Midwestern recruit comes cross-country and commits to Cal
I've been looking at recruits for quite some time. We're not Alabama or Clemson, so we're not getting the 5-star can't-miss prospects. And we're not even the second tier, which would get your bunch of four-star studs like Oregon, USC, and Washington get. We're the third tier - which means the vast majority of our recruits are going to be three star guys.
There is a very wide range of 3 star - there are guys who are just about or as good as the four star guys but just don't get the exposure of someone who goes to a top tier high school program. At the bottom of the range are 3 stars that are good enough to be recruited by P5 program, but frankly aren't likely to see any playing time.
The guys that are in the 3-star pool are not can't-lose, college-ready guys. They still need to develop a lot. They are either very raw, perhaps not yet done physically growing, still awkward in their post-pubescent bodies, need years of a real strength/conditioning program, need hundreds of hours studying video to speed up their game. In short, they're lottery tickets.
I'm looking for growth of that person's development over time. I'm looking for personal characteristics (eg, effort when a play is well away from them). I'm looking for technique. I'm looking for demonstration of raw physical ability. But it's still a guessing game how these 17-18 year olds will be when they are 20 years old. It's a guessing game honed over years and years and years of watching tape.
But I do have to say that Cal over the last two years has gotten 3-star guys that I am quietly confident are the overlooked guys who are as good as 4 star guys. While we have some personnel holes to fill, we have some absolute studs in the crew and I am more confident that I have been in a long time about the immediate future.
I gave a late-night look at KJ and he reminds me of Tre Watson the RB. Not the biggest or fastest but knows how to accelerate and has soft hands. I wouldn't be surprised if we see him split out into the slot in empty looks etc. Very much a modern 3 down back who doesn't excell just in putting dudes into the ground with a stiff arm or a juke but can catch and run.
The history of incredible running backs at Cal should be enough to attract the best. Good choice Kaleb, choosing Cal was the best decision of my entire life, as everything else good came from that decision.
I like all the kids on our commit list thus far. They appear to be quality kids with character and a desire to further their education at a world class institution. Most of them are development projects, meaning they will need at least a couple of years in the weight room, practice time and coaching. But then, then they get rewarded with playing time and we get rewarded with excellent players. Like I've said before, Wilcox is building a program and improving it incrementally every year. I don't believe there is another Head Coach who could do a better job considering this is CAL we are talking about.