The Cal Golden Bears had a monumental recruiting day on Saturday as they received verbal commitments from Grant's Shaquille Thompson (5 star S), Oaks Christian's Jordan Payton (4 star WR), and former USC commit Ellis McCarthy (5 star DT)! Rumor has it that we'll land another 4 star DE from Sacramento, Pleasant Grove's Arik Armstead, but we're still waiting on the final word. Thompson is the little brother of former Golden Bear standout Syd'Quan Thompson and another big recruit from Grant (Vei Moala, Syd'Quan, Worrell Williams, Puka Lopa)
This is exactly how the Bears needed to be represented at a venue like the Army All-America game, and hopefully these commitments will push other guys to put on the Blue and Gold as well. With Memorial Stadium on schedule to open up its renovated doors in a few months, and the new Student-Athlete High Performance Center up and running, this hopefully will be a sign of things to come in the future rather than a one-off outlier for 2012.
Several other blogs have already written it, but talent hasn't seemed to be the issue in Berkeley over the past few years. Cal has produced 20 NFL draft picks over the past 5 years, ahead of Stanfurd and Oregon. While I agree with this to some degree, none of us Cal fans will say we've had a QB over the past few seasons. Yes, Aaron Rodgers is one of those 20 NFL picks but he only started one year in Berkeley and since then we've been up and down. Nate Longshore had a good season, but followed it up with some mediocre play, then Kevin Reilly came in and continued the mediocrity, and in addition to those two we saw Joe Ayoob, Steve Levy, Brock Mansion, and now Zach Maynard. Allen Bridgford was a highly recruited QB (4 star) but was unable to beat out Maynard for the top spot in 2011, so hopefully he continues his progression during this off-season and he'll be ready to take over for Maynard (or Maynard improves...but I'm not betting on that).
Point being, we need a QB. Of all of Tedford's coaching skills, he hangs his hat on being a QB molder but he's been unable to do that at Cal. For us to be in the top tier of the Pac-12 and get on the national scene again, we need a QB worthy of that attention. Perhaps this QB is on the roster already (Maynard or Bridgford), or perhaps it is 4 star commit Zach Kline. Whoever it is, the real Bears QB needs to stand up for 2012 to be a season of success.