Zion Echols Commits to Cal

Cal moves ahead of Stanford in the 2016 recruiting class rankings with its ninth in-state commit, as the Bears pick up versatile athlete Zion Echols while on an unofficial visit.

Jacob Peeler strikes again, as the first-year California inside receivers coach landed three-star athlete Zion Echols out of Covina (Calif.) Charter Oak on Saturday evening, while on an unofficial visit to Berkeley with his family.

The 5-foot-10, 170-pound Echols has experience as a running back, slot receiver and return man.

"I like Echols a lot," said West Coast Recruiting Analyst Greg Biggins. "He's a little undersized but is a game breaker and a great fit in the offense. Explosive out of the backfield, very good hands and can play some slot if needed. He'll be great on punt returns and is the kind of player who can score from just about anywhere on the field ... Echols is one of the more versatile players out west."

Last season, Echols carried the ball 188 times for 1,141 yards and 18 touchdowns, tallying four 100-yard games on the ground.

Echols also caught 44 balls for 553 yards and six more scores, averaging 50.3 yards receiving per game.

As a return man, Echols took back eight kickoffs for 167 yards (20.9 ypr) – including one touchdown -- and one punt return for 80 yards last season.

Echols will start life at Cal as a running back, and then see where his talents and skillset take him.

Echols becomes the ninth commit for the Golden Bears’ 2016 class, and his commitment ups Cal’s class to the No. 20 spot in the nation, one spot ahead of rival Stanford.

All nine of the Bears’ commits are from the state of California.

Echols is the third commit in the past two weeks, joining cornerback Traveon Beck and offensive lineman Jake Curhan. Both Echols and Curhan committed during unofficial visits to Cal.

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