BERKELEY, CALIF. - Garnering a Top 10 national recruiting class, the University of California has signed 24 football players to national letters-of-intent, Pac-10 Coach of the Year Jeff Tedford announced today.
The Golden Bears' incoming class, which includes 19 high school seniors and five junior college players, has been ranked among the nation's best by several recruiting publications and web sites. In their most current team rankings, Rivals.com listed Cal's 2005 haul No. 8 nationally, while SuperPrep's Scout.com rated the Bears' class No. 9 in the country. This will mark the third consecutive year that the Bears have enjoyed one of the nation's Top 20 recruiting classes.
"This group of recruits will enhance our previous Top 20 classes of the past two seasons," said Tedford. "They should come together to form a team with outstanding talent and character. We addressed many of our needs today."
Tedford and his coaching staff, which directed California to its highest national ranking (No. 4) since 1952 in posting a 10-2 record in 2004, appear to have replenished much of the departing talent from last year's roster. Cal loses 30 players from its Holiday Bowl team, including the nation's only 2,000-yard rusher (J.J. Arrington), the school's career reception leader (Geoff McArthur) and single season sack record-holder (Ryan Riddle), and perhaps the top quarterback in this year's NFL Draft (Aaron Rodgers).
To soften their departure, Cal's coaches secured no less than 12 All-Americans among its 2005 recruiting class, including five of the nation's best from the junior college ranks, plus the Los Angeles Times' Southern California High School Player of the Year.
According to Rivals.com, the Bears received commitments from 12 high school players who rank among the Top 100 in the state of California, and three additional prospects who are rated in the Top 5 in their respective states of Washington, Nevada and Hawaii. In fact, SuperPrep goes one step further, ranking 13 of Cal's recruits among the state's Top 100 players, including seven in the Top 50 and nine in the Top 60.
SuperPrep also listed three of Cal's junior college All-Americans among the nation's Top 30, with quarterback Joseph Ayoob (No. 2) and linebacker Desmond Bishop (No. 4)-both of City College of San Francisco-ranked among the top five JuCo players in the United States. In fact, all five of the Golden Bears' junior college recruits were named All-Americans this past season, with wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, another member of CCSF's 12-1 club, defensive end Nuu Tafisi of Mount San Antonio College and linebacker Mickey Pimentel of Tucson's Pima Community College also making commitments to Tedford's program.
"We continue to be very fortunate in finding players from some of the top JC programs in the country, and we feel we've been successful again this year with the addition of these All-Americans" added Tedford. "As in the past, they should make immediate contributions to our team."
The quality of depth in this year's class was further illustrated when Rivals.com listed eight Cal recruits who ranked among the Top 25 nationally at their respective positions.
Continuing a trend that has been a Tedford trademark since his arrival as coach in 2002, the Bears focused primarily on recruits within the Golden State this year. In all, 18 of the 24 signees hail from California, including 12 from Northern and Central California, and six from the Southland.
Headlining the list of seven high school All-Americans are Long Beach Poly's Jackson, a Parade magazine prep All-America wide receiver who was named Most Valuable Player of the nationally-televised U.S. Army All-American high school all-star game last month; Oakland's Kyle Reed, one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation who engineered an undefeated Oakland Athletic League season at nearby McClymonds High School; and linebacker Anthony Felder, a first team all-state performer who set O'Dea High School's all-time records for most tackles in a career (346) and season (146 in 2002). Recruiting services ranked Jackson (No. 3, PrepStar), Reed (No. 5 dual-threat QB, Rivals.com), and Felder (No. 6, Rivals.com) among the top six nationally at their respective positions.
Other prep All-Americans in the fold include tight end Cameron Morrah (Claremont High, Claremont), athlete Syd'Quan Thompson (Grant High, Sacramento), defensive back Robert Peele (Edison High, Fresno) and offensive lineman Kevin Bemoll (Mission Viejo High, Mission Viejo).
In all, Cal signed 16 players on defense (including Thompson). Besides All-Americans Bishop, Tafisi, Pimental, Felder, Thompson and Peele, they include defensive linemen Cody Jones (Sabino High, Tucson, Ariz.), Tyson Alualu (St. Louis High, Honolulu), Mika Kane (Kamehameha High, Honolulu) and Tad Smith (St. Mary's High, Isleton); linebackers Zack Follett (Clovis High, Clovis) and Eddie Young (Berkeley High, Berkeley); defensive backs Marcus Ezeff (Montgomery High, Santa Rosa), Brett Johnson (Green Valley High, Henderson, Nev.), Jesse Brooks (Bishop O'Dowd High, Oakland) and Gary Doxy (Long Beach Poly High, Long Beach),
On offense, the Bears received commitments from eight standout players. In addition to All-Americans Ayoob, Hawkins, Jackson, Reed, Morrah and Bemoll, they are wide receiver Jesse Canada (Monrovia High, Monrovia) and offensive tackle Matt Laird (San Joaquin Memorial High, Clovis).
In regards to junior college signings, this arguably may be one of the greatest recruiting harvest in Cal history-and perhaps the finest JC group, in top-end talent, recruited by any school in the nation this year.
For starters, Ayoob and Bishop were named the state of California's 2004 JC Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, as voted by the JC Athletic Bureau/California Community College Football Coaches Association.
