BERKELEY (CBS13/AP) — Instead of celebrating a top 10 recruiting class that featured some of the most heralded prospects on the West Coast, California had to settle for a class that will end up in the middle of the pack in the Pac-12.
The Golden Bears finalized their class Wednesday led by quarterback Zach Kline. But this year’s group is more notable for the prized prospects who signed elsewhere after star recruiter Tosh Lupoi left Cal for Washington last month.
Safety Shaq Thompson of Grant High in Sacramento, defensive lineman Ellis McCarthy and receiver Jordan Payton all committed to Cal at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 7, giving the school a shocking haul of talent. But all three changed their minds after Lupoi left, dealing a major blow to the class.
Thompson announced his decision to go to Washington a day earlier via Twitter and made it official on Wednesday’s National Letter of Intent Day. He told the Sacramento Bee that Lupoi’s move to Washington was a factor in his decision but not the deciding factor. Thompson’s older brother Syd played at Cal and now is in the NFL with the Denver Broncos.