Saturday, February 27, 2010

SF Chronicle: 4-3 or 3-4? New coordinator is flexible

Ron Kroichick


Clancy Pendergast, Cal's defensive coordinator, likes the 3-4 alignment - but he's also not wedded to the concept.  That became clear Thursday in Pendergast's first interview since his hiring at Cal. The Bears switched from the 4-3 to the 3-4 two years ago, with mixed results so far.  "I don't want to be pigeonholed," Pendergast told a handful of reporters at Memorial Stadium. "You have to have a little of both. ... Based on the number of athletes we have at linebacker, (3-4) is something that might fit the guys we have. Spring ball will give us a better idea of what we can sink our teeth into."

Pressed on his plans, Pendergast later said, "My background in the NFL has been geared to the 3-4 alignment. I think it allows you to have more athletes on the field, and you can be more multiple (in formations) depending on the outside pass rushers."  Cal's defensive philosophy is relevant, and not only because the Bears struggled on that side of the ball last season. They also targeted linebackers in their recruiting - and landed one of the top groups in the country, highlighted by five-star prospect Chris Martin.  The Bears begin spring practice March 11, so Pendergast is scrambling to prepare. The Raiders hired him as a defensive assistant earlier this month, a position he held for less than two weeks - until Jeff Tedford tapped him last week to replace Bob Gregory as defensive coordinator.  It's a significant hire, especially because Gregory is the only defensive coordinator Tedford has had in his eight seasons at Cal. Pendergast, 42, spent six seasons as an NFL defensive coordinator, five with Arizona (2004-08) and then last year with Kansas City. He expects some transition in dealing with student-athletes again - he coached in college in the early 1990s - but otherwise figures tackling is still tackling.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Does Cable hate Jeff Tedford?

Does Tom Cable hate Jeff Tedford now?  In December of 2008, assistant offensive line coach James Cregg abruptly bolted the Raiders to join Lane Kiffin’s staff at the University of Tennessee, and Cable wasn’t a bit amused.  “I’m pissed,” the Raiders head coach told reporters after learning of Cregg’s defection. “That’s the best way to put it. Quite frankly, that’s the only way to put it.”

Cable went on to explain that he felt it was disloyal for Cregg to abandon the Raiders in the midst of a season, and inappropriate for Kiffin to make overtures at that time.  Now another assistant has flown the coop: Clancy Pendergast, hired just two weeks ago to some vague and unstated defensive position. Pendergast was Arizona’s defensive coordinator when the Cardinals reached the Super Bowl in 2008, but had been fired there and in Kansas City. Cal hired Pendergast Friday as its defensive coordinator.  As much fun as it would be to see Cable and Tedford engage in a war or words — The Debate-y on I-880? — this case is different for a few reasons. One, Cregg directly helped Cable with his pet project, the offensive line, which must have made the perceived disloyalty that much more galling.   Two, Pendergast barely had time to discern the scent of Al Davis’ cologne in the hallways on Harbor Bay Parkway, let alone cement relationships with staff and players; his departure may hardly be noticed.

Link to rest of article.

Bob Gregory Explains Why he Left Cal

Link to SF Gate article, where you can see the video of the interview.

Excerpt of article:

A YouTuber called Okaydo1 found and recorded an interview on a Boise, Idaho radio station where Bob Gregory, Cal Football's now former Defensive Coordinator, got on the radio show and explained in perhaps too much detail why he left UC Berkeley and Cal Football's Defensive Coordinator position for Boise State and an assistant coach position.

Some of the comments Bob Gregory made can be considered as hitting Berkeley and Cal Football Head Coach Jeff Tedford in the rear as he left the door. The full audio of the interview is below.

Here are some of the Bob Gregory comments that stand out to this blogger:

On why he left Cal Berkeley and the defensive coordinator position for an "as yet unnamed defensive staff position" at Boise State:

Well, you know, I think it all comes down to what's important to ya at certain times of your life. And I loved the University of California. We loved California and the Bay Area. It just grew a little bit increasingly hard to have time with my young family. We were willing to maybe give all the title stuff up, so to speak, to come back here so I had more of a chance to raise my boys. So, there are thing in life that are very important, and you've got to make sure you put things in perspective. My wife and I are fired up to be back here. (Bob Gregory was Boise State's Defensive Coordinator in 2001.)

Bob Gregory said he has "two little boys: an eight-year-old and a five-year-old". Gregory then continues on why Boise State was the place he went to:

I would not have gone anywhere in America. A couple big reasons: Chris Peterson, the head football coach here. He and I go way back. I know what kind of guy he is. I know what kind of program he runs. I know he'a a family guy. I think you can win a lot of football games, as they've done here, and also have time for your family. And some times as football coaches we have a tendency to work, just to work. I think what they do here, is they work smart. And obviously, being in Boise, a great place to raise your family, and maybe have a little bit more room in your house, and being 10 minutes away from work - all those. You know it isn't one thing in particular, just a lot of things that add up to it.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Gregory Heads to Boise State



California is looking for a new defensive coordinator.  Bob Gregory, who's been at Cal since coach Jeff Tedford was hired in 2002, is leaving to become a defensive assistant at Boise State, where he coached before landing in Berkeley. "I appreciate Bob's dedication and loyalty to the Cal football program over the last eight seasons," Tedford said in a statement. "This was coach Gregory's decision all the way to make what he feels is the best move for his family. I admire Bob both as a professional and a friend, and respect his value of family. I support his decision to do what's best for his family and wish them all the best as they move forward."  Despite welcoming back eight starters from a strong 2008 defense, Cal ranked seventh in the Pac-10 in scoring (25.5 ppg) and total defense (379 yards per game). Tedford has said this offseason the Bears will look at adopting more aggressive defensive schemes.  It's not clear what role Gregory will play at Boise State. The Broncos recently lost their defensive coordinator, Justin Wilcox, to Tennessee, but Pete Kwiatkowski was promoted from defensive line coach to coordinator. Gregory's specialty in the past has been the secondary, but Marcel Yates is the Broncos secondary coach.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Times Herald-Record: Cal coach beats drum for ex-Kingston star Edmond


