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With one of the most extensive lists of prospects of any school participating in NIKE's annual The Opening event in Beaverton, Ore., California struck gold on the second day of the action, snagging a commitment from four-star defensive back Jaleel Wadood out of Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, adding to an already-strong 2014 haul of defenders.
Wadood – the No. 19 cornerback in the 2014 class – joins Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame safety Koa Farmer and Mission Hills (Calif.) Bishop Alemany safety Quentin Tartabull as three of an expected blockbuster five-man defensive back class for the Bears, who look to be quite thin in the defensive backfield in 2013, with the unexpected early departure of San Diego Chargers draft pick Steve Williams.
Behind expected starting corners Kameron Jackson and Stefan McClure, there isn't much playing experience. Adrian Lee and Isaac Lapite have a combined 14 games of experience and one start, while behind expected starting safeties Avery Sebastian and Alex Logan, backups Damariay Drew and Michael Lowe have a combined 12 games and no starts.
After committing to Arizona State early, Wadood de-committed from the Sun Devils on June 25, saying that he "had a gut feeling" that he had to "open this back up," in advance of The Opening.
Wadood visited Cal in early June, and bonded closely with defensive coordinator Andy Buh.
"I have a great relationship with all the coaches and especially Andy Buh, the DC," Wadood said. "I like what they're doing at Cal with the new staff and academically, you can't beat a degree from Cal."
Wadood has put on about 20 pounds since last season as he endeavors to become a full-time safety. He becomes the second St. John Bosco Brave to commit to Cal in the last three recruiting cycles, and is a teammate of 2015 Bears quarterback target Josh Rosen.
After already snagging a commit this past week from offensive lineman Michael Trani, the Bears may not be done just yet.
El Cerrito (Calif.) linebacker D.J. Calhoun will be making his intentions known on Wednesday during the ESPNU broadcast of The Opening. Calhoun will be choosing between the Bears, UCLA, USC, Arizona State and Miami.
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