Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hard Times for Cal Football Recruitment

By Rachel Swan
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 3:54 PM

Looks like a rough road lies ahead for the Bears, with word of an incomplete roster for fall, despite high optimism just a few weeks ago. As the letters of intent come in, it appears that UC Berkeley is losing all its best prospects to schools like University of Washington, whose recruiters just filched two top-rated players — safety Shaq Thompson and wideout Jordan Payton, the Mercury News reports. Evan local hope Kenny Walker, a wide receiver from Kennedy High School in Richmond, was reportedly on the fence about committing to Cal.

All that indecisiveness is putting a damper on Coach Jeff Tedford's top ten prospects, and foreshadowing doom for a sport that's also important revenue source for the university — given that it funds the athletic department at large. And it certainly doesn't help that UW just poached Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, who was considered the Bears' top recruiter. Merc reporter Jeff Faraudo attributes at least part of the talent drain to that sly maneuver. Still, Bears fans might see a silver lining in the stars they have left, such as quarterback Zach Kline and offensive tackle Christian Okafor, who already enrolled in classes for fall. Anyone else want to try out — now's your chance.

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