California Signs 28 Football Players To National Letters-Of-Intent
Feb. 5, 2003
BERKELEY, CALIF. - Primarily bolstering the team's speed and defense, the University of California has signed 28 football players to national letters-of-intent, Head Coach Jeff Tedford announced today. The Golden Bears' incoming class, which includes 19 high school seniors and nine junior college players, has been ranked among the nation's best by several recruiting publications and web sites this year.
Tedford, who was named Pacific-10 Coach of the Year after guiding Cal to its first winning season (7-5) in nine years in 2002, recruited exclusively in the state of California. The Bears inked 12 players from Northern California-seven coming from the Bay Area-and 16 from the Southland, including 11 student-athletes that received All-American accolades this past season.
'When we look back three or four years from now, I believe we will look favorably at the impact that this recruiting class had on the success of our football program,' said Tedford. 'We are extremely happy with the overall quality of this group, both in terms of talent and character. This was the first year that our staff had a full season for recruiting, and our coaches really did an outstanding job of evaluating talent and getting these young men to buy into our vision for Cal football.'
The quality of this year's class is illustrated in many media outlets and national recruiting services. In Rivals.com's ranking of California's Top 100 high school prospects, the Golden Bears landed 14 players from the list-second only to USC's reported 20 recruits. No other school in the country had more than six players in the Top 100, according to verbal commitments. The Bears' overall recruiting class was ranked 16th nationally by both PacWest/TheInsiders.com and Rival.com, the second highest rated school in the Pac-10 behind the Trojans (4th).
Cal also boasted six of the country's Top 125 junior college players, according to PrepStar magazine, and four of the nation's top 71 JuCo student-athletes by another publication (SuperPrep). And to further underscore the overall depth of Tedford's 2003 class, 27 of the Bears' 28 recruits received either All-America or All-Region designations.
'We have addressed many of our needs, particularly in the areas of speed and defense,' added Tedford. 'In the recruiting process, it was quite heartening to see the increased interest about Cal football by so many high school and junior college student-athletes. It is a great indicator that we are making strides as a program. The commitments made today only give us added momentum in establishing a championship-caliber football team.'
In attracting more speed to the program, the 2003 class features nine players who have been clocked at 4.5 seconds or faster in the 40-yard dash. Headed by mercurial wide receiver, Noah Smith of Taft High School (Woodland Hills, Calif.), who has blazed to a 4.29, the group includes five players with 4.4 times on their resumes. Cal has also upgraded its athleticism, as exemplified by Smith (12th) and defensive backs Kenny Frank (15th) of Cerritos High and Daymeion Hughes (41st) of L.A. Crenshaw High all being ranked among the nation's top 41 in Rivals.com's Top Athletes category.
The Bears' defensive haul was also confirmed in Rivals.com recently, as the national web site ranked Cal among the nation's Top 10 at three positions-linebacker (4th), defensive end (6th) and defensive tackle (9th).
In all, Cal signed 18 players on defense. Besides Frank and Hughes, they include: defensive tackles Leon Drummer (St. Mary's High of Berkeley, Danville), Matt Malele (Carson High, Carson), Brandon Mebane (Crenshaw High, Los Angeles) and Josh Tauanu'u (Long Beach Poly High, Long Beach); defensive ends Ryan Riddle (El Camino College, Culver City), Ray Tago (Long Beach City College, Long Beach) and Kyle McClure (Oaks Christian High, Oak Park); linebackers Joe Maningo (Foothill College, Los Altos Hills), Garrett Tremblay (Palm Desert High, Palm Desert), Chris Purtz (Clovis West High, Fresno), Greg Van Hoesen (Saratoga High, Saratoga) and Francis Blay-Miezah (Mt. San Antonio College, West Covina); and defensive backs Matt Giordano (Fresno City College, Clovis), Brandon Myles (Carson High, Carson), Brandon Sanders (Skyline High, Oakland), Thomas DeCoud (Pinole Valley High, Pinole).
On offense, the Bears received commitments from 10 standout players, including four fleet-footed wide receivers. In addition to Smith, they are: quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers (Butte College, Chico) and Cary Dove (Taft High, Woodland Hills); running back J.J. Arrington (College of the Canyons, Newhall); tight ends Garrett Cross (Butte College, Chico) and Craig Stevens (Peninsula High, San Pedro); wide receivers Sam DeSa (Monte Vista High, Alamo), Devin Stearns (Serra High, Paramount) and Sean Young (Berkeley High, Berkeley); and placekicker-punter Lucas Everett (Sierra College, Roseville).
Drummer, a 6-6, 300-pound lineman who earned prep All-America honors (SuperPrep and PrepStar) at Berkeley's St. Mary's High School, is one of two prize recruits from Cal's own backyard-the other being Young from Berkeley High. A starting defensive tackle for the California All-Star Team that played in the CaliFlorida All-Star Game last month at Mt. San Antonio College, he feasted on prep opponents for 129 tackle and seven sacks last fall. PacWest Football/TheInsiders.com ranks him as the fifth-best defensive tackle in the western region of the United States.
One of the premier players in the country, Malele bagged 74 tackles, 6.5 sacks and 19 tackles for losses at Carson High last season. PrepStar/CBS SportsLine.com tagged him a prep All-American and member of its Top 100 Dream Team, while Rivals.com ranked him as the 12th best defensive tackle in the nation and 11th best overall player in the state of California. The Long Beach Press Telegram placed him on its Dream Team first team.
Mebane is another of Cal's prime catches. The 2002 Central City Player of the Year, he earned All-America status (SuperPrep and PrepStar) after rattling off 75 tackles, 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries at Crenshaw High. The 6-3, 250-pound menace also was named 2001 Los Angeles City Defensive Player of the Year following a 78-tackle, 19-sack junior season.