Ayoob (pronounced A-yoob), a first team JC Gridwire All-American from San Rafael, completed 61.3 percent (217-of-354) of his passes for 3,679 yards and 35 touchdowns in leading City College of San Francisco to an 11-1 record this past fall. The team's only loss was a 39-32 thriller to College of the Canyons in the California State Championship Game. In defeat, Ayoob was named the Offensive Player of the Game, as the 6-3, 215-pound quarterback passed for 386 yards and four touchdowns, and rushed for 62 yards on seven carries in the title game.
Bishop, another first team JC Gridwire All-American from Fairfield, averaged almost 12 tackles per game from his middle linebacker position last season with 118 total tackles in 10 regular-season contests. The 6-2, 240-pound standout shined in the state title game against College of the Canyons, reeling off a game-high 14 tackles (including eight solo stops), one sack, and two tackles for loss. Wreaking havoc from sideline to sideline, Bishop spearheaded a CCSF defense that ranked seventh in points allowed (15.4 ppg) and ninth in yards allowed (249.7 ypg) per game in the state.
Hawkins-another member of that City College of San Francisco state runner-up club-Tafisi and Pimental also offer impressive JC resumes.
A former Parade magazine All-American from Stockton's Edison High School, the highly sought-after Hawkins transferred late to CCSF last fall after originally attending LSU on a football scholarship in the spring of 2004. A SuperPrep JC All-American this past season, he averaged 22.8 yards per catch for the Rams, flagging down 23 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns in only seven games as one of Ayoob's favorite targets.
Tafisi, a first team JC All-American (JC Athletic Bureau/CCCFCA), corralled 59 tackles, 16 sacks and 23 tackles for loss for a Mt. San Antonio team that posted an 8-3 mark in 2004. SuperPrep ranked him the No. 3 junior college defensive end in the nation and the No. 30 overall JC player in the United States.
Pimentel, who rattled off 10.5 sacks and two interceptions for Pima Community College's 9-3 club that ranked No. 5 nationally in the final National Junior College Athletic Association final poll, was named a SuperPrep JC All-American and the NJCAA Region I Defensive Player of the Year.
Heading the high school signing roster is Jackson, who becomes the first Cal player to win the Glenn Davis Award as Southern California's top player since running back Russell White captured the award for Crespi high School in 1987. The fleet-footed Jackson flagged down 60 passes for 1,075 yards for Long Beach Poly's CIF Southern Section championship team, and made national waves by starring in two postseason all-star games. He was named the Pete Dawkins Trophy winner as the MVP of the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio Jan. 15, as he caught seven passes for 141 yards and tossed a 45-yard touchdown pass in leading the West to a 35-3 rout. The 6-0, 175-pound speedster also made five receptions for 145 yards and one TD in the prestigious CaliFlorida Bowl.
"DeSean is one of the most decorated receivers on the West Coast if not the nation," said Tedford. "He has big-play potential that he will bring to our program. At this stage of his career, he's one of the most polished receivers I have ever seen. He was highly recruited throughout the country and we're lucky to have him."
Reed, who passed for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns at McClymonds last fall, has earned All-American status by SuperPrep, PrepStar and Rivals.com. Selected to attend the 2004 EA Sports Elite 11 camp as one of the nation's top quarterbacks, the 6-2, 200-pound signal-caller has earned such national QB rankings as No. 5 by Rivals.com, No. 7 by SuperPrep, No. 9 by PrepStar and No. 10 by ESPN's Tom Lemming.
One of the premier linebackers in the country, Felder smashed O'Dea High School's all-time tackle records for a career (346), season (146 in 2003) and game (22) in earning first team all-state honors in Washington. The two-time Metro League Defensive Player of the Year, the 6-3, 225-pound force collected 121 tackles in being ranked the No. 2 player in the state by SuperPrep and No. 10 inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN's Lemming.
While Morrah was named a PrepStar All-American at defensive end last season, Cal coaches project the 6-5, 240-pound athlete as a top-flight tight end. With 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash, he was named to the Los Angeles Times' 2004 All-San Gabriel Valley First Team after leading Claremont High to a 7-4 record and the Baseline League championship.
A thoroughbred cornerback who gained All-America accolades by PrepStar and SuperPrep, Thompson rattled off more than 70 tackles and two interceptions his senior campaign at Grant High in Sacramento. Rivals.com ranks him the 13th-best athlete in the nation, while ESPN.com's Lemming rates him the No. 11 cornerback in the U.S.
Peele, a SuperPrep All-American, ripped off 126 tackles as Defensive Player of the Year for both the county and Metro Athletic Conference this past fall at Fresno's Edison High. While he intercepted only two passes, the 5-11, 180-pound back returned both for touchdowns, including an electrifying 100-yarder. A CaliFlorida Bowl participant, Peele was ranked the No. 18 cornerback in the country and No. 35 overall player in California by Rivals.com.
Bemoll, a 6-5, 305-pound behemoth who ran roughshod as a two-time first team All-Orange County selection at Mission Viejo High, is one of the USA's elite linemen. Rivals.com considers him the No. 6 offensive guard in the nation, the No. 9 overall player in California and among the Top 100 nationally. Student Sports concurs with those lofty ratings, as it ranks Bemoll as the No. 9 offensive linemen in the country and among its Top 100 in the United States.
Jones, accomplished at defensive line, tight end and quarterback at Tucson's Sabino High, is projected as a front-line defensive end on the college level. The 6-5, 230-pound Arizonan corralled five sacks and 29 tackles on defense and averaged 23.5 yards per catch in hauling in 20 passes for 469 yards and six touchdowns at tight end last fall for 8-2 Sabino. Invited to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the first team All-State performer also passed for 916 yards, 13 touchdowns and only three interceptions on 64 completions as a senior. Rivals.com listed him the No. 41 tight end in the nation this season.
