Cal Football Recruiting: Ranking the Last 5 Recruiting Seasons

Zachary Parker@@zacharyparker49Correspondent IIMarch 28, 2012

Cal Football Recruiting: Ranking the Last 5 Recruiting Seasons

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    Cal Bears' head coach Jeff Tedford needs the best out of his players if he wants to regain prominence within the Pac-12.

    This slideshow will grade the last five recruiting classes to show fans who Tedford is working with.

    At the bottom of each slide, you will notice's recruit rankings. Reference the rankings to see how many players per class have made the starting lineup and which ones need to improve to justify their free education.

    The criteria for the grades differs for each class due to the fact that some of the players from 2008 are entering the NFL while the 2012 recruits are still getting acclimated to Berkeley's eccentric campus.

    The main factors to keep in mind are the number of players that have contributed, the significance of their contributions and whether or not any of the recruits are good enough to play in the NFL.

2008: B-

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    Marvin Jones, Josh Hill, Marc Anthony, Dominic Galas, Trevor Guyton, Anthony Miller and Mychal Kendricks are the standouts from the 2008 recruiting class.

    Jones, Guyton and Kendricks will be selected in the 2012 NFL Draft (Kendricks may be picked as high as Round 2).

    Besides these players, the 2008 recruiting class is full of benchwarmers, as illustrated by Cal's record over the last few seasons. 

    The two most disappointing players are Chris Little (LB) and Spencer Ladner (TE).

    Little showed promise as a backup in 2009 before being dismissed from the team prior to the 2010 season.

    Ladner has the ideal frame for a tight end (6'7", 260 pounds). However, he has never been able to make an impact on the field. Since 2009, Ladner has only three receptions.

    The 2008 recruiting class is mainly forgettable, but the three future pros raise an otherwise-miserable grade to a passable B-. 

    Rivals' Rankings

    4-Stars: 5

    Marc Anthony (DB)

    Marvin Jones (WR)

    Spencer Ladner (TE)

    Tyler Rigsbee (OL)

    Jarrett Sparks (WR)

    3-Stars: 12

    J.P. Hurrell (LB)

    Kamaron Yancy (DB)

    Mychal Kendricks (LB)

    Dominic Galas (OL)

    Chris Little (LB)

    Anthony Miller (TE)

    Covaughn DeBoskie (RB)

    Aaron Tipoti (DE)

    Trevor Guyton (DT)

    Beau Sweeney (QB)

    Charles Satchell (WR)

    Verran Tucker (WR)

    2-Stars: 4

    Matt Rios (ATH)

    Kendrick Payne (DT)

    Josh Hill (DB)

    L.J. Washington (WR)

    Not Ranked by Rivals: 1

    Bryant Nnabuife (DB)

2009: C

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    So far, the recruiting class of 2009 has yet to blow fans out of the stadium. 

    Isi Sofele, Steve Williams and Brian Schwenke have all established themselves as starters on the Bears' roster. Without being spectacular, each one has made significant contributions over the last couple of seasons. 

    Mark Brazinski, Keni Kaufusi, Alex Logan and Chris Moncrease all saw limited playing time last season and will be competing for starting spots next year. The Bears need these players to elevate their game so that they can be competitive in 2012. 

    If it weren't for Sofele and Williams, this class would be in the cellar. They earn a C, assuming that at least three more starters will emerge from this recruiting class. 

    Rivals' Rankings

    4-Stars: 6

    Mark Brazinski (OL)

    Deandre Coleman (DT)

    Dasarte Yarnway (RB)

    Steve Williams (DB)

    Allan Bridgford (QB)

    Jarred Price (LB)

    3-Stars: 8

    Jerome Meadows (LB)

    Isi Sofele (RB)

    Charles Siddoway (OL)

    Alex Logan (DB)

    Ryan Davis (DE)

    Brian Schwenke (OL)

    Steven Fanua (LB)

    Vachel Samuels (DB)

    2-Stars: 5

    Charles Ragland (OL)

    Lucas King (DB)

    Keni Kaufusi (DT)

    Markish Jones (WR)

    Vince D'Amato (K)

    Not Ranked by Rivals: 2

    Chris Moncrease (DB)

    Tyler York (DB)

2010: C+

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    Other than Keenan Allen (the team's best receiver since DeSean Jackson), this class has yet to turn talent into production. 

    Linebackers David Wilkerson and Cecil Whiteside have the potential to wreak havoc. Both have starting experience and should establish themselves as playmakers next season.

