- Blair Angulo, Reporter, WeAreSC.com
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BEAVERTON, Ore. -- Four-star athlete Jaleel Wadood (Bellflower, Calif./St. John Bosco) is bound for Berkeley.
Previously committed to Arizona State, the four-star defensive back gave his verbal pledge to Cal on Tuesday at The Opening, choosing the Golden Bears over 13 other scholarship offers. Wadood, who decommitted from Arizona State on June 25 following a five-month pledge to the Sun Devils, became the ninth member and sixth in-state prospect in Cal’s 2014 class.
The 5-foot-11, 165-pound athlete picked up offers from hometown schools USC and UCLA following strong performances at the schools’ camps last month, but he intends to experience college life away from Southern California, according to a source close to his recruitment. Wadood has shown versatility throughout his high school career, playing mostly safety but also starring at cornerback, running back and receiver.
Wadood’s commitment is yet another important pickup for Cal coach Sonny Dykes and his staff. The Golden Bears also have ESPN 300 receiver Jalen Harvey (El Cerrito, Calif./El Cerrito) in tow and, despite a poor 2012 season, are in the running for a number of the state’s other highly coveted prospects.
The local schools, meanwhile, figure to keep recruiting Wadood until the very end, especially given their needs in the defensive backfield. UCLA may have been Wadood’s most recent offer, but assistant coach Demetrice Martin has proven to be relentless in the past and will continue to pursue him. The same goes for USC, which is in desperate need of cornerbacks in this recruiting cycle after signing only Chris Hawkins in the 2013 class.