Next up, a little refresher course of all of our content from California's Early Signing Day in December:
Beyond the Commitment: Scouting Atoe
The Ballad of Sam Atoe
JuCo Signing Day: Johnson Signs With Cal
JuCo Signing Day: DL Depth Improves
JuCo Signing Day: Talking Draft, Defections
JuCo Signing Day: Scouting Kelly
Beyond the Commitment: Scouting Devante Downs
Beyond the Commitment: Devante Downs
Beyond the Commitment: Get to Know David Davis
|2014 California Signing Class|
|Hamilton Anoa'i, Outside Linebacker, San Mateo (Calif.) Junipero Serra|
Positional Ranking: OLB 120
VITALS: 6-foot-4, 210
|What Sonny Says: "He's a very versatile athlete. He did a lot of things for his high school team - in the defensive backfield, played some at linebacker, played some tight end, threw passes - he's just a very productive football player. He was a team captain, high character and academic guy and a local kid. I'm just excited. I think he's a great fit for our program. We were fortunate to kind of get on him late. He wanted to stay close to home. I think he really has a chance to be a good football player. He has a lot of length and can do a lot of different things."
The Skinny: Anoa'i is the cousin of Cal defensive tackle signee Trevor Kelly and was originally committed to Northwestern as an offensive athlete/tight end/receiver. He'll be brought in as an athlete for the Bears. Last minute flip from Northwestern, where he committed in late December. He's a member of the famous wrestling family of the same name: Anoa'i. That family includes Chief Peter Maivia and his grandson, Dwayne Johnson, better known as The Rock.
Expert Analysis: After missing most of his junior year with an injury, Anoa'I came back with a vengeance as a senior and was one of the top players in all of the Bay Area and the defensive stalwart in the CCS. A long and lean 6-4, 210, Anoa'I has good length and athleticism that he can play outside linebacker and be very effective in pass coverage, but also has the quickness off the ball to be a stellar pass-rusher. If he's more of a pass-rushing specialist or grows into an end, he'll need to add weight, but can play outside linebacker at his current size. -- Brandon Huffman
|Kamryn Bennett, Offensive Guard, Peoria (Ariz.) Centennial|
Positional Ranking: OG 66
VITALS: 6-foot-3, 275
More on Bennett:
Arizona's 2013 All-D2 Team
Beyond the Commitment: Kodak Moment
Beyond the Commitment: Fight the Good Fight
|What Sonny Says: "He's tough and physical, plays with good pad level. He's kind of the tough-minded offensive lineman that we want. He's a good athlete as well."
Scouting Report: Bennett plays right tackle for the Coyotes but a move to guard is likely at the next level. The Bears are getting a player that will bring his lunch pail to work everyday and give it his all. Bennett will do all of the little things right and is the type of player you can win with. A true grinder.
He has worked himself into a Pac 12 player. As a junior, his film was good but it didn't jump off the screen at you as a BCS level player. As a result, Kamryn received a handful of mid-major scholarship offers. I think he took it personal. Bennett has changed his body. He leaned and firmed up and the hard work paid off on his senior film. He looked much more athletic. Before he looked a true mauling guard, now he looks like a player that could play offensive tackle in a pinch. He played right tackle in high school but ideally because of his height, will move inside to guard. A hard worker, tough and well coached, Bennett will be a multi-year starter for the Bears. -- Jason Jewell
|Erik Brown, Wide Receiver, Fontana (Calif.) Summit|
Positional Ranking: WR 27
VITALS: 6-foot-1, 175
Semper Fidelis All-American
SEMPER FI: Practice Highlights
SEMPER FI: Game Highlights
More on Brown:
West: Final Top Ten Receivers
Semper Fi: VIDEO – Erik Brown Postgame
Semper Fi: VIDEO: Erik Brown
Semper Fi: Cal Commit Goes In-Depth
Beyond the Commitment: Scouting Brown
Commitment Analysis: WR Erik Brown
Beyond the Commitment: Thank the Irish?
Husky WR commit talks Cal visit
|What Sonny Says: "A guy that has a lot of upside. He's going to get bigger. He's going to get stronger. He's going to get faster. He has really good ball skills. He's a good route runner. I think he's got a chance to be really productive."
What to Like: Brown is one of the most polished receivers in the west. He's a smooth route runner with good hands, deceptive speed and the athleticism to jump over smaller defensive backs and make the difficult catch in traffic. He runs well after the catch and can make plays down the field but probably projects best as a solid possession type receiver who can occasionally stretch the field.
