BERKELEY — Cal had two football recruits switch back to their original commitments Wednesday. That was both good and bad for the Bears.
Cal lost the battle for one-time commit Stan Hasiak, one of the country's most heralded offensive line prospects who initially orally committed to UCLA, switched over to the Bears and then ultimately went back to the Bruins. Wednesday marked the first day prospects were permitted to sign a national letter of intent.
That blow was lessened when Cerritos College defensive end Ryan Davis, who originally orally committed to the Bears but switched to Washington last week, ended up signing with Cal.
"As always, it's very, very competitive," Cal coach Jeff Tedford said. "It's a little unsettling because sometimes they go underground and you can't get a hold of them and you don't know what's happening. You're really at their mercy. It's a helpless feeling when you don't know the information.
"But we're really, really excited about the way it turned out."
Davis is part of an 18-member recruiting class Cal announced Wednesday that is ranked 34th nationally by scout.com and 40th by rivals.com. Those are the worst marks the Bears have had since 2002, Tedford's first class at Cal. But part of that is sheer lack of numbers. The Bears didn't have as many scholarships to offer as in past years.
"Numbers aren't what fans should be concerned about," ESPN Scouts Inc. national recruiting director Tom Luginbill said. "You can only sign as many as you graduate. Fans shouldn't be worried about having 25 recruits in a class. They should be worried about the 85 guys on scholarship."
Still, Cal's past two recruiting classes have yielded the lowest rankings since 2002, perhaps demonstrating the Bears haven't fully recovered from their meltdown in 2007.
Cal's 2009 class doesn't include much punch at the skill positions but is strong up front and at linebacker. Despite the loss of Hasiak, the Bears still hauled in one of the nation's top offensive line classes with center Mark Brazinski, guard Brian Schwenke and tackles Charles Siddoway and Charles Ragland. Brazinski is rated as the No. 2 center in the country by scout.com., while Siddoway and Ragland are both top-100 recruits at their position.
Defensive tackle Deandre Coleman was regarded as the top recruit in the state of Washington, and Milpitas linebacker Steven Fanua is considered a top-25 middle linebacker nationally.
"I believe you build a football team from the inside-out," Luginbill said. "You start on the offensive and defensive front and expand outward, and Cal met their needs."
Other headliners of the class are cornerback Steve Williams, who decommitted from Oklahoma to join the Bears, running back Dasarte Yarnway of Sacred Heart-San Francisco and quarterback Allan Bridgford of Mission Viejo.
The Bears continued to recruit Davis even after he switched his oral commitment. Tedford said he felt confident he had won Davis back over Tuesday night.
"Last night he gave me a real good indication, but I wasn't really 100 percent until this morning when I got him out of bed and his tone hadn't changed," Tedford said. "I felt pretty good about it this morning."
Davis played defensive end in junior college but likely will be a rush linebacker at Cal, fulfilling a role similar to the departed Zack Follett.
Tedford said he hadn't had much contact with Hasiak in recent days but spoke with him late Tuesday. He hadn't spoken with him by Wednesday afternoon and found out on the Internet he had signed with UCLA.
"I talked to him late last night, and he said he was mulling it over and it was very close," Tedford said. "He said there were positives about both places."
Contact Jonathan Okanes at firstname.lastname@example.org.