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.