What may be of concern: For a player with his physical gifts, the knock on Brown has been his productivity on the field. Brown has yet to truly dominate at the H.S level the way he does on the summer 7 on 7 circuit. Part of that can be traced to breaking in a new quarterback as well as a system that doesn't feature him as much as you might expect.
Overall Analysis: This is a big pickup for the Bears and comes at a time when the program really needed a jolt of momentum. Brown has as much upside as just about any receiver in the state and with proper coaching, should be able to develop in to a difference maker early in his college career. The Bears have the kind of system that should allow Brown to excel in several different areas and his size and natural pass catching skills should make him a quarterbacks best friend from day one. -- Greg Biggins
|Kennedy Emesibe, Defensive End, Oak Hills (Calif.)|
Positional Ranking: DE 125
VITALS: 6-foot-3.5, 235
More on Emesibe
Going to the Tape: Kennedy Emesibe
Beyond the Commitment: Kennedy Emesibe
Emesibe Pulls the Trigger
ScoutTV: Kennedy Emesibe
|What Sonny Says: "He's an explosive player. That's the thing that stands out about him. He plays hard. I think he's kind of an underrated guy in a lot of different ways just becasue he is going to get bigger. I think the kid has a chance to be a good player."
What's to Like: At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds, Emesibe has arms and legs for days. Playing both inside at the three-technique and at the five-technique, he gets his hands and arms into passing lanes. He had two blocked kicks this past season, again, due to his tremendous length. That length, though, is not at the expense of size and power, as it tended to be with former Bear defensive end Chris McCain. Emesibe can cover so much ground with his long strides that he shows some very good closing speed on runs to the outside, and running backs who squirt away up the middle. In some clips, he's also shown playing a bit of outside linebacker, and at his size, he's well-suited for it, which could work out fairly well in college, particularly if Cal tries him at rush end.
When Emesibe does play with good pad level -- which is not always the case -- he's pretty tough to stop. Those long legs aren't just there for show. He generates a lot of drive and push when he plays behind his pads, whether that's at the three-technique or the five-technique.
Because of his strength, Emesibe sheds blocks well, and can disengage quickly when he needs to range out to the edge to stop a play or take someone down from behind, which he does often. Watching Emesibe take a runner down from behind is like watching a lion take down a gazelle -- he wraps up the legs and lower body, and then death-rolls them to the ground, using his sheer bulk to drag them down and then adding a twist at the end. It's a very sound technique that he also uses when taking down quarterbacks in the backfield, head-up.
What Needs Work: As I said earlier, Emesibe's pad level is up-and-down, literally. When he trusts his leg drive and plays behind his pads, he's a freight train, and though he succeeds even in his highlights while opening up his chest, that's not going to cut it at the next level. Right now, he's just flat-out stronger and longer than the guards and tackles he's facing, so he can get away with lifting up. It shows up fairly often in his 2012 tape, his 2013 tape and his one-on-ones at the NFTC this past summer. There is improvement, to be sure, and again, the ability is there; he just needs to trust his legs on a more consistent basis.
I couldn't decide whether his versatility is a good thing or a bad thing. On the one hand, Emesibe is very, very bright, and perceptive. Playing multiple positions in high school, with a mind like that, would incline one to believe that he's learned a lot about defense as a whole. The problem with paying outside linebacker, defensive tackle and defensive end is that he hasn't really gotten a chance to polish up any of those three spots. At end, he'll have to play low and get under a tackle's pads at times, and while playing tall on the inside allows him to use his length to plug up the middle, trying to go nose-to-nose with a tackle that has three inches and 50 pounds on him won't be a good strategy.
Lastly, his stride length at the point of attack seems a bit on the long side, which sacrifices quickness and suddenness. He clearly has speed, and much of that is because of those long gams, but his firststep needs to be quicker to allow him the full range of his pass rush movements.
|Vic Enwere, Running Back, Sugar Land (Tex.) Stephen F. Austin|
Positional Ranking: RB 59
VITALS: 6-foot-1, 213
Senior Highlights: Watch Video
More on Enwere
Visit Weekend: Vic Enwere
Dynamic Duo Shines in Dallas
Midlands LIVE: Vic Enwere
Podcast: Commitment Breakdown
Midlands Impact Player: Vic Enwere
|What Sonny Says: "He's just kind of the tough-minded, physical running back. He's still a little bit raw. He doesn't have a ton of experience palying the position but he has a chance to develop into something really special. He's a great kid. He's stuck with us through a lot during the season. I just really have a lot of respect for him and the way he's handled the recruiting process."
