The Irish fought back this week, flipping safety commit Jordan Genmark-Heath -- who pledged on Oct. 2, 2016, after a Sept. 30 official visit -- to the green and gold after the firing of Sonny Dykes and the hiring of defense-minded Justin Wilcox as Cal's new head coach.
http://www.scout.com/college/california/story/1749173-cal-hunting-a-big-... After visiting South Bend on Jan. 20, Genmark-Heath received an in-home visit from new defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter, before DeRuyter was officially announced as the new man in charge of defense, as well as with defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander. However, the visit could not persuade Genmark-Heath -- from San Diego Cathedral Catholic -- to maintain his commitment.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound safety made 59 tackles, picked off four passes, deflected five more and caused one fumble as a senior, while returning six kickoffs for 70 yards and seven punts for 93 yards. He also rushed 47 times for 197 yards and eight touchdowns, and caught 16 balls for 291 yard and two scores.
Genmark-Heath is the fifth de-commit in what is expected to be a small class -- of about 18 -- and the fourth defensive back to back off of his commitment for the Bears, following Tyriq Hardimon, Michael Onyemaobi and Je'Quari Godfrey.
Cal will be bringing two of those commits -- quarterback Chase Garbers and center Michael Saffell -- into town this weekend, along with tight end Ben Moos and three-star offensive guard Poutasi Poutasi. The Bears are also working on bringing in several more official visitors on the defensive side of the ball this weekend, including Lancaster (Calif.) Paraclete athlete Branden Smith, who was offered earlier this week. He is being recruited as a cornerback.
This past season, up to eight Cal players who were at some point in the preseason projected to be defensive backs went down with injury.
The Bears were 127th in scoring defense (42.6 points per game), 82nd in passing yards allowed per game (245.4), 107th in passing efficiency defense (145.84), 105th in team sacks (18) and 125th in total defense, giving up 518.3 yards per game. Cal's 67 offensive touchdowns allowed were the most in the nation.