Tauanu'u, a three-year starter at Long Beach Poly High School, earned PrepStar/Rivals.com All-West Team recognition last season after rattling off 37 tackles and four sacks for a team that was ranked No. 2 nationally by USA Today at one juncture of the campaign. Insider.com ranked him No. 25 among high school defensive ends in the nation, while he was named All-CIF Southern Section first team and Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team first team. Tauanu'u was also tabbed on Rivals.com's West Top 100.
'In the recruiting process, it was quite heartening to see the increased interest about Cal football by so many high school and junior college student-athletes. It is a great indicator that we are making strides as a program. The commitments made today only give us added momentum in establishing a championship-caliber football team.'
Head Coach Jeff Tedford
Riddle was exactly that to junior college offensive lines, as El Camino College's MVP was a one-man terror whobagged 12 sacks, scored two touchdowns and blocked five kicks (three field goals and two punts) last season. He wasCal's highest-ranked 2003 recruit on SuperPrep's JuCo 100, as he was slotted as the 31st best junior college player in thenation. PrepStar also placed him on its Top 125 national junior college list.
Tago, listed among the nation's Top 125 junior college players by Rivals.com, played a vital role in Long Beach City College's 8-3 season that included a Mission Conference Northern Division championship. The 6-3, 250-pound end is a former SuperPrep All-American at Long Beach Poly, where he combined for 180 tackles and 24 sacks during his final two seasons. As a senior in 2000, Tago was named the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Defensive MVP and the LongBeach Press Telegram's Dream Team Defensive MVP.
A two-time All-CIF first team selection, McClure pummeled quarterbacks for a team-leading 17 sacks in 2002. Earning the Tri Valley League's Defensive Lineman of the Year honor for a second consecutive year, he collected 80 tackles for an 11-2 Oaks Christian High club.
Maningo, a JC Gridwire second team junior college All-American, shredded foes for 127 tackles (including awhopping 33 for losses), 15 sacks, 24 quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries for nearby Foothill College last fall. PrepStar placed him in its Top 125 national list for junior college players.
Tremblay, the brother of Cal junior linebacker Brian Tremblay, stockpiled 233 tackles and 12 sacks during the past two seasons at Palm Desert High as a two-time All-Desert Valley League member. A 2002 prep All-American(SuperPrep and PrepStar), the 6-3, 215-pounder was ranked as the No. 4 linebacker in Southern California's CIFSouthern Section by the Los Angeles Times in its pre-season ratings.
A PrepStar All-American, Purtz reeled off 156 tackles and 15 sacks in earning Tri-City Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year at Clovis West.
With a team-leading 102 tackles-including eight sacks-Van Hoesen starred down the Bay Area peninsula at Saratoga High. A two-time team Defensive MVP, he earned All-Far West notice by SuperPrep magazine this year.
Blay-Miezah, ranked among PrepStar's Top 125 junior college players nationally, earned first team All-Mission Conference at Mt. San Antonio College last year.
One of the nation's best two-way players last year, Frank hammered out 112 tackles and intercepted four passes at safety, while also cranking out 1,768 yards and 14 touchdowns as a star tailback at Cerritos High. He was selected to the Long Beach Telegram's Dream Team first team in both 2001 and 2002.
Hughes, a Los Angeles Times All-Region pick and the Coliseum League Co-Player of the Year, accounted for 1,320 total yards (600 rushing, 720 receiving) and 15 touchdowns as a senior at L.A. Crenshaw High.
A two-time All-Central Valley Conference pick at Fresno City College, Giordano was named the Defensive MVP in the Northern California Championship Game this past season.
An All-Far West choice by SuperPrep magazine, Myles garnered 30 tackles and two interceptions at Carson High. A teammate of Malele's at Carson, he also averaged an eye-bulging 11.4 yards per carry in rushing for 869 yardsand 12 touchdowns last year.
Sanders, a two-time All-State selection, registered 28 tackles and seven interceptions for Oakland's 11-0-1Skyline High football team last fall. Clocked at 4.38 in the 40-yard dash, he returned two interceptions for touchdownsand returned a fumble for another score during his senior year.
Stacking up 80 tackles and two interceptions at cornerback, and catching 23 passes for 600 yards at widereceiver, DeCoud was one of the most versatile players in the Bay Area at Pinole Valley High.
The junior college pass-catch tandem of Rodgers and Cross, who led Oroville's Butte College (10-1) to the NorCal Conference championship and a No. 2 national JuCo ranking, headline this year's offensive recruits.
Rodgers, a JC Gridwire third team All-American, set school records in passing with 2,408 yards and 28touchdowns last season. The 6-2, 195-pound signal-caller completed 61.9 percent (164-of-265) of his attempts and boasted a remarkable TD-to-interception ratio of 28-to-4. Averaging 16.2 yards per completion and rushing for 294 yardsand seven TDs in 2002, Rodgers passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns in leading Butte to a 37-20 win over San Joaquin Delta College in junior college's Holiday Bowl Dec. 7.
Cross, a first team JC Gridwire All-American, snared 39 passes for 590 yards and 10 touchdowns for a Butte club that beat defending national champion City College of San Francisco en route to the NorCal Conference crown. Cross' 10TD catches led all tight ends in the state of California.
Another quarterback of high repute is Dove, a mobile prep passer who completed 62.5 percent (213-of-341) of his attempts for 3,277 yards, 31 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions for Taft High in 2002. Rivals.com ranked him No. 21 nationally among 'Pro-Style Quarterbacks' and PacWest/TheInsiders.com said that Dove 'reminds us of Akili Smith. He should benefit greatly from Jeff Tedford.' Dove is a two-time All-West Valley League first team choice, Los Angeles Daily News All-Area selection, and All-City pick.
Arrington, who rushed for 769 yards and 19 touchdowns on only 135 carries for College of the Canyon's high-octane offense that averaged 54.5 points per game last season, should challenge for playing time at Cal next fall. Also catching 30 passes for 320 yards and four additional TDs last year, the 5-11, 215-pound tailback played a prominent role in his team being ranked among the top three junior colleges in Southern California and posting a 10-2 mark en route to a California State Championship Bowl appearance.