Scouting Report: Enwere brings a great skill set to the table as a back. He's a big back, who plays with more a smaller back mentality, which is not a bad thing. He has the versatility to be used more in the passing game because he has the speed to create mismatches if lined up against most linebackers. Once into a college football program, Enwere has the potential to be an impact player. -- Amhard Vital
Strengths: He's a big, powerful back, but I don't think that I would necessarily describe him as a guy that only uses his power to run. He's very good at slash-and-go type of run. He can cut in and out of traffic. He can catch the ball really well, and just seems to be the type of guy that can fit into most offenses, a guy who can probably come in early, because of his physicality and his strength, and compete for playing time.
How does he fit in the Bear Raid: In camps and stuff, Enwere is a guy who's shown that he has really good hands, and is a really good route runner. He's a pretty versatile guy. I think, with his size, his ability to catch the football, he's a three-down type of back. He's a guy that can probably stay on the field at all times and be a pretty instrumental part of any offense. I don't know that he is your prototypical superstar type of guy, but he's that grimy guy that just gets the job done.
What does he need to work on: I think he needs to work on his foot speed. He needs to continue to get faster and quicker, and also bigger, because he uses a little bit of a pounding style. Because he's a guy who likes to pound the football, I think he's a guy who would benefit from adding about 15 pounds of muscle to his frame, so I think a good year in a college strength and conditioning program would suit him well to get his body exactly where he needs it to be to where he could take that every-down punishment and be a guy who can live up to his potential. -- Greg Powers
|Chase Forrest, Quarterback, Santa Ana (Calif.) Matre Dei|
Positional Ranking: QB 85
VITALS: 6-foot-3, 180
More on Forrest
Forrest is Berkeley Bound
IMG 7 on 7 Recap: The Offense
Intro: QB Chase Forrest
|What Sonny Says: "We felt like he came in and performed well. He showed good strength, good mid-range accuracy. We thought he was a really good football player. He can move, he's athletic. I think he's got a lot of upside. He's got good size. He moves his feet well for someone his size. He has the arm strength to make the throws."
Scouting Report: Forrest had a solid senior season throwing for 2,001 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing .57% of his passes. He's very mechanically solid with a smooth, effortless release and a fairly live arm. He has a narrow frame and needs to fill out but is a smart, cerebral quarterback with a high football IQ and is a natural leader. -- Greg Biggins
|Dominic Granado, Offensive Tackle, Huntington Beach (Calif.) Golden West CC|
Positional Ranking: OT
VITALS: 6-foot-5, 270
More on Granado
Visit Weekend: Granado Speaks
Cal JC Signing Day: What's Next?
|What Sonny Says: "He's a tough, physical, get-after-you kind of guy. That's what we needed on the offensive line - someone who could come in right now and compete for a job and battle and grind. That's what he's going to do. We recruited him to come in and play. He's the kind of kid that's going to come in here and prepare himself to get ready to play when he steps on campus. He's going to scratch and claw and fight for everything. I think he's exactly what we needed on our offensive line."
Scouting Report: Granado fits the Tony Franklin System style of offensive lineman to a T: He's long, lean, athletic and doesn't have any bad weight. Going along with that theme, he also has very quick feet for a lineman his size. He maintains good balance and while not exceptionally quick, he's very deliberate and measured with his movements. Leverage is also a big plus with Granado. He plays with good pad level, and his long arms help him engage at the point of attack or further into the backfield, where he lets defensive ends get up into him and out over their front feet. The son of a Pac-12 official, Granado plays on the edge of legal at times, but he shows a ton of toughness and grit. While he does play on the edge at times, though, he isn't called for holding much because he's got enough upper-body strength to keep his man inside his shoulders.