With his speed, Coleman Edmond can beat defensive backs deep. He's tough, has good hands, but what makes Edmond so dangerous is his ability to make big plays after the catch. To turn a 10-yard slant into a game-breaking touchdown.  University of California-Berkeley football coach Jeff Tedford hopes Edmond, who played quarterback and running back for Kingston in 2005, can exploit Pac-10 defenses like that for the next two seasons.  "We're very excited about bringing Coleman in," Tedford said. "I feel he brings a lot of play-making ability. What we saw on film, his skills, his speed, he's something we are excited about in this offense. What he can do after the catch is eye-opening. There is no question he can make plays at a high level."  Edmond, a wide receiver and kickoff returner, signed a letter of intent to play for Cal last week. He played for Pierce Community College outside Los Angeles last year and was named the Southern California Association offensive player of the year. Edmond made 37 catches for Pierce, including nine for touchdowns, putting up 1,584 all-purpose yards. He also returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns.

Tedford, 67-35 with five bowl wins in eight seasons at Cal, expects Edmond to be one of the four receivers he rotates in his pro style offense this fall. Edmond, who is 6-foot-1, 210 pounds, will also compete for the starting kickoff returner job.  "If Coleman performs, he will see a lot of playing time," said Tedford, who could not talk about Edmond until after he signed because of NCAA rules. "We feel he can be effective in any part of the passing game. Coleman is our only junior college recruit. So we have that immediate need for him to contribute. We are not going to need the time we might with a high school recruit." As for Edmond, he's ready to make lots of big plays for his new coach.  "That's all I ever think about, hitting the home run, the big play," Edmond said. "I get over- confident and want to get 400 all-purpose yards on one play. I have to realize it's one play at a time. I just want to keep working hard and be in top shape for the season."

Santa Rosa Press Democrat: Tedford is a "Middle-Tier" Coach



Jeff Tedford: He is definitely a middle-tier coach and he is on the way down. He hasn’t been conference Coach of the Year since 2004. He is a disappointment because he once was so good — wow, was he good! — and he’s not so good anymore. His teams now have mediocre records. Last season his Bears were just 5-4 in the Pac-10 and got walloped in the whachamacallit Poinsettia Bowl.  He is a quarterback guru who can’t develop a quarterback. His teams often start the season ranked nationally and fall on their faces. This makes him seem like a national flop. You almost get the feeling he’s used up his time at Cal and the university should consider looking elsewhere.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sports Illustrated: After helping Cal land elite class, Lupoi named recruiter of the year has a long article about Tosh Lupoi.  Read it here.

Transcript of Live Chat with Tedford: QB Competition is On


Jeff Tedford: Hi, this is Coach Tedford. I'm here and ready to start answering your questions. There are a ton of questions, so I won't be able to get to all of them, but I am going try to touch on some of the most common questions. Thanks for your support and Go Bears!!!

Steve - Livermore: Is the QB position wide open for 2010?

Jeff Tedford: We might as well get started with one of the most asked questions. The answer is yes, the quarterback position will be open and competitive through the spring, summer and fall. That being said, I would like everyone to understand that whoever plays quarterback will not be perfect. There are many complications involved in playing that position. It's very important that the entire offense functions at a high level for the quarterback to accomplish his job. It's imperative that all positions on the offense continue to improve so that whichever quarterback plays they can perform at a high level.

Jim Faulkner (Castro Valley, CA): What are you going to do to improve the special teams, especially the kickoff and kick returns?

Jeff Tedford: I agree that we need improvement in those areas and have started by making a staff change to incorporate new philosophies and enthusiasm. We need to continue to improve our consistency by our kickers so that all other players on that team have a chance to be successful, therefore creating positive field position for the offense or defense.

Jim Davis - Alameda: Will you and your defensive coordinator use a more aggressive defensive scheme this year? The zone defense and 3 man rush with an occasional blitz was largely ineffective in putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks last year. Isn't it time to try more confusing blitz packages with some man-to-man secondary coverage since the passive system clearly didn't work last year?

Jeff Tedford: The answer is yes. In reflecting on last season, we agree we need to be more aggressive as a philosophy. While there are times to use a three-man rush, our mindset next season will be more aggressive.

Ross (Portland): Hey Coach Tedford, big fan of yours here. What is the main focus this spring regarding improving the passing game? The offensive line protection? WR route running? QB accuracy?

Jeff Tedford: Thank you for your support. The focus will be all of the above. To have an effective passing game includes protection -- and that includes offensive line, tight ends and running backs -- route continuity, quarterback decision-making and accuracy. We will focus on all of them.

Evan Pollack, Bryn Mawr: Can Cal be in the Rose Bowl in the next 5 years?

Jeff Tedford: That's a great question ... and one that's been asked for the last half-century. In all seriousness, there is a burning desire from everyone in this program -- coaches and players -- to accomplish that. This past season for the first time in eight years, a team other than USC represented the Pac-10 in the Rose Bowl. Even though over the past eight seasons we are the second-winningest program in the Pac-10, which has been an admirable accomplishment by our players, we are working harder than ever to accomplish the goal.

Mark (Martinez, CA): Will the Memorial Stadium rennovations be completed by the beginning of next football season? Ive heard rumors of possibly Cal needing to play home games at the Oakland Coliseum. Thank you and GO BEARS.

Jeff Tedford: The Memorial Stadium renovations are moving rapidly and are very exciting. The goal is to occupy the first phase [Student-Athlete High Performance Center] in July of 2011. We will play our games away from Memorial Stadium in 2011, while the second phase is completed to return to Memorial Stadium for the 2012 season. Where we will play in 2011 is yet to determined.

