Shaq Thompson commits to Cal

January 8, 2012, 1:01 am
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Sacramentos Shaq Thompson, the top-rated high school safety in the nation according to, verbally committed to play for Cal at Saturday's U.S. Army All-American Game on NBC.

The younger brother of Denver Broncos cornerback and Cal alum SydQuan Thompson, the Grant High School standout also played running back as a junior, rushing for 1,882 yards and scoring 25 touchdowns.

This year, the 6-foot-2, 210-pound athlete focused his attention on manning the defensive backfield for the Pacers, and his prowess was rewarded with scholarship offers from USC, Notre Dame, Oregon, Alabama, and Auburn among others.

Thompson is the 19th commit in Californias incoming freshman class, which is shaping up to be the highest-rated one in Jeff Tedfords 10-year tenure in Berkeley.

His announcement capped an eventful day for Cal that included a pair of in-game verbal pledges from national top 20 wide receiver Jordan Payton of Westlake Village and 6-foot-5, 311-pounder Ellis McCarthy of Monrovia, the No. 2 defensive tackle in the country.

The Golden Bears have already secured commitments from All-American quarterback Zach Kline of Danvilles San Ramon Valley High and massive offensive tackle Freddie Tagaloa of Richmonds Salesian Highboth of whom have been featured on CSNBayArea.coms High School Hype.

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Now Tedfords staffspearheaded by the efforts of defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi, the lead recruiter with many of these talented playerswill aim to finish strong.

Five more players from todays All-American Game, including the nations No. 3 defensive tackle, Aziz Shittu of Atwaters Buhach High (near Modesto), as well as Elk Groves Arik Armstead of Pleasant Grove High, the No. 4-ranked defensive end, have expressed serious interest in joining this group that has dubbed themselves the "Calgang."

Armstead is also being recruited to play basketball for Cal by hoops head coach Mike Montgomery, a development that has caused speculation that the bruising power forward could be on campus as early as January 17 if he decides on the Bears.

National signing day is February 1.

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