A two-way standout at Peninsula High School, Stevens caught four touchdowns at tight end and bagged 127 tackles on defense. Rivals.com projects him as the 54th best tight end in the nation, while both SuperPrep and PrepStar list him on their All-West regional teams.
DeSa has been a Bay Area high school favorite the past few years at Monte Vista, where he has set school career receiving records for catches (166), yardage (3,154) and touchdowns (40). The two-time Oakland Tribune/ ANG Newspapers first team choice hunted down 55 passes for 1,156 yards (21.0 avg.) and 19 touchdowns last season.
Averaging 22.3 yards per catch, Stearns corralled 38 passes for 887 yards in earning PrepStar All-American recognition at Serra High this past season. Timed at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, he also rushed for 507 yards and returned three kicks or punts for touchdowns.
Honing his skills just down the hill from the Cal campus, Young averaged 23.3 yards per reception as senior. As the league MVP last year, he chased down 19 passes for 443 yards and five touchdowns, added 324 yards and five TDs rushing and contributed another 360 yards and three TDs as a punt returner for Berkeley High's 11-1 Yellowjackets.
Everett was the state's leading JC punter with a 45.2-yard season average and converted nine of 12 field goals as a placekicker at Sierra College in Rocklin. An All-State (JC Athletic Bureau) and All-Bay Valley Conference choice this year, he played a pivotal role in Sierra College's 10-1 season that included a conference title and 13-7 win over Oakland's Laney College in the Shrine Bowl Game in Sacramento.
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES ON 2003 CAL FOOTBALL RECRUITS
|2003 California Football Recruits|
|Arrington, J.J.||RB||5-11||215||Newhall, Calif.||College of the Canyons|
|Blay-Miezah, Francis||LB||6-2||230||West Covina, Calif.||Mt. San Antonio College|
|Cross, Garrett||TE||6-5||235||Chico, Calif.||Butte College|
|DeCoud, Thomas||CB||6-3||175||Pinole, Calif.||Pinole Valley|
|DeSa, Sam||WR||5-11||174||Alamo, Calif.||Monte Vista|
|Dove, Cary||QB||6-2||160||Castaic, Calif.||Taft|
|Drummer, Leon||DT||6-6||300||Danville, Calif.||St. Mary's of Berkeley|
|Everett, Lucas||PK-P||6-2||190||Roseville, Calif.||Sierra College|
|Frank, Kenny||S||6-0||185||Cerritos, Calif.||Cerritos|
|Giordano, Matt||DB||6-0||210||Clovis, Calif.||Fresno City College|
|Hughes, Daymeion||CB||6-2||175||Los Angeles, Calif.||Crenshaw|
|Malele, Matt||DT||6-3||300||Carson, Calif.||Carson|
|Maningo, Joe||LB||6-1||225||Los Altos Hills, Calif.||Foothill College|
|McClure, Kyle||DE||6-6||230||Oak Park, Calif.||Oaks Christian|
|Mebane, Brandon||DT||6-3||250||Los Angeles, Calif.||Crenshaw|
|Myles, Brandon||CB||5-10||185||Carson, Calif.||Carson|
|Purtz, Chris||LB||6-2||227||Fresno, Calif.||Clovis West|
|Riddle, Ryan||DE||6-3||240||Culver City, Calif.||El Camino College|
|Rodgers, Aaron||QB||6-2||195||Chico, Calif.||Butte College|
|Sanders, Brandon||CB||5-9||170||Oakland, Calif.||Skyline|
|Smith, Noah||WR||5-11||165||Lake View, Calif.||Taft|
|Stearns, Devin||WR||6-3||185||Paramount, Calif.||Serra|
|Stevens, Craig||TE||6-5||240||San Pedro, Calif.||Peninsula|
|Tago, Ray||DE||6-3||250||Long Beach, Calif.||Long Beach City College|
|Tauanu'u, Josh||DT||6-2||280||Long Beach, Calif.||Long Beach Poly|
|Tremblay, Garrett||LB||6-3||215||Palm Desert, Calif.||Palm Desert|
|Van Hoesen, Greg||LB||6-3||216||Saratoga, Calif.||Saratoga|
|Young, Sean||WR||5-10||175||Berkeley, Calif.||Berkeley|
|J.J. ARRINGTON, Tailback, 5-11, 215, College of the Canyons (Newhall, Calif.)SuperPrep magazine placed him on its national JuCo top 100, listed as the 46th best junior college player in the country....named to the 2002 All-Region 3 Team by the California Community College Football Coaches Association Board of Directors and JC Athletic Bureau....rushed for 769 yards and 19 touchdowns on only 135 carries last season, while also catching 30 passes for 320 yards and four additional TDs....his 19 rushing TDs in 2002 and 29 career rushing scores during his two-year stint at Canyons were both school records....also set or tied school marks for touchdowns in a game (5 twice) and season (23), and points in a game (30, twice), season (138) and career (198)....averaged 5.7 yards per carry last year despite playing behind an undersized line at College of the Canyons, a school that ranked among the Top 3 JuCos in Southern California and posted a final 10-2 record en route to the California State Championship Bowl (losing to Reedley, 35-15) .... Canyons averaged 54.5 points per game last season, scoring more than 60 points four times.... timed in 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash....originally from Rocky Mount, N.C., where he played at Northern Nash High School.|
|FRANCIS BLAY-MIEZAH, Linebacker, 6-2, 230, Mt. San Antonio JC (West Covina, Calif.)Earned first team All-Mission Conference at Mt. San Antonio College last year....also ranked among PrepStar's Top 125 junior college players nationally....a three-time All-Del Rey League first team selection at Bishop Amat High School prior to his stint at Mt. SAC....reeled off 98 tackles (63 solos) and seven sacks at linebacker, while also scoring nine touchdowns at running back during his senior season at Bishop Amat High....also rushed for 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns on 163 carries during his three prep years as a running back....according to NorCalPreps.com, a 'very tough, solid linebacker with good speed and quickness'....clocked at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash....father, Evaristo Barrett, played football at UCLA.|
