February 2, 2011
"Coach (Clancy) Pendergast is a great defensive coordinator. I like his defense by constantly putting pressure on the quarterback because it's important to keep him flustered. That's a big part of the game."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:13 AM PST. Four-star defensive end Todd Barr is ranked as the No. 12 strongside defensive end in the 2011 recruiting class, and checks in at No. 144 in the Rivals250. Barr formed a quick friendship with fellow defensive line signee Mustafa Jalil early in the recruitment process, and on Dec. 13, he made things official by committing to the Bears.
Barr earned Under Armour All-American honors following his 73-tackle, 20-sack season for Lakewood (Calif.) High.
The most striking aspect of Barr's game is his speed. He fires off the ball with more quickness than would be expected out of a 6-foot-3, 265-pounder. He also possesses a varied repertoire of pass-rush moves, which compliment his lateral quickness. Another solid addition to Tosh Lupoi's recruiting portfolio as well as his defensive line. Videos.
"I think we're going to do tremendous things, just with our class."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:57 AM PST Mustafa Jalil was one of Cal's earliest commits, pulling the trigger on an unofficial visit back on April 5. Since then, he's been a tireless grassroots recruiter, helping to snag Todd Barr, Avery Walls and Viliami Moala. But The Mayor isn't just all about glad-handing. He's an absolute force of nature at the point of attack. He's ranked as the No. 18 defensive tackle in the 2011 class and is a member of the Rivals250 -- checking in at No. 210 in the final rankings -- but will likely come in as a strongside defensive end in the mold of Cameron Jordan and the Jacksonville Jaguars' Tyson Alualu.
Jalil's sense of humor is just about as big as he is. When asked what time he'd be sending in his Letter of Intent, Jalil joked: "I don't know, man. I decommitted, didn't you hear? I'm signing with Miami. I just talked to Lup ....... Nah! Just kidding!" One of his favorite pastimes, apparently, is giving reporters heart attacks.
Jalil checks in at 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, but is aiming to come in at a 285-pound playing weight ("I want to be Lean'n'Mean," he says). He is also far from shy when it comes to dishing out hits, vowing to hold the school sack records by the time he's through in Berkeley. He's got long arms, plays with good pad level, explodes off the ball and can also chase down a run from behind.
"There are three classes above us, but I feel like everyone coming in has the mentality that they are going to start, which will push everyone," Jalil says. Video.
"I think I can bring the offense up to a nice start, being the playmaker that I am, and giving them that extra boost, giving the defense the confidence to keep going as hard as they can and just pushing it."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:18 AM PST. Brendon Bigelow hasn't played a meaningful down for almost a year and a half, but is still considered one of the most dynamic running back talents in this recruiting class. The Bears had to pry him away from Washington, but once Bigelow made the switch, he was all blue and gold.
"We're going to win more than six games, I can tell you that much," he said. "Everybody's pulling together now. We can make it happen. I'm going to be part of that, and I feel like I can really help out. Actually, I know I can help out."
Before being injured towards the end of his junior season, Bigelow graded out as one of the most impressive backs in the country. Even with a twice-operated on knee, Bigelow still possesses a very strong, very muscular power base. In the open field, that makes him very tough to bring down. He has superior body control and, if his rehab goes as well as it appears to be going, Bigelow could wind up as one of the top backs in the country. But, it's all going to depend on how that knee holds up. Expect him to redshirt if the Cal staff isn't 100-percent confident that his wheels can take the pounding of college ball just yet. Videos.
"I'm looking forward to being in the quarterbacks meetings with Coach Tedford and spending a lot of time with him."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:08 AM PST. Kyle Boehm is a local boy out of San Jose (Calif.) Archbishop Mitty, a school that doesn't exactly have a reputation for throwing the ball, a circumstance that hasn't given Cal's newest signal-caller the chance to show off his plus arm. Boehm was one of the more impressive specimens at the Berkeley Elite 11 camp last summer, has a strong core and swift footwork and is the strong, silent type when it comes to leadership style.