Greg SF: How strong does academics play in attracting recruits? Cal is more like Stanford than USC when it comes to the academics. How do you present this to a recruit who may not be so confident in making it in the classroom at Cal?

Jeff Tedford: Academics play a vital role in recruiting. The Cal degree will last the student-athletes a lifetime. The focus is to combine successful academics, athletics and a social environment that Cal provides. While competitive in the classroom, we dedicate many hours of support, and a great deal of resources, to help make the classroom experience successful. It is very gratifying as a coach to see the growth and development that these young people have with their confidence and self-esteem that is gained from their academic successes.

Thomas, SF, CA: Coach Tedford, Can you address the skeptics who think that this chat is not live, and that all questions were answered ahead of time? Thanks!

Jeff Tedford: Yes, it is live and it's lunchtime! My media guy has me handcuffed to the chair to answer all the skeptics. Just kidding. I feel like it is important to interact with you all from time to time.

Greg F. (San Anselmo): With the inclusion of the 2010 signing class this past week, is this the most recruits by percentage to sign from outside the state of California? How did you go about securing such a class? Go Bears!

Jeff Tedford: We are fired up about this year's recruiting class. Our recruiting philosophy is still to focus on the Western United States and only spend our time and resources on national recruits who have an interest in Cal and are good fits for our program. Our staff works very hard during the recruiting process, as did our players do a nice job of creating a positive and welcoming environment for the recruits.

Joe Davis (Honolulu): How can we fans help the most?

Jeff Tedford: The most positive way the fans can help is by providing unconditional support for the program. I have noticed in this day and age of blogging, message boards, etc., that people are eager to give negative opinions. While I understand the frustration from time to time, there is nothing positive that comes from that. It doesn't make for a positive environment for our players and coaches, and only provides fuel for negativity in recruiting, which is used against us. So if you want to help, stay positive. It will go much further than the negativity.

Jeff Tedford: I want to thank all of you for your interest and passion for Cal football. We've had nearly 300 questions and I'm sorry I can't answer all of them, but I tried to touch on some of the more consistently asked ones. Moving forward we are going to continue to evaluate and focus on consistency, execution, leadership and enthusiasm for this upcoming season. Please know that we have strong dedication and passion to reach our goals and to make you all proud.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Cal Defensive Coach Nmaed Recruiter of the Year named former Cal player Tosh Lupoi as the recruiter of the year. 


Friday, February 05, 2010

Contra Costa Times: Cal football program papers over its problems with a good recruiting haul

Cam Inman

BRAVO, Cal, bravo.  The Bears' recruiting haul Wednesday gave coach Jeff Tedford's squadron the shot in the arm it needed, perhaps more so than any other football program in the country. A surprising slew of top-notch prospects — from across the nation, mind you — signed up for Berkeley sojourns despite the Bears' recent struggles. Yep, nothing like a quality signing day to administer an intoxicating feeling of hope. Will it wear off like a five-hour energy drink? Time will tell. But now is a time for the Bears to bask in all the national attention their class is garnering.

Tedford beamed at his incoming 20-member troop. He did not strut around like the big man on campus. Rather, he served as a proud patriarch of a program primed to rise from the embers of another unfulfilling season. "I feel great about this class," Tedford said convincingly while picking up a sheet of paper listing Cal's recruits — most notably wide receiver/safety Keenan Allen and linebacker Chris Martin. Tedford then moved that paper to the side of a table and referred to the invisible elephant in the room: the Bears' 2009 woes. "You look at that and say, 'This stinks.' "

Link to rest of article.

Hudson Valley Times Herald: Kingston's Edmond finally lands at Cal

Coleman Edmond watched the opposing team send kickoffs out of bounds. They kicked the ball to the other side of the field and squibbed kicks short. Anything to keep the ball away from Edmond, a former Kingston standout.  Why?  "To be honest, Coleman Edmond is the best junior college athlete in the country," said Efrain Martinez, who coached Edmond last fall at Pierce Community College outside Los Angeles. "He's that good. With his athleticism, he's literally a man amongst boys. He did it all. Coleman made me look like a real good coach."

This fall, Edmond hopes to make University of California-Berkeley coach Jeff Tedford look good, too. Edmond signed a letter of intent on Wednesday and will receive a full scholarship to play at Cal, a Pac-10 school that costs about $50,000 annually. This was some trip from Ulster County to northern California.  Edmond, who played quarterback and running back at Kingston in 2005, left the school to attend Harmony Community prep school in Cincinnati. He accepted a scholarship offer from Division I-AA Wagner and red-shirted in the fall of '07.

Edmond left Wagner after a year and came up with a plan to go West. Edmond, a wide receiver and kickoff returner, enrolled at UCLA in the fall of '08 and ran on the track team that spring to try to get the attention of UCLA's football staff. He was a standout sprinter on the track team at Kingston. "I always wanted to go to a bigger school," said Edmond, who is 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. "I couldn't just sit back, I needed to follow my dream. I was just trying to get to the top, and you only live once."  While at UCLA, running the 100- and 200-meter dashes, Edmond walked into the Bruins' director of football operations office and told Steven Radicevic he wanted to walk on. According to Edmond, Radicevic laughed at him.

Link to rest of article.

SJ Mercury: Quotes from Tedford's Press Conference

Tedford’s general statement:

“I’m really excited. Every year you go in thinking it’s a great class. I would have to tell you, though, this class to me is one that from top to bottom is as solid as any class we’ve ever had here.  “There was a lot of focus put on the linebacking corps and the wide receivers, and that was part of it. But I really feel like they’re great kids. They have a lot potential, a lot of them, to contribute right away to the program. Our coaches worked very, very hard, and I want to give our coaches a lot of credit for landing this class and then also our players, because I think your players, ultimately, when prospects come on campus, they’re the ones who really end up creating the environment for the kids to feel comfortable. Our players and our coaches did a phenomenal job with recruiting these players.”

