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Cal’s 2018 Recruiting Class At 21 After National Signing Day

Posted February 8, 2018 by in

BERKELEY – Cal’s 2018 recruiting class grew to 21 members Wednesday when head coach Justin Wilcox announced the National Signing Day additions of ILB Chris Fatilua (San Diego, CA/Madison HS), OLB Joseph Ogunbanjo (Houston, TX/Alief Taylor HS) and ATH Monroe Young (Las Cruces, NM/Onate HS). The first 18 members of Cal’s 2018 recruiting class signed National Letters of Intent last December on the opening day of college football’s newly established early signing period.

“We’re excited to strengthen our 2018 recruiting class with the signings today of Chris, Joseph and Monroe,” Wilcox said. “They are shaped in the same mold as the first 18 members of this class – student-athletes that are smart and tough who will play football at a high level and also succeed in the classroom at the top public institution in the world. They have all put in a tremendous amount of work to become Cal student-athletes and today is their day to be rewarded, start their journeys and embrace the challenge.”

The class breakdown includes nine offensive players, nine defensive players, two athletes and one specialist with champions, multiple-sport athletes and Californians all plentiful.

The class includes 15 members that won at least one league title during their high school careers with 10 picking up one section or division crown or more. Four members were key members of state championship teams with RB Johnny Adams Jr. (Indianapolis, IN/Ben Davis HS) and WR Nikko Remigio (Orange, CA/Mater Dei HS) taking 2017 state crowns after Fatilua and OL Miles Owens (Oakland, CA/Bishop O’Dowd HS) captured state titles in 2016.

“Recruiting players that come from winning programs and know how to win is important,” Wilcox said. “They will help us to build and maintain a winning culture at Cal.”

There are 12 members of the class that have played multiple sports in high school or junior college with the group consisting of Adams, OLB Nick Alftin (Woodside, CA/Archbishop Mitty HS), TE McCallan Castles (South Lake Tahoe, CA/South Tahoe HS), OL Matthew Cindric (Sammamish, WA/Skyline HS), OL Will Craig (Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS), OL Jasper Friis (Starnberg, Germany/Aquinas HS), Ogunbanjo, Owens, ATH Evan Tattersall (Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS), OLB JH Tevis (Piedmont, CA/Menlo School), DL Lone Toailoa (Auckland, New Zealand/Mt. San Antonio College/Kelston Boys HS) and Young. The other sports include basketball, lacrosse, rugby, track and field, and volleyball.

“We encourage our student-athletes to do anything they can year-round to compete and help them develop their athletic ability,” Wilcox said. “Playing multiple sports especially at the high school level is one of the things they can do to help accomplish that. We look to recruit excellent athletes and competitors and those are often found in student-athletes that play more than one sport.”

The class includes 16 members that either hail from California or played their football in the Golden State in 2017 in Alftin, DB Chigozie Anusiem (La Habra, CA/Sonora HS), LB Louie Bickett (San Diego, CA/Torrey Pines HS), RB Christopher Brown Jr. (Oceanside, CA/El Camino HS), Castles, OL Will Craig (Granite Bay, CA/Granite Bay HS), LB Colt Doughty (Los Gatos, CA/College of San Mateo), Fatilua, OL Jasper Friis (Starnberg, Germany/Aquinas HS), DL Aaron Maldonado (La Puente, CA/Bishop Amat HS), Brandon Mello (Clayton, CA/Clayton Valley Charter HS), Owens, Remigio, Tattersall, Tevis and Toailoa.

“There are a large number of student-athletes in our own geographic footprint in this recruiting class that fit our profile athletically and academically, and we had a lot of success attracting many of them to Cal,” Wilcox said. “Being successful recruiting your own backyard is important for so many reasons. There are so many Cal alumni in our area that want to support our program and our student-athletes when they attend Cal, and having student-athletes from their communities help them connect with our university.”

The class also had an emphasis on the offensive line with the Golden Bears signing five of the nation’s top-100 ranked offensive tackles or guards in Craig (No. 14 OT, Rivals), Mello (No. 56 OT, Rivals), Friis (No. 77 OT, ESPN), Owens (No. 84 OT, 247Sports Composite) and Cindric (No. 87 OG, ESPN) and Owens.

“We were able to put together a group of offensive linemen in this class that we believe will provide us with a solid foundation for years to come,” Wilcox said. “Having strong play on the offensive line is such a critical component of success.”

The Bears also picked up a pair of highly-rated running backs to run behind the offensive line in Adams and Brown.

Brown, who is listed as the nation’s No. 12 overall running back by 247Sports, combined for career totals of 3249 rushing yards and 34 scores on the ground over 529 carries.

Adams is the nation’s No. 13 all-purpose running back according to Rivals and earned IndyStar Mr. Football team honors at his position as a 2017 senior when he rushed for 1424 yards and 16 touchdowns.

Cal picked up another pair of playmakers among the nation’s top 50 at their respective positions in Castles and Remigio, ESPN’s No. 10 tight end and 247Sports’ No. 43 wide receiver in the country, respectively.

Castles combined for 102 catches, 2027 yards receiving and 27 touchdown receptions in his final two prep seasons.

Remigio was a key contributor to the nation’s top-ranked team who won its third mythical national title during his senior season. A two-time All-Trinity League choice in his junior and senior campaigns, Remigio combined for three-year career totals of 111 receptions, 1695 yards receiving, 19 touchdown catches and 2224 all-purpose yards.

Cal focused on the linebacker position on defense with six in the class in Alftin, Bickett, Doughty, Fatilua, Ogunbanjo and Tevis.