With both Alualu and Kane in the fold, the Bears can boast the two best defensive linemen in the state of Hawaii, players who also rank overall among the top four players on the island.
Alualu, ranked the second-best player in Hawaii by Rivals.com, is a two-time All-State selection by the Honolulu Star Bulletin who fleeced opponents for seven sacks and 59 tackles, which ranked first and second, respectively, in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu. The ILH's Defensive Player of the Year, the 6-2, 270-pounder is ranked the No. 24 defensive tackle in the United States by Rivals.com.
Named the Honolulu Advertiser's Defensive Player of the Year after leading Kamehameha High (8-2-1) to its first Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I title since 1979, Kane-pronounced kon-A-was a dominant inside force in high school. The 6-3, 290-pound tackle was ranked the No. 4 overall player in Hawaii and the No. 33 defensive tackle in the nation by Rivals.com.
Smith, considered the 55th-best defensive end in the nation by SuperPrep's Scout.com recruiting service, swooped inside for a school-record 18 sacks at St. Mary's High in Stockton last season. He also forced three fumbles and returned his only interception 42 yards for a touchdown.
A first team All-State linebacker who bagged 135 tackles, seven tackles for loss and seven forced fumbles in paving the way for an 8-3 season at Clovis High, Follett earned high ratings from virtually every national recruiting service. ESPN.com ranked him No. 9 among inside linebackers nationally, while Rivals.com pegged him the No. 11 inside linebacker in the United States.
Another Young has joined the Cal fold, as linebacker Eddie Young-the younger brother of Bears redshirt freshman wide receiver Sean Young-has decided to trek up the hill from Berkeley High School to pursue his college aspirations at UC Berkeley. Reeling off 115 tackles and 15 sacks, the 6-3, 225-pound defender played a prominent role in Berkeley High finishing 8-3 and winning the Alameda Contra Costa League championship last fall.
Ezeff, a member of the San Francisco Chronicle's All-Metro first team defense (DB) and second team offense (wide receiver), helped Santa Rosa's Montgomery High School registered a 13-0 season en route to the CIF North Coast Section 3A crown. The 6-1, 195-pound athlete garnered 30 tackles and two interceptions, while grabbing 36 passes for 860 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Johnson, another gifted cover man, boasts a 39-inch vertical jump, hammered opponents for 94 tackles, three interceptions and five force fumbles as the No. 2 ranked player (Rivals.com) in the state of Nevada this past season. The Henderson, Nev. product is considered the 21st-best safety in the nation by Rivals.com, while SuperPrep ranked him No. 40 on its Top 100 prospect in the West.
Brooks, a multi-talented star on Bishop O'Dowd's 2004 club that steamrolled to a 10-3 record en route to the North Coast Section 2A championship, is rated the No. 31 safety in the nation by Rivals.com. In his senior season, he bagged 60 tackles and two interceptions at defensive back while rushing for 1,563 yards and 20 touchdowns at tailback.
Doxy, a hard-hitting safety for Long Beach Poly's 13-1 squad that claimed the CIF Southern Section championship, rang up 99 tackles and two interceptions in 2004. His key interception in the CIF title game set up the clinching score in Long Beach Poly's 21-6 win over Los Alamitos High.
Canada, rated the No. 25 wide receiver in the nation by SuperPrep, is a three-time all-league selection who caught 10 touchdown passes despite missing three-and-a-half games with a back injury for Monrovia High this past season. PrepStar rated him the 61st-best player in the West.
Voted the Offensive Lineman of the Year in the North Yosemite League, 6-7, 270-pound Laird earned a place in California's Top 100 by several recruiting services, including SuperPrep (No. 59), Rivals.com (No. 83) and PrepStar (No. 87).