At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds with a 32-inch vertical leap and a 4.03-second shuttle time, Boehm possesses the physical tools to compete at the next level, tools that will be honed by head coach Jeff Tedford, who will return to coaching QBs for the 2011 season.
"It's definitely a big change," Boehm said of Tedford's return to coaching the quarterbacks. "It's good for him, because that's where he started, and he has a good feel for it. He was very successful in the beginning with it."
A three-star prospect, Boehm is the No. 7 pro-style quarterback in this class and plans to get his LOI in by 7:01 AM. After that's done, he will be paying close attention this Sunday when former Tedford student Aaron Rodgers quarterbacks his Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV.
"Aaron Rodgers is in it, so definitely," Boehm said. "He's a Cal quarterback so I definitely will be watching." Videos.
"I want to bring home some crystal balls and maybe even some roses."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:08 AM PST. C.J. Anderson came out of high school as a highly-regarded cornerback, but after going to Laney College for two years, he's turned into quite a running back. Last season, Anderson ran for 1,644 yards and 18 touchdowns as a big, strong, powerful runner.
"Growing up in Vallejo, I've been around Berkeley tradition for a while," Anderson said. "I knew what it was about, but on my official visit, I got to see it deeper. I got to see how special it really was. Being up there was a great trip for my parents and I, and I enjoyed myself. My favorite part was just how everybody was so welcoming and warm. Instructors take real pride in their school and the administration is behind the program. That really jumped out to me."
And no wonder. The last junior college back that donned the blue and gold was J.J. Arrington, who rushed for over 2,000 yards in 2004.
With his letter of intent reaching the Bears coaching staff soon after his 8:00 AM PST class, Anderson will join the Bears occasionally during the offseason to observe practice and learn some terminology before coming in next fall.
Anderson had intended to come into Cal as an early-entry, but that was derailed by a class snafu.
"Laney and a couple of the other colleges up here go off of the CSU and UC system requirements to transfer," Anderson said. "I major in philosophy and there was a philosophy class called 'Logic and Critical Thinking,' and there was an English class called 'English 5: Reading, Writing and Critical Thinking.' They were in the same department and fit the same requirement. I've been at Laney for two years and my counselor never steered me wrong, so we thought that was going to go through, and it didn't for the NCAA. So that's why I'm back at Laney for a semester. Cal approved it, and had the NCAA approved it, I'd have been up there in the spring. They changed it from 2009, when it was one math class and one English class. Now you have to have two English classes."
So, for now, Anderson will go to his one class and live in the weight room until he can come in and compete for the starting job in the fall.
"I'm a part of a great fraternity of backs, and just to keep that tradition going will be nice," Anderson said. "I watched from JJ on down, and got to see all of them. To be a part of that is great. I just want to keep the tradition going. Coach Tedford wouldn't have brought me in if he didn't think I could be special."Video.
"I want to bring a solid starter to the team that can help lead to future Pac-12 championships and a national championship."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 5:07 AM PST. Nathan Broussard is young for his grade -- coming in to Berkeley before his 18th birthday -- but he's bull strong and quick. Broussard may not one of the headliners of this class, but he's a worker.
"I'm stoked," Broussard said. "We have so many great defensive players coming up in this class! No. 1 defense in the Pac-12."
Having played defensive end and all the linebacker positions at Plano (Tex.) West, Broussard comes in as a likely fit for the hybrid OLB/DE position in Clancy Pendergast's defense, but his 6-foot-4, 240-pound frame and 30-inch vert say inside linebacker.
"I've been working out so much that I haven't had time to do any maxes or timing. I'm getting faster, stronger and quicker all the time, though," Broussard said. "I'm training at this place called Zoom. I have two trainers there and go four days a week. The other days I'll rest or work out on my own."Videos.
"They have so much quality support for academics at Cal also. I would like to pursue an engineering degree, so their academic excellence is important to me."
