College Football Recruiting: Local Defensive-End Akili Calhoun Jr. Commits to Cal
Wilcox's staff continues to add Bay Area talent with the commitment of coveted Brentwood, Calif. three-star recruit
Three-star defensive-end recruit Akili Calhoun Jr. committed to Cal, the Brentwood, Calif., native confirmed in a tweet Saturday.
Calhoun Jr. joins the Golden Bears with fellow heralded 2021 tight-end recruit Jermaine Terry from Richmond, Calif. The commitments by the Mercury News Elite Bay Area prospects show the Wilcox regime is serious about keeping the San Francisco Bay Area Bear Territory.
Calhoun Jr., rated as highly as four-stars by 247 Sports, is projected to play as an outside-linebacker in Cal’s three-down linemen defense. In his junior-year tape from Liberty High, the six-foot-four, 245-pound athlete lined up as a weak-side defensive end in the school’s four-down linemen defense. Scouting reports note he can play on both the strong and weak-side.
Calhoun Jr. is the son of former Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Akili Calhoun, Psy.D.
6’4” 250 lbs (self-declared)
OT/DE --> DE/OLB
Liberty HS (Brentwood, CA) c/o 2021
This is the type of young man I like to see coming to Cal.
Local. Proud about his grades. Gets it done in the gym. Gets kudos from teammates and coaches. And is an absolute beast on the field.
On stats, he only played 7 out of 12 games last season and 8 during his sophomore season, which means that he does have some history of injuries. In the games he played, he averaged 3 tackles per game, with one of those being a TFL (and half of those being sacks). He played both OT and DE, but his DE tape was straight filthy.
Plays standing up, 3 point, four point, and way off the edge like Joey Bosa. He is explosive off the snap, has a superb outside speed rush move and a smaller repertoire of inside moves, sheds blocks with violent arms, and chases down a superb motor. His upper body strength is clearly very good as he has pancaked a few guys with just an arm shove – as illustrated by his distances in shotput and discus which are at or near enough to get invited to State championship. His Under Armor camp video is also impressive – quick feet, good lateral speed, showed a tight little spin move, generally did really well against high quality opponents.
He is built low with a thick lower body and heavy frame. That is, expect to see Tori Becton help Akili transform that 250 into even more power. If there is any area of weakness (or perhaps more accurate, something that I’d like to see), it is more diversity to his weapons. He was so successful with what he was using, his highlight tape got a bit repetitive. He is also quick and athletic for his age/size, but not fast enough (yet) to be a credible outside-pressure guy like Orin Patu. Rather, he is a contain/pressure guy like Tevin Paul. There is absolutely no video of him into coverage, so a conversion into OLB comes with a huge caveat that he can do that half of the job. But when dealing with recruits, you start with genes, raw athleticism, and work-ethic – and the rest gets developed later.
To me, he seems like he has the potential to be a multi-year starter. I predict you’ll see Akili Calhoun tackling in the backfield and then standing over an Auburn running back.
Go Bears! There is no reason we shouldn’t be in the top-five of every high school athlete in the Bay Area.