Cal Football: Golden Bears land highest-ranked recruit of Justin Wilcox era

Cal Football (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Cal Football (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Cal football program has officially landed their highest-ranked recruit of the Justin Wilcox era.

The Cal football program continued to add to their strong 2021 recruiting class this past week with the signing of their biggest prize yet in the form of four-star wide receiver J. Michael Sturdivant.

Sturdivant is ranked as the No. 27 wide receiver prospect in the 2021 class and the No. 179 overall prospect by 247sports. Perhaps more notable is the fact that Sturdivant is the highest-ranked recruit of the Justin Wilcox era at Cal.

Wilcox was hired back in 2017 after taking over for Sonny Dykes and while he’s signed his fair share of four-star recruits, none of them have received a higher national ranking than Sturdivant.

The Flower Mound, Texas native is Cal’s fifth four-star recruit of the 2021 recruiting cycle giving the Golden Bears one of the strongest classes in the Pac-12.

Oregon and USC each have signed 11 four-star recruits so far. But for the other nine Pac-12 schools, their combined total of four-star commits is less than Cal’s total of five — Washington has two while UCLA and Utah each have one.

Cal has reportedly been targeting Sturdivant for a while now having offered him a scholarship in July of 2019. Wide receivers coach Burl Toler was reportedly the biggest factor in Sturdivant’s decision and he was listed as the primary recruiter.

Sturdivant announced his decision on July 4th on social media.

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What should fans of Cal football be expecting from J. Michael Sturdivant?

At 6-foot-3, 182 pounds, Sturdivant is a tall, lanky receiver who has been compared physically to current Cal receiver Makai Polk who impressed as a freshman in 2019.

Sturdivant impressed as a junior at Marcus High School last season hauling in 87 passes for 1,125 yards and 10 touchdowns as he helped lead his team to win Texas’ District 6-6A title.

As expected, the standout wideout garnered national interest from a ton of different programs including the likes of LSU, Oklahoma, and UCLA. However, he ultimately chose to take his talents to Berkeley.

The Cal football program is finally beginning to earn some nationwide praise after an impressive 8-5 finish this past season that culminated in a victory over Illinois in the Redbox Bowl at Levi’s Stadium.

The Bears are only set to have one four-star recruit in their 2020 class, tight end D.J. Rogers. But Sturdivant now joins four other four-star recruits — including Richmond High School’s Jermaine Terry — in what could be Cal’s best recruiting class in years.

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The future is looking bright for Cal football and Sturdivant could become a huge part of that future.