The return of the Tosh

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NOVEMBER 02, 2012

1. The calm before the storm

On Jan. 15, 2012, all was well in Cal’s offseason plans. The Bears had received verbal commitments from five-star recruits Ellis McCarthy and Shaq Thompson and  four-star recruit Jordan Payton. Arik Armstead and Aziz Shittu, a pair of five-star recruits, seemed like they were leaning Cal. The Bears’ recruiting class was shaping up to be one of the best in the country.

2. Dominoes fall

On the morning of January 16, 2012, some unexpected news emerged from the Seattle news corps: former Cal defensive line coach and ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi had defected to the Huskies coaching staff. “Coach Lupoi is a terrific young coach and a dynamic recruiter,” Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian said. “He will have an immediate impact with our team both on the field and in recruiting.”

3. Decommits commence

Bloggers and journalists alike weren’t exactly sure what to expect in the short-term from the Tosh departure, but most agreed the impact would be limited to defensive line recruits. Hours after the Tosh news broke, that seemed to be the case. Shittu, a defensive lineman, announced he had eliminated Cal. McCarthy, a defensive tackle, switched his commitment to UCLA.

4. Kiseau peaces out

Almost exactly 24 hours after Tosh’s departure to the Huskies was announced, UW relayed even more bad information for the Cal faithful: wide receiver coach Eric Kiseau had accepted the same position in Seattle. Hours earlier, Shaq Thompson and wideout Jordan Payton revealed their Bears commitments were now up in the air. The departure of Kiseau certainly didn’t help Thompson and Payton’s decisions.

5. Information leaks about Tosh’s departure

On January 18, Jim McGill of BearInsider reveals that a couple of weeks earlier, Tosh had received an offer from Washington and Cal had matched it. Jeff Tedford told Tosh that he needed a verbal commitment from him that he would stay, and Tosh told Tedford that he would indeed be staying at Cal. A couple of weeks pass, and Tosh leaves Cal without saying one word to Tedford.

6. Signing day comes

On January 30, Shaq Thompson announced that he’d switched from his verbal commitment to Cal to an actual commitment to Washington, citing the graduation rate as a reason. The next day, Jordan Payton switched his commitment from Cal to Washington. Cal’s recruiting class drops from a potential top 5 or 10 class to 23rd in the country according to

7. No-class Tosh

The vitriol for Tosh Lupoi and the Huskies for their potentially unethical recruitment of Tosh simmered with Bears fans for a few months, but had essentially died down by August.

But at a Washington pep rally on August 8, coach Steve Sarkisian baited Bears fans once more. “Everytime I’d always see Cal getting these guys … I’m like how is Cal…the CAL BEARS! They haven’t been to the Rose Bowl in a hundred and eighty-eight years. Like how are they getting anybody?” Sarkisian said. Tosh couldn’t pass up insulting his alma mater, complaining that the players only received “slurpees” after post-practice scrimmages.

8. Tosh today

Just yesterday, the Seattle Times interviewed Tosh about the backlash to his slimy maneuvering. “I never look into blogs or papers. I might hear things here and there from family or whatever, but I really don’t tap in or read into media sources or stuff, so I don’t know how much of a big deal it was, to tell you the truth. It was move on and get focused on what I needed to do here,” Tosh said.

Contact Michael Rosen at  or on Twitter


NOVEMBER 02, 2012

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