Bears' Recruits Ranked Ninth





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Despite a disappointing final record, the Cal football team is locking up one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.

The website Rivals.com has the Bears' current list of commitments ranked ninth in the nation.

The only Pac-10 school ranked ahead of Cal is UCLA, which is ranked third.

The gem of the 2001 class is Lorenzo Alexander, a 6-foot-2, 292-pound two-way lineman from Berkeley's St. Mary's High School, who verbally commited to Cal last week.

Alexander plans to play defensive tackle for the Bears. Rivals.com has Alexander rated as the eighth-best defensive tackle in the nation.

Alexander chose the Bears over Oregon, USC, Miami, Georgia Tech, UCLA and Stanford in large part due to Cal's academics.

A standout for the last three seasons at St. Mary's, Alexander was swayed by the academic opportunities he would have as a Cal player - Alexander wants to be a mechanical engineer.

"At first, I wasn't going to do engineering," Alexander said.

But a talk with his mother, who reminded him engineering was what he wants to do, convinced him Cal was the right place to go.

"She said Cal is the best place for me to do (engineering)," Alexander said.

Alexander expects to have a solid support system when he arrives on campus in the mechanical engineering department, considering that he is good friends with Paul Wright, the dean of the department.

Alexander was impressed by denfensive coordinator Lyle Setencich's personnel.

"I really like Coach Setencich," Alexander said. "And I've known (defensive line) Coach Dutton since I was a freshman."

The team's disappointing 3-8 record didn't sway Alexander either.

"The record doesn't really mean anything to me," Alexander said. "They lost some close games they should have won."

St. Mary's coach Dan Shaughnessy believes the Bears have a major talent in Alexander, but he doesn't think it's fair to expect Alexander to step right in and fill the void left by the departures of Andre Carter and Jacob Waasdorp.

"He's still a high school kid," Shaughnessy said. "We think he gets dressed in a phone booth here. He's got that big 'S' on his chest for us, but it puts a lot of undue pressure on him."

