Sonny Dykes’ most wanted: Profiling Cal recruits for the class of 2013

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Jared Goff

Status: Enrolled
High School: Marin Catholic
Position: QB

Cal has been in a quarterback funk since Aaron Rodgers left Berkeley in 2004. So Sonny Dykes is certainly hoping that newly signed quarterback Jared Goff is the man to lead his high-profile Air Raid offense.

Hailing from Kentfield, Calif., Goff attended Marin Catholic High School where he threw for over 7,000 yards in his career.  Goff ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation among quarterbacks in the 2013 recruiting class.

In his three years as a starter in a pass-heavy offense, Goff compiled a 39-4 record and an appearance in the 2012 state championship game.

This past season, Goff completed 64 percent of his passes while throwing 40 touchdown passes. He will begin practicing with the team this spring.

Goff will be competing against highly touted redshirt freshman Zach Kline and redshirt senior Allan Bridgford. With Zach Maynard’s departure, Cal’s starting quarterback job is up for grabs.
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— Sean Wagner-McGough

Khalfani Muhammad

Status: Soft recruit
HS: Notre Dame
Position: RB

Khalfani Muhammad might just be the next Brandon Bigelow. Muhammad, a 5-foot-9 running back out of Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, Calif., is the California state champion in both the 100 and 200-meter dash. Muhammad’s sprinting prowess bears a close resemblance to Bigelow, who once claimed he beat DeAnthony Thomas in a track race.

Muhammad is much more than just a speedster, though. Watching his junior year highlight film, one can see that Muhammad possesses excellent cutback ability and field vision, looking much more like a polished and seasoned college running back than a 16-year old.

He also consistently runs over linebackers and defensive backs, showing that his slight frame doesn’t restrict his ability to run with power. If Muhammad is as good as his highlight tape indicates, he may be yet another great Cal running back, and the first in a post-Gould era.

— Michael Rosen

Darius  Allensworth

Status: Solid recruit
HS: Heritage
Position: CB

Despite a change in its coaching staff, Cal is poised to retain a key four-star recruit in Darius Allensworth.

Allensworth was heavily courted by a plethora of schools, racking up ten scholarship offers.

However, the 5-foot-11 cornerback from Romoland, Calif., recently told Scout.com that his committment to Cal was a 10, on a 1-10 scale.

That’s good news for head coach Sonny Dykes and defensive coordinator Andy Buh, as the highly athletic Allensworth is expected to play as a cornerback. His numbers took a dip his senior season, during which he caught only 14 passes for 159 yards and two scores as a receiver. On the defensive side of the ball Allensworth recorded three interceptions.

The Bears are certainly hoping Allensworth can help improve a defensive unit that gave up almost 31 points per game in 2012.

Sean Wagner-McGough

Matt Anderson

Status: Enrolled
HS: San Ramon Valley
Position: K

When a kicker like Matt Anderson comes around, there are reasons to be excited.

The San Ramon Valley high school kicker, who was teammates with quarterback Zach Kline, is considered one of the best kickers in the country. Yahoo! Sports rates Anderson as the fifth-best kicker in the class of 2013.

When Anderson came to Witter Field last June to show his talents to former head coach Jeff Tedford, he performed better than kickers Michael Geiger and Daniel Carlson — two of the four recruits rated higher than Anderson. A few hours later, former head coach Jeff Tedford offered Anderson a full scholarship to Cal. One of the three recruits already enrolled at Berkeley, Anderson shows great promise. At Witter Field, he knocked down a 58-yard field goal. Anderson should be able to give starting kicker Vince D’Amato a run for his money.

— Seung Y. Lee

Cameron Walker

Status: Soft recruit
HS: Loyola
Position: CB

Cameron Walker is not someone that wows you immediately from the stat sheet. Physically, Walker, who played cornerback at Loyola High School in Los Angeles, Calif., stands at 5-foot-11 and weighs 180 pounds, which is possibly the most generic height-weight ratio for a cornerback. His 40-meter time clocks in at 4.51 seconds, which isn’t barnburner speed that separates him from the rest.

Then what makes Walker a three-star recruit who was offered scholarships by 11 schools, including Boise State, Michigan and Stanford? What he lacks in physical talent, Walker makes up in his hard-nosed play of style and technical abilities.

ESPN believes Walker is a “productive playmaker” in the secondary and even a sleeper in the recruiting boards. There’s nothing that can beat a cornerback with sound fundamentals.

— Seung Y. Lee

Aaron Cochran

Status: Solid recruit
HS: Buhach
Position: OL

A year after allowing 41 sacks — more than all but five FBS schools — Cal’s offensive line is in need of an instant upgrade. Three-star recruit Aaron Cochran will get his chance to show he can be a part of an offensive line in dire need of durable players. The Atwater, Calif., recruit joins his brother Matt on the Bears’ offensive line, choosing Cal over schools such as Oklahoma, Nebraska and Arizona. At 6-foot-8 and 350 pounds, Cochran will be the largest player on Cal’s roster — 10 pounds heavier than freshman counterpart Freddie Tagaloa. But on an injury-plagued offensive line, the most important factor could be Cochran’s durability.

After tweeting “I think my foot’s fractured,” on Jan. 23, the Twitter-happy lineman posted on Sunday, “Being injured reminds me that I’m not invincible.” The Bears won’t need Cochran to be invincible — just durable enough to make it through his four years at Cal relatively injury-free.

— Chris Yoder

Takkarist McKinley

Status: Soft recruit
HS: John F. Kennedy
Position: DE

At 6-foot-2 and 235 pounds, three-star recruit Takkarist McKinley is a bit undersized for a Division I defensive end. But McKinley has track-star speed that has drawn comparisons to three-time Pro Bowler Jevon Kearse.

A two-sport star at John F. Kennedy High School in Fremont, Calif., McKinley put up seven sub-11 times in the 100 meters, including a blistering 10.58 in the state qualifying meet. Though McKinley won’t be the strongest member of Cal’s defensive line, he does have the speed and agility to make an immediate impact on a line that ranked ninth in the Pac-12 last year at rush defense.

There’s no guarantee that McKinley follows Kearse’s career path, and it’s possible that McKinley will shift to linebacker, where he would be more able to use his speed in the open field. It will be up to Cal’s new coaching staff to decide where McKinley’s athleticism will be utilized best.

— Chris Yoder

Drake Whitehurst

Status: Enrolled
HS: City College of SF
Position: WR

You may have never heard of Drake Whitehurst, but once he steps onto the football field, it’s impossible not to spot him.

The wide receiver Whitehurst is a physical specimen, standing at 6-foot-6 and weighing 215 pounds. The two-star recruit from the City College of San Francisco adds an additional dimension to the already stacked wide receiver corps.  Unlike Bryce Treggs and Chris Harper, the more well-rounded receivers, Whitehurst is more of an one-trick pony, blessed and cursed by his size.

Whitehurst will be a welcomed red-zone target thanks to his enormous size and physicality. His size also makes him naturally adept at blocking downfield for the running game. But he doesn’t have great speed or acceleration — don’t expect him to zip past his cornerback.

Considering his size, usefulness and the local connection, Whitehurst will be a low-risk, relatively high-reward recruit for the Bears.

— Seung Y. Lee

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