First, if you have not read anything about Cal's recruits, head over to TightWad Hill's blog for the best recap. (I don't know how this guy does it, but bar none the best Cal blog out there.)
This was a very balanced class. It was rated as high as #12 nationally and was generally considered a top 25 class (damn you ESPN and your random rankings). But overall class ranking is not a good measure of how a team will perform with these recruits. (Case in point, see CFN's re-rank of the 2003 and 2002 college football recruiting classes.)
Tedford is great at identifying talent and matching this up with the needs of the team. This is what Cal added in order of strength:
1) 5 O-linemen - this is the strength of this class. You could be looking at the starting 5 in 2009. (If one of them can slide over to center.)
2) 2 great running backs - Vereen is a top rated back, but Best is the real sleeper, nationally. Two websites have him listed as a future star.
AOL Sports lists him as one of 10 impact recruits (click here)...
Jahvid Best, Tailback (California) - The "sleeper" out of my ten, if you want to call him that. Best is a little on the light/small side (5'-10"/183 pounds) but the man can scoot (a California high school best 10.39 in the 100-yard dash). There are only a handful of people every year who are that fast and are legitimate football players. Think Ted Ginn, Reggie Bush, those types of zoom zoomers. Best may be the next.Heisman Pundit lists Best as a Dark Horse future Heisman candidate (click here) ...
Jahvid Best, California - Cal is getting the fastest back in the country with a 10.39 100-meter dash to his credit.3) Arguably the nation's top prep punter. Normally, we would not place much emphasis on a punter but Bryan Anger is the top rated prospect in Cal's class. Also, he has some crazy punting stats (yes there are punting stats) like a 4.9 average hang time. (I think this is like a WR running a 4.35 40.)
4) 4 more dominating linebackers. Alex Cook is a Juco DE that will play outside LB for Cal. He runs a 4.5 40. This will definitely help Cal's recent lack of pass rush. Little D-Bish is coming to Cal to step into the shoes of his older brother. Preps DJ Holt and Robert Mullins will have to take a back seat to an already stacked LB unit but will be ready to continue the great LB tradition in 2008-9.
Side note: With Follett, Felder and Williams already at Cal, the LB position looks like the most competitive position outside of WR.
5) Need to upgrade the pass rush? Recruit 4 stud DE's. Cameron Jordan is ready to play today, while Solomona Aigamaua is more of a project. Ernest Owusu made the biggest splash as a surprise recruit and should be more mature after a year at prep school. Scott Smith continues the legacy of great players from Hawaii.
6) 2 tall, fast WR's. Mike Calvin and Alex Lagemann are both 6'2 or taller and run in the 4.5 40 range. Don't expect much from them next year as DJax, Hawkins and Jordan should make up the best WR unit in the nation.
7) Another Elite 11 QB. So every year 11 of the top QB's in the nation are invited to this camp. And every year one of them signs with Cal. Nate Longshore, Kyle Reed, Kevin Riley and this year Brock Mansion. Mansion is a pro style QB but can actually move. He gained almost 1000 yards on the ground his senior year.