On how current players affect the recruiting process:

“They’re such a part of it and I make a big emphasis on that with them, that, `Hey, we’re having recruits in, we need you guys to step up and create the atmosphere that these guys can look at to see if this is the right fit for them.’ So, when it comes to signing day, they’re always very eager to see what happened. Just walking through the hall, seeing the all the guys … it provides a boost for the program to know that, whatever we’re ranked in the class … that’s pretty impressive and the kids take a great deal of pride in that as well, and are looking forward to welcoming these guys into our program.”

Link to rest of article.

ESPN Recruiting Wrap Up: California


California's class of 20 ranks 15th in the nation and includes three ESPNU 150 players.  Coach Jeff Tedford said the class was "as solid as any class we've ever had here."  Top prospects: Keenan Allen, who decommitted from Alabama, was a highly rated safety that Tedford said would play on both sides of the ball, though primarily at receiver. Tedford compared Chris Martin to former Bears outside linebacker Zack Follett. Cecil Whiteside is another guy who figures to challenge for playing time at linebacker. Defensive end Gabe King also figures to be in the mix early.

Under the radar: The Bears need help at receiver and Tedford called Terrance Montgomery "one of the more underrated guys that we have in our class." Tevin Carter also figures to be in the mix at receiver. Tedford gushed about running back Trajuan Briggs and compared tight end Jacob Wark to former Bear Craig Stevens.

Issues? Hard to find many problems with this class. There's no obvious, run-stuffing noseguard for the Bears' 3-4 scheme. Adrian Lee is the only cornerback, and he played tailback in high school.

Notes: Linebacker Chris McCain most likely will grayshirt in order to get his academics in order ... Receiver Coleman Edmond will get a look returning punts and kicks ... Quarterback Zach Maynard, a transfer from Buffalo, is Allen's brother and they were a package deal ... Quarterback Austin Hinder is the grandson of Cal Hall of Famer Jim Hanifan.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cal Press Release: Cal's Signing Class Features 10 All Americans; Ranked No. 11 by Rivals


California signed 10 high school All-Americans to National Letters of Intent to highlight the arrival of 20 student-athletes to the Cal football program for the 2010 season, head coach Jeff Tedford announced Wednesday. As of publication time, Cal's 2010 signing class ranks as high as No. 11 nationally by Rivals with the Golden Bears posting the seventh-highest ranking according to the number of average stars per signee (3.58). ESPN lists Cal at No. 20, while Scout has the Bears at No. 29.

"We feel like we have addressed a lot of our needs and are very excited about the 2010 recruiting class," said Tedford. "We feel like the class has a good balance of offense and defense, size and athleticism and speed. We're looking forward to this group coming in and being able to compete early to make contributions to next year's team."   "Our coaches did an excellent job of working very hard throughout the year to create great relationships with these young men," added Tedford. "We welcome all of these student-athletes into the Cal family and are looking forward to many successful days ahead with this class."

Six of Cal's recruits also rank among the nation's Top 100 players overall by at least one recruiting service, while another four are among the country's Top 300 players.  The group is balanced with 11 offensive players, eight defensive players and one that is expected to play both ways in five-star Parade All-American WR/S Keenan Allen (Greensboro, NC/Northern Guilford HS). LB Chris Martin (Oakland, CA/Grandview (Colo.) HS) is Cal's other five-star recruit and joined Allen on the prestigious Parade All-America team in 2009.  Allen, who is listed as the No. 5 player in the county by Rivals, recorded 145 tackles and eight interceptions in 2009. He also excelled offensively, scoring an astounding 53 touchdowns as a prep senior and had 976 yards receiving.  Martin is the nation's top-ranked outside linebacker according to Scout and ranks as high as No. 7 among all players in the SuperPrep Elite 50. He recorded 97 tackles, 11.0 sacks and five forced fumbles as a senior in 2009.

Other 2009 All-Americans joining the Bears include WR Kaelin Clay (Long Beach, CA/Poly HS), OL Alex Crosthwaite (San Diego, CA/Cathedral Catholic HS), LB Nick Forbes (Frederick, MD/Governor Thomas Johnson HS), QB Austin Hinder (Steamboat Springs, CO/Steamboat Springs HS), DE Gabe King (Eugene, OR/South Eugene HS), LB Chris McCain (Greensboro, NC/Northern Guilford HS), LB Cecil Whiteside (Newport Beach, CA/Newport Harbor HS) and LB David Wilkerson (Danville, CA/Monte Vista HS). Six of the incoming high school All-Americans - Allen, Forbes, Hinder, King, Martin and Whiteside - played in the 2010 U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

The Bears have 11 members of the class least four stars by at least one recruiting service. In addition to the five stars garnered by Allen, Hinder and Martin, the Bears added eight four-star recruits in Adcock, Carter, Crosthwaite, Forbes, King, McCain, Whiteside and Wilkerson.   Cal also continued its strong national recruiting presence with 12 of the 20 newcomers listing a hometown outside the state of California. Colorado, Oregon, Maryland, Nevada, New York, North Carolina and Texas are all represented along with the Golden State.

"As we continue to have success on the field our national recruiting efforts have also become more successful," explained Tedford. "We feel like there is an interest from national recruits in the University of California, both in our academics and in our football program's potential. It is evident by the number of out-of-state players that we have signed in this year's class."

Cal's group of linebackers is ranked No. 2 nationally by Rivals as Martin is joined by four other All-Americans in Forbes, McCain, Whiteside and Wilkerson. Forbes, who is ranked as the country's No. 2 inside linebacker by Rivals, posted 114 stops and 15.0 tackles for loss in his final prep campaign. McCain ranks as the nation's No. 10 linebacker by Tom Lemming, while Whiteside (108 tackles in 2009) checks in at No. 38 on the Rivals250 list and is the nation's No. 10 outside linebacker according to ESPN. Wilkerson is Rivals' No. 6 inside linebacker and checks in at No. 230 on the Rivals250 list.

