Cal football lands Blair, 6 others

February 5, 2014

Last year, former Miami dolphins defensive end Jason Taylor paid a visit to Adamson Stadium to watch his brother Noah play on the California University.

Maybe next season, the Vulcans can invite DeJuan Blair, former Pitt basketball star and current NBA player for the Dallas Mavericks.

That’s because the Vulcans landed Blair’s cousin, Brendan, a 6-1 senior at Sto-Rox High School.

Blair is one of seven recruits Cal got on signing day. The number will rise as some students did not have school today because of the winter storm and had to wait until today to commit.

Cal also has five transfers, including Trinity High School graduate Ken Wilkins, and nine redshirt freshmen. Cal head coach Mike Kellar expects this class to number at about 24.

Blair has speed and quickness and versatility and can be used at running back and return kicks and punts, but Kellar said he envisions another spot for him.

“We recruited him as a safety,” Kellar said. “We’ll see how spring ball goes, but that’s how we see him now. He can move around and (play) different positions. We’ve been to the camps he’s been at, and he’s been one of the better players in the games we watched.”

Kellar said he went into the recruiting season with specific goals.

“We wanted to get two inside linebackers, two outside linebackers and two safeties,” he said. “After that, we would have been glad to pack up and go home. We feel we got some really good talent.”

Cal found its two outside linebackers, possibly, in Corey Bopp of North Hills, a 6-3, 248-pounder who will join Luke Hrapchak, a 6-2, 235-pound senior from West Fairmont (W.Va.) High School. On the inside, Kellar got Devonte Suber, a 5-11, 200-pound senior from Coatesville, and Kevin Slezak, a 5-11, 218-pounder from Franklin Regional.

“We thought Corey would be a Division 1 or 1-AA,” Kellar said. “We thought getting him was a pipe dream. He can play outside in a 3-4 scheme and he might grow into a defensive end or play fullback or tight end. And he’s an intelligent kid.”

Joe Tuscano has been with the Observer-Reporter since 1980. He has covered all sports for the newspaper, including the Steelers, Pirates, Pitt football, local college football and wrestling. He has worked for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Jeannette News-Dispatch and North Hills Record. He graduated from Duquesne University in 1980.

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