Cal Football Recruiting

Bears Ring in Their First Early Recruiting Class in NCAA History

December 20, 2017

Many years of debate were finally settled when the NCAA instituted it's first early signing day for NCAA football this year. Today through December 22nd kicks off this year's early signing period.

The first player to start off early signing day was 5-10/195 Ben Davis (Indianapolis, Indiana) High School running back Johnny Adams, Jr.

Bear Insider
Running back signee Johnny Adams, Jr

Adams rushed for 1,424 yards and 16 touchdowns and was named all-district for his state champion squad. The 3 star back is a strong downhill runner that has great vision and strong athleticism, with an impressive 42-inch vertical and one of the top Nike SPARQ scores in the nation -a system that measures a combination strength, speed, agility and leaping ability.

Next up was Sonora (La Habra, California) cornerback Chigozie Anusiem. The 6-2/185 Anusiem was a two-way player as a cornerback and receiver in high school who had career totals of 139 tackles, five interceptions, 28 passes defended and three forced fumbles on defense while catching 51 passes for 1151 yards and 13 touchdowns as a receiver.

The 4 star corner was potentially the only defensive back taken for the 2018 class, as the Bears return a fairly deep defensive backfield. His long, rangy frame and ability to cover speedy receivers was coveted by head coach Justin Wilcox, defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter and defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander.

Anusiem is one of four early entry players signed by the Bears and will participate in spring ball.

The third player signed was Notre Dame Prep (Scottsdale, Arizona) longsnapper Slater Zellers. The 6-2/210 Zellers was a 4-year starter at longsnapper for Notre Dame Prep and was named the nation’s top-rated long snapper according to ESPN and Kohl’s Professional Camps as a senior. Zellers' squad finished 13-1, losing in the Arizona state 5A championship game. 

Next in was 5-10/170 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, California) High School receiver Nikko Remigio. The 4 star receiver was part of the top receiving corps in the nation as well as the #1 rated team in the nation overall with Mater Dei.

Remigio was named All-Trinity League in both his junior and senior seasons and was rated as the nation’s No. 39 receiver. The speedy wideout had 45 receptions for 711 yards with 10 touchdown catches for the CIF California state champions this season.

Remigio received his offer after standing out in summer camp where he was virtually uncoverable.

The fifth player to sign was Menlo School (Atherton, CA) outside linebacker JH Tevis. The 6-3/225 Tevis was named the Player of the Year in the Peninsula Athletic League, compiling 79 tackles, 32 tackles for loss and 14 sacks. Tevis was also named league Defensive Player of the Year as a junior with an impressive 125 tackles, 50 tackles for loss and state-leading 22 1/2 sacks.

The 3 star Tevis comes from an athletic family, with both his father and uncle former collegiate football players. Tevis' Menlo squad fell in the CIF CCS finals this season.

Next in was 6-5/235 South Lake Tahoe (South Lake Tahoe, CA) High School tight end McCallan Castles. The highly-athletic McCastles had 102 catches, 2027 yards receiving and 27 touchdown receptions in his junior and senior seasons.

The 3-sport star (football, basketball, high jump) presents consistent defensive mismatches and should fit in well with offensive coordinator Beau Baldwin's offensive system at Cal.

Number seven on the day came from 6-1/235 College of San Mateo inside linebacker Colt Doughty.  The JC soph had 177 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and 3 sacks for the state runner-up CSM squad. The tenacious linebacker was named a first-team All-American and Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore for a CSM squad that reached the California Community College state championship game. Doughty was named the nation’s  #2 junior college inside linebacker by ESPN.

Doughty will be an early enrollee and will compete to start immediately at ILB.

Next up was the first of two Granite Bay standouts, linebacker/running back Evan Tattersall.  The 6-2/225 athlete had 563 yards on the ground and 12 touchdowns along with 17 catches for 179 yards and another td, and 58 tackles, seven tackles for loss and two sacks for the CIF D1 NorCal runner-up.

Tattersall is another football legacy for the Bears, with his father Jon starring for Oregon just a few seasons before Wilcox's arrival as a collegiate linebacker for the Ducks in the 90's. The versatile athlete is described by many as a throwback athlete who loves the game of football and rarely steps off the field, playing all three phases of the game, including special teams for Granite Bay.

It's thought that Tattersall is more likely to end up on the defensive side of the ball but the situation will sort itself out in training camp next fall.

The ninth player to sign was Aquinas (San Bernardino, CA) offensive tackle Jasper Friis. The massive 6-7/315 German/Brazilian native of Munich will be another early enrollee at Cal this spring. 

