Sonny Dykes is know for his high-powered offenses, but with players like Jaleel Wadood, his squads might be able to get some stops at Cal.
Wadood is a consensus four-star player, with 247's composite ranking him as the No. 15 safety in the nation and Rivals ranking him as the No. 27 cornerback and ESPN choosing to term him as an athlete. Playing for Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco, he garnered offers from eight Pac-12's teams, including SoCal squads USC and UCLA, as well as Oregon, an SEC squad in Vanderbilt, a Big Ten team in Nebraska, and a perennially strong Boise State squad. But he'll join the first class Dykes assembled on his own in Berkely as he tries to revamp the Golden Bears to match his philosophy.
The 5'11, 185-pound defender had been committed to Arizona State, but the Sun Devils couldn't hold on to him, and he committed to the Bears at Nike's The Opening less than a week after dropping his ASU pledge.
Derrell Warren, West Coast Recruiting Analyst:
Wadood is a contributor on both sides on the ball for his high school team but is being primarily looked at as a defender at the college level
Now although listed as a safety by a lot of recruiting services, it's a question if the 5'11 185-pound Wadood can gain the necessary weight to handle physical rigors of that position on the college level. His frame much more closely resembles that of a cornerback as opposed to a back line defender.
Athletically, Wadood carries quick twitch explosiveness and impressive overall agility. Primarily lined up at safety, he comes downhill in a hurry and is an aggressive tackler. He plays fast due to his instincts and reactive quickness. He is also further along than most as far as the diagnostic aspects of his game. He reads his keys very well and seems to trusts what his instincts tell him, often directing himself towards the point of attack of the offensives play within moments of the snap.
Wadood is a coordinated athlete who stays balanced in his drop. His foot quickness and change of direction translate well to the cornerback position. He shows the necessary traits to mirror wide receiver on hard breaking routes.
On offense, Wadood is used at both running back and at slot receiver. As a running back he attacks the hole with burst, picks his way through traffic and makes quick cuts at the second level that allows him to create space for himself in the open field.
He offers plus level skills in the return game as well. Once the ball is in his hands he gets vertical almost instantly has the ability to stick his foot in the ground and execute sudden changes of direction in the open field at top speed.