|GARRETT CROSS, Tight End, 6-5, 235, Butte College (Chico, Calif.)Member of Butte College's 2002 team that beat defending national champion City College of San Francisco en route to the NorCal Conference championship....snared 39 catches for 590 yards and 10 touchdowns for Butte last year as a JC Gridwire first team All-American, with his 10 scoring catches tops among all JC tight ends in California....also earned JC All-America and first team All-State recognition by the JC Athletic Bureau and California Community College Coaches Association in 2002....caught five passes for 33 yards in Butte's 37-20 win over San Joaquin Delta in the 2002 Holiday Bowl....named All-NorCal Conference in both 2001 and 2002 at Butte JC, also earning first team All-Region 1 this past season....also named to the JC Football Network's All-USA Iron Man second team in 2002....listed on SuperPrep's JuCo 100, rated the 71st best junior college player in the United States....PrepStar placed him on its Top 125 national JC list....clocked at 4.7 in the 40-yard dash, according to NorCalPrep.com....was two-time All-Eastern Athletic League at Chico High School, earning team MVP award in both football and basketball....also named to All-Section and All-League teams in basketball and track & field (long jump) as prep athlete....in high school, he was invited to play in the California-Florida Football All-Star Game, the Lions All-Star Football Game and the All The Best All-Star Basketball Classic.|
|THOMAS DeCOUD, Cornerback, 6-3, 175, Pinole Valley HS (Pinole, Calif.)Earned first team All-Alameda Contra Costa Athletic League accolades during a brilliant senior season in which he rang up 80 tackles and two interceptions at defensive back, and caught 23 passes for 600 yards at wide receiver for Pinole Valley High....awarded All-ACCAL honors in both football and basketball at Pinole Valley as a junior.|
|SAM DeSA, Wide Receiver, 5-11, 174, Monte Vista HS (Alamo, Calif.)Two-time Oakland Tribune/ANG Newspapers first team wide receiver who hunted down 55 passes for 1,156 yards (21.0 avg.) and 19 touchdowns as a senior, even though he was double- and triple-teamed all year long....included in that total were 17 catches for 375 yards (22.1 ypc) and four touchdowns during the postseason....his 81-yard TD in the North Central Section finals clinched the title for the Mustangs....helped form the state's best pass-catch duo with QB Kyle Wright at Monte Vista, where he set school career marks for receptions (166), receiving yards (3,154) and TD catches (40)...also the national winner of the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the best wide receiver in high school football two straight years....a SuperPrep All-Far West choice who also earned Oakland Tribune/ANG Newspapers second team notice at defensive back in 2002...PrepStar also pegged him an All-West Region choice....two-time All-East Bay Athletic League first team choice....earned first team as senior and second team as junior on San Francisco Chronicle's All-Star Team....named second team All-State as a wide receiver and kickoff returner in 2002....also a two-time San Ramon Valley Times first team choice....as a junior, corralled 65 passes for 1,210 yards and 15 touchdowns at Monte Vista High....burst onto the prep scene as a sophomore, corralling 46 passes for 788 yards and six TDs....rated the No. 7 wide receiver on the West Coast by PacWestfootball.com....ranked No. 54 nationally among wide receivers by Rivals.com and rated No. 76 overall among U.S. prep football players in Rivals.com's Top 100....also a track standout at Monte Vista, earning All-East Bay Athletic League first team notice in both his junior (100m, 200m) and senior years (200m, 400m).|
|CARY DOVE, Quarterback, 6-2, 160, Taft HS (Castaic, Calif.)A two-time All-West Valley League first team choice, Los Angeles Daily News All-Area selection and All-City pick at Taft High School....completed 213 of 341 attempts (62.5%) for 3,277 yards, 31 touchdowns and only 13 interceptions his senior year....'Reminds us of Akili Smith,' writes PacWest/TheInsiders.com, which rates him the 7th best QB in the West. 'He should benefit greatly from Jeff Tedford.'....rated No. 21 nationally in Rivals.com's Pro-Style Quarterback listing....also ranked 63rd in Rivals.com's Top 100 California prep football players and No. 75 in their West Top 100, and noted on SuperPrep's All-Far West Team....'Dove is a quarterback whose star is on the rise...and the Bears get a player with unlimited potential,' said PrepStar, which tabbed him on its All-West Team....as junior, passed for 3,400 yards, 29 touchdowns and 13 interceptions....set school record with 29 completions in one game in 2001....tremendous athlete who has recorded a standing long jump of 10 feet....graduated early from Taft High and has already enrolled at Cal for the spring semester....will participate in the Golden Bears' spring football camp.|
|LEON DRUMMER, Defensive Tackle, 6-6, 300, St. Mary's HS of Berkeley (Danville, Calif.)Gargantuan lineman who moves very well for his size....rated No. 19 on Rivals.com's California Top 100 Players, the highest ranking of any 2003 Cal recruit.... 2002 Pre-Season and Post-Season SuperPrep All-American....also named to PrepStar's All-American squad following last season....ESPN/USA TODAY analyst Tom Lemming ranked him No. 15 in Northern California last May....piled up 129 tackles, seven sacks, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and 20 tackles for loss last fall at St. Mary's High....also had 65 pancakes on offensive line....named first team All-Bay Shore Athletic League as a junior and senior....named to the Oakland Tribune/ANG Newspapers All-Star second team....rated the fifth-best defensive tackle in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com....also a Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West honorable mention....was named Best Defensive Lineman at 2002 Cal Football Camp, Top Lineman at 2002 University of Washington Football Camp and No. 2 Defensive Lineman at Student Sports Stanford Nike Camp....possesses great strength, as evidenced by his 380-pound bench press and 500-pound squat....he benched 185 pounds, 24 times and recorded a 24-inch vertical jump at last year's Nike combine....selected first team All-League on both sides of the ball as an offensive guard and defense tackle at St. Mary's High....was starting defensive tackle for California All-Stars in the CaliFlorida All-Star Game at Mt. Sac College in Walnut Jan. 4, 2003.|
|LUCAS EVERETT, Placekicker, 6-2, 190, Sierra College (Roseville, Calif.)Named to the All-Bay Valley Conference first team placekicker and punter following Sierra's 10-1 season which included a conference championship and 13-7 win over Laney College in the Shrine Bowl Game at Sacramento's Hughes Stadium....connected on nine of 12 field goal attempts last season, including a long of 47 yards....also converted 49 of 52 extra-point attempts....averaged 45.2 yards per punt last year, tops among California JC punters....named to the California Community College Coaches Association/JC Athletic Bureau's 2002 All-California Football Team....also named the Sierra Foothill League's Most Valuable Player in soccer his senior year at Roseville High School....earned first team All-Sierra Foothill League in basketball his senior season and first team All-SFL in soccer as both a junior and senior at Roseville High.|