Scouting Report: An early entry into Cal -- and the Bears' first commit of 2011 -- three-star prospect Darren Ervin enrolled along with strong safety Avery Walls and offensive tackle Matt Williams at the semester.
Ervin played quarterback, running back and receiver during his first two varsity seasons at Houston (Tex.) Lamar, and will likely see some reps with the running backs this spring, but could very well end up at defensive back.
This season for the Redskins, Ervin completed eight of 17 passes for 61 yards and rushed 114 times for 716 yards and nine TDs. Videos.
"I'm super-excited for it. It's something I've been waiting for, for about a year now, ever since I made the decision to enroll early and take extra classes."
Scouting Report: Four-star prospect Avery Walls first made a visit to Berkeley way back during Spring Camp, when he shared a few words with Moose Jalil on the sidelines. Within weeks, Jalil told BT off the record that Walls was "all Cal." But, not even Walls knew that he was coming to Berkeley until five hours before he committed on Dec. 14. Since then, it's been a whirlwind for No. 181 overall player in the nation and the No. 11 strong safety. On Jan. 8, Walls came out on the winning East side in the US Army All-American Bowl and just four days later, was on a plane to Berkeley.
Walls started classes on Jan. 18, but was soon back on a plane to Texas to participate in today's second annual Team USA vs. The World game in Austin.
"It's definitely a great thing," Walls said. "It's a big accomplishment, and I know that it's being held by the NFL and stuff like that, and there are going to be a lot of great players. It's basically an Olympic all-star game, and I'm proud to represent the United States."
Walls is a hard-hitting safety who will almost certainly compete for playing time as soon as he hits the field. He's lean with broad shoulders and long arms. He may look small at 5-11, 184, but pound-for-pound, no one hits with more gusto than the former ice hockey player. His intelligence and high character should instantly make him a leader both on the field and off. Videos.
"It'll be a whole new deal; defense will be what it's all about. I'm just excited."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:45 AM PST. Four-star US Army All-American Jason Gibson comes in as the No. 9 outside linebacker in the country, and the No. 164-ranked player overall. Gibson is tall and lean with broad shoulders and room to add some muscle. He has the ideal size and strength to play both strongside and weakside backer positions and is fast enough to run sideline-to-sideline. Since he didn't play much linebacker in high school, he may have to redshirt while he is learning the position, but he certainly has the instincts to see some early action if needed.
"I'm sending my letter in at exactly 7:00," Gibson laughed. "I'm happy we've got some other great defensive people on board and I'm ready to get up there with my defensive teammates."
During the US Army All-American Bowl, Gibson sat on the West sideline with future teammates Jordan Rigsbee, Viliami Moala and Stefan McClure, and instantly bonded with them.
"Oh, man, that was crazy; it was a great experience," Gibson said. "I didn't even know any of them before. I mean, I'd known of them, but I didn't really know them. It felt real good to know that these guys are going to be my future teammates. It was a good deal." Videos.
"I'm doing this for my mom, so I can stay for the home-cooked meals."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 8:45 AM PST. Viliami Moala made life difficult on the East offensive line in this year's US Army All-American Bowl, but next year, he'll set his sights on the rest of the Pac-12. Drawn to Cal by defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, Moala held the Bears in his heart long before he made his commitment public on Jan. 8 on the sidelines at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
"Definitely it's the closeness, being close to home and knowing Coach Lupoi as well as my cousin -- Nu'u Tafisi -- does, and he speaks so highly of (Lupoi) all the time," Moala said. "He's a great guy. I hung out with him a little bit during the (Oregon) game, and the intensity he brings to the field is great."
At 6-foot-1, 326 pounds, Moala is a prototypical nose tackle for a 3-4 defensive scheme, and is rated as the No. 8 defensive tackle in the country. Moala is the only Cal commit to be a member of the final Rivals100, coming in at No. 99.