King picked up All-American status despite playing in just one game as a senior due to a knee injury, and his signing gives the Bears a No. 10 ranking at the defensive end position according to Rivals.

In addition to the six All-Americans, the defense will add DB Michael Coley (Hyattsville, MD/DeMatha Catholic HS) and CB Adrian Lee (Dallas, TX/Skyline HS). Coley posted 65 tackles and 20 passes defensed as a senior, while Lee had 21 passes defensed and 39 tackles.

Hinder ranks as high as No. 5 among pro-style quarterbacks according to Tom Lemming and is his No. 38 player overall. He completed 170 of 286 passes (59.4%) for 2,205 yards and 25 TDs with only six interceptions as a senior when he also was named the 2009 Gatorade Player of the Year for Colorado.  Clay, who is Rivals' No. 53 receiver nationally, split time between receiver and running back as a senior and combined for 1,572 rushing and receiving yards and 15 TDs (eight receiving, seven rushing).

Offensively, the Bears landed three wide receivers in addition to Allen and Clay with the signings of Tevin Carter (Los Angeles, CA/Santee HS), Coleman Edmond (Kingston, NY/Pierce College/Kingston HS) and Terrance Montgomery (Los Angeles, CA/West Adams Prep) to rank No. 14 at the position according to Rivals. Carter, called "one of the fastest players in California" by Scout, is the No. 17 receiver nationally by Rivals and also checks in at No. 130 on the Rivals250 list after totaling 42 receptions for 1,117 yards and eight TDs as a senior. Edmond led all Southern California junior college players with 1,584 all-purpose yards in 2009 to earn Offensive Player of the Year honors for the Southern California Football Association's American Division of the Pacific Conference. Montgomery, the nation's No. 61 wide receiver according to ESPN, hauled in 42 catches for 700 yards and 12 TDs as a senior.

TB Trajuan Briggs (Van Nuys, CA/Birmingham HS) is an early enrollee who will join the team's backfield during 2010 spring workouts. He missed most of 2009 with an ankle injury but ran for 1,513 yards and 21 TDs to earn all-city honors in Los Angeles as a junior in 2008.

TE Jacob Wark (Portland, OR/Jesuit HS), who ranks as high as No. 38 at his position by Scout, joins the squad after catching 32 balls for 421 yards and three TDs as a prep senior.

The team's offensive line will be bolstered by the arrival of All-Americans Adcock (ESPN's No. 9 offensive guard and Scout's No. 18 center) and Crosthwaite (Rivals' No. 26 offensive lineman). Geoffrey Gibson (Las Vegas, NV/Bishop Gorman HS) also ranks as Rivals' No. 35 offensive guard nationally.

Junior QB Zach Maynard, a transfer from Buffalo and the half-brother of Allen, has also accepted a scholarship offer from Cal and will join the team for the 2010 campaign. Maynard was the starting quarterback for the Bulls in 2009, completing 218 of 379 passes (57.5%) for 2,694 yards and 18 TDs with 15 interceptions, while adding 455 yards and one score on the ground. He played his prep football at Grimsley High School (Greensboro, NC), where he passed for 1,635 yards and 20 TDs as a senior to earn all-area and all-conference honors while leading his team to a league title.

Austin Hinder, Colorado's Top Prospect, Chooses Cal

From KVDR Denver – link to article.


“The state's best opted to bolt. Austin Hinder, a quarterback at Steamboat Springs High School, signed today with California. Hinder's grandfather, Jim Hanifan, led the nation in catches as a tight end for the Bears in 1954. Even without the family connection, the choice for Hinder appeared simple.  Cal head coach Jeff Tedford has tutored some of the best quarterbacks in college football during his tenure in the Pac-10 Conference. He developed Aaron Rodgers and Kyle Boller into first round picks. As offensive coordinator at Oregon, he helped Akili Smith become the third overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft. Granted, Boller and Smith were disappointments as pro players but Tedford's reputation should largely be judged on his players' collegiate body of work.  Even if he wanted to go to CU, how could he pass up being mentored by Tedford? The alternative? Go to Boulder and be coached by a man many believe won't be there by the time Hinder is a senior. Elite players want stability. They want to grow and develop into pro players. Hawkins has not shown the ability to do that at CU.

Cal's 2010 Signing Class



1.    Florida

2.    Texas

3.    Auburn

4.    USC

5.    Alabama

6.    LSU

7.    Oklahoma

8.    UCLA

9.    Tennessee

10. Florida State

11. California

12. Penn State

13. Oregon

14. Notre Dame

15. Texas A&M

16. George

17. Clemson

18. Ole Miss

19. West Virginia

20. Michigan

21. Missouri

22. Virginia Tech

23. Nebraska

24. Miami

25. Ohio State

ESPN: Cal's Recruiting Class Moves up to #20

ESPN just moved Cal’s recruiting class form #22 to #20, leaping ahead of Notre Dame and Washington. The Pac-10 teams ahead of Cal are USC at #10, Stanford at #14, and UCLA at #15.


ESPN: Interview with DeSean Jackson About His Signing Day Memories

J.R. Ferguson Picks Louisiana State over Cal

J.R. Ferguson,a 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end from Hargrave Military Academy has announced that he’s headed to LSU.  He was considering both Cal and Miami.

ESPN: Alabama Says No Thanks to Package Deal

Not only is Alabama coach Nick Saban one of the best recruiters in the business, but he's also one of the pickiest when it comes to handing out scholarships.  Keenan Allen, a highly rated receiver/safety prospect from Greensboro, N.C., was one of Alabama's biggest targets this recruiting season and had been committed to the Crimson Tide for some time. But when his half-brother entered the picture, former Buffalo player Zach Maynard, things changed.