|2005 California Football Recruits|
|Alualu, Tyson||DT||6-2||270||Honolulu, Hawaii||St. Louis|
|Ayoob, Joseph||QB||6-3||215||San Rafael, Calif.||San Francisco City College|
|Bemoll, Kevin||OL||6-5||305||Mission Viejo, Calif.||Mission Viejo|
|Bishop, Desmond||LB||6-2||240||Fairfield, Calif.||San Francisco City College|
|Brooks, Jesse||DB||6-1||190||Oakland, Calif.||Bishop O'Dowd|
|Canada, Jesse||WR||6-3||190||Monrovia, Calif.||Monrovia|
|Doxy, Gary||DB||6-2||180||Long Beach, Calif.||Long Beach Poly|
|Ezeff, Marcus||DB||6-1||195||Santa Rosa, Calif.||Montgomery|
|Felder, Anthony||LB||6-3||225||Shoreline, Wash.||O'Dea|
|Follett, Zack||LB||6-2||230||Clovis, Calif.||Clovis|
|Hawkins, Lavelle||WR||5-11||175||Stockton, Calif.||San Francisco City College|
|Jackson, DeSean||WR||6-0||175||Long Beach, Calif.||Long Beach Poly|
|Johnson, Brett||DB||6-2||190||Henderson, Nev.||Green Valley|
|Jones, Cody||DE||6-5||230||Tucson, Ariz.||Sabino|
|Kane, Mika||DT||6-3||290||Honolulu, Hawaii||Kamehameha|
|Laird, Matt||OT||6-7||270||Clovis, Calif.||San Joaquin Memorial|
|Morrah, Cameron||TE||6-5||240||Claremont, Calif.||Claremont|
|Peele, Robert||DB||5-11||180||Fresno, Calif.||Edison|
|Pimentel, Mickey||LB||6-2||220||Tucson, Ariz.||Pima Community College|
|Reed, Kyle||QB||6-2||200||Oakland, Calif.||McClymonds|
|Smith, Tad||DE||6-6||245||Isleton, Calif.||St. Mary's|
|Tafisi, Nuu||DE||6-2||265||Pomona, Calif.||Mt. San Antonio College|
|Thompson, Syd'Quan||ATH||5-11||180||Sacramento, Calif.||Grant|
|Young, Eddie||LB||6-3||225||Berkeley, Calif.||Berkeley|
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES ON 2005 CAL FOOTBALL RECRUITS
TYSON ALUALU, Defensive Tackle, 6-2, 270, St. Louis HS (Honolulu, Hawaii)
His commitment to Cal gives the Bears two of the top four players in Hawaii, according to Rivals.com, which ranks Alualu No. 2 and Mika Kane No. 4 in the island state….Rivals.com also rates Alualu as the No. 24 defensive tackle in the United States, calling him "one of the elite linemen in the entire West Region"….as a two-time All-State selection by the Honolulu Star Bulletin, he fleeced opponents for seven sacks and 59 tackles (39 solo stops), ranking first and second, respectively, in the Interscholastic League of Honolulu….named the ILH's Defensive Player of the Year, as he propelled St. Louis High to a 7-3 mark….his team outscored its opponents by a whopping 313 to 131 point-margin….PrepStar placed him on its 2004 All-Far West Region Team…paramount game last season came against Punahou High (9 tackles, 4 sacks), while he also posted a pair of 14-tackle efforts his senior season….owns 4.9 speed in the 40-yard dash….last name pronounced ah-LOO ah-LOO.
Regarded as one of the premier JC quarterbacks in the nation….named the state's 2004 Junior College Offensive Player of the Year by the JC Athletic Bureau/California Community College Football Coaches Association….earned first team JC Gridwire All-America notice after completing 61.3 percent (217-of-354) of his passes for 3,679 yards and 35 touchdowns….ranked No. 1 in the state in passing efficiency (177.5) and directed the most prolific JC offense in California (500.1 yards per game)….SuperPrep rated him the No. 2 junior college player in the nation in its postseason JuCo 100….Rivals.com ranked him No. 15 on their national JC list….engineered an 11-1 season at City College of San Francisco, with the team's only loss a 39-32 verdict to College of the Canyons in the California State Championship Game….was named the Offensive Player of the Game in defeat, as he rifled passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns vs. College of the Canyons and also rushed for 62 yards on seven carries in that title game….in his two seasons at CCSF, he threaded 352 of 571 pass attempts (61.6%) for 5,790 yards and 55 touchdowns, and rushed for an additional nine TDs….directed his JC club to a 23-1 record over his two campaigns, propelling CCSF to the national championship (12-0) in 2003 and the state runner-up this past season….led California JC quarterbacks in passing efficiency (177.5) in 2004….was awarded Most Valuable Player honors in the state championship game in each of his two seasons at CCSF….previously enjoyed a brilliant career at Terra Linda High School, where he was named first team all-league in football, basketball and baseball….played in the North Coast Section Championship football games with Terra Linda in both his junior and senior seasons….father, Joe, went to Clemson on a full basketball scholarship …hobbies include fixing old cars….as a mid-year transfer, he has already enrolled in classes at Cal….last name is pronounced A-yoob.
One of the premier offensive linemen in Southern California and perhaps the nation….considered the No. 6 offensive guard in the United States by Rivals.com, which also listed him as the No. 9 overall player in its California Top 100 and the No. 97 overall player in its Top 100 nationally….a Rivals prep All-American by virtue of his Top 100 ranking….SuperPrep placed him on its All-Far West Team, ranking the star blocker as the No. 62 overall player in California….was a two-time first team All-Orange County and all-league selection….last name pronounced BEE-moll.
DESMOND BISHOP, Linebacker, 6-2, 240, CC of San Francisco (Fairfield, Calif.)
An explosive player with exceptional range at linebacker….SuperPrep ranked him as the fourth-best JC player in the United States….was teammate Ayoob's counterpart on defense, as he was voted California's 2004 Junior College Defensive Player of the Year by the JC Athletic Bureau/California Community College Football Coaches Association…. tabbed a first team JC Gridwire All-American, averaging almost 12 tackles per game at City College of San Francisco with 118 stops in 10 regular-season contests last fall….was virtually unstoppable in the state's championship game, reeling off a game-high 14 tackles (including eight solo stops), one sack and two tackles for loss against College of the Canyons….was the driving force behind a Rams defense that ranked seventh in points allowed (15.4 ppg) and ninth in yards yielded (249.7 ypg) in the state….named the Northern California Conference's Defensive Most Valuable Player in 2004….also played on CCSF's undefeated (13-0) team that won the national JuCo championship in 2003….previously gained second team all-state recognition by Calhisports.com while at Fairfield High School, playing in the California North-South Shrine All-Star Game in '02….as a mid-year transfer, he has already enrolled in classes at Cal….father, Dennis Bishop, played football at Illinois and professionally in the United States Football League….has an interest in pursuing a career in social welfare.