Analyst's Perspective: Big tackle prospect who shows the versatility to bounce between the right and left side of the line. Has a chance to be an immediate impact player because of his athleticism, advanced technique and strength. He's a very polished pass protector and shows off very good lateral mobility, a strong punch and puts opposing players on their backs. He finishes very well in the run game and can get down field and make a block on a linebacker or safety. -- Greg Biggins
|Chandler Leniu, Middle Linebacker Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco|
Positional Ranking: MLB 12
VITALS: 6-foot-1, 225
Semper Fidelis All-American
Semper Fi Highlights
PTP Kumite Highlights:
More on Leniu
West: Final Top Ten Middle Linebackers
Leniu Talks Cal Commitment
Semper Fi Video: Chandler Leniu
Semper Fi: VIDEO – Chandler Leniu Postgame
2013 Scout.com National Champion
Leniu Hauls in Cal Offer
|What Sonny Says: "He has an ability to make a lot of tackles and plays with good instinct. His productivity was unmatched this year. He played for a great high school team. I think he's tough and very, very physical. He's a good tackler who plays with great leverage."
Scouting Report: Leniu played on a loaded team that will have seven to eight players sign Div I and many feel he's the best high school player in the group. He's only about 6-1 but Leniu is very active and is equally strong in run support as well as being able to drop back in to coverage. He's a tackling machine, has a great nose for the ball and plays with a non-stop motor. Was the heart and soul of Bosco's CIF State Open Division Championship and was a Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl. -- Greg Biggins
|John Porchivina, Running Back/Fullback, Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande|
Positional Ranking: OLB 137
VITALS: 6-foot-1, 212
More on Porchivina
Porchivina Staying in the Bay
Beyond the Commitment: Porchivina Can Do It All
Porchivina Talks Cal Unofficial
Recruit Report: Porchivina Takes in Practice
|What Sonny Says: "He's another versatile kid. He runs well, plays physical and is a very productive football player. I think the kid is very underrated. You look at his tape and his ability to run to the football and then you translate that to playing defense - I think it's exactly what you're looking for from a linebacker."
Scouting Report: Yes, Porchivina is a two-star. Yes, he had offers from the likes of New Mexico, Fresno State, UNLV, San Jose State and Idaho and not a single other FBS offer. Let's not pretend that he's a replacement for flipped four-star Koa Farmer.
Now, let's pretend that none of that matters, and take a look at his tape.
Porchivina's coach at Petaluma (Calif.) Casa Grande, Trent Herzog, put together 30 plays – just 30 plays – with 15 on offense and 15 on defense for Porchivina's final highlight film. After watching Porchivina's junior film and seeing him multiple times during the last spring, the California coaching staff didn't think he was worth an offer. After watching just 30 plays, that opinion changed.
"Once they saw his film, then they're like, ‘Wow,'" Herzog said of the reactions of California offensive coordinator Tony Franklin and Porchivina's primary recruiter, Andy Buh. "Franklin and Buh said, ‘We kind of missed out on him. His film is so much better from his junior year to his senior year, and hopefully we're not too late on this.'"
On offense, Porchivina is a runaway train. He may not be the fastest player on the field, but he does have enough speed to get to and surpass the second level, though he doesn't have true elite breakaway speed. You can see some of that speed at 1:22 on kickoff return. It may not be sudden speed, but he's more like a diesel engine – once he gets going, he's tough to stop. The most interesting part of that highlight – and others – is the fact that he shows not just a hint of vision, but a whole heaping helping of it, allowing his blockers to set up a lane for him to run through. That doesn't just show up on kickoff return.
At the 0:36 mark, you can see him breaking several tackles on his way to the edge, and he actually shows a hint of wiggle. His highlight at 1:15, though, is pure power, bowling over several defenders up the middle on his way to the end zone. Porchivina may not be able to do that regularly at the next level, but he's got it in him, and he does it with great frequency and consistency.
At the 0:48 mark, you can see just what makes Porchivina so appealing: He drags three defenders for five yards. There's a lot of strength in those strides.
"He's a throwback," says Herzog. "He's an old-school football player: Tough. He has great speed, and he's got great instincts. He loves to play the game. He loves to compete. He always wants to be the best player on the field, and the toughest player on the field. He plays his best when you challenge him."
Porchivina does run upright a bit much, but he's got enough strength that any tackles are easily shed. That may not prove to be the case at the next level, unless he adds some more muscle. That said, at 0:54, you can see him hit a hole hard in the middle of the line and then break through the second level, break two tackles and find paydirt.
Arm tackles won't bring Porchivina down at any level, and if he looks familiar in his running style, it's because he's got more than a little Lucus Gingold in him, except that he's a true-blue running back, not a converted player.