Moala was selected to participate in in today's Team USA vs. The World international prep all-star game in Austin, Tex., alongside Avery Walls, but did not attend, instead staying home to sign his LOI with fellow Grant Pacer, Puka Lopa. Throughout his prep career, Moala has relied as much on his sheer strength as he has the bull rush to get through opposing offensive lines. He'll have to expand his repertoire to really excell at the next level, but he already has the building blocks. He's not as agile as the defensive ends around him, but when the ball is snapped, look out. He drew double teams all season for Sacramento (Calif.) Grant, and while he was able to occupy two blockers with strength alone, once he adds some more conditioning to his workout, he could wind up as an All-Pac-12 selection. Videos.
"I just want to be another big target that has great hands as a possession recriver. I want to make some plays and do whatever's best for the team."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 4:12 AM PST. Maurice Harris is the only straight-up wide receiver in this class, but he won't be the only member of his family on the team. Harris' cousins Keenan Allen and Zach Maynard are already on the roster, with Maynard having perhaps the inside track to get the starting nod in 2011.
"It's going to be exciting; I can't wait," Harris said. "I've been looking forward to it for a long time, now. I'm just ready to get out there and start catching balls from him."
A three-star prospect out of Greensboro (NC) Northern Guilford, Harris is ranked as the No. 52 wide out in the 2011 class. Being on the East Coast, Harris is planning on sending his National Letter of Intent in to the Cal offices as early as possible, which means that the Bears coaching staff is going to have to wait by the fax machine at 4:00 AM PST.
Checking in at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Harris has put on some muscle since we last saw him at the Bears' three-day summer camp on June 21 -- the same day he committed.
"This past season, we went 14-2 and won the state championship," Harris said. "I got the MVP of the state championship game. I had three catches for around 90 yards and two touchdowns, and I had an interception on defense, playing corner." Videos.
"I feel really honored to be a part of this. Being with all of these guys is just going to make me better as a player."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 8:15 AM PST. Hailing from Ventura (Calif.) St. Bonaventure, three-star Jalen Jefferson comes in as the No. 41 athlete in the nation, and will be playing linebacker for the Bears.
"I'll be sending my letter in right away, at 7:01," Jefferson said on Monday. "I'll probably play that outside linebacker-predator position that Mychal (Kendricks) played last year."
At 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Jefferson is taller than his official visit player host Kendricks, but he still needs to put on some muscle. Don't be surprised if he redshirts in 2011.
"I can't wait," Jefferson laughed. "I honestly just can't wait. I'm most excited for just getting experience playing in college. I want to get that over with! Get those first-game jitters out!" Video.
"I'm glad that I sat down and made my decision. I know it's the right one, and I can't wait to go out to California to pursue my career."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 5:09 AM PST. Checking in at 6-foot, 200 pounds with exceptional speed and not an ounce of fat on him, three-star Daniel Lasco will team with fellow 2011 recruits Brendon Bigelow and C.J. Anderson as one of the most highly-touted Cal recruiting combos at the running back position since Shane Vereen and Jahvid Best came in together. With uncertainty at the starting spot, all three could see snaps this season.
"I can't wait to work with the best that the country has to offer," Lasco said. "I'm going to go out there and become great friends with the other two backs in the class and see what we can do."
Lasco rushed 101 times for 837 yards and 12 touchdowns as a senior for The Woodlands (Tex.) Highlanders. As a junior, he ran 216 times for 1,520 yards and 17 TDs while adding five catches for 127 yards and two scores. Lasco has excellent speed with a reported 4.3-4.4-second 40 time and has great hands for when he's split out wide. His lateral quickness could wrangle him kick return duties down the road, as well. Look for him to follow the Jahvid Best model by seeing early action as a gunner on punts and kickoffs. Video.
"I want to bring some play-making ability, always have my assignments down and just fly to the ball."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:33 AM PST. Yet another of Cal's 2010 All-American recruits, four-star cornerback Stefan McClure out of Vista (Calif.) High turned in a key 18-yard interception return in the second quarter of the US Army All-American Bowl which helped to set up a field goal for the West. McClure is lightning-quick, has great instincts and possesses a strong nose for the ball.