|KENNY FRANK, Safety, 6-0, 185, Cerritos HS (Cerritos, Calif.)Bulled his way to 1,768 yards and 14 touchdowns on 254 carries as star tailback on Cerritos High as a senior, while also leading the Dons' defense with 112 tackles and four interceptions at free safety....also had three touchdown receptions and threw two TD passes last year....as the Suburban League's leading rusher and tackler, he boasted a 36-yard punting average in 2002....named to SuperPrep's 2002 All-Far West Team and PrepStar's All-West Team....listed No. 15 nationally on Rivals.com's Top 2003 Athletes and No. 46 overall on the web site's California Top 100 (59th in the West)....named Suburban League MVP three straight years, twice on defense and once on offense... timed at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash....selected to the Long Beach Press Telegram's Dream Team first team two straight seasons at Cerritos....as a junior, he rushed for 1,285 yards and 23 TDs and registered a team-high 97 tackles, six interceptions and four blocked kicks for a Cerritos club that won a share of the Suburban League crown for the first time....was offered football scholarships by nine different colleges.|
|MATT GIORDANO, Defensive Back, 6-0, 210, Fresno City College (Clovis, Calif.)Named to the All-Central Valley Conference Team two straight seasons at Fresno City College and was voted the Defensive MVP in the Northern California Championship Game this past season....helped FCC to a 9-2 record, losing 39-28 to Reedley College in the Northern California Championship Game....as a freshman at FCC, he earned All-Conference and All-State honors for the Rams at strong safety, recording 62 tackles (26 solos), four fumble recoveries and one interception....played key role as team co-captain in Buchanan High's first ever Valley Championship in 2000, as the team posted a 9-1 overall record with its only loss to national champion DeLaSalle of Concord, 30-24....posted five interceptions and 64 tackles, while causing three fumbles as a senior at Buchanan, and averaged nine yards per carry and 12.6 yards per reception....broke Buchanan records for longest punt return for a touchdown, most blocked kicks and most interceptions in a game....as a prep star, he was a two-time All-Tri River Athletic Conference first team choice and Fresno Bee County/City All-Star first team in 1999 and 2000....also named the Defensive Player of the Year by the Clovis Exchange Club and Buchanan High's Most Outstanding Player in both football and track in 2001....competed on Buchanan's track team that won the league championship for four straight years and was crowned the individual league champion in the 400 meters in 1999....great grandfather, Ralph Giordano, was a World Welterweight Boxing Champion in 1933....transferred from Fresno City College at mid-year and has enrolled at Cal for the spring semester....will participate in the Golden Bears' spring football camp.|
|DAYMEION HUGHES, Cornerback, 6-2, 175, Crenshaw HS (Los Angeles, Calif.)In Rival.com's rankings this year, he graded out No. 79 on their California Top 100 players and No. 41 on their Athletes list nationwide....named to the SuperPrep All-Far West Team and PrepStar's All-West squad following a brilliant senior season that produced impressive statistics on both sides of the ball....rushed for 600 yards and chalked up 720 yards receiving, while scoring a combined 15 touchdowns as a senior....also registered 48 tackles and 10 interceptions at defensive back in 2002....made the Los Angeles Times' All-Region Team and was named the Coliseum League Co-Player of the Year....also was voted runner-up Southern California Prep Player of the Year and a Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the West honorable mention....regarded as the 11th-best cornerback in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com....as junior, earned All-League and All-City honors at Crenshaw after rushing for more than 1,500 yards and adding another 520 yards receiving....also gathered 49 tackles, five interceptions and two sacks at defensive back as a junior....competed two years in basketball and track, and one season in tennis at Crenshaw....played in the Shrine City vs. CIF All-Star Game this past year....member of the principal's honor roll at Crenshaw.|
|MATT MALELE, Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 300, Carson HS (Carson, Calif.)Named to PrepStar/CBS SportsLine.com's Top 100 Dream Team that selects the premier prep All-Americans in the nation....drilled opposing offensives for 74 tackles (48 solos), 19 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks on Carson High's 8-3 club last fall....also batted down seven passes, had four quarterback hurries and caused two fumbles as a senior....a Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team first teamer who led Carson to the 2002 Marine League crown....rated No. 6 among defensive tackles in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com....ranked 68th on SuperPrep's All-Far West Team.... Rivals.com ranked him as the 12th best defensive tackle in the country, No. 26 overall player in its Top 100 in the West Region, and No. 11 among California's Top 100 (highest ranked Cal recruit in the state)....'Malele is one of the nation's best prospects,' says PrepStar. 'It is amazing how this big man can move.'|
|JOE MANINGO, Linebacker, 6-1, 225, Foothill College (Los Altos Hills, Calif.)Earned second team JC All-American honors in 2002 by JC Gridwire after shredding opponents for 127 tackles (including 33 for losses), 15 sacks, 24 QB hurries, four fumbles caused, two fumble recoveries and three passes defensed for Football College....PrepStar placed him in its Top 125 national JuCo listing....named to the California Community College Football Coaches Association/JC Athletic Bureau's 2002 All-California Football Team as a hard-nosed linebacker....earned NorCal Conference Defensive MVP honors, as well as All-NorCal first team accolades....stockpiled 31 sacks during his two-year JC tenure....was a two-time All-NorCal first team pick, also receiving notice his first year at Foothill when he notched 101 tackles (28 for losses), 16 sacks, 23 QB hurries, four fumbles caused, one fumble recovery and one pass defensed....runs a 4.6 in the 40-yard dash....transferred from Football College at mid-year, enrolling at Cal for the spring semester....will participate in the Golden Bears' spring football camp.|
