Cal makes statement

Five-star commitment Jabari Bird puts Cal in a good place going forward in the Pac 12.

Over the past two recruiting cycles on the West Coast all the talk has centered around UCLA and Arizona. The two heavyweights of the Pac 12 have been bringing in elite level recruits, but now the California Bears have made a statement that they intend to be a factor with the commitment of Jabari Bird.

During his time at Stanford, Mike Montgomery did a good job of getting some elite level kids to come to his program. Players such as Josh Childress along with Jason and Jarron Collins were all very highly recruited, and Montgomery brought them in. Now he has done it again with Bird, who is one of the best players in the country.

A five-star prospect, Bird was sidelined for much of the spring with an injury, but he returned in July and showed what he is capable of. Bird helped to lead the Oakland Soldiers to the Peach Jam title, and did so by using his athleticism, versatility, and impressive shooting stroke.

With that it is no surprise that the Bay Area native had interest from everyone. Arizona offered, Washington wanted him bad, and so did Cal. The Golden Bears tracked him the entire month, and that has resulted in a commitment.

What Bird brings to the Golden Bears is not only elite talent, but a ton of credibility. Also it gives the Cal coaches ammo to use with another highly touted Bay Area recruit, Aaron Gordon. Montgomery is considered by his peers to be one of the best coaches in the game, and now he has an elite talent in Bird.

In 2012 four-star guard Tyrone Wallace pledged to the Golden Bears, and he was a huge get for the program as he has the size and athleticism to be a high level player down the road. Also it is possible that all-league performer Allen Crabbe sticks with the Bears until his senior year, and if he does, he along with Wallace and Bird will give them one of the best backcourts not only in the league, but in the country.

With Arizona and UCLA bringing in highly touted players and having a lot of momentum it was key for Cal to lock down one of the best in the class in their backyard. Arizona was seemingly on the verge of making the Bay Area their own personal playground, but now Cal has made it clear they are going to be a real force on the recruiting trail, and with Montgomery in charge look for them to be at or near the top of the Pac 12 standings for a while to come.

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