The Cal Bear Blog's coverage of National Signing Day
Cal Athletics

Signing Day 2014

The Cal Bear Blog On The Scene At Cal's Football Offices
By Cal Athletics on Wed, February 05, 2014

4:18 p.m.

A full transcript of Sonny Dykes' Signing Day press conference can be found here and the video of the session can be found here, but here are a few highlights:

  • On the class in general: "The great thing about Cal is there's so much that the university itself sells to these kids. Cal is going to sell itself. The opportunity to come to the No. 1 public institution in the world and get a degree here is always going to be attractive to kidsthat are serious about getting a quality degree and something that's going to change their lives. So that allows us to go out and recruit really good football players that have that mindset."
  • On rating the class: "You judge a recruiting class three or four years from now. There's going to be those guys that sign classes today that are top-10 classes that just don't get much out of that class and there's going to be some classes today that are bottom ten that are going to be really good for the program. All this is speculation."
  • On how many of the recruits will play as true freshmen: "If you'd asked me that last year, I'd have said not very many. I think we played 12. I don't know. Hard to say. A lot of that depends on waht happens with our team. So much of that depends on staying healthy during fall camp and getting an opportunity. If there's a lot of depth in certain positions, then more often than not a player won't contribute early."
  • On the offensive line class: "They're strong, powerful, physical, passionate about football, tough - and that's the kind of offensive line that we want to build is built it with the toughness and built it with kids who are program type guys. When you sat down and you looked at what do we need with that group up front, we've got to build a group that's accountable and tough and committed and strong and all those things, and these guys are all those."
  • On expectations of the JC transfers: "It depends on what you need to do. Obviously, we needed some experience and some depth and some guys we felt like could come in and play, especially defensively. We recruited those guys to bring competition, and competition always brings out the best in our players. That's something we always want to do is challenge our players by bringing people in and making them compete for their jobs."


3:33 p.m.

With Signing Day winding down, here are a few links for further coverage

2:41 p.m.

Sonny Dykes' Signing Day press conference now complete. Lots of question from the media, who were then shown a highlight clip of all of the Bears' recruits that have signed.

Dykes now off to make other media appearances.


11:09 a.m.

Cal has received an NLI from defensive end Kennedy Emesibe of Hesperia, Calif. Emesibe is a three-star recruit who is the No. 60 defensive end prospect by ESPN.

Dykes on Emesibe: "He's an explosive player. That's the thing that stands out about him. He plays hard. I think he's kind of an underrated guy in a lot of different ways just becasue he is going to get bigger. I think the kid has a chance to be a good player."

10:17 a.m.

--Dykes on new running back Tre Watson: "He's probably as productive as anybody anywhere. He just had a great year and played on a great football team. He's an instinctual runner with great lateral movement and finishes runs very well. He plays with really good leverage and makes a lot of big plays. He has an ability to be patient but at the same time anticipate things. He's just kind of what you are looking for from a running back. He just has a lot of natural instincts and natural ability."

--Dykes on new linebacker Hamilton A'noa'i: "He's a very versatile athlete. He did a lot of things for his high school team - in the defensive backfield, played some at linebacker, played some tight end, threw passes - he's just a very productive football player. He was a team captain, high character and academic guy and a local kid. I'm just excited. I think he's a great fit for our program. We were fortunate to kind of get on him late. He wanted to stay close to home. I think he really has a chance to be a good football player. He has a lot of length and can do a lot of different things."

--Dykes on new quarterback Chase Forrest: "We felt like he came in and performed well. He showed good strength, good mid-range accuracy. We thought he was a really good football player. He can move, he's athletic. I think he's got a lot of upside. He's got good size. He moves his feet well for someone his size. He has the arm strength to make the throws."

--Dykes on new linebacker Aisea Tongliva: "He can run, plays physical and is a really smart kid. He has good football instincts. I think the thing that stands out with him is his athletic ability. I think he can really change directions and run. He's an explosive player."

--Dykes on new offensive lineman Dominic Granado: "He's a tough, physical, get-after-you kind of guy. That's what we needed on the offensive line - someone who could come in right now and compete for a job and battle and grind. That's what he's going to do. We recruited him to come in and play. He's the kind of kid that's going to come in here and prepare himself to get ready to play when he steps on campus. He's going to scratch and claw and fight for everything. I think he's exactly what we needed on our offensive line."


--10:03 a.m.

--Watson is the No. 27 running back prospect in the nation by Rivals. Also a Parade All-American honorable mention

--Anoa'i is ESPN's No. 41 outside linebacker who was the co-player of the year in his conference as a senior

--Forrest is a three-star prospect rated as the No. 32 pocket passer by ESPN

--Tongilava is a three-star recruit who also is an All-American rugby player

--Granado is the 24th-ranked JC offensive tackle according to ESPN

9:54 a.m.