In just his second season of American football after moving from Germany, the 3 star Friis earned 1st team all-league honors and led his 14-1 Aquinas squad to the state semifinals before falling last week.

Next up was the second of two Granite Bay signees, 6-5/270 offensive lineman Will Craig. The 4 star Craig was a dominant offensive tackle and also excelled at defensive end for the NorCal 2A runner-up squad, earning all-league and all-CIF honors.

Craig shows the type of aggressiveness and nonstop motor that offensive line coach Steve Greatwood loves and had the most extensive offer list of any of Cal recruits, with offers from 10 Pac-12 programs along with Notre Dame, Nebraska and several other national programs.

The 11th player to sign was Skyline (Sammamish, Washington) High School offensive lineman Matthew Cindric. The 6-4/270 KingCo League lineman of the year starred on both sides of the ball with an unmatched level of tenacity. Cindric was also named 1st team all-state, compiling 48 tackles, 13 sacks and one fumble recovery returned 57 yards for a touchdown on defense.

Cindric also served as the team’s long snapper for three seasons and was a team captain in both his junior and senior season. The 4 star recruit and the nation’s No. 98 offensive tackle according to 247Sports.

The next to sign was 6-5/250 Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, CA) High School outside linebacker Nick Alftin. Another multi-sport athlete, Alftin also stood out on the volleyball court for Mitty on the front line.

The high motor Alfin was 1st-team All-West Catholic Athletic League as a senior, racking up 45 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 6 1/2 sacks and 17 quarterback hurries along with one fumble recovery on the year.

Volleyball runs in the Alftin family, as sister Christine is a 6'1" freshman outside hitter for the Bears.

The 13th player to sign was another running back, 6-2/220 El Camino (Oceanside, CA) High School running back Chris Brown, Jr.

The power back rushed for 3,249 yardsand 34 touchdowns along with 25 receptions for 260 yards as a 3-year starter for El Camino. Brown also had 82 tackles, three tfl's and two interceptions on defense.

Brown also led El Camino to their first CIF San Diego Section championship, scoring a crucial pair of touchdowns in the section championship game. El Camino fell in the state 4A semifinals.

Next up for the Bears was their fourth and final early entry spring enrollee, Mt. San Antonio College sophomore nose tackle Lone Toailoa Isara. The 6-3/280 New Zealand native is new to football but picked up the sport quickly, earning JC All-American honors his first season of JC ball.

Toailoa Isara compiled 46 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 8 1/2 sacks,, one forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and five pass breakups at Mt. SAC.

Known for his strength and ability to shed blocks, after getting in a proper food regimen and strength and conditioning program, expect the 22-year d-lineman to play closer to 300 lbs and wreak havoc up the middle for the Bears. 

The 15th signee of the day was one of the latest commits of the class, 6-4/215 Torry Pines (San Diego, California) outside linebacker Louie Bickett. The 3-year starter earned Defensive Player of the Year as well as All-CIF San Diego Section. The 3 star senior had 127 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, three sacks and two interceptions. His Torrey Pines squad fell in the second round of the CIF San Diego Section playoffs.

Bickett is the son of former USC and NFL star linebacker Duane Bickett and brings the same smarts and tenacity to the field as the senior Bickett did and was singled out by Wilcox as a player to watch.

Next up was a pleasant surprise late addition to the class in 6-3/295 Bishop Amat (La Puente, CA) defensive tackle Aaron Maldonado. The 3 star DT was an early commit to UCLA after favoring the Bears early in the recruiting process but decommitted from the Bruins yesterday. UCLA's loss was Cal's gain, as the Bears were more than happy to scoop up 2-time Mission League MVP. 

As a senior, Maldanado tallied 77 tackles and 11 1/2 sacks, as well as a forced fumble

The 17th signee of the day was another massive OT in 6-6/320 Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, CA) High School offensive tackle Miles Owens.

Owens earned 1st team all-league for the CIF NCS 3A semifinalist Dragons. He also plays basketball and throws the shot and discus for O'Dowd in the winter and spring.

The 18th and final signee of the early signing period for the Bears was their fifth offensive lineman, 6-6/285 Clayton Valley offensive tackle Brandon Mello. The 3 star OT was named 1st team all-league, leading the Ugly Eagles to the CIF playoffs before falling to state runner-up De La Salle.

Wilcox noted that the program expects to sign somewhere around five more players in the late signing period on February 7.

Stay tuned for comments from Wilcox on each of the players from today's press conference.

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