Saban wasn't interested in playing two-for-one, at least not when it came to giving out another scholarship in this class. So in one of those strange-but-not-so-uncommon recruiting stories, Allen ended up signing with California on Wednesday and is taking his half-brother with him along with two other players from the Greensboro area.


USA Today: California makes late rush with signings of Keenan Allen and Gabe King

California looks to be one of the big winners on signing day. The Golden Bears have lured five-star defensive back Keenan Allen of Northern Guilford in Greensboro, N.C., to Berkeley. Considered the No. 5 prospect in the country by, Allen was committed to Alabama and also had Clemson as a finalist.  In the end, he chose to join his brother Zach Maynard, who played quarterback for Buffalo this season and is transferring to Cal, and his high school teammate Chris McCain, a linebacker that switched from Oregon to the Golden Bears on Wednesday.  It didn't stop there for Jeff Tedford. He also got the signature of defensive end Gabe King of South Eugene in Eugene, Ore. King is considered the 30th overall prospect by Rivals.


Sports Illustrated: HUGE STEAL FOR CAL FOOTBALL: Keenan Allen Signs with Cal over Alabama


Top safety Keenan Allen originally committed to Alabama, but dropped the Tide for Cal.

Keenan Allen,'s top-ranked safety, has dropped Alabama and signed with Cal. That means a quadruple-dose of good news for the Golden Bears.  Allen, from Greensboro, N.C., is the nation's No. 5 overall prospect according to Rivals. And according to the Greensboro News and Record, Allen will bring some friends with him to Berkeley, including his half-brother, Zach Maynard. Maynard started at quarterback for Buffalo in 2009 but announced he would transfer after Bulls coach Turner Gill left for Kansas. One of Allen's high school teammates, linebacker Chris McCain, also signed with Cal. Another friend, defensive end Gabe King, also signed.

King, ranked No. 30 overall by Rivals, lost an eligibility appeal that would have allowed him to play alongside Allen this past season. North Carolina's high school athletic association banned King from playing in the state after it accused him of supplying a false address for school eligibility purposes. Unable to play in North Carolina, King moved to Eugene, Ore. Though some assumed King would sign with Oregon, plenty of schools kept recruiting him.  Allen originally committed to Alabama, but when he learned the Crimson Tide didn't have room for Maynard, he changed his mind. Now, northern California will have a distinctive North Carolina flavor.  If Cal coach Jeff Tedford is smart, he'll make sure the Golden Bears' training table adds vinegar-based barbecue sauce.

Greensboro News Record: Allen chooses Cal; half-brother, friends going with him

Keenan Allen is headed to the University of California at Berkeley. And he's taking family and friends with him.  The senior football player at Northern Guilford High School signed his national letter of intent with the Pac-10 Conference program this morning in a ceremony in downtown Greensboro.

Joining him will be his half-brother, Zach Maynard, who will transfer from the University of Buffalo; Gabe King, a former Page defensive end who moved to Oregon in September; and Chris McCain, a Northern Guilford teammate.

Allen, a Parade All-America and the News & Record Player of the Year, accounted for 53 touchdowns this season, made 145 tackles and eight interceptions, averaged 43.5 yards per punt and led Northern Guilford to a 12-2 record and its first conference title. He appeared in the U.S. Army All-American Game on national television two weeks ago, forcing two fumbles and nearly running a punt back for a touchdown.  Allen was rated the No. 1 safety in the United States by, No. 5 overall by and No. 33 overall in the ESPNU top 150.

California went 8-5 in 2009 and lost to Utah 37-27 in the Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego. Cal will open the 2010 season at home Sept. 4 against UC Davis.




SF Chronicle: A-list players could upgrade 'D'


Cal fans, weary of watching Washington and Utah players prance into the end zone in the final two games last season, might find solace in this: The Bears landed several potentially dynamic defensive players in their 2010 recruiting class, which they will announce today. The Bears are expected to sign one of the top linebacker groups in the country, highlighted by Chris Martin, who went to Bishop O'Dowd-Oakland before spending his senior season at Grandview High in Aurora, Colo. Martin counts as the most decorated of Cal's 17 recruits, though he could have company.

Gabe King, a highly regarded defensive end from Eugene, Ore., is "99.9 percent" certain to sign with Cal today, according to one source. If Keenan Allen joins King - Allen, the No. 1-ranked safety in the country, apparently is considering Cal after earlier committing to Alabama - then the Bears' class would rise into another realm.  "That would be huge," said Brandon Huffman, West regional manager for "Then it may be one of the best defensive classes in the country, outside of Florida."

King and Allen would lift the Bears into the top 20 nationally. It's an annual exercise in guesswork, of course, but ranks Cal's class at No. 22 in the country. puts the Bears at No. 23 and has them at No. 38.  Part of the ranking is a function of how many scholarships schools have to offer, and Cal will have a smaller class than usual. But the linebackers on their way to Berkeley - namely, Martin, Cecil Whiteside of Newport Beach (Orange County) and David Wilkerson of Monte Vista-Danville - should give the Bears a needed boost.

They struggled to replace pass-rushing linebacker Zack Follett last season, and that's a role Martin could fill quickly. ranked him as the No. 1 prep linebacker in the nation.  "I would expect him to make an immediate impact at any school," Huffman said. "He's been college-ready for two years."

Martin and Whiteside are projected as outside linebackers. Wilkerson is pegged to play inside.  Cal also nabbed a coveted running back in Trajuan Briggs, who originally seemed headed for USC. Briggs had a big junior season at Birmingham High in Lake Balboa (Los Angeles County), then missed most of his senior season because of a foot injury. He enrolled at Cal this semester and will participate in spring practice.  Other notable players expected to sign with the Bears today include quarterback Austin Hinder of Steamboat Springs, Colo., and offensive tackle Alex Crosthwaite of San Diego.

