For first-year Cal defensive backs coach Marcel Yates, filling former coach Gerald Alexander’s shoes as the voice of reason for the secondary begins with one thing: finishing what he started.
Yates did just that Tuesday evening, securing the commitment of three-star cornerback Kaleb Higgins out of Folsom High School for the 2021 class. Higgins is the sixth commit overall for the Bears next season and the second student-athlete for the defensive side of the ball.
COMMITTED. #GOBEARS ??? pic.twitter.com/dDQyVB1Egb
— Kaleb Higgins (@kk_higgins) April 15, 2020
At 6’2” and 175 pounds, Higgins possesses the look of a wide receiver — he’s longer and more naturally gifted athletically than most defensive backs at his age. His range and versatility led seven Pac-12 schools to pursue the Northern California product with formal offers, but Cal was the first to do so in October 2019.
Higgins’ decision to compete in the Bears’ secondary means he may have a future opportunity to square off against his older brother, Elijah, who is a rising sophomore receiver at Stanford. The younger Higgins slides in as the No. 49 cornerback in his class, according to 247Sports.
While Yates will get the first crack at working with Higgins upon his arrival at Cal, 247Sports lists Higgins’ primary recruiter as Alexander, who departed this offseason to secure an identical title with the Miami Dolphins. The news of Higgins’ commitment — which boosted Cal’s national rank in 2021 recruiting to No. 19 — comes just days after the Bears added pro-style quarterback Kai Millner to its growing 2021 class.