At 1:02, Porchivina shows off his ball skills, hauling in a touchdown pass against a defender. He had 24 catches for 321 yards and was one of the leading receivers on Casa Grande this season.
At 2:34, you see more of Porchivina's hands, and even a little bit of wiggle as he cuts back to make the first man miss.
You can also see him return a kickoff to the house in his sizzle reel, and yes, that is him pulling away from defenders. He may not look like it, but he can get moving pretty quickly, as he does in the next several clips. At about 2:07, you can see one hell of a stiff-arm, a testament to Porchivina's strength.
Right after that, the tape turns to defense, and it starts out with a bang. Porchivina plays with tremendous pad level and very good tackling technique, wrapping up and twisting his man down to the ground with perfect shoulder-to-sternum targeting.
On defense, it's sometimes easy to overlook the technical prowess Porchivina brings to the game because of the ferocity of his hits, but if you watch, even when he doesn't wrap up, he squares up his man. He's not an arm-tackler or a just-got-him type of defender. He takes his time and really lines up the tackle so that even if he's off by a bit, or there's a shake he didn't count on, he has room to adjust.
What you can see throughout the tape is the fact that he's played in a zone-read type scheme, which will fit perfectly with several of the base concepts of the Bear Raid. When he returns a pick at 3:28, you can see more of that trademark toughness, and quite a bit of balance.
He also, as they say, has a little bit of redass in him on the field. He's a blue-collar guy, yes, but he definitely takes pleasure in putting someone on their hind end. He also loves a challenge.
"I had to challenge him two or three times this year to step up, and he went out and scored three or four touchdowns in the second half to lead us to a victory. He shows up in the biggest games for us," Herzog said. "We were in a playoff game, and we were up by only one at halftime, and he came back in the second half and scored four touchdowns. He ended the game with five touchdowns. That was in the semifinals."
Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games, and that perfectly sums up Porchivina.
|Luke Rubenzer, Dual Threat Quarterback, Scottsdale (Ariz.) Saguaro|
Positional Ranking: QB 49
VITALS: 6-foot, 185
Elite 11 Member
More on Rubenzer
Rubenzer, Watson Named Parade All-Americans
West: Final Top Ten Quarterbacks
Man of his Word
2013 All-D3 Team
Rubenzer Breaks Another Record
The Opening: Luke Rubenzer Update
The Opening: Old Number Eight
The Opening: Luke Rubenzer
The 2013 Elite 11 Finals Roster
Beyond the Commitment: Rubenzer Talks Offense, Elite 11
Beyond the Commitment: Luke Rubenzer
EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Rubenzer Earns His Way at Cal Camp
Bears Use the Force
Elite 11 QB Makes His Choice
Elite 11: VIDEO – Rubenzer Two-Minute Drill
|What Sonny Says: "Luke obviously had an incredible year. I think he's just a very, very productive football player. A guy who just gets it done. He can run, he can throw, he can throw on the run. He makes good decisions. He's a great competitor. He's the kind of guy you want leading the program. I think he's got a chance to be a pretty good football player."
Scouting Report: There is very little not to like about Rubenzer. Everyone focuses on him being under six feet tall, but there are so many other traits to focus on. One, Luke is a winner; he led his team to the state title in 2013. Two, his numbers speak for themselves. Luke for his career completed over 70% of his passes, which set a national record. Three, his intangibles are off the charts. He is a leader, maintains above a 4.0 grade-point-average and is tough enough to play safety. Lastly, Cal fans should be excited because of his loyalty to the program. Rubenzer committed shortly after receiving the offer. UCLA and Boise State tried to come after him late in the game but he stayed true to his commitment to Cal. -- Jason Jewell
|Quentin Tartabull, Safety, Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany|
Positional Ranking: S 45
VITALS: 6-foot, 200
BTTV: Camp Highlights
More on Tartabull
West: Final Top Ten Safeties
Tartabull a Tough One
Beyond the Commitment: Tartabull is a True Roughneck
Beyond the Commitment: Tartabull Talks MLB Roots and More
VIDEO: Camp Highlights
CAMP: Tartabull Commits
|What Sonny Says: "He's very, very productive. He's very, very tough and a very good open-field tackler. Another kid who is a very, very productive."