Cal's 2014 class is now at 20 after receiving NLIs from running back Tre Watson, quarterback Chase Forrest, linebacker Hamilton Anoa'i, linebacker Aisea Tongilava and offensive lineman Dominic Granado.


9:30 a.m.

--Dykes on new safety Quentin Tartabull: "He's very, very productive. He's very, very tough and a very good open-field tackler. Another kid who is a very, very productive."

--Dykes on new linebacker Noah Westerfield: "He's kind of an under-the-radar prospect. He has good length and very good athleticsm. He's going to get bigger. He's going to be able to carry a lot of weight. I think he has a chance to grow into a good football player, so I'm excited about him."

--Dykes on new cornerback Darius White: When you look at all the DBs this year, I think his tape was as good as anybody I saw. He's got length, runs well, plays the ball well, competes, tackles well, plays with toughness. His athleticsm is really good, his size is good. I like the way he plays with some physical nature at that position."


9:19 a.m.

--Dykes on new linebacker Chandler Leniu: "He has an ability to make a lot of tackles and plays with good instinct. His productivity was unmatched this year. He played for a great high school team. I think he's tough and very, very physical. He's a good tackler who plays with great leverage."

--Dykes on new linebacker John Porchivina: "He's another versatile kid. He runs well, plays physical and is a very productive football player. I think the kid is very underrated. You look at his tape and his ability to run to the football and then you translate that to playing defense - I think it's exactly what you're looking for from a linebacker."

--Dykes on new quarterback Luke Rubenzer:Luke obviously had an incredible year. I think he's just a very, very productive football player. A guy who just gets it done. He can run, he can throw, he can throw on the run. He makes good decisions. He's a great competitor. He's the kind of guy you want leading the program. I think he's got a chance to be a pretty good football player."

9:11 a.m.

--Cal coach Sonny Dykes on new offensive lineman Kamryn Bennett: "He's tough and physical, plays with good pad level. He's kind of the tough-minded offensive lineman that we want. He's a good athlete as well."

--Dykes on new wide receiver Erik Brown: "A guy that has a lot of upside. He's going to get bigger. He's going to get stronger. He's going to get faster. He has really good ball skills. He's a good route runner. I think he's got a chance to be really productive."

--Dykes on new running back Vic Enwere: "He's just kind of the tough-minded, physical running back. He's still a little bit raw. He doesn't have a ton of experience palying the position but he has a chance to develop into something really special. He's a great kid. He's stuck with us through a lot during the season. I just really have a lot of respect for him and the way he's handled the recruiting process."

8:56 a.m.

--Brown is a consensus four-star recruit who is a top-25 prospect for wide receivers. He played in the Semper Fidellis All-American Bowl after his senior season

--Tartabull is a three-star recruit ranked as the No. 45 safety prospect by Scout.

8:53 a.m.

Cal has received letters from wide receiver Erik Brown and safety Quentin Tartabull


8:34 a.m.

--Leniu is a four-star recruit by Rivals ranked as the No. 11 ILB in the country by Rivals and No. 12 by Also was a Parade All-American honorable mention.

--Trani is the No. 11 center in the nation by Scout and is also a long snapper

--Porchivina is a three-star recruit who amassed over 3,500 all-purpose yards as a senior at Casa Grande High School


8:29 a.m.

More NLIs: Linebacker Chandler Leniu of Bellflower, Calif; Offensive lineman Michael Trani of La Mirada, Calif. and athlete John Porchivina of Petaluma, Calif. have all submitted their intent to come to Cal!


8:10 a.m.

--Bennett was ranked the 61st-best offensive guard prospect in the nation by ESPN and was a second team all-state selection in Arizona

--White was ranked as the No. 1 junior college cornerback prospect in the nation by JC Gridiron and No. 7 by ESPN.


8:03 a.m.

Two more NLIs have made their way to the fax machine: offensive lineman Kamryn Bennett of Peoria, Ariz. and cornerback Darius White of Grenada, MS


7:46 a.m.

--Enwere is a consensus three-star recruit from Missouri City, Texas who played in the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl

--Rebenzer, from Scottsdale, Ariz., is the 13th-ranked dual-threat quarterback by Rivals. He also was a Parade All-American honorable mention who won three state championships. Rebenzer participated in the prestigious Elite 11

--Westerfield is a three-star recruit from Frisco, Texas. Earned all-district honors as a senior.


7:37 a.m.

The Bears have now received NLIs from running back Vic Enwere, quarterback Luke Rebenzer and defensive end Noah Westerfield.


7:30 a.m.

It's 7:30 a.m. and the fax machine has already been busy this morning. A handful of NLIs have come through with many more to come. Stay tuned for updates throughout the day.


Dress Your Pet 2015
Any Mountain
Playing for the Future Gilead
Inside the Locker Room
Muscle Milk Student Athlete of the Week