|KYLE McCLURE, Defensive End, 6-6, 230, Oaks Christian HS (Oak Park, Calif.)Two-time All-CIF first team at Oaks Christian High, where he led his team in sacks (17) as a senior....earned All-Tri Valley League first team and the league's Defensive Lineman of the Year honors in both 2001 and 2002....also selected All-State and All-County his final prep season....recorded 80 tackles and 12 sacks for Oaks Christian High, which finished 11-2 last fall....helped Oaks Christian to combined 22-3-1 record during his junior and senior campaigns.... NorCalPreps.com called him 'a sleeper who plays for one of the area's fastest rising programs and one of the area's best coaches'....Rivals.com ranked him No. 38 among defensive ends nationally and No. 96 on their California Top 100 players....also listed on SuperPrep's 2002 All-Far West Team....tabbed No. 11 among defensive ends in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com....named to the California Bowl All-Star Team....also played basketball, track and baseball in high school.|
|BRANDON MEBANE, Defensive Tackle, 6-3, 250, Crenshaw HS (Los Angeles, Calif.)Rated the No. 24 defensive tackle in the United States by Rivals.com, a recruiting web site that also ranked him No. 55 on their California Top 100 players list and No. 67 on their West Top 100 chart....named to SuperPrep's and PrepStar's All-America Team....rattled off 75 tackles, 13 sacks and two fumble recoveries as a senior for Crenshaw High's 7-4 club....named the 2002 Central City Player of the Year....also scored five touchdowns as a fullback last year....tabbed first team 'Best of the West' by the Long Beach Press Telegram, as well as All-West Region first team by CNN/Sports Illustrated....an All-State choice this past season, he missed the California-Florida All-Star Game due to a sprained ankle....selected 2001 Los Angeles City Defensive Player of the Year after racking up 78 tackles and 19 sacks as a junior....was a three-time All-City, All-Central City and All-League selection at Crenshaw, a period in which the school won three straight Coliseum League crowns....also a shot putter in track.|
|BRANDON MYLES, Cornerback, 5-10, 185, Carson HS (Carson, Calif.)Rushed for 869 yards and 12 touchdowns on 76 carries, including a gaudy 11.4 yards per carry average last season for Carson's 8-3 club....made two touchdown catches last year and averaged 29.3 yards per kickoff return, which included springing loose for two additional scores....bagged 30 tackles and two interceptions at defensive back as a senior....named to SuperPrep's All-Far West Team as a senior....was selected 2003 Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team second team defense, but truly shined as one of the area's fastest and most versatile players....played wingback, cornerback and return specialist last fall.|
|CHRIS PURTZ, Linebacker, 6-2, 227, Clovis West HS (Fresno, Calif.)Two-time All-Tri-City Athletic Conference linebacker who reeled off 156 tackles (56 solo), 15 sacks, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, one interception, six passes broken up and one safety as a senior....also scored two TDs at fullback....a linebacker with 4.55 speed in the 40-yard dash....named his conference's Defensive Player of the Year, as well as to the Fresno Bee's All-Star Team and the Clovis Independent's All-City Team....also selected City Defensive Player of the Year by the Independent, All-Valley and All-State (second team)....ranked as No. 25 linebacker in the nation and No. 74 overall player in California (No. 95 in the West) by Rivals.com, while being tabbed a prep All-American by PrepStar magazine and All-Far West by SuperPrep magazine....ranked 11th among linebackers in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com....also was rated No. 47 on the Top 100 college recruits for the class of 2003 by Cal-Hi Sports....played fullback on short-yardage situations last year for the Golden Eagles, who finished 6-6-1 but advanced to the Central Section championship game....his Clovis West High squad was crowned Co-Tri-City Athletic Conference champions in both 2001 and 2002, while they ranked third in '02 and second in '01 among San Joaquin Valley teams....played in the 2003 CaliFlorida Bowl in at Mt. Sac College in Walnut, Calif., which featured the premier prep football players from California and Florida....piled up 104 tackles, seven sacks and 18 tackles for loss as a junior....weight-lifting enthusiast who earned a reputation as a bruising tackler....a three-time Scholar-Athlete award recipient who was a member of his school's honor roll and the California Scholastic Federation....also an alternate for Boys State....has already graduated from Clovis West High, enrolling at Cal for the spring semester....will participate in the Bears' spring football camp.|
|RYAN RIDDLE, Defensive End, 6-3, 240, El Camino College (Culver City, Calif.)Selected as El Camino's MVP and a third team JuCo All-American last fall, when he reeled off 12 sacks, three blocked field goals, two blocked punts, three fumble recoveries, two caused fumbles, one interception and two touchdowns scored.... named to the 2002 All-Region 4 Team by the California Community College Coaches Association/JC Athletic Bureau....also tabbed first team All-Northern Division last season....won league Freshman of the Year honors at El Camino in 2001, when he bagged nine sacks and blocked two punts in only five starts....clocked at 4.6 in the 40-yard dash....was the highest ranked recruit on SuperPrep's Juco 100, slotted as the No. 31 best junior college player in the nation....PrepStar placed him on its Top 125 national JC list....tallied seven sacks and three blocked field goals his senior year at Culver City High School....named Culver City's most improved player as a junior and team MVP as a senior....earned All-Bay League first team as a senior when he bagged 125 tackles and chosen second team All-Area as a prep junior when he led the Bay League in sacks with 17....sat out two years after high school before returning to football at El Camino....grandfather, John Riddle, played fullback at USC.|