Multi-talented star on Bishop O'Dowd's 2004 club that etched a 10-3 record en route to the North Coast Section 2A East Bay Championship….Rivals.com rated him the No. 31 safety in the USA and No. 93 overall player in the state of California….SuperPrep (Scout.com) placed him on its All-Far West Team and ranked him 64th among all players in California….rushed for 1,563 yards and scored 20 touchdowns as a senior running back, also grabbing 13 passes as a wide receiver, including two for additional scores…..in the playoffs, he rushed for 376 yards and scored eight TDs in three games….named first team all-league as both a running back and defensive back last fall….projected as a big-time coverage man at Cal….garnered 60 tackles and two interceptions for Bishop O'Dowd last fall….earned first team 2004 All-East Bay (utility) by the Oakland Tribune and listed on the Contra Costa Times' "Cream of the Crop" all-star team….hampered by hip pointer throughout his junior season of 2003, but still managed to rush for 455 yards and eight touchdowns on 56 attempts (8.1 ypc), catch eight passes (including three for TDs), and on defense collect 26 tackles and one interception….also participated four years in basketball and track at Bishop O'Dowd High….has been clocked at 4.58 in the 40-yard dash and 11.1 in the 100 meters….father, Jesse Brooks, played basketball at Southern Oregon State College.
Widely recruited by some of the nation's top football programs….possesses great size and speed, but what had college coaches drooling was his ability to gain big yards after the catch….snagged 10 touchdown passes as a senior despite missing three-and-a-half games due to a lower back injury….rated the No. 25 wide receiver in the nation by SuperPrep.com….slotted No. 61 on Scout.com's West Hot 100 prospects and also earned All-Region notice by PrepStar….Rivals.com pegged him the No. 43 wide receiver in the country and No. 45 on its California Top 100 player chart this past season….three-time all-league selection…..as his league's Offensive Player of the Year as a junior, he snared 23 passes for 700 yards, rushed for 500 yards and scored 11 touchdowns for Monrovia High….clocked in 4.42 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
GARY DOXY, Defensive Back, 6-2, 180, Long Beach Poly HS (Long Beach, Calif.)
Hard-hitting safety for Long Beach Poly's 13-1 club that claimed the CIF Southern Section championship….banged opponents for 7.6 tackles per game, amassing 99 total tackles (including 67 solo stops) in 13 games….also collected two interceptions and one sack in 2004….made key interception in the CIF title game, a play that set up the clinching touchdown in Poly's 21-6 win over Los Alamitos High….pierced double figures in tackles four times as a senior, including season highs of 12 stops vs. Centennial High Sept. 10 and St. Paul High Sept. 24….was fourth-leading tackler on a Jackrabbit club that posted a 6-0 league mark in capturing the Moore League crown.
Gifted cover man who claimed several individual honors as a senior in leading Montgomery High School to an undefeated (13-0) season and the CIF North Coast Section 3A Championship….named to the San Francisco Chronicle's All-Metro first team defense (defensive back) and second team offense (wide receiver) this past season…flagged down 36 passes for 860 yards and 15 touchdowns at wide receiver, while chasing down 30 tackles and two interceptions in the defensive secondary in 2004….snared six passes for 166 yards in the state title game….garnered North Bay and Empire League MVP honors as a senior, as well as first team All-Empire League accolades….SuperPrep tabbed him No. 54 among all cornerbacks in the nation, while PrepStar named him to its All-West Region Team….Rivals.com considered him the No. 64 overall player in California….as a junior, he caught 37 passes for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns, and drilled foes for 54 tackles (30 solos), 10 tackles for loss and four interceptions on the way to being named first team All-State, All-Metro and All-Empire League as well as being hailed his league's Defensive Player of the Year….ran an 11.22 in the 100-meter dash at the 2004 North Bay League Track & Field Championships last May, good for a second-place finish….timed in 4.45 in the 40….last name pronounced E-zeff.
Highly-coveted linebacker who earned first team all-state honors in Washington after raking opponents for 121 tackles at O'Dea High School….set O'Dea's all-time school records for most tackles in a game (22), single season (146 in 2002) and career (346)….SuperPrep named him to its All-America Team and ranked him as the No. 12 linebacker in the nation….PrepStar also tabbed him an All-American and among its Top 100 Dream Team….Rivals.com listed him as the No. 6 inside linebacker in the country and the No. 3 player in the state of Washington….ranked the No. 10 inside linebacker in the United States by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming and the No. 2 overall player in Washington by SuperPrep….listed No. 20 on Scout.com's West Hot 100 prospect list….two-time Metro League Defensive Player of the Year who earned first team All-Metro League honors at both linebacker and fullback in 2004, while earning all-league notice on defense as junior (first team) and sophomore (second team)….cited on the Associated Press All-State Defense First Team in 2004….also decorated with honors by several area newspapers, including the Seattle Times' All-Area Team, Seattle Post-Intelligencer's All-League Team and the Tacoma Tribune's All-Star Team….played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl (San Antonio) that featured some of the nation's finest players and also participated in the Washington Prep All-Star Game….as a junior, earned first team All-Metro honors after collecting 146 tackles, nine tackles for loss and five sacks for O'Dea High that was runner-up in the state championship game….also rushed for 446 yards and five touchdowns on only 58 carries (7.7 ypc) as a running back in 2003….nabbed 82 tackles as a sophomore in 2002….has registered a 4.55 in the 40….O'Dea is the last all-boy school in the state of Washington, with despite a small student body, plays at the higher classification of 3A….hobbies include snowboarding….features an arm tattoo with the insignia of the U.S. Army's 25th Infantry Division, the unit in which his grandfather on his father's side (deceased, 1997) served in World War II and the Korean War, receiving three Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star….interestingly, his mother's-side grandfather also made a name in the military as a heavy weight boxer for the U.S. Marines, posting a 48-2 record from 1951-54 and winning several Marine Championship Titles….plans to major in business at Cal.