The key turn in McClure's recruitment came during the week of the All-American Bowl, when his former recruiter at Colorado, coach Ashley Ambrose, came on board to coach the Bears' secondary. Just a few days into his new employment, Ambrose came down to San Antonio to speak a bit with his top target.
"I just saw him at the hotel. I was getting ready to leave already so I didn't really get to talk to him," said McClure. "I saw him and just said a few words to him, but my family and I were going to dinner."
Not that it mattered. Earlier that day, McClure had already told his future teammates and fellow Army All-Americans -- Jordan Rigsbee, Viliami Moala, Avery Walls and Jason Gibson -- that he was Berkeley-bound.
"I kind of did tell them that," he laughs. "They were like, 'Where you going to go?' and I said, 'Don't worry, I'll see you guys at Cal.' It was right around there that I was leaning towards Cal. It was pretty fun, playing and practicing with them. There was tons of energy. We talked a lot throughout the week, so we got a good little friendship going with Big V, Avery, Jason Gibson, it was pretty fun. Especially on defense, those are the guys I'm going to be playing with, so we were with each other every day, had lunch together and everything. It was pretty fun." Videos.
"I'm really excited. I know we're getting top recruits and everything, and I'm just looking forward to being with these guys, coming up in the summertime, meeting them and seeing how great we can be."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 9:50 AM PST. Jordan Morgan could be more aptly described as an "athlete," rather than a pure safety, but even though he can punt, kick, run and throw, the 6-foot, 193-pounder out of Lakeside (Ariz.) Blue Ridge will be playing for Ashley Ambrose in the secondary this fall.
"He's really cool. He had first offered me when I went out to Colorado. I really liked the school and everything, just because of him," Morgan said. "He was a great guy, he worked me out for probably about 20 minutes and he showed me around himself. I thought a lot of him when I left Colorado, and I'm just really excited that now he's over at Cal. I really liked Coach (Al) Simmons, too, and I'm sad to see him gone, but I'm excited that Coach Ambrose is going to be the new secondary coach."
Morgan is also one of only two players today that will be signing two Letters of Intent for the Bears.
"Tomorrow, we're meeting at the school at 7:00 AM," he said on Tuesday night. "I had met with Coach Tedford, Ashley Ambrose and Coach Pendergast last week, and they told me that I need to fax my paper in around 7:01, so I'm going to go to the school early in the morning tomorrow morning, and my mom and I are going to sign the papers and fax it over to the coaching staff. That'll be the first one I sign, and then I'll sign a second one at a conference at like 11:30, and it's going to be in the library so people can come and see it. There are going to be newspaper reporters there to take pictures showing me signing my scholarship papers. It'll be a prop, and a nice one to hang on the wall."
Morgan has been clocked at 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash, has a max bench press of 305 and a max squat of 525. Even with all that strength and speed, though, his biggest attribute is his noggin. What kind of kid says he wants to be an optometrist at the age of 17? Jordan Morgan. In fact, it was one of the big reasons that he committed to the Bears less than 24 hours after receiving his offer this summer.
Morgan is a tremendous all-around athlete with loose hips and good instincts at safety. His knowledge of all three phases of the game should help him to see some early playing time on special teams and by the time he hits the field as a more full-time contributor on defense, his experience as a quarterback will be of great help. Videos.
"I'm really stoked. We've got a great class coming in, and we had a bunch of guys at the Army game. I think we've got a really solid class and I'm just excited to get out of my hometown, get to meet a bunch of people and have a good time."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:45 AM PST. With a brother already on the offensive line and a father who's send more than his fair share of Butte College athletes to Cal -- including Super Bowl QB Aaron Rodgers -- it didn't take long for Jordan Rigsbee to end his recruitment and commit to the Bears.
Even though his original recruiter -- Steve Marshall -- has moved on to Colorado, Rigsbee has already formed a strong bond with his future coach, newly-hired Jim Michalczik.