|AARON RODGERS, Quarterback, 6-2, 195, Butte College (Chico, Calif.)Polished passer who threw for 2,408 yards and 28 touchdowns-both school records-in completing 164 of 265 attempts (61.9%) to lead Butte College to a 10-1 record, NorCal Conference championship and No. 2 national JuCo ranking....had only four interceptions in 265 attempts....averaged 16.2 yards per completion and also rushed for 294 yards and seven TDs....named his conference's and region's (Region 1, CCFCA/JC Athletic Bureau) Most Valuable Player at Butte last year, and also gained JC All-American honors by JC Gridwire (3rd team) and All-USA Iron Man Team by the JC Football Network.... passed for 251 yards and two touchdowns in leading Butte to a 37-20 win over Mid-Empire Conference Champion San Joaquin Delta in the Holiday Bowl Dec. 7....was named MVP of the bowl game....SuperPrep magazine listed him on its top JuCo 100, rating him as the 41st best junior college player in America....PrepStar placed him on its Top 125 national JC list....has three years of eligibility at Cal....starred at Pleasant Valley High in Chico, Calif., where he was a two-time All-Section choice in 2000 and 2001....as prep junior, he led Pleasant Valley to a 9-3 mark and the league title....passed for a combined 4,419 yards during his junior and senior seasons at Pleasant Valley and set single game school marks for touchdown passes (6) and all-purpose yards (440), and single season record for passing yards (2,176) and total yards (2,466)....member of his high school's honor roll and the California Scholarship Federation.|
|BRANDON SANDERS, Cornerback, 5-9, 170, Skyline HS (Oakland, Calif.)A two-time All-State pick at Skyline High....although opposing offenses rarely threw to his side of the field, he was named a first team All-Oakland Athletic League selection and first team All-ANG Newspaper (Oakland Tribune) pick in 2002....chalked up 28 tackles and seven interceptions for Titans as a senior, as Skyline posted an 11-0-1 record and won the 2002 Silver Bowl....returned two of his interceptions for touchdowns....also recovered three fumbles, returning of the fumbles for another score.... made PrepStar's All-West Team....also rated ninth among cornerbacks in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com....ranked No. 63 among cornerbacks nationally by Rivals.com and also was slotted No. 78 among California's Top 100 players by the same web site....earned All-State honors in each of his final three seasons at Skyline....'has tremendous speed and big time hops' says NorCalPrep.com....clocked in 4.38 in the 40-yard dash....missed much of his junior season due to a dislocated shoulder....son of former Cal defensive back Raymond Sanders....his cousin is Jonathan Makonnen, who started at wide receiver last year as a junior and led the team in receptions with 54....also played baseball growing up with Cal defensive lineman Lorenzo Alexander, while fellow Skyline grad Harrison Smith also currently plays for the Golden Bears.|
|NOAH SMITH, Wide Receiver, 5-11, 165, Taft HS (Lake View, Calif.)A real speed-burner who has been timed at 10.54 in the 100 meters and 21.03 in the 200 meters....ranked No. 12 nationally on Rivals.com's best athletes list....PrepStar awarded him 2002 All-American and All-West honors....also rated as the 36th best high school player in California and No. 43 in the West by Rivals.com, which says 'Smith could be the fastest football player in the Golden State this season'.... a 2003 Long Beach Press Telegram Best in the Week first team choice....earned notice on SuperPrep's 2002 All-Far West Team as a senior....PacWest/TheInsiders.com ranked him No. 18 among wide receivers in the West....caught 29 passes for 603 yards and six touchdowns last fall for Taft's 13-1 team that advanced to the L.A. City Section final and also featured fellow Cal recruit Cary Dove at quarterback....as junior, caught 37 passes for 814 yards and 12 TDs....'Smith is one of the West Coast's best cover corners,' writes PrepStar magazine. 'The kind of speed that he possesses is God-given and cannot be taught.'|
|DEVIN STEARNS, Wide Receiver, 6-3, 185, Serra HS (Paramount, Calif.)Averaged 22.3 yards per catch in chasing down 38 passes for 887 yards for Serra High last season, earning All-America and All-West accolades from PrepStar magazine....also rushed for 507 yards and returned three kicks or punts for touchdowns in leading Serra to the CIF Southern Section Division X final....tallied a total of 18 touchdowns as a receiver, rusher, kickoff returner and defensive back to win League MVP honors....piled up 56 total tackles (40 solo), caused four fumbles and intercepted five passes his senior season on defense....named to the Dream Team and Best of the West first teams by the Long Beach Press Telegram, which called him 'arguably the top all-around player in the area.'....clocked at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash....'Was like a man playing with boys at times this year,' writes PacWest/TheInsiders.com, which ranked him 8th among wide receivers in the West....ranked 40th on SuperPrep's 2002 All-Far West Team....also tabbed the 37th best wide receiver in the nation by Rivals.com, which also ranked him the 52nd overall player in California and 65th best overall in the West....'Stearns is one of the most sought after wide receivers on the West Coast,' writes PrepStar magazine.|
|CRAIG STEVENS, Tight End, 6-5, 240, Peninsula HS (San Pedro, Calif.)Listed No. 54 in Rivals.com's national ranking for tight ends....'Stevens is one of the best tight end/linebacker prospects in Southern California for the class of 2003. Though he is a very talented linebacker, he projects as a tight end on the D-1 Level' says Rivals.com....'One of the elite run-blocking tight ends in the country,' wrote the Long Beach Press Telegram, which placed him on its Best in the West first team....also an All-Far West choice by SuperPrep magazine and All-West Region selection by PrepStar this year....stockpiled 127 tackles on defense and caught four touchdown receptions at tight end as a senior.|
