Busy Bears: Cal ends productive week with top target Derek Wilkins’ commitment

Photo of goal posts in UC Berkeley's Memorial Stadium
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It’s been a busy week for Cal football, as the Bears have added four verbal commits to the class of 2021 in the last seven days. The latest member of that class, defensive tackle Derek Wilkins, announced his commitment Saturday on Instagram.

The three-star prospect out of Santa Margarita Catholic is ranked as one of the top 40 prospects in the state of California by both Rivals and 247Sports. He has been a top recruiting target for the blue and gold, and was recruited by Cal football defensive line coach Andrew Browning.

At 6’4” and 250 pounds, Wilkins has plenty of speed to accompany his size and has received praise for his technical ability. That skill set earned him offers from multiple Power Five schools, including powerhouses Oregon, USC and Michigan, but Wilkins ultimately placed rivals Stanford, UCLA and Cal among his favorites.

In a statement to 247Sports, Wilkins cited the Bears’ academics and networking opportunities beyond football as reasons for his interest in the blue and gold. It’s possible that Cal’s respected Life After Ball program played a role in Wilkins’ commitment.

Wilkins is the third defensive lineman to join the Bears’ class of 2021, a class that is ranked in the top half of the Pac-12 and in the nation’s top 30.

Jasper Kenzo Sundeen covers football. Contact him at [email protected].