Feb. 6, 2013
BERKELEY - California has signed 25 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent to join the Golden Bears football program, head coach Sonny Dykes announced Wednesday. The total number includes five student-athletes previously announced as mid-year enrollees in December and January.
"We made a concerted and successful effort to sign both the best players we could and also the student-athletes that we thought would be the best fits at Cal," Dykes said. "We are confident that we have accomplished both objectives."
Cal's 2013 class is currently ranked as high as No. 22 by MaxPreps, which is the second-highest ranking in the country among schools with a head coaching change following the 2012 campaign with only Auburn's class ranked higher. Cal has now had a recruiting class ranked in the top 25 for four consecutive seasons.
"Our staff did tremendous work in a short period of time bringing this class home to Cal," Dykes said. "We are excited about the success they have brought to their first major endeavor as a group."
The Bears checked in on other major recruiting lists at No. 29 (Scout), No. 30 (ESPN), No. 30 (Rivals) and No. 40 (247Sports).
The recruiting class includes seven players that were invited to play in a post-season All-American bowl following their senior seasons. PK Matt Anderson (Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS), OT Erik Bunte (Laguna Niguel, CA/Mission Viejo HS), OT Aaron Cochran (Atwater, CA/Buhach Colony HS), QB Jared Goff (Kentfield, CA/Marin Catholic HS), DE Garrett Hughes (Corona, CA/Centennial HS) and RB Khalfani Muhammad (Sherman Oaks, CA/Notre Dame HS) were selected for the selected for the 2013 Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl, while CB Darius Allensworth also had an invite to the Under Armour All-American Bowl but could not attend due to injury.
Nine members of the recruiting class picked up four stars by at least one of the five major recruiting services as Bunte, Cochran, Goff and Muhammad were joined in that category by CB Darius Allensworth (Menifee, CA/Heritage HS), DE Takkarist McKinley (Richmond, CA/Kennedy HS), OLB Johnny Ragin III (Wilsonville, OR/Wilsonville HS), DE Sione Sina (Elk Grove, CA/College of San Mateo/Monterey Trail HS) and CB Cameron Walker (Los Angeles, CA/Loyola HS).
Five members of the class - McKinley (No. 132 247Sports), Goff (No. 140 Rivals), Muhammad (No. 177 PrepStar), Allensworth (No. 189 PrepStar) and Bunte (No. 313 247Composite) - are ranked among the nation's top 500 prep players overall by at least one recruiting service.
Eight players have top positional rankings among the top 25 nationally, including Anderson (No. 2 Kicker - Scout); McKinley (No. 5 Weak-Side Defensive End - 247Sports); Muhammad (No. 7 Wingback - MaxPreps; No. 12 All Purpose Running Back - 247Composite; No. 25 Running Back - PrepStar/Rivals); Goff (No. 8 Pro Style Quarterback - Rivals; No. 9 Quarterback - SuperPrep); Cochran (No. 20 Offensive Tackle - ESPN); Raymond Hudson (No. 21 Tight End-H - ESPN); Bunte (No. 22 Offensive Tackle - 247Composite/ESPN); and Allensworth (No. 24 Cornerback - PrepStar/Rivals).
Goff put up some of the most impressive individual career numbers of the class, throwing for 7,687 yards and 93 touchdowns during his final three prep seasons. Muhammad's career rushing totals were also especially impressive with 3,397 yards and 44 touchdowns on the ground. He also had 14 100-yard rushing efforts.
An area of focus in the class was on both sides of the line of scrimmage with the Bears signing a combined total of 12 linemen - seven on defense and five on offense.
In addition to Hughes, Hunter, McKinley and Sina on the defensive side of the line, the Bears also signed DE Ray Davison (Encino, CA/Crespi HS), DE Kyle Kragen (Danville, CA/Diablo Valley College/San Ramon Valley HS), DT Marcus Manley (Los Angeles, CA/Santa Monica College/Fairfax HS) and DT Tony Mekari (Westlake Village, CA/Westlake HS).
On the offensive line, Bunte and Cochran are joined by OL Chris Borrayo (Paramount, CA/Paramount HS), OL J.D. Hinnant (Fountain Valley, CA/Fountain Valley HS) and OL Vincent Johnson (Sacramento, CA/Christian Brothers HS).
Cal's 25-player class includes 13 defensive players, 11 on the offensive side of the ball and one specialist.
Cal's signing class has 21 players from California with seven being ranked among the top 50 overall players in the state in Goff (No. 15 ESPN), McKinley (No. 16 247Sports), Allensworth (No. 30 ESPN), Muhammad (No. 36 Rivals), Cochran (No. 37 ESPN), Bunte (No. 40 ESPN) and Walker (No. 43 Rivals).
Others hailing from the Golden State include Anderson, WR Jake Austin (Chino Hills, CA/Chino Hills HS), Borrayo, WR Caleb Coleman (Berkeley, CA/St. Mary's College HS), Hinnant, Hudson, Hughes, Johnson, Kragen, Manley, Mekari and LB Edward Tandy (Tustin, CA/Tustin HS).
"We want to make sure we successfully recruit in our own backyard," Dykes said. "California is a state rich in talent and we want to focus on making sure to give that talent an opportunity to stay home."
The Bears added a pair of recruits from both Oregon and Texas. Ragin III and WR Drake Whitehurst (Portland, OR/City College of San Francisco/Lincoln HS) hail from Oregon, while Hunter and Chad Whitener (Mansfield, TX/Mansfield HS) are from the Lone Star state.
The staff was committed to recruiting student-athletes with strong academic backgrounds with the average cumulative high school GPA of the 21 members of the class who attended high school during the 2012-13 academic year checking in at 3.28.
"We want to be clear that academics are a priority both at Cal and within this football program," Dykes said. "In the recruiting process, it is critical for us to identify the type of student-athlete who has the ability to be successful both on the field and in the classroom."
Cal spring football practice sessions at Memorial Stadium will begin on Mon., Feb. 25 and conclude with the 2013 Cal Football Spring Game to be televised live by the Pac-12 Networks on Saturday, Mar. 23 (4 p.m. PT). Anderson, Goff, Kragen, Sina and Whitehurst are mid-year enrollees already attending class at Cal and expected to participate in the spring workouts.
The other members of the recruiting class will join the Cal football program for the 2013 season when the Bears host seven games at Memorial Stadium beginning with a three-game homestand to open the campaign against non-conference opponents Northwestern (Aug. 31), Portland State (Sept. 7) and Ohio State (Sept. 14). Cal will also host Pac-12 games against Washington State on Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 5), Oregon State (Oct. 19), Arizona (Nov. 2) and USC (Nov. 9). Kickoff times and television selections for all Cal regular-season games will be announced at later dates.
For 2013 ticket information, visit CalBears.com or call (800) GO-BEARS.
2013 Cal Football Recruiting Class