Scouting Report:Quentin is one of the most physical players in the region and projects best to safety in college, though he's played linebacker for Alemany. He's got a frame that can add more weight, so linebacker isn't completely out of the question, but his ability to cover the field, great ball skills and instincts make him a good fit at safety. -- Brandon Huffman
|Aisea Tongilava, Outside Linebacker, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran|
Positional Ranking: OLB
VITALS: 6-foot, 210
More on Tongilava
Commitment Analysis: LB Aisea Tongilava
Dream Come True for Tongilava
UW-Cal battle for Tongilava
Tongilava Talks Cal Visit
Tongilava Has Seen Stock Rise
|What Sonny Says: "He can run, plays physical and is a really smart kid. He has good football instincts. I think the thing that stands out with him is his athletic ability. I think he can really change directions and run. He's an explosive player."
Recruiting: Tongilava committed early to San Jose State when the Spartans were his only offer. His recruitment then blew up over the season and he took visits on back to back weekends to California and Washington. Monday night, following a home visit from Washington, the linebacker decided to commit to Cal.
What to Like: Tongilava has a solid frame and is very athletic. He clocked a 4.58-40 at the NIKE Camp last April and it shows on the football field. He's versatile and will be able to play multiple positions in college. He played a lot of defensive end as junior and played all three ‘backer positions this past season. He runs well enough to play some safety but is best playing closer to the line of scrimmage to take advantage of his physicality. He's a very good tackler and can cover a ton of the field. He also plays with a great motor and is a natural leader on and off the field.
What may be of concern: Tongilava has all the physical tools to excel at the next level. He's still a little raw as a player and will need some time to adjust to the college game. He has really only played one year of full time linebacker at the HS level so there will still be some growing pains for him but he should be an impact special teams player early on and once he gets on the field full time, the shy is the limit.
Overall Analysis: This was a big win for Cal in what came down to a head to head battle with Washington. Cal recruited Tongilava longer and he had a great relationship with the coaching staff. The athlete also said growing up, Cal was his dream school and he loved the location, close enough to home to visit when he wants but far enough away to still feel like he's getting his independence. -- Greg Biggins
|Michael Trani, Offensive Center, La Mirada (Calif.)|
Positional Ranking: C 11
VITALS: 6-foot-4, 285
More on Trani
West: Final Top Five Centers
Beyond the Commitment: Scouting Michael Trani
Trani Fell in Love with Cal
Bears Train Sights on Trani
|Scouting Report: Has a strong frame and is one of the more versatile players in the region. Plays guard but could play center at the next level as well. On his film, you'll see line up at right tackle on play, left guard the next and then left tackle on another. He's very smart and would be very good calling the line signals and making the adjustments a center needs to make. Trani is strong at the point of attack and is a road grader as an run blocker. He plays through the whistle with a physical edge to him that you love to see in a HS lineman. Trani was banged up a good portion of his senior year but played through it and his coach describes him as a 'warior who is tough as nails.' -- Greg Biggins|
|Tre Watson, Running Back, Corona (Calif.) Centennial|
Positional Ranking: RB 49
VITALS: 5-foot-9, 185
More on Watson
West: Final Top Ten Running Backs
O-D Bowl: Tre Watson
Senior Film: RB Tre Watson
Recruit Reaction: Tre Watson
Visit Report: Watson Opens Up
Watson Has Record-Breaking performance
Elementary, My Dear Watson
Beyond the Commitment: Tre Watson
ScoutTV: Tre Watson
Watson Pulls the Trigger
|What Sonny Says: "He's probably as productive as anybody anywhere. He just had a great year and played on a great football team. He's an instinctual runner with great lateral movement and finishes runs very well. He plays with really good leverage and makes a lot of big plays. He has an ability to be patient but at the same time anticipate things. He's just kind of what you are looking for from a running back. He just has a lot of natural instincts and natural ability."
Scouting Report: One of the most productive running backs to come out of the Golden State in some time. Watson is tough, runs with an attitude and finishes every run falling forward. He runs a lot bigger than his size and is very tough to bring down on first contact. He has a powerful lower body and can run through defenders and has the quickness to get through the hole. He doesn't have great top end speed, he's more quick than fast but he does have enough speed to pick up big chunks of yards. Watson also catches the ball well out of the backfield and is very good after the catch as well. His best asset might be his durability, he carried the ball over 40 times multiple times and never looked tired. Like Trani, Watson is a warrior and always plays with a chip on his shoulder. -- Greg Biggins
|Noah Westerfield, Outside Linebacker/Rush End, Frisco (Tex.) Wakeland|
Positional Ranking: OLB 79
VITALS: 6-foot-3, 210
VIDEO: 2013 Highlights
More on Westerfield
Beyond the Commitment: Go West Young Man
Beyond the Commitment: Bears Snag Second of the Weekend
Westerfield Talks Decommitment, Official
Photo Gallery: Westerfield
|What Sonny Says: "He's kind of an under-the-radar prospect. He has good length and very good athleticsm. He's going to get bigger. He's going to be able to carry a lot of weight. I think he has a chance to grow into a good football player, so I'm excited about him."
