College football signing day should be fairly routine for the Bay Area schools.
Cal, San Jose State and Stanford could all gain or lose a few prospects Wednesday, when recruits can sign letters of intent, but we're unlikely to see the last-minute tumult that periodically ripples through the region.
The Spartans and Cardinal fared well relative to their competition, based on projections by the major recruiting services.
Stanford's class is ranked in the top-20 nationally and includes Palo Alto High School quarterback Keller Chryst, rated the No. 2 pro-style quarterback in the country by Rivals.
San Jose State is expected to sign one of the top classes in the Mountain West, with nearly as many 3-star prospects as the Spartans corralled in the previous four years combined.
Cal's outlook isn't quite as encouraging. The Bears are unlikely to meet the expectations set by coach Sonny Dykes, who said in December that he would be "shocked" if Cal's class wasn't considered "one of the top-three in the league."
Despite a handful of commitment in the past fortnight, the Bears aren't close to that threshold. Their class is No. 7 in the Pac-12 in the Rivals rankings and No. 8 in Scout's assessment.
Here's a closer look at what to expect Wednesday for the local schools.
While not among the conference's best, the Bears' 20-player class represents a decent comeback from a 1-11 season last fall.
"I think they've actually closed pretty well, all things considered," said Brandon Huffman, national recruiting analyst for Scout. "I don't think it's going to be top three in the Pac-12, but probably in the top half."
There were believed to be only a few variables at play on the eve of signing day. The Bears hope to hold onto long-time commit Tre Watson, a 3,400-yard running back from Corona who was being pursued hard by Washington.
The Bears hope to add to their haul along the defensive line. The most likely candidate is four-star defensive tackle Marcus Griffin, of Bellevue, Wash., who tweeted he will announce Wednesday morning among Cal, Arizona and Mississippi State.
A longshot is four-star defensive end Nifae Lealao, from Sacramento, who is thought to be leaning to Vanderbilt.
A month ago, Cal's class was ranked in the upper-50s nationally, but the Bears have added seven prospects (five of them on defense) since the hiring of Art Kaufman as defensive coordinator two weeks ago.
Scout and Rivals now have the class rated No. 43 nationally.
In particular, Adam Gorney of Rivals said a pair of late commits, middle linebacker Chandler Leniu of Bellflower and outside linebacker Aisea Tongilava of Orange, are "difference-makers" at positions the Bears needed help.
Rivals.com reported that Hamilton Anoa'l, a three-star outside linebacker from Serra-San Mateo, had an 11th-hour change of heart and flipped from Northwestern to Cal.
Stanford is expected to sign one of the top-20 classes in the country and perhaps the best in the Pac-12.
In some respects, it's a typical haul. In addition to Chryst, the son of 49ers quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst, the Cardinal has devoted almost one-third of the slots to positions at the heart of its ground-and-pound approach to offense.
Daniel Marx, from Mission Viejo, is one of the top fullbacks on the West Coast.
Dalton Schultz, of South Jordan, Utah, is the No. 1 tight end in the nation, according to Scout.
Casey Tucker, from Chandler, Ariz., is a top-five offensive tackle who had scholarship offers from many top programs across the country.
But the 20-player class -- that number could change, depending on last-minute decisions -- also addressed holes in the defensive depth chart.
Stanford could sign as many as five defensive backs, along with a handful of linebackers.
The top-ranked defensive back is Brandon Simmons, a 4-star prospect from Mansfield, Texas, while the top linebackers are Bobby Okereke, from Tustin, and Joey Alfieri, from Jesuit High in Portland -- the same school that produced former two-way star Owen Marecic.
The class includes a name familiar to longtime Stanford fans: 4-star running back Christian McCaffrey, of Highlands Ranch, Colo., is the son of former Cardinal receiver Ed McCaffrey.
San Jose State
Coach Ron Caragher appears to have hit some home runs during his first full recruiting cycle, with the Spartans poised to produce one of the Mountain West's best classes.
Scout.com has SJSU's current crop of commitments ranked No. 3 in the conference and No. 74 nationally -- the Spartans' best showing since Scout began extensively ranking recruiting classes in 2003.
While Rivals.com places SJSU eighth overall, the Spartans have the fourth-highest average star rating per prospect.
The class features six defensive backs, a priority position for Caragher.
Four players -- defensive back Maurice McKnight, quarterback Ian Fieber, wide receiver/safety David Williams and wide receiver Justin Holmes -- are consensus three-star recruits.
Scout.com credits SJSU with eight three-star players, just one fewer than its total from the past four years combined.
Fieber, from Mission Viejo, and Malik Watson, a transfer from Contra Costa College, are expected to compete to replace record-setting quarterback David Fales.
Senior Blake Jurich and junior Joe Gray are SJSU's top returning quarterbacks.
Bay Area News Group Staff Writers Jeff Faraudo (Cal) and Jimmy Durkin (San Jose State) contributed to this report. For more on college sports, see Jon Wilner's College Hotline at blogs.mercurynews.com/collegesports. Contact him at email@example.com or 408-920-5716.
Lists of expected signings for Cal, Stanford and San Jose State. PAGE 5
Local signings chart. PAGE 5