Cal recruiting update: Looking ahead to Signing Day

Tedford
Allyse Bacharach/File

This whole recruiting business has gotten out of hand fast, hasn’t it? What once looked like a sure fire top-5 class for the Cal football team will now be lucky to remain ranked in the top-25.

But thankfully, National Signing Day is Wednesday, which hopefully will bring some kind of closure to the decimation that has gone down in Berkeley.

Let’s look back at some of the recent developments with Cal’s recruiting, and see what tomorrow could potentially hold for the Bears:

D.J. Foster, RB Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.): Foster committed to his hometown school ASU on Friday, which really came as a surprise to no one. Cal made a late charge on Foster following the coaching upheavals at ASU, but ultimately he decided to stick with his dream school. It’s a big get for the Sun Devils, as Foster is a dynamic athlete with awesome speed who could make an immediate impact.

Zach Hoffpauir, S Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.). Hoffpauir announced his de-commitment from Cal on Friday, and will be deciding between Cal, Stanford and ASU on Wednesday. Zach seemed all about coming to Berkeley until he was admitted into Stanford a couple weeks ago, and now has decided to consider all his options. Hoffpauir would be a big loss for the Bears, as he has the potential to have a huge impact at the safety position (his demeanor and intensity remind many of former Cal linebacker Zack Follett). Unfortunately, the general consensus is that he’ll be sending in his LOI to Palo Alto.

Arik Armstead, DE Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.): Armstead committed to Oregon on Sunday, and plans on playing basketball and football for the Ducks. This one hurts, as he was allegedly ready to come to Berkeley and enroll early before Tosh Lupoi sailed off in his boat. If Armstead ever decides to go back to playing offensive tackle, he could be a future Top-5 NFL draft pick. If not, he’ll still be a pretty solid defensive linemen for the Ducks.

Shaq Thompson, S Grant (Sacramento, Calif.). Shaq announced via Twitter Monday night that he would be following Tosh Lupoi to Washington. This is a huge loss for the Bears. Thompson, the younger brother of Cal great Syd’Quan Thompson, is ranked as the No. 1 safety and the No. 4 overall player in the nation. If he’d have come to Cal, he likely would’ve have started right away alongside Avery Sebastian in the fall, forming one of the nastiest secondaries in the nation. What makes this hurt even more is that Shaq had committed to Cal twice (once in May, once again earlier this month). Maybe he wants to be a Husky because he knows that that defense requires the safety to make the tackle on every single play.

Jordan Payton, WR Oaks Christian (Westlake, Calif.). Payton followed Shaq’s lead, following Tosh Lupoi up to Seattle after having been committed to Cal. This move didn’t surprise anyone. Payton, as a big, strong, and consistent wide out will certainly be missed. This would really have hurt if it had not been for…

Cedric Dozier, ATH Lakes (Lakewood, Wash.). Dozier reaffirmed his commitment to Cal over Washington State roughly an hour after Payton jumped ship. Finally some good news for the Bears! This is a big acquisition for Cal, as it gets a big time athlete from UW’s backyard. Dozier could play as a safety, running back or a wide receiver in college, and his speed and athleticism would be make him excel at all three. Dozier has said that he wants to be a receiver, which, based on Cal’s scarcity at that position, is likely what he’ll be asked to play.

Brandon Beaver, CB Dominguez (Compton, Calif.). Beaver will be announcing his college choice Wednesday, between 3 and 5 p.m. He took an official visit to Berkeley this past weekend, and seemed to have liked what he saw. Though it looked liked Cal had a legitimate shot at getting the 4-star cornerback, it’s now looking more and more like he will be joining Shaq as a Husky.

Markuss Eligwe, LB Stone Mountain (Stone Mountain, Ga.). Eligwe has been committed to Florida State since April, but took an official visit to Berkeley this past weekend and was blown away. He would be a nice get for the Bears as a quick and rangy outside linebacker. He originally was going to wait until Feb. 6, but made a last minute decision to announce on Wednesday — which could be a good sign for Cal.

Christo Kourtzidis, TE Lutheran (Orange, Calif.). Like Eligwe, Kourtzidis has been a Florida State commit for some time now, but has also seemed to like Cal as well. Some sources have gone as far to say that he’s 50-50 on the schools. Cal desperately needs a tight end for this class, and Kourtzidis has the size and skill set to have an immediate impact.

Aziz Shittu, DE Buhach (Atwater, Calif.). Originally committed to Stanford, Shittu has been exploring his options, and will be deciding between a plethora of Pac-12 schools on Wedneday. He looked like a Cal-lean for a while, but Lupoi’s departure might have changed that. He’s also teammates with current Cal commit Matt Cochran, and will be announcing his choice and signing his letter with him. It would be nice to see Cal lock up a five star guy, but all signs still point to Stanford.