"A punishing hitter who plays with reckless abandon," says PrepStar.com…listed as the No. 9 inside linebacker in the nation by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming….Rivals.com named him the 11th best inside linebacker in the USA and 41st best overall player in the state of California….SuperPrep considered him the No. 54 linebacker in the country and the No. 44 overall player in California, while he landed on PrepStar's All-West Region Team…Scout.com listed him No. 91 on its West Hot 100 prospects….led Clovis High to an 8-3 record last fall, claiming first team All-State honors and pocketing 135 tackles, nine quarterback pressures, seven tackles for loss, seven forced fumbles, five passes broken up, four fumble recoveries and three sacks as a senior…invited and played in the prestigious CaliFlorida Bowl….the Fresno Bee selected him on its All-Valley First Team….also named the Tri River Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year, while Fresno's CBS television affiliate (47 Sports) accorded him the area's Defensive MVP….named his team's MVP…. played in only three-and-a-half games as a junior due to a fractured foot, yet still amassed 74 tackles and returned his lone interception for a touchdown that season….stockpiled 151 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, two sacks and two interceptions as a first team all-league and all-area performer as a sophomore in 2002….amassed 360 tackles, 28 TFL, 13 forced fumbles and seven sacks in his three seasons at Clovis High.
A SuperPrep JC All-American who transferred to City College of San Francisco last fall after originally attending LSU on a football scholarship in the spring of 2004….averaged 22.8 yards per catch for CCSF, flagging down 23 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns in only seven games as one of Joseph Ayoob's favorite targets on the state runner-up club….also ranked seventh in the state in punt returns last season, averaging 15.0 yards on nine attempts….cranked out 114.7 yards per outing in all-purpose yardage….caught four passes for 56 yards in City College of San Francisco's narrow loss to College of the Canyons in the California JC State Championship Game….prior to attending LSU, he was a Parade magazine All-American at Edison High School in Stockton as one of the nation's most recruited wide receivers in 2003….gained more than 1,000 yards receiving and 800 yards rushing his senior at Edison, when he was named the Stockton Record's 2003 All-Area Player of the Year….hunted down 53 passes for almost 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior, when he also collected 75 tackles, four interceptions, three forced fumbles and two sacks at free safety….out of high school, Rivals.com ranked him the No. 4 athlete and No. 73 overall player in the United States, and also pegged him the No. 10 overall player in the state of California….owns 4.4 speed in the 40.
Arguably one of the premier high school wide receivers in the nation, featuring a deadly combo of great hands and speed, along with tremendous energy and precise pass routes….a Parade magazine prep All-American….was named the Los Angeles Times' 2004 Glenn Davis Award winner as Southern California's player of the year….flagged down 60 passes for 1,075 yards for Long Beach Poly's CIF Southern Section championship team….scored 15 touchdowns, eight which measured at least 60 yards or more, including two on punt returns….was first incoming Cal player to win the Glenn Davis Award as Southern California's top player since running back Russell White captured the award for Crespi High School in 1987….voted the Pete Dawkins Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the nationally-televised U.S. Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio Jan. 15, as he made seven receptions for 141 yards and passed for a 45-yard touchdown in leading the West squad to a 35-3 victory in a game that featured 80 of the nation's top players….also sparkled in the prestigious CaliFlorida Bowl game, posting five catches for 145 yards and one touchdown….ESPN.com's Tom Lemming rates him as the No. 4 wide receiver in the country, PrepStar selected him an All-American and a member of its Dream Team Top 100 players, and Calhisports.com voted him the 2004 Mr. Football State Player of the Year….PrepStar tabbed him as the country's 29th best player, the No. 3 wide receiver and a member of its Top 100 Dream Team….SuperPrep ranked him No. 21 in its Elite 50 players in the nation and No. 4 player in the state of California….Rival.com rated him the No. 3 player in the Golden State and the No. 32 player in the USA….in the CIF title game, he was a last-minute replacement on defense and responded with two interceptions, one which he returned 68 yards for a touchdown to help fuel Long Beach Poly's 21-6 victory over Los Alamitos High….also named to the Los Angeles Times' All-Star Football Team and as well as being tabbed the newspaper's Southeast/South Coast Player of the Year….also won the Moore League's Offensive Player of the Year Award last fall….played in the CaliFlorida Bowl in January….as a junior, he hunted down 43 passes for 821 yards and 11 touchdowns in earning first team accolades on the All-CIF Division I, All-State and All-League teams….a two-time member of the famed Long Beach Press Telegram's Dream Team first team…. considered an outstanding baseball player with Major League potential….brother, Byron, played professional football with the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs in 1992-93….owns blazing 4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash.
Impressive overall athlete who boasts a 39-inch vertical jump and 4.55 speed in the 40-yard dash….gained All-Region notice by both PrepStar and SuperPrep after hammering opponents for 94 tackles, three interceptions and five forced fumbles on a Green Valley High club that posted a 6-5 record in 2004….Rivals.com tabbed him the No. 21 safety in the country and the No. 2 overall player in the state of Nevada….picked on the All-Southern Nevada First Team by the Las Vegas Review-Journal…listed No. 40 on Scout.com's West Hot 100 prospect list….as a junior, won all-league accolades after bagging 84 tackles and two interceptions…also three-year letterman in track….will play in the Sunrise Sunset All-Star Football Game in May….plans to be a pre-med major at Cal.
