from Northwestern, Wisconsin, Hawaii and Stanford ... born April 23, 1981.
NWANGWU, Daniel DT, 6-4, 265 Sugar Land, TX (Kempner HS)
An emerging prospect who the Cal coaches were thrilled to find ... was somewhat of a sleeper as he played tight end in high school and some colleges projected him as an offensive tackle ... the Cal staff projects him as a defensive tackle because of his explosiveness and agility ... some say he has the same type of potential as former USC All-American Darrell Russell because of his athletic ability, particularly if he can put on another 20 to 30 pounds in his college career ... a member of the SuperPrep All-Southwest team as the No. 86 overall prospect in the state of Texas ... an excellent student who has an interest in majoring in business or a possible career in medicine after his playing days are over ... recruited by Baylor, Stanford and Northwestern before deciding on Cal in mid-December ... came to Cal with a 3.8 GPA out of high school ... father, Peter, is a Nebraska grad and president and chairman of Punlabs LTD ... has a brother, David, who previously attended Nebraska and is planning to walk-on at Cal ... mother, Patience, is a nurse ... has an uncle who is a professor at Yale ... lists Hardy Nickerson and John Randle as his favorite pro athletes ... born March 11, 1981 in Tallahassee, FL.
SCHAFER, Matt OT, 6-4, 275 Manhattan Beach (Mira Costa HS)
An excellent prospect who was highly recruited ... runs very well for a player his size ... has an aggressive streak that the coaches love ... a member of the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West team with 7 votes, with only one offensive lineman registering more votes in that prestigious poll ... was a member of the SuperPrep All-Far West team as the No. 43 overall prospect ... was a member of the California team in the California-Texas Shrine all-star game in late June ... first team Bay League and All-CIF (Div. II) as a senior ... also played defensive tackle as a prep (56 tackles, 4 sacks as a senior) ... chose Cal over offers from Arizona State, Colorado, Texas A&M and Oregon ... lists the Denver Broncos as his favorite team ... an excellent student with a 1260 score on the SAT and an interest in business school...parents are Michael and Barbara Schafer ... born Dec. 5, 1980 in Manhattan Beach, CA.
SHAEFFER, Nick OL, 6-5, 255 Irvine (Woodbridge HS)
A solid offensive line prospect who can play any of the line positions ... rated one of the Top 25 college prospects in Orange County by the Orange County Register ... a member of the SuperPrep All-Far West team as the No. 102 overall prospect ... was a PrepStar all-region selection ... also earned first team Sea View League, Orange County and All-CIF honors after leading Woodbridge HS to Division II state championship as a senior ... drew recruiting attention from Arizona State, Oregon and San Diego State before choosing Cal ... has a brother who attends Cal ... parents are Bill (an attorney) and Susan Shaeffer ... born Sept. 4, 1980 in Santa Monica, CA.
SMITH, James RB/ATH, 6-1, 185 Phoenix, AZ (Camelback HS)
An excellent all-around athlete who is one of the fastest players Cal has recruited in recent years ... made his mark as a running back in Arizona, but could play any number of positions for Cal, including wide receiver ... a member of the SuperPrep All-Far West team as the No. 73 overall prospect ... also a member of the Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report All-Far West team as the No. 85 prospect ... rushed for 1621 yards on 204 carries (7.9 average) and 17 TDs en route to earning first team all-state honors ... was the state high hurdles champion as a junior and senior with a 13.95 time, one of the best in the nation ... also won the 300 hurdles as a senior, after finishing second in the as a junior ... finished second in the state in the long jump (22-1) as a junior ... could participate in track and field for the Bears, but may wait until his sophomore year ... offered a track scholarship by Wisconsin ... an excellent student who plans to major in business at Cal ... . recruited by Arizona, ASU, Colorado State before choosing Cal ... lists cliff jumping among his hobbies ... parents are William and Saffie Claye ... born June 28, 1981 in Reading, United Kingdom.
SORAHAN, Ryan QB, 6-3, 205 Los Gatos (Los Gatos HS)
A rare find at the quarterback position as he has excellent size, a great arm and superior accuracy...became Cal's first recruit of the '99 class when he committed to the Bears last June, following an impressive stint at the Cal summer camp ... was being recruited by Washington, USC and Oregon before he announced his decision to come to Cal ... had a great senior season in which he completed 131-of-209 passes (62.7%) for 2,436 yards and 17 touchdowns with only 7 interceptions ... a PrepStar All-America selection, rating as the No. 6 quarterback prospect in the West ... a member of the SuperPrep All-Far West team as the No. 66 overall prospect ... a member of the Tacoma News-Tribune Western Top 100 list ... earned first team DeAnza League and Central Coast Section honors...as a junior, he passed for 1,871 yards (90-for-139) and 18 touchdowns with only 4 interceptions... an excellent student who was selected as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete ... plans to major in business at Cal ... parents are Dennis and Carolyn ... born Jan. 8, 1981 in Los Gatos, CA.
TERCERO, Scott OL, 6-5, 270 Pico Rivera (Loyola HS)
An excellent line prospect who has the type of ability to be a contender for honors before his career is over ... has excellent size potential as his father is 6-7 ... comes from an accomplished Loyola HS program that he helped to a 12-1 record as a junior, when he picked up second team Del Rey League honors, and a 9-2-1 record in '98 ... received 5 votes in the Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West poll ... earned first team Del Rey League and Central City honors as a senior ... also was a second team all-state selection ... was a SuperPrep Far West selection, rating as the No. 75 overall prospect in the region ... also was a PrepStar all-region selection ... was recruited by Arizona State, Washington State, Oregon, San Diego State and Oklahoma State, among others ... an excellent student who comes to Cal with a 3.4 GPA out of high school and an interest in medicine ... parents are Richard and Theresa Tercero ... born Oct. 28, 1981 in Whittier, CA.
WILSON, Mark OL, 6-6, 255 McArthur (Fall River HS)
An athletic offensive line prospect with excellent growth potential ... played tight end as a prep, but will move to the offensive line at Cal ... has the type of frame where he could easily put on an additional 30 to 40 pounds in his first few years of college ... was a PrepStar All-America selection, rating as the No. 10 offensive line prospect in the West ... ended his senior year with 16 receptions for 480 yards and two touchdowns ... helped team rebound from a 1-8 season as a junior to a 10-1 mark and the Evergreen League co-championship as a senior ... chose Cal after considering offers from Washington, WSU and Fresno State ... an excellent prep basketball player who helped his team to No. 3 finish in the state (Division V) as a junior and was a first team all-state selection as a senior ... spent last summer as a garlic harvester ... parents are Jack and Terese Hayes ... born Nov. 11, 1980 in San Jose, CA.