    Chris Martin (5-star), Tevin Carter (4-star) and Kaelin Clay (3-star) all left the team before ever seeing the field. Martin's departure was especially disappointing, as he looked poised to replace Tyson Alualu as Cal's next top pass-rusher.

    The recruiting class of 2010 earns a C+ only because Allen will be Cal's most talented offensive NFL prospect since Jahvid Best. 

    Rivals' Rankings

    5-Stars: 2

    Keenan Allen (WR)

    Chris Martin (DE)

    4-Stars: 7

    David Wilkerson (LB)

    Tevin Carter (WR)

    Alex Crosthwaite (OL)

    Nick Forbes (LB)

    Gabe King (DE)

    Chris McCain (LB)

    Cecil Whiteside (LB)

    3-Stars: 10

    Kaelin Clay (WR)

    Austin Hinder (QB)

    Michael Coley (DB)

    Adrian Lee (DB)

    Trajuan Briggs (RB)

    Coleman Edmond (WR)

    Terrance Montgomery (WR)

    Jacob Wark (TE)

    Chris Adcock (OL)

    Geoffrey Gibson (OL)

2011: B-

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    It is a little early to judge this class, but as of now they look incredibly promising. 

    C.J. Anderson emerged as a bigger change-of-pace back, scoring nine total touchdowns last season. Brendan Bigelow may see more carries on offense after he showed off his explosiveness as a kick returner in 2011.

    Anderson and Bigelow could make a great one-two combination in upcoming years, something the offense needs as they search for a legitimate quarterback.

    Stefan McClure will compete for time as cornerback. He will likely play in the nickel package before earning the starting spot in 2013. 

    Mustafa Jalil and Viliami Moala both have the potential to fill Trevor Guyton's spot at defensive end. So far Jalil has the advantage, as well as college football's best name.

    The player fans should be most excited about is Maurice Harris. Athlon Sports ranked him the Pac-12's 33rd best recruit. At 6'3" and 206 pounds, he has the potential to replace Marvin Jones and complement Keenan Allen on the outside.

    Only time will tell how this recruiting class pans out. If anything, this group should produce a bunch of mid-level talent. They earn a B-. 

    Rivals' Rankings

    4-Stars: 10

    Stefan McClure (DB)

    Matt Williams (OL)

    Jason Gibson (LB)

    Mustafa Jalil (DT)

    Todd Barr (DE)

    Brendan Bigelow (RB)

    Viliami Moala (DT)

    Jordan Rigsbee (OL)

    Brennan Scarlett (DE)

    3-Stars: 12

    Daniel Lasco (RB)

    Nathan Broussard (LB)

    Puka Lopa (DE)

    Darren Ervin (RB)

    C.J. Anderson (RB)

    Jordan Morgan (DB)

    Maurice Harris (WR)

    Richard Rodgers (TE)

    Kameron Jackson (DB)

    Kyle Boehm (QB)

    Jalen Jefferson (ATH)

    Joel Willis (ATH)

2012: A-

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    The 2012 recruiting class was really close to being special. Two 5-star recruits, Stefon Diggs (WR) and Shaq Thompson (DB), considered Cal before choosing other schools.

    Still, the players Jeff Tedford and staff were able to get fill major offensive needs.

    Zach Kline enters Cal with the expectation to become the team's future star quarterback. 

    Bryce Treggs, Darius Powe and Cedric Dozier are all excellent athletes. Each one of them has the potential to be Kline's favorite target. 

    While Kline is getting the most attention, Freddie Tagaloa will be the best player out of this class. He is the definition of a mauler and will be a starting tackle sooner than later. He has a prototypical NFL frame at 6'8" and 300 pounds. Do not be surprised if he ends up being a future first-rounder.

    Fans will learn to love some of the names on this list. The 2012 recruiting class has a high ceiling and should enhance the Bears' offense, thus earning an A-.

    Rivals' Rankings

    4-Stars: 7

    Michael Barton (LB)

    Bryce Treggs (WR)

    Freddie Tagaloa (OL)

    Darius Powe (WR)

    Cedric Dozier (ATH)

    Kenny Lawler (WR)

    Zach Kline (QB)

    3-Stars: 10

    Steven Moore (OL)

    Chris Harper (WR)

    Maurice Bennett (DT)

    Maximo Espitia Jr. (RB)

    Damariay Drew (ATH)

    Matt Cochran (OL)

    Raymond Ford (DB)

    Hardy Nickerson (LB)

    Christian Okafor (OL)

    Jeffrey Coprich (RB)

    2-Stars: 2

    Cole Leininger (K)

    Willie Fletcher (DB)