Another gifted athlete in this year's Cal recruiting class, he played both defensive line, tight end and quarterback for Sabino High School in Tucson….Rivals.com named him the No. 41 tight end in the country and No. 12 overall player in the state of Arizona, while SuperPrep rated him the No. 6 player in the state as a member of its All-Far West Team….also an All-Region selection by PrepStar, he passed for 916 yards with 13 touchdowns, three interceptions on 64 completions, while catching 20 passes for 469 yards (23.5 ypc) and six TDs and corralling five sacks and 29 tackles on defense….named to the Tucson Citizen's Southern Arizona All-Star First Team after propelling Sabino High to an 8-2 record….other 2004 honors included being named All-State tight end by the Arizona Coaches Association and U.S. Army All-American Bowl invitee….played on Sabino High clubs that made the state playoffs and won its regional title three straight years…. as a junior in 2003, he played half the season at quarterback and half the year at defensive line, where he collected 44 tackles and 11 sacks, and earned first team all-league honors and second team all-region notice….also played three years of varsity ice hockey, advancing to the state playoffs as an all-star selection in both 2002 and 2003….named the 2002 Arizona (AIA) Scholar-Athlete….hobbies include travel, playing the guitar, video games and photography….father, Jeff Jones, played football at Ball State from 1978-81.
JONATHAN (MIKA) KANE, Def. Tackle, 6-3, 290, Kamehameha HS (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Pronounced Mike-uh kon-A….named the Honolulu Advertiser's Defensive Player of the Year after leading Kamehameha High School (8-2-1) to its first Interscholastic League of Honolulu Division I championship since 1979….Rivals.com ranked him the 33rd best defensive tackle in the nation and the No. 4 overall player in the state of Hawaii….buoyed Warriors' defense that allowed only 20 points in its last five games of 2004, including one stretch when his team shut out its opponents for 12 consecutive quarters…."Regarded as one of the Top 10 players in Hawaii" by PrepStar, which billed him All-Region….a two-time All-Interscholastic League choice….name pronounced MEE-kuh Kon-A.
A towering and physical specimen, he won Offensive Lineman of the Year honors in the North Yosemite League as San Joaquin Memorial High's standout blocker….was moved to offensive left tackle prior to his senior year, playing his first three prep seasons at tight end….his big wingspan and quick feet earned him California Top 100 notice by several recruiting services, including SuperPrep (No. 59), Rivals.com (No. 83) and Scout.com (No. 87)…named to SuperPrep's All-Far West Team….rated the No. 61 offensive tackle in the nation by Rival.com….named second team All-Valley….was a member of two Valley Championships in one school year at San Joaquin Memorial, as his football team (8-5 in 2003) and basketball team (18-6 in 2004) both captured titles…also played baseball in high school, winning the "Coach's Award" in both 2002 and 2003….many members of his family have attended Cal, including father, Brian ('81) and grandfather ('50)….worked as ranch hand for grandparents last summer, mostly driving a tractor.
CAMERON MORRAH, 6-5, 240, Tight End, Claremont HS (Claremont, Calif.)
Was named a PrepStar All-American at defensive end last season, but projected as a big-time tight end by Cal coaches….named to the Los Angeles Times' 2004 All-San Gabriel Valley First Team….led Claremont High School to a 7-4 overall record and the Baseline League championship….Rivals.com gave him a four-star (All-America) rating, ranking Morrah as the No. 13 strongside defensive end in the nation and No. 28 overall player in the state of California….SuperPrep's Scout.com service listed him the 60th-best overall player in the Far West Region….possesses 4.6 speed at 40 yards….brother, Eric Morrah, is a walk-on football player at Kansas State.
ROBERT PEELE, Defensive Back, 5-11, 180, Edison HS (Fresno, Calif.)
Playing for former San Francisco 49er Pro Bowler Tim McDonald at Edison High, he ripped off 126 tackles as Defensive Player of the Year for both the county and the Metro Athletic Conference this past fall….a member of the SuperPrep All-America Team….McDonald was quoted in Rivals.com as saying Peele "could be the best corner we've had in the last few years and we've had some great ones."….intercepted two passes and returned both for touchdowns, including an electrifying 100-yarder….also returned three punts for TDs as a senior….Rivals.com rated him the No. 18 cornerback in the country and No. 35 overall player in the state of California….in leading Edison High to an 8-4 mark, he paced his league in tackles and earned an invitation to the CaliFlorida Bowl as one of the nation's premier players….selected to the Fresno Bee's 2004 Football All-Star First Team….ESPN.com's Tom Lemming rated him as the No. 25 cornerback in the nation, while Scout.com picked him No. 31 on its West Hot 100 list….also an All-West Region honoree by PrepStar….a three-time All-League and All-State selection….as a junior, amassed 96 tackles (76 solo stops) and two interceptions as a second team All-State choice….landed spots on the All-Valley and all-league teams in 2003….tabbed his team's Defensive MVP that junior season as well….timed at 4.5 in the 40.
MICKEY PIMENTEL, Linebacker, 6-2, 220, Pima Community College (Tucson, Ariz.)