|RAY TAGO, Defensive End, 6-3, 250, Long Beach City College (Long Beach, Calif.)Played in only seven games due to injuries and joining the team late, but cashed in 22 tackles and three sacks for Long Beach City College's 8-3 team that claimed the Mission Conference Northern Division crown in 2002....listed among the Top 125 JuCo players in the country by Rivals.com....Long Beach City crushed Compton College, 52-24, in the 2002 Western State Bowl....as a freshman at LBCC, he earned second-team All-Mission Conference Northern Division honors after recording 18 tackles and three sacks in eight games....was a rare three-year starter at famed Long Beach Poly High School, earning SuperPrep All-America honors his senior season....named the CIF Southern Section Division 1 Defensive MVP, the Los Angeles Times All-South Coast/Southeast MVP, the Long Beach Press Telegram's Dream Team Defensive MVP and Moore League Defensive MVP....played in the 2001 High School Shrine All-Star Game....noted on SuperPrep's All-Far West Team and PrepStar's All-West squad following his final year at Long Beach Poly....also a member of the Cal-Hi Sports All-State second team....reeled off 90 tackles (60 solos) with 11 sacks as a senior at LB Poly, when the team swept to a 14-0 season and the CIF Division 1 championship....as a Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team first-teamer as a junior in 1999, he also posted 90 tackles and 13 sacks as Poly shared the CIF Division 1 title....made the Long Beach Press Telegram's Dream Team third team as a sophomore starter on Long Beach Poly's CIF Division 1 runnerup club in 1998.|
|JOSH TAUANU'U, Defensive Tackle, 6-2, 280, Long Beach Poly HS (Long Beach, Calif.)A three-year starter at Long Beach Poly, who earned Prep Star/Rivals.com All-West Team recognition his senior season....despite being double-teamed regularly by opponents during the second half of the season, he rattled off 37 tackles and four sacks for LB Poly club that was ranked No. 2 nationally by USA Today at one point last year....earned All-CIF Southern Section first team notice, as well as Long Beach Press Telegram Dream Team first team in 2002....also listed on Rivals.com's West Top 100....Insiders.com ranked him No. 25 among high school defensive ends in the nation this past year....also played offensive guard for LB Poly.|
|GARRETT TREMBLAY, Linebacker, 6-3, 215, Palm Desert HS (Palm Desert, Calif.)Rated No. 17 among inside linebackers nationally by Rivals.com, which also ranked him No. 29 in their California Top 100 players listing and No. 32 in the West....SuperPrep and PrepStar also tabbed him a 2002 All-American....ranked as the No. 4 linebacker in Southern California's Southern Section by the Los Angeles Times in its pre-season ratings last September....led his Palm Desert High team in tackles (126) and garnered six sacks his senior year as his team's captain and Defensive MVP....also pocketed seven tackles for loss, three sacks and one interception....considered the ninth-best linebacker in the West by PacWest/TheInsiders.com....earned 2002 All-Desert Sun first team after spearheading an Aztecs' defense that limited opposing offenses to less than 100 passing yards per game....stockpiled 107 tackles (41 solos), 12 tackles for loss, six sacks, four interceptions, four fumbles caused, three fumble recoveries and one blocked punt in being chosen All-Desert Valley League and first team All-State as a junior at Palm Desert....power cleans 300 pounds, benches 335 and has been clocked at 4.65 in the 40-yard dash....brother, Brian Tremblay, is a junior linebacker at Cal.|
|GREG VAN HOESEN, Linebacker, 6-3, 216, Saratoga HS (Saratoga, Calif.)Was two-way varsity starter for three years at Saratoga High....earned All-League honors all three seasons, leading his school in tackles each year....led the Falcons in tackles with 102, including eight sacks, in being named to the San Jose Mercury News' 2002 second team....also recovered two fumbles, caused four fumbles and blocked one kick....has run a 4.7 in the 40-yard dash....named his team's defensive MVP and team captain last year....a 2002 SuperPrep All-Far West choice....won most valuable linebacker award at last June's USC Football Camp and named camp team MVP at last July's Boston College Football Camp....won team's Most Valuable Underclassman and Defensive Player of the Year accolades as Saratoga's leading tackler as a junior senior on a Saratoga team that advanced to the Central Coast Section Division IV semifinals....also played basketball at Saratoga, earning most inspirational award and co-captain on the 2000 junior varsity, and being named team's most improved player on the 2001 varsity....was featured on KICU-TV (Ch. 36) program, 'High School Sports Focus' in a segment on well-rounded athletes in December of 2001....also participated in baseball (JV, 1999), boxing (2001, 2002) and track (2002) in high school....ran the third leg on Saratoga's 4x100 meter relay team, was clocked in 12.0 seconds in the 100 meters, and threw the shot put 43 feet....lists weight lifting, painting, drawing, sculpture, guitar and piano among his hobbies....won scholar-athlete award at Saratoga.|
|SEAN YOUNG, Wide Receiver, 5-10, 175, Berkeley HS (Berkeley, Calif.)Clocked at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash as one of the Bay Area's swiftest receivers....ranked No. 91 on Rival.com's California Top 100 Players list....also a SuperPrep magazine All-Far West selection and PrepStar All-West choice this past season....caught 19 passes for 443 yards (23.3 avg.) and five touchdowns, averaged 11.9 yards per rush in netting 324 yards and five TDs on 27 carries as a ball-carrier, and rattled off another 360 yards and three touchdowns as a punt return specialist as a senior on Berkeley High's 11-1 squad in 2002.... earned his league's MVP trophy and first team All-League his senior season.... also chosen All-League after catching 14 passes for nearly 410 yards (25.6 avg.) and seven touchdowns as a junior at Berkeley High....added 38 yards and one TD on only two carries as a running back that junior campaign, as well as 120 yards in punt returns....named third team All-League in track and also competed in high school lacrosse and basketball.|
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
TOMORROW | 2:00pm PTLive
TOMORROW | 6:00pm PTLive