Cal fortifies defense with junior college signees

Cal fortifies defense with junior college signees

Published Dec. 19, 2013 12:35 a.m. ET

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 front.''


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 Stanford.

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.