Another prize catch for the Bears' defense….named a SuperPrep JC All-American and the National Junior College Athletic Association Region I Defensive Player of the Year….rattled off 10.5 sacks and two interceptions for Pima Community College, which finished the season with a 9-3 record and No. 5 ranking in the final NJCAA poll….also earned the Western States Football League's Defensive Player of the Year award and All-WSFL first team….SuperPrep ranked him the No. 46 overall junior college player in the nation….FOX Sports' College Football News.com site ranked him the No. 10 JuCo linebacker in the country….owns 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash.
Blue-chip prospect who received national acclaim for his quarterback talents….earned All-American status with SuperPrep and was ranked the No. 10 quarterback in the USA by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming….Rivals.com listed him the No. 5 dual-threat quarterback in America and No. 24 overall player in the state of California….was selected to attend the 2004 EA Sports Elite 11 camp as one of the nation's top quarterbacks….SuperPrep listed him the No. 7 quarterback in the country and No. 9 overall player in California….a member of PrepStar's Top 100 Dream Team, he ranked No. 9 on its national quarterback list….Scout.com considered him to be the 10th-best player on its West Hot 100 list….The Sporting News ranked him the No. 5 quarterback in the nation….engineered an undefeated (5-0) Oakland Athletic League season at McClymonds last fall, as he passed for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns….the Contra Costa Times named him to their "Cream of the Crop" prep all-star team this past season….earned first team All-City honors as both a sophomore and senior, and was voted his team's Most Valuable player in both 2003 and 2004….missed five games as a junior due to a fractured thumb on his throwing hand….still threw for 1,100 yards on 55-of-105 attempts with 10 touchdowns and five interceptions that 2003 campaign….passed for 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns as an All-City performer as a sophomore….competed on McClymonds' track and field team that won league titles four straight seasons….earned a place on McClymonds' Academic Honor Roll in both his junior and seniors years…. owns 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash….interested in pursuing a Cal major in sociology and sports medicine….hobbies include cooking, music, reading and playing basketball.
TAD SMITH, Defensive End, 6-6, 245, St. Mary's HS (Isleton, Calif.)
Swooped inside for a school-record 18 sacks, forced three fumbles and made one interception (returned 42 yards for a TD) from his defensive end position for St. Mary's High School in Stockton, Calif. last year…SuperPrep listed him on its All-Far West Team and regarded him as the No. 78 overall player in the state of California….Scout.com tabbed him the No. 55 defensive end in the USA….earned second team All-State and first team All-Area and All-League as a senior, helping St. Mary's win its first NorCal State Division I Championship in school history….also gained more than 200 yards and scored three touchdowns as a tight end last season….as a junior, he collected 64 tackles, 13 sacks, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles as a first team all-league pick….lettered three years in basketball at St. Mary's and was named the team's Most Valuable Player in '03….current Cal redshirt freshman offensive lineman John Gibson was his teammate at St. Mary's High….interested in becoming an American Studies major with a concentration in business at Cal, with hopes of pursuing a future career in marketing and real estate….full name is Thadeus "Tad" Kevin Smith.
NUU TAFISI, Defensive End, 6-2, 265, Mt. San Antonio College (Pomona, Calif.)
One of the elite defensive ends in all of junior college football last year….earned JC All-America first team honors from the JC Athletic Bureau/California Community College Football Coaches Association and landed on JC Gridwire's All-America second team….despite being double- and triple-teamed all season long, he corralled 59 tackles, including 16 sacks and 23 tackles for loss for a Mt. San Antonio College club that etched an 8-3 record in 2004….voted the league's Defensive Most Valuable Player….SuperPrep ranked him the No. 3 JC defensive end in the nation, the No. 30 overall player in the United States, and a member of its JC All-America second team….as a mid-year transfer, he has already enrolled at Cal….name pronounced NEW-ooh Tah-FEE-see.
A thoroughbred cornerback who earned All-America honors by PrepStar and SuperPrep, and rated as the No. 11 corner in the nation by ESPN.com's Tom Lemming….PrepStar placed the three-time all-state performer on its Dream Team Top 100, while SuperPrep ranked Thompson the No. 17 defensive back in the country and the No. 13 overall player in California, calling him "one of the best athletes in the nation."….Rivals.com slotted him the 13th best athlete in the nation and 21st best overall player in the state of California….Scout.com listed him as the No. 5 overall player in its West Hot 100 prospect list….rattled off 70-plus tackles and two interceptions as a senior, also rushing for more than 1,000 yards and 12 touchdowns last fall….named to the Sacramento Bee's All-Metro Second Team…invited to play in the CaliFlorida Bowl as one of the nation's elite players….in 2003, he was voted California's Junior "Mr. Football Award," and was picked the top junior in the state by Rivals.com…. earned first team all-league, all-metro and all-state as a junior, when he rushed for 950 yards and 18 touchdowns, caught 15 passes for 360 yards and four TDs, and reeled off 79 tackles, five interceptions on defense….that junior year, he also returned five punts and one kickoff for touchdown…a 4.4 blazer in the 40.
EDDIE YOUNG, Linebacker, 6-3, 225, Berkeley HS (Berkeley, Calif.)
Reeled off 115 tackles and 15 sacks for nearby Berkeley High School, which posted an 8-3 record and won the Alameda Contra Costa League championship….Rivals.com ranked him the No. 62 outside linebacker in the United States and No. 74 overall player in the state of California…SuperPrep placed him No. 90 on its California Top 100 players list….earned first team all-league honors at Berkeley High as a junior….younger brother of Cal redshirt freshman wide receiver Sean Young.