“It’s always important to have good numbers at linebacker,” Wilcox said. “This group will help solidify our depth at the position and I’m looking for them to develop into impact players.”

Doughty is the most experienced of the group having combined for 405 tackles over the last four seasons including a combined 177 stops in his most two recent campaigns at the College of San Mateo, where he earned first-team All-American honors and was the Bay 6 Conference Defensive Player of the Year as a 2017 sophomore. Doughty was also the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Defensive Player of the Year as a high school senior in 2015 when he made 137 tackles. He is the No. 2 junior college inside linebacker in the nation according to ESPN.

Alftin (112 tackles, 31.0 tackles for loss, 15.0 sacks), Bickett (318 tackles, 33.0 sacks, 14.0 sacks), Fatilua (226 tackles, 29.0 tackles for loss, 3.0 sacks) and Tevis (283 tackles, 105.0 tackles for loss, 51.0 sacks) all had impressive high school career numbers.

Tevis was the Peninsula League’s Ocean Division Player of the Year as a 2017 senior after earning the league’s Defensive Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year honors the previous two seasons. Bickett was the Avocado League’s Defensive Player of the Year in his senior campaign while Fatilua was an All-San Diego Section pick and Alftin a first-team West Catholic Athletic League choice in their final prep campaigns. Ogunbanjo was up for Houston’s Defensive End of the Year honors as a senior.

Tattersall and Young are being recruited as athletes.

Tattersall has high school experience at both linebacker and fullback as well as special teams prowess. He earned first-team All-Sierra Foothill League honors on both sides of the ball in his senior season. Tattersall finished his career with 127 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.0 sacks on the defensive side of the ball while combining to rush for 962 yards and 19 touchdowns on 205 carries on offense during his junior and senior seasons.

Young earned first-team All-State and All-District selections as a defensive back during his 2017 senior season, while picking up 3-6A first-team All-District recognition at both defensive back and wide receiver. He recorded a career-high 123 tackles in third campaign of significant contributions on the defensive side of the ball while adding 41 receptions for 702 yards and two touchdowns as well as 26 rushes for 210 yards with four touchdowns on the ground on offense.

Cal also signed the nation’s top long snapper in Slater Zellers (Scottsdale, AZ/Notre Dame Prep).

Cal’s class ranks as high as seventh in the Pac-12 according to Rivals, while both Rivals and 247Sports rank the class No. 43 nationally.
2018 Cal Football Recruiting Class (as of February 7, 2018)

Johnny Adams Jr. – RB – 5-10 – 195 – Fr. – HS – Indianapolis, IN (Ben Davis HS)
Nick Alftin – OLB – 6-5 – 240 – Fr. – HS – Woodside, CA (Archbishop Mitty HS)
Chigozie Anusiem – DB – 6-1 – 180 – Fr. – HS – La Habra, CA (Sonora HS)
Louie Bickett – LB – 6-4 – 215 – Fr. – HS – San Diego, CA (Torrey Pines HS)
Christopher Brown Jr. – RB – 6-1 – 220 – Fr. – HS – Oceanside, CA (El Camino HS)
McCallan Castles – TE – 6-5 – 235 – Fr. – HS – South Lake Tahoe, CA (South Tahoe HS)
Matthew Cindric – OL – 6-4 – 270 – Fr. – HS – Sammamish, WA (Skyline HS)
Will Craig – OL – 6-5 – 270 – Fr. – HS – Granite Bay, CA (Granite Bay HS)
Colt Doughty – LB – 6-1 – 235 – Jr. – JC – Los Gatos, CA (College of San Mateo)
Chris Fatilua – ILB – 6-2 – 220 – Fr. – HS – San Diego, CA (Madison HS)
Jasper Friis – OL – 6-7 – 315 – Fr. – HS – Starnberg, Germany (Aquinas HS)
Aaron Maldonado – DL – 6-3 – 295 – Fr. – HS – La Puente, CA (Bishop Amat HS)
Brandon Mello – OL – 6-6 – 285 – Fr. – HS – Clayton, CA (Clayton Valley Charter HS)
Joseph Ogunbanjo – OLB – 6-3 – 225 – Fr. – HS – Houston, TX (Alief Taylor HS)
Miles Owens – OL – 6-6 – 320 – Fr. – HS – Oakland, CA (Bishop O’Dowd HS)
Nikko Remigio – WR – 5-10 – 170 – Fr. – HS – Orange, CA (Mater Dei HS)
Evan Tattersall – ATH – 6-2 – 225 – Fr. – HS – Granite Bay, CA (Granite Bay HS)
JH Tevis – OLB – 6-3 – 225 – Fr. – HS – Piedmont, CA (Menlo School)
Lone Toailoa – DL – 6-2 – 265 – Jr. – JC – Auckland, New Zealand (Mt. San Antonio College)
Monroe Young – ATH – 6-0 – 190 – Fr. – HS – Las Cruces, NM (Onate HS)
Slater Zellers – LS – 6-1 – 210 – Fr. – HS – Scottsdale, AZ (Notre Dame Prep HS)

About the Author

Alforde Joaquin

ALF’s passion for shooting and editing has earned him several awards including an Edward R. Murrow Award in 2006 for Videography. He was also a nominee for the National Edward R. Murrow Award for Videography. A 6-time Emmy recipient for five different categories: Director/Producer, Videography, Editing, Feature Segment and Sound Mixing, Alf has produced over 1,000 video segments and is committed to developing GetSportsFocus as one of the best sports video magazine on the web.