Cal football finalizes 21-man recruiting class

2017-08-01-justin-wilcox_169a4490_calathletics
Cal Athletics/Courtesy

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National signing day is always a newsworthy occasion of hat picking in college football during which student-athletes make emotional decisions that will dictate the next few years of their lives.

For Cal, today’s signing day featured three new recruits, along with 18 previously recruited players who etched in their futures during the early signing period, solidifying its 21-man 2018 recruiting class.

“We’re excited to strengthen our 2018 recruiting class,” said head coach Justin Wilcox in a press release. “They are shaped in the same mold as the first 18 members of this class — student-athletes that are smart and tough who will play football at a high level.”

The three newest members of the Bears’ roster are inside linebacker Chris Fatilua, outside linebacker Joseph Ogunbanjo and safety Monroe Young, each of whom comes to Berkeley as a three-star athlete, according to 247Sports.

Fatilua, a native of San Diego, California, was a three-year varsity player who racked up 226 tackles, 3.0 sacks and four forced fumbles. Standing at 6’ 2’’ and 220 pounds, Fatilua’s build fits in seamlessly with Cal’s current linebacker core.

The Bears brought in another big man with the 6’ 3’’, 225-pound Ogunbanjo. Hailing from Houston, Texas, Ogunbanjo came in to his own during his senior year when he racked up 64 tackles and 12.5 sacks, earning a nomination for Houston’s Defensive End of the Year.

Young is capable of working on both sides of the ball, showcasing his talents as an elite two-way player throughout high school. During his high school career in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Young finished with a career total of 224 tackles and five interceptions. While he is the smallest of the three newest signees, at 6’ 0’’ and 190 pounds, he is a dynamic athlete that the program will have the ability to mold.

Cal’s batch of incoming talent is ranked a respectable No. 43 in the nation according to 247Sports, but taking into consideration the strength of fellow Pac-12 classes, the Bears once again find themselves on the back burner in the conference.

USC is ranked a towering No. 4 in the nation, followed by No. 13 Washington, No. 16 Oregon and No. 18 UCLA, who are among the seven Pac-12 schools ranked ahead of Cal.

The finishing touches have been made, and as the hecticness of signing day settles down, the Bears will take their recently completed roster and prepare for the second season in the Wilcox era.

Christie Aguilar is an assistant sports editor. Contact her at [email protected].