Cal Football Signs 18

BERKELEY - Seven high school and junior college All-Americans highlight an 18-player recruiting class that features prospects from eight states across the country, Golden Bear head coach Jeff Tedford announced Wednesday. The group includes 14 high school stars and four junior college transfers.

Cal signed eight players on the offensive side of the ball, as well as nine defensive players and one specialist. The offensive line and linebacking corps, both with four signees, received the biggest boost. The class also contains two defensive linemen, four linebackers, three defensive backs, a running back, a quarterback, a wide receiver, an athlete and a place kicker.

Cal's recruiting haul includes six four-star recruits, according to Rivals.com, and Scout.com gives 17 of the 18 players a three-star rating or higher. Eleven players rated among the top 50 in the nation at their position, including one in the top 10. The Bears also signed the highest-ranked player in both Oregon and Washington.

Cal's offensive line group was ranked 13th in the nation by Scout.com, while Rivals.com placed three of Cal's positions in the top 25 - quarterback (T20th), linebacker (24th) and defensive back (15th).

"We are excited about this class," Tedford said. "We feel we addressed all of our needs and are bringing in a group of players with the speed and athleticism to compete at a high level. We also believe they have what it takes to succeed as student-athletes at the University of California."

On the heels of a 2008 class that attracted players from six states, the 2009 group hails from nine states from coast to coast, demonstrating Cal's increasing national appeal. California leads with seven players, with two from Utah, Colorado, South Carolina and Texas, plus one each from New Jersey, Washington and Oregon.

Three of the new recruits earned invitations to the U.S. Army All-America Bowl, and there were four participants in the Under Armour All-America Game.

The Bears inked a pair of prep All-Americans along the offensive line in Mark Brazinski (Somerville, NJ/Immaculata HS) and Charles Siddoway (Eugene, OR/Sheldon HS). The 6-4, 293-pound Brazinski is rated the No. 3 center prospect in the country by Scout.com, while Siddoway, who stands 6-6 1/2, 325, was deemed the top recruit in the state of Oregon by Rivals.com.

Joining Brazinski and Siddoway along the offensive line are Charles Ragland (Denver, CO/Mullen HS) and Brian Schwenke (Oceanside, CA/Oceanside HS). The 6-8, 285-pound Ragland claimed all-state honors after leading his team to a state title in his first year playing on the offensive side. Schwenke (6-3, 260) also pulled down first-team all-state notice as a senior.

Quarterback Allan Bridgford, a 6-3, 210-pount prospect from Mission Viejo, Calif. (Mission Viejo HS), received the Glenn Davis Award at the U.S. Army All-America Bowl for his achievements in athletics, education and community service. As a senior, he completed 61.3 percent of his passes for 3,058 yards and 38 touchdowns. An invitee to the 2008 Elite 11 Quarterback Camp, Bridgford was rated the 10th-best "pro-style" QB in the country by Rivals.com.

Cal picked up an outstanding rusher at tailback in local product Dasarte Yarnway (San Francisco, CA/Sacred Heart HS), who was named a SuperPrep All-American after amassing 2,180 yards and 22 touchdowns on the ground as a senior. He was tabbed the San Francisco Player of the Year by the San Francisco Chronicle. Isi Sofele (Salt Lake City, UT/Cottonwood HS) played tailback in high school and could find himself in a number of roles on the Bears as an athlete. He measures just 5-7, 170, but totaled almost 3,500 yards and 48 touchdowns his final two seasons in high school.

Markish Jones (Spartanburg, SC/Compton CC) earned a four-star rating from Rivals.com coming out of Broome High School in South Carolina. In addition to his football prowess - he had 40 catches for 1,030 yards and 13 scores as a senior - Jones won four state titles in track & field in 2006 (100m, 200m, 400m, long jump).

Defensively, the Bears picked up two high school All-Americans in the secondary with Steve Williams (Dallas, TX/Skyline HS) and Alex Logan (Denver, CO/Mullen HS) deciding to come west to play college football. Williams, a SuperPrep All-American, is listed as the No. 7 cornerback in the nation by ESPN.com. Logan hails from the same high school as fellow recruit Ragland and current sophomore offensive lineman Chris Guarnero. He earned All-America nods from both PrepStar and SuperPrep.

Vachel Samuels (Lynwood, CA/Lynwood HS) rounds out the defensive back trio. An all-region cornerback by both Rivals and Scout, he was also pegged as the nation's fourth-most physical corner by Rivals.

The Bears added three junior college transfers, plus a three-star high school prospect, at linebacker. Jarred Price (Dallas, TX/Blinn JC) earned first-team JuCo All-America notice and was labeled the country's No. 22 JC recruit by Rivals.com. Jerome Meadows (Spartanburg, SC/San Jose CC) had 105 tackles for nearby San Jose CC this past fall. In high school, he helped his Broome HS team to a South Carolina state championship in 2004, while Ryan Davis (Norwalk, CA/Cerritos CC) registered five sacks and three fumble recoveries last year. Steven Fanua (Milpitas, CA/Milpitas HS) comes to Cal from the South Bay after accumulating 124 tackles in 2008 to earn a four-star rating from Tom Lemming's scouting service.

Along the line, Deandre Coleman (Seattle, WA/Garfield HS) will bring his talents to Berkeley after a stellar high school career. A Parade magazine All-American, he was the only player from the state of Washington to earn a roster spot for the Army All-American Bowl and was chosen the top player in the Northwest by the Tacoma News-Tribune. Keni Kaufusi (Salt Lake City, UT/Cottonwood HS) will join HS teammate Sofele on the Bears after earning first-team all-state honors in Utah.

Place kicker Vince D'Amato (Lake Forest, CA/El Toro HS) rounds out the class. As a senior last fall, he was named Special Teams MVP of the Sea View League after booting 13 field goals, including a long of 48 yards, and 30 PATs, and putting 94 percent of his kickoffs into the end zone.

Cal is coming off a 9-4 season in 2008, which included a 24-17 victory over Miami in the Emerald Bowl and a No. 25 ranking in the final USA Today poll. The Bears open spring practice on March 10 and kick off the 2009 campaign at home vs. Maryland on Sept. 5.


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