Scouting Report: I know that he was a pretty big factor on their defense when I watched him play, and he actually played with a cast on that busted hand. He's a guy who can come off of the edge very effectively. He could be an outside, speed edge rusher, an outside linebacker, or, if he adds some more weight and stuff his frame, maybe down the road, he grows into a true defensive end position, but I think the jury's still out. He definitely is a tough kid. He played with that hand and played effectively with that injury.
What does he have to do to be a more effective defensive lineman: Because he plays so much outside linebacker, I'm sure the nuances of the position are something that he'll need to learn more of, but when I did see him play this year, he was probably spending about 70 percent of the time with his hand up, and about 30 percent of the time with his hand down on the ground, so he has gotten some of that experience in high school. I think that his rawness at the position is one of the things that he'll have to overcome, besides adding some weight. I think he's probably in the 185- to 200-pound range, so he's definitely light for a true defensive end, but that's not how coaches use these guys anymore. It's not really necessarily that he has to be a true defensive end to get speed to the outside on a run or a screen pass or get after the quarterback.
Strengths: He's a very smart player. I think that's probably what his biggest strength is, coming in, besides his speed. He's sort of that defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid. He's a guy who actually plays wide receiver for his 7-on-7 team and is a very effective playmaker when he's doing it. That just speaks to his athleticism, right off the top, but he's also very, very instinctive and just a smart football player, very savvy. He's a guy who I think will understand the Xs and Os and understand where he needs to be. If it's two inches to the left or two inches to the right, he gets that and understands that, and he will get that and understand that.
Weaknesses: The main thing for me is just adding size. Even if he is a linebacker in college, he needs to add size. Talking about moving him down as a defensive lineman, he needs to add a lot of weight to his frame. Now, he has the type of frame that can hold it, but he's very ripped up and very muscular already, so I don't know that he can necessarily get his body up to that 240-pound range, where your typical defensive ends are, so I think, no matter what, he's that hybrid type of guy. Also, it's me not knowing his full tackling ability. When I watched him play, he played with that cast on his hand, so he wasn't able to effectively wrap up. That's a question mark for me, just because I didn't actually get to see it with my own two eyes, how good a tackler he really is, because he couldn't tackle. Now, he could lay the wood, but does he wrap up and does he finish? That's something that we'll know when he's got both arms to deal with. -- Greg Powers
|Darius White, Defensive Back, Grenada (Miss.) Itawamba CC|
Positional Ranking: CB
VITALS: 6-foot, 175
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|What Sonny Says: "When you look at all the DBs this year, I think his tape was as good as anybody I saw. He's got length, runs well, plays the ball well, competes, tackles well, plays with toughness. His athleticsm is really good, his size is good. I like the way he plays with some physical nature at that position."
Scouting Report: White was named Grenada (Miss.) MVP (2010, '11) and earned Second-Team All-State honors ('11) in football. He was also a member of the track team.
As a freshman at Itawamba, he tallied 26 tackles and six passes defended, facing two of the best JuCo wide receivers in the country in Jarvis Bentley and Sanford Seay.
He's capable of playing both corner and safety, but he'll likely slot in at corner for Cal right away once he enrolls and starts fall camp. He plays the game with a passion, and is a fierce competitor. Last season, White ranked fourth in all of the NJCAA with six picks, and made 53 total tackles, including 44 solo stops with 10 pass breakups. White tallied at least one pick in each of his last four games this season.
One of White's strengths is how quick he changes direction, from dropping back to coming up to the line to make a stop on quick screens. He's also a load when laying the wood. But, physicality isn't his only attribute. He sports a 4.4 40 time and can get down the field in a hurry. He's a long, rangy defensive back, and while not much of a leaper, he sticks on his receiver well enough to make jump balls very tough.