(TwistNHook Edit: Look, Hydro’s post here is really really cool. Make sure to read that. But I just wanted to bring your attention to another thing thats really really cool. This post from Yahoo Sports. Marshawn is in there! And Mickey Pimentel! And Justin Duchererererererererer! Also, on another note, Leon Powe had an amazing night the other night. Double double! Ok, back to your regularly scheduled HydroTech Post!)
Alright Bears, signing day is only a half of a week away. Since my last recruiting post, which didn’t seem that long ago but was around 3 weeks ago, the Bears have picked up a few more commitments.
When I last left off, Cal had just picked up a commitment from Kendrick Payne, a defensive tackle from Texas (Scout profile; Rivals profile). At the time he didn’t have any film. Now he does. Here are my thoughts: The first thing which really stands out to me his outstanding play-recognition skills and awareness. He seemed a step ahead of the OL in his recruiting videos. OL was going to cut block? He gracefully side-steps the cut-block and is in the backfield in an instant. Run is going away from him? He pianos sideways easily, bypassing his blocker and makes the tackle even though he’s a back-side defender. His also maintains a great awareness for the ball location while locked up on his blocker. So often, it seems like some players lose focus on the ball and only concentrate on their blocker when engaged but Payne doesn’t. He also is fairly quick too. Of course, he’s only 260 pounds right now. So when he puts on 30 more pounds and up to a Pac-10 playing weight he might be a touch slower. But still, his mobility reminded me a bit of Brandon Mebane. Also, Payne is a midyear student and is already on campus, hitting the books, and the weights.
The next commitment was Aaron Tipoti, a DE from Hawaii (Scout profile; Rivals profile). He’s around 6′1" to 6′3" and anywhere from 230-250 pounds. He’s Tosh Lupoi’s first recruit - I believe, as since Lupoi has probably been assigned to work the state of Hawaii now that Delgado is gone. His recruiting videos are limited, but here are my thoughts: Tipoti seems to do best off the end at defensive end than inside. Against guards, it seems as if his efforts might be stymied more. But off the end, he does an pretty good job attacking the edge. He seems to use his hands pretty well in order to free himself. In case you didn’t know, Delgado was huge on teaching the DL martial arts hand techniques to keep the OL’s hands off of them. Lupoi definitely got lots of training in the martial arts from Delgado and Lupoi is surely going to pass it off to all the Cal DLmen. Tipoti seems very athletic too. He’s definitely got a DE body and gets a good drive out of his legs.
Next, Cal got a commitment from a local prospect, Chris Little, a safety out of Oakland (Scout profile; Rivals profile). He’s a decent sized prospect at 6′2" and still might be growing. His videos are a pretty tough to see but my thoughts nonetheless: First, he’s a thick guy. The recruiting services has his weight around 210 or so, and he surely looks it. He is taller and thicker than everyone else in his videos but he also maintains good speed too. He seems to be a pretty solid tackler and looks to be able to provide ample run support by closing in on the run fast.
Cal continues its tradition with great offensive centers by picking up a commitment from Dominic Galas (Scout profile; Rivals profile). He’s rated as about the #10 center in the country if you average the rankings from Scout and Rivals. Galas was originally an Oregon State commitment, but Cal has pursued him hard and won his allegiance. My thoughts on his videos: Well, he can definitely take on defensive players who are bigger and heavier than he is. In his videos he was consistently moving out defenders who outweighed him. Galas gets a nice low pad level on the defenders, gets under their pads, and moves them right out of the play. While watching some one on one clips, what really stood out to me is Galas’ great positioning. Aside from one clip, he didn’t really get himself out of position or give the defender leverage on either side. He played tough against DTs that were bigger, heavier and possibly stronger. What also struck me about Galas, and which may be the most important attribute, is his demeanor. He’s all business. While other players seemed to be trash-talking and looking for some banter in return, Galas didn’t say anything back. He comes across as very business-like and serious. Galas’ serious attitude reminds me of former Cal workaholic Byron Storer and current Cal center Alex Mack. In fact, that’s one thing that all of Cal’s recent centers seemingly all have in common, a great work ethic. That must be something that Coach Michalczik looks for in his players.
Finally, Cal’s latest commitment is Josh Hill, a CB from Texas (Scout profile; Rivals profile). Hill is from the same highschool as Kendrick Payne. In fact, the two are teammates. So not only is Cal starting to tap Texas for recruiting talent, but it gets two solid looking prospects from the same team, and the same side of the ball. Remember the last DT/CB duo Cal recruited? Just a bunch of nobodies named Brandon Mebane and Daymeion "Dante" Hughes. Could this be the next NFL duo who are former highschool teammates and college teammates? Maybe. My thoughts on Hill’s recruiting videos: he seem to do just fine in man coverage. There is a lot of video of Hill blanketing his WR and breaking up the ball. On deep balls he locates the ball well and breaks up the play. He shows good awareness at spotting WR bubble screens and getting to the ball carrier. I don’t really like labeling players based on highschool video but he definitely seems like a playmaker. His speed is good too, and he can run down players from the opposite side of the field. Being 6′0 to 6′1" gives him decent height to match up against taller WRs. All in all, a solid player. Seems like there might be a little Dante Hughes in him.
Alright, signing day is about 5 days away. I think some of the other bloggers are going to be running a few recruiting related articles over the next week. Notice I didn’t talk about star ratings at all in this post? I think Ragnarok is going to talk about dem stars. And we here at the CGB have a little recruiting story of our own that I think Twist is going to share.