SJ Mercury: Signing day news and notes: Cal's home run, Stanford loses Zumwalt and more


The first item on the docket  is Cal: Signing day has been good to the Bears so far — very, very good.

They reportedly locked up Keenan Allen, the top-ranked safety in the country, in addition to well-regarded defensive end Chris McCain.  In Allen (scholarship offer from Alabama) and OLB Chris Martin, the Bears have two players ranked No. 1 at their position by  I’d imagine Cal’s class will be ranked in the top-12/15/20 nationally when the day is done.

(And I’d encourage everyone to keep ratings, rankings and stars in perspective: They mean something, but they do not mean everything — not close to everything.) 

* The NLI Day news isn’t so good for Stanford: Huntington Beach linebacker Jordan Zumwalt, who committed to Stanford months ago but kept his recruitment open, is signing with UCLA. This is a blow to the Cardinal’s class because he’s a top-notch player and Stanford did a ton of work to get him admitted to school (or so I’ve been told). But it’s not an unexpected blow: Zumwalt had hinted that a change in plans was coming, and Bruins coach Rick Neuheisel is known as a first-rate closer — not a guy you want to be fending off at the last minute.

* Also worth noting: Even though Pete Carroll is gone, USC hasn’t lost its closing ability. The Trojans have received several commitments from four- and five-star prospects in the last 24 hours:  Receiver Markeith Ambles and cornerback Nickell Robey. And I’m guessing there will be more.

Tuscaloosa News: Keenan Allen Drops Tide, Signs With Cal

Turns out the rumor mill and the message boards were right this time. Five-star football prospect Keenan Allen, an elite safety who had verbally committed to Alabama in November, said this morning that he'll attend the University of California at Berkley instead.  In the week leading up to National Signing Day, word began to get out that Allen was considering Clemson. Last weekend, he reportedly visited California with his half-brother, quarterback Zach Maynard, who decided to transfer from the University of Buffalo when head coach Turner Gill took the job as head coach at Kansas.. Penn State was even being mentioned as a possible destination for Allen, the nation's top-rated safety according to recruiting analysts for and

"If Turner Gill doesn't leave Buffalo we aren't having this conversation," said Otis Yelverton, who aided Allen during the recruiting process.  Yelverton said Wednesday that he has received death threats from Alabama football fans.  Allen's mother, Doria Lang, was asked if the family plans to move to California now.  "I don't know that yet," she said.  Lang and Yelverton had a Tuscaloosa News correspondent removed from the restaurant where the signing ceremony was held after the question about the family moving was asked.

Where does this development leave Alabama? Without the 6-foot-2, 194-pound Allen, the national champions slipped to No. 4 in the latest 2010 recruiting class rankings of both and going into signing day. In fact, the latter service inserted archrival Auburn's haul at third overall.

"That'll probably cause the (message) boards to explode," national recruiting analyst Barry Every said before Allen's announcement at a downtown restaurant in Greensboro.

Every, however, said the Crimson Tide should be fine despite the late setback.

"They're pretty stacked at safety, to be honest," he said.  In this year's recruiting class alone, Alabama is bringing in two four-star safeties, in-state prospects Jarrick Williams and Nick Perry. The Tide also snagged five-star cornerback DeMarcus Milliner, who at about 6-2 has a 50-50 chance of moving to free safety, according to Every.  Neither Every nor analyst Chad Simmons could see Alabama head coach Nick Saban going so far as to offer Allen's half-brother a scholarship just to lure the higher-rated player. It's not clear yet how big a factor that relationship was in Allen's decision.  Simmons said he wasn't sure the Alabama coaching staff would "reach" for another prospect just to fill Allen's scholarship spot. "Bama's going to be satisfied with their class even if they land nobody else," Simmons said.


Sporting News: Cal lands two SN100 players, Allen and King

They were high school teammates for a short time in Greensboro, N.C., before one of them moved out of state--but now they'll be training together again.  Sporting News' No. 58 prospect, DE Gabe King, and No. 70 prospect, DB Keenan Allen, both signed with Cal today. Allen had been an Alabama commitment since November, but when his brother, Buffalo sophomore quarterback Zach Maynard, transferred and was on the market, Allen wanted to play with his brother. Alabama wouldn't offer Maynard, so Allen dropped his pledge to the Crimson Tide.
Maynard will also join the Golden Bears, as well as another of Allen's prep teammates--four-star LB Chris McCain. McCain had previously been committed to Oregon.  In a summer interview with Sporting News, King raved about Allen.  "I've been guarding Keenan a lot when we're practicing by ourselves, and I've seen the best of the best, and he's the best by far," King told Sporting News.


Contra Costa Times: Cal's top recruit Chris Martin prepped at Bishop O'Dowd until senior season

Winning might be the greatest recruiting tool, but Chris Martin is an example that there are many other factors that go into choosing a college.

Martin, a highly decorated senior from Grandview High in Aurora, Colo., who played his first three prep seasons at Bishop O'Dowd, is expected to sign with Cal today on National Letter of Intent Day. Martin is the No. 1 outside linebacker in the country according to and the 10th-best overall prospect. ranks Martin as the nation's 18th-best player.

Cal went 8-5 last season, but the Bears have had trouble keeping up with the national elite in recent years. Cal has finished each of the past three seasons outside of the Associated Press Top 25.

Martin could have gone to just about any major college football power. He orally committed to Notre Dame but switched to the Bears after Irish coach Charlie Weis was fired.

It made for interesting timing when Martin committed to Cal just after the Bears ended the regular season with a 42-10 dud at Washington. Cal then went on to lose to Utah in the Poinsettia Bowl.

But Martin said he wasn't bothered by the way the Bears closed out the season.

Link to rest of article.

SF Examiner: Another receiver and now someone to throw to him

Rob Calonge

Cal has now received its third wide receiver commit, but now Tedford also has his annual Elite 11 quarterback recruit as well.

Colorado's top 2010 recruit, Austin Hinder, made it official this morning at 7:53 AM PST, with the faxing of his letter of intent to the Golden Bears. The 6'4", 185-pound quarterback will join Cal's Kevin Riley, Brock Mansion, and Allan Bridgeford as the fourth of Cal's former Elite 11 signal callers.

According to Scouts INC., "Hinder has loads of upside to develop into an outstanding college player." That 'upside' tends to relate to being somewhat of a 'project' for Coach Tedford to mold. says this about Hinder: "Hinder is an athletic quarterback that is at his best when he is on the move. He struggles when he is in a classic dropback position and forced to rely on pure mechanics." While consistency and accuracy are two things that Hinder needs to improve upon, talks about his ability to pass on the run as his most impressive feature: "Hinder has uncanny accuracy throwing the ball on the run, and he puts excellent touch and air under his fade passes. He also brings to the table a very intelligent insight into the game of football."

Link to rest of article.

Daily Cal: A Look at Signing Day 2010

The Cal football team prepares to sign its incoming 2010 class that could be one of its best in recent memory

By Gabriel Baumgaertner

Ten years ago, it's hard to believe that the average Cal fan could rattle off any prospective Bear unless they saw them play in high school.  Now thousands of fans nationwide clamor for more and more information about players that they have never seen play.  Millions have already logged onto the internet and tuned into ESPN to see the rankings of each school's class. Today is National Signing Day, the day where high school players are first allowed to sign letters of intent for schools that have recruited them to play football.

And believe it or not, Cal will be headlining this new football holiday despite its disappointing 2009 season.

Through the dynamic efforts of defensive line coach and lead recruiter Tosh Lupoi, Cal is in play for several of the most sought-after players in the nation.

Link to rest of article.


Monday, February 01, 2010

SF Examiner: Has Tedford lost his recruiting magic? We'll find out Wednesday

After reeling in top-20 recruiting classes in 2004 through 2006, Jeff Tedford's efforts haven't been as spectacular. Starting in 2007, the year of the great Cal collapse, Tedford's classes have been declining in the annual rankings given out by recruiting giants and  To make matters worse, Stanford has been pulling in top-20 classes since Harbaugh has been in charge the last two seasons. Why is that worse? Both schools are selling the same thing...and Stanford is winning.

For instance, both schools are selling stellar academics, the beautiful San Francisco Bay, national notoriety by playing in the Pac-10, and of course, now they are both selling a winning program with bowl games attached.  Stanford, who has already been to a Rose Bowl in this millennium, has an extra weapon in it's arsenal. That's something that Cal can't claim. In fact, most Bear Backers weren't even born the last time Cal made it to Pasadena for the "Grandaddy of Them All".  Right now, ranks Stanford's incoming class at No. 14, while Cal falls way behind at No. 38. has Stanford ranked No. 19 and Cal closely edging up to No. 23. The differences between how both scouting services rank the classes shows that there is no exact science to recruiting. This is good news for Bear Backers who trust that Tedford is getting the players that he wants in the program.  Better news may be on the way soon. Reports out of Alabama are circulating that Cal has stolen the Crimson Tide's top commit, safety Keenan Allen, and his half-brother Zach Maynard who visited this past weekend. This coup would give the Golden Bears one of their best defensive classes in the Tedford era.

Link to rest of article.

Contra Costa Times: Recruiting Update

Jonathan Okanes writes:

A source has told me that Gabe King is going to Cal. He’s just not saying anything because he wants to wait until Wednesday to make the official announcement. But it’s a done deal. King is coming.

The source also said that Cal is definitely in the mix for Keenan Allen. Some perceive it as a long shot but apparently he’s seriously considering Cal. That being said, Allen hasn’t made his final decision.

Link to rest of article.


Ted Miller of ESPN comments that

“That's a blow to Oregon because King transferred from North Carolina to South Eugene (Ore.) High School this past season. The Ducks also are apparently out of the running for ESPNU 150 end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, who attends Portland's David Douglas High School.”  He goes to suggest that Cal’s recruiting class may move up from 22nd nationally, as King is the third ESPNU 150 defender to commit to Cal, joining end Chris Martin and outside linebacker Cecil Whiteside.

Israel Declines to Press Charges Against Police for Shooting Tree Sitter in Head

Note: not a lot of news about Cal football of late, so I’m including this:


Excerpt from this article in the SF Chronicle:

Israel's Justice Ministry declared Sunday that no indictments will be filed against police in the case of an Oakland activist who was hit by a tear gas canister and left comatose during a violent demonstration in the West Bank last year.  Tristan Anderson, 38, was critically injured during a Palestinian protest in the West Bank village of Naalin in March. Amir Moran, spokesman for Israel's Tel Hashomer hospital, where Anderson is being treated, said his condition has not changed.


Before going to Israel, Anderson was one of the tree-sitters who occupied a grove next to UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium until September 2008 in an unsuccessful bid to stop the university from clearing the trees to make room for an athletic center.


Per this article, he was the protester that called himself Crickett. When he finally gave up on the tree protest, he was wearing a half-rabbit, half-skunk outfit.  He had spent a year and a half in and out of the trees.

SF Chronicle:


At 79, Ron Fimrite, The Chronicle's legendary "Sporting Tiger" columnist and retired senior writer for Sports Illustrated, is still pounding away at his 1949 Royal. The latest work to come out of his overstuffed home office in Presidio Heights is "Golden Bears: A Celebration of Cal Football's Triumphs, Heartbreaks, Last-Second Miracles, Legendary Blunders and the Extraordinary People Who Made It All Possible," released late last month.

Q: Why 517 pages on Cal football?

A: Because it is a book about social history and about Bay Area history. My intention was to meld the sporting culture into the general culture. What other school has had somebody run the wrong way in a Rose Bowl game? Or had "the Play"?

Link to rest of article.