Cal Football Recruiting: The Top 2013 In-State Recruits Who Can't Slip Away
The long road to rebuilding the Cal football program is already underway with the 2012 recruiting class set to make its mark this season. But it's not too early to look ahead to the future with these 2013 in-state recruits.
The Golden Bears finished 2011 with a 7-6 record overall and placed fourth in the Pac-12 North with a conference record of 4-5. After a 21-10 loss to Texas in the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, the Golden Bears retreated to the offseason, hopeful for a better outcome in recruiting.
Unfortunately, things didn't exactly go as planned.
Cal lost top recruiter and defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi to Washington and several of its anticipated recruits to other Pac-12 schools. On the bright side, Cal did manage to sign second-ranked quarterback Zach Kline.
The 2012 recruiting season may be over, but 2013 brings new talent, and of the players expressing interest in Cal, these in-state recruits just can't slip away.
Courtesy of utrhighlightvideos
Tahaan Goodman is the No. 17 ranked safety by 247Sports, and the hits are plentiful with this Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. native.
Goodman stands 6'1", 185 pounds and plays aggressively in the middle of the field, in the run and on passing plays. Big collisions are pretty regular for this safety, and his speed allows him to cover lots of ground quickly.
Goodman has good footwork and makes quick decisions at the snap, which is why he ends up around the ball so frequently.
Goodman has a plethora of offers from Pac-12 schools and out-of-state programs, but pursuing him should be a priority for Cal.
Courtesy of Prep1Force
L.J. Moore is quite the athlete on the field, and as a dual-threat recruit at receiver and defensive back, he could be a useful addition to either side of the ball for Cal.
Moore is a 6'2", 185-pound defensive back with great ball skills and an impressive vertical jump. The Fresno, Calif. native played cornerback, safety and receiver at Central East Campus High School last season and could play either position in college.
As a receiver, Moore is a mismatch for most defenders on a corner fade route in the end zone because of his ability to get up high and snatch the ball right out of the air. Likewise, Moore used that same skill in coverage and created a lot of turnovers covering shorter receivers.
I think Moore has an advantage as a defensive back because of his height, but he still needs to develop covering receivers one-on-one, as he gets beaten a lot but makes up for it with recovery speed.
Moore is ranked the No. 19 defensive back in the nation by 247Sports and currently has seven offers, including Cal.
Courtesy of collegescoutvideos
The multitalented Elijah Qualls is a very intriguing recruit for the Golden Bears as a possible running back or D-lineman.
For his 6'2", 265-pound frame, Qualls is incredibly athletic with the ball in his hands and runs well for such a heavy guy. He's obviously a power back, but his balance after initial contact makes him a threat to take it the house on every down.
He reminds me a lot of San Diego Chargers running back Mike Tolbert, who is similarly built and runs through defenders with great balance. Qualls may not have the ideal speed to play running back at the college level, but if given the opportunity, I think he could be a nice complement to a speedy back.
As far as his defense goes, Qualls has a nose for the ball, and his athleticism gives him a quick first step off the line and allows him to pursue the ball a lot faster than bigger D-linemen. He's a big hitter too, and if he could drop some weight, I could definitely see him playing linebacker.
The Petaluma, Calif. native rushed for 1,193 yards and 13 touchdowns last season for Casa Grande High School and had 76 tackles with four sacks on defense. The Golden Bears made their offer on Feb. 19 for Qualls, who is ranked No. 31 among California recruits by 247Sports.
Courtesy of gamechangerrs
Aaron Cochran looked like a man among boys at Buhach Colony High School, and as the No. 14 offensive lineman in the nation, according to 247Sports, he's an absolute must for Cal.
Standing at a whopping 6'8" and 350 pounds, Cochran has the size of an NFL lineman, and defenders were no match for his immense strength last season. The Atwater, Calif native could likely step in as a starter at the next level, and the sky is the limit on his potential from then on.
In-state offers so far include Cal and UCLA, but Cochran could draw interest from more schools later on.
O-linemen with Cochran's size and strength rarely go unnoticed in recruiting, and Cal will need to be aggressive in luring him to Berkeley in 2013.
Courtesy of sportsforceTV
Eddie Vanderdoes is a defensive end from Auburn, Calif. and is ranked the No. 5 defensive tackle in the nation, according to 247Sports, and No. 3 among California recruits.
Vanderdoes had a bench max of 305 pounds and a squat max of 500 pounds, as reported by rivals.com. The 6'4", 285-pound D-lineman recorded 59 tackles and eight sacks last season for Placer High School, and his combination of size and strength makes him a versatile option on the edge or up the middle for the Golden Bears.
Vanderdoes has offers from some of the most prestigious schools in the nation, including top-flight program Alabama, but the Golden Bears made a strong push when they made the first offer in late January.
Cal could really use another pass-rusher to strengthen a defense that had only 34 sacks in 2011.