Cal fortifies defense with junior college signees

California has signed four junior college defensive players and

one high school athlete as coach Sonny Dykes tries to improve on a

one-win debut season.

Dykes announced Wednesday that safety/outside linebacker Sam

Atoe, defensive tackle David Davis, defensive end Jonathan Johnson

and defensive end Trevor Kelly all signed letters of intent and

will have two years of eligibility remaining.

Dykes also said high school senior athlete Devante Downs has

signed a scholarship agreement with Cal and will have four years of

eligibility and walk-on junior receiver Trevor Davis has been given

a scholarship.

”We addressed some of the needs we needed to address,

specifically on the defensive line,” Dykes said. ”We needed to

get bigger and quicker to do some of the things we want to do up


Cal went 1-11 in its first season under Dykes with the only win

coming against Portland State of the lower-division FCS. The Golden

Bears lost their final 10 games, capped by a 63-13 defeat by rival


The biggest problems were on defense, where Cal allowed the most

yards passing per game, the second-most points per game and the

second-most total yards per game in the country.

Dykes said all of the junior college additions will compete for

starting jobs.

”These kids are the kinds of kids we can build a program

around,” he said.

Dykes said the two positions he was unable to fill with mid-year

additions were at tackle and cornerback.

Despite the poor record on the field, Dykes does not anticipate

it translating to the recruiting trail. He plans to sign about 15

more players in February and said he is expecting to have one of

the top classes in the Pac-12.

”I think we’ve been incredibly well-received,” he said. ”I

think we’ll sign an outstanding recruiting class. I think the class

we sign in February will be among top 3 in the league. I’d be

shocked if it’s not.”

Dykes also said backup quarterback Zach Kline and offensive

lineman Freddie Tagaloa will transfer.