"He came out to see me a few weeks ago and he's been calling me and stuff, so I've gotten to talk to him quite a bit," Rigsbee said. "I knew him before, because he was the one who recruited my brother, and now that he's come down to talk to me, I'm pretty excited. He's a good guy. I like him. He's going to work us hard, but I think it'll help us win. That's the most important thing."
Since committing, Rigsbee has been around campus quite a bit, whether it was to attend camps or just to see his big bro Tyler. The whole Rigsbee clan made the trek out to San Antonio for the US Army All-American Bowl, only to see Jordan come down with a 103-degree fever. But, as the No. 4 offensive lineman in the 2011 class, Rigsbee fought through it to play in the game itself.
"I came all the way out here and I wasn't about to sit here and mope," he said with his everpresent smile. "I just tried to make the best out of it, play well and play mad."
And playing mad is one of Rigsbee's most notable features. Despite an affable and friendly comportment, when the 6-foot-4, 275-pound offensive guard hears the whistle blow, he is an absolute monster. If he were an animal, Rigsbee says, he'd be a rhinoceros, and it's quite fitting. Rigsbee is aggressive, quick and strong with great explosion and hand-placement. He's also a top-notch student of the game, to boot, with the benefit of a father who's been coaching linemen since long before he was born.
For a young man who says his proudest moment is seeing his brother take the field for the first time as a Bear, signing a National Letter of Intent to play for Cal is going to be a close second.
"It might be up there," Rigsbee said. "(Wednesday) is going to be a big day for me. I'm having a bunch of friends and family over to the house and it'll just be a fun day."
Rigsbee will try to get his letter in at 7:01 AM, and then will have a get-together at noon at his home in Chico, Calif., much like his future roommate Jordan Morgan. Videos.
"When I first visited, when I was first there, I felt like I was home. There was a lot of debating that last week between them and a few schools, but I knew in my heart that I wanted to be at Cal."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 9:30 AM PST. Four-star strongside defensive end Brennan Scarlett will play both D-end and outside linebacker when he gets to Cal. As the No. 138 player in the Rivals250, he brings a lot of tools to the table, including versatility and a very high football IQ.
"I played outside linebacker my freshman year when I was brought up (to varsity), but I've played middle linebacker the whole time, and D-end," Scarlett said.
Though a broken collarbone kept him out of the US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio, he was still able to firm up his decision while speaking with the other future Bears in attendance.
"I actually met Vei (Moala) when we were on our visits to USC, and then also at the All-American game," said Scarlett. "I was able to talk to him for a little bit. A bunch of the Cal guys were all sitting together on the bench, and I was talking with all of them. It helped me a lot."
The son of a former BYU track athlete Paul Scarlett, Brennan already knows how to train hard. Following a torn ACL during his junior season, Scarlett was able to get his 40 time down to 4.6 seconds, quite a feat for a 6-foot-5, 255-pounder. When he's healthy, Scarlett is a game-changer on defense with a lot of lateral quickness. Videos.
"It's going to be a challenge for me, but I thrive on challenges. Whatever challenges they throw at me, I'm going to take them and take full advantage of it, whatever's put in front of me. I'm going to work hard on the field, off the field, the classroom, whatever they ask me to do, I'll do.
Scouting Report: With the Bears in dire need of offensive tackles, junior transfer and early-enrollee Matt Williams could pay immediate dividends.
"(Getting to start) had something to do with it, but not as much as the comfort level I had there with Coach Tedford and all the other coaches and the other guys -- I got along with them pretty well," Williams said. "All the schools I was looking at were pretty short at tackle, so anywhere I was going, the tackle depth was shallow. It came down to the comfort level, and that's just where I could see myself playing."
The native of Liverpool, England came to the US initially to play basketball, but since then, he's grown from a 6-foot-7, 215-pound center into a hulking 300-pounder with quick feet, long arms and a boat-load of athleticism. His strength is in pass protection, where his basketball agility really pays off. He's also been quite the quick study under North Dakota State College of Science coach Mike Shafer, and was ranked as a four-star prospect and the No. 13 junior college prospect in the Rivals.com JC Top 50 after having only played the game for three years.
"I've learned a lot about reading defenses, the defensive line and linebackers. I've learned a lot about technique-we've really worked on my technique-and it's 100 percent better than it was," Williams said. "(Shafer) sits down with me after practices and walk-throughs and stuff, and will show me how and what I'm doing wrong. We'll sit there for hours and hours, just watching myself play and how I'm doing things right and how I'm doing things wrong, and he'll correct them there and then. We'll get onto the practice field and he'll just keep reminding me what I've been doing wrong."
Coming in early will be especially important for the big man with three years to play two, as he grasps the offensive concepts and learns from former Oakland Raiders OL coach Jim Michalczik.
"It's going to be great. I can't wait for the competition. We have such a good class this year, so I know there's going to be a lot of competition."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:16 AM PST. Three-star cornerback Joel Willis was initially committed to Washington, but opened his recruitment back up early in the process to explore his options. When he sends his LOI in at 7:01 AM, it will be the end to a long journey.
"I'm really super-excited, but the word I'd use is 'relieved,'" he laughed.
Willis has been digitally clocked as fast as 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash and is a top-flight track athlete.
"I'm trying to go to state this year," he said. "I do the 100, the 200, the 4x100 and the 4x400. My favorite is the 4x100. I like the team aspect of it."
The 5-foot-10.5, 190-pounder boasted a 4.2 GPA in his junior year and currently has a 4.0 as he prepares for his final semester at Garden Grove (Calif.) Pacifica.
"I'm just too excited," Willis said. "I just want to go to college right now."
"I feel like their program is on the rise and a lot of people don't know about their recruiting classes they've had coming in. They're going to be a great program."
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 6:04 AM PST. Richard Rodgers will come back to his father's old stomping grounds when he arrives in Berkeley, but he'll have to wait a year to play on the same field where Papa Bear played a key role in The Play.
"I wanted to follow in my dad's footsteps and wanted to be in a place where I felt comfortable," Rodgers said. "I overall liked the situation Cal has to offer."
Rodgers is rated as the No. 24 tight end in the 2011 class and is the No. 3 overall player in the state of Massachusetts. This season, Rodgers led 12-1 Shrewsbury St. John's by accounting for 13.3 points per game. He threw three passes and completed two for 89 yards, rushed seven times for 61 yards and a touchdown and caught 65 passes for 1,064 yards and 16 touchdowns -- all team-highs. Video.
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 8:47 AM PST. BearTerritory broke the news of Puka Lopa's commitment on Tuesday afternoon, and he is expected to add depth to the already-stout defensive line class if he doesn't slide over to play linebacker, at 6-foot-3, 255 pounds.
A teammate of Viliami Moala at Sacramento (Calif.) Grant, Lopa recorded a team-high 1.5 sacks per game (21 on the season), 128 tackles and forced five fumbles.
Lopa is a three-star prospect ranked as the No. 34 strongside defensive end by Rivals.com and had offers from Oregon State, San Diego State and Washington State.
Scouting Report: Actual LOI time: 7:13 AM PST. The first real surprise of the 2011 signing class is Kameron Jackson. Jackson is the No. 44-rated cornerback in the 2011 class and the No. 54 player in California, hailing from Long Beach Poly, the alma mater of Kaelin Clay and DeSean Jackson.
Jackson had been committed to Washington since early April, but earlier in January decided to open his recruitment back up, adding the Bears, whom he had visited in December. Though he reaffirmed his commitment on Jan. 21, he was clearly enamored with the Bears.
Jackson is a 5-foot-9, 175-pound defensive back prospect and will likely stay at cornerback, given the lack of depth at the position. As a senior, he had five picks that he returned for 115 yards while also adding a fumble recovery and 45 tackles on defense. He also returned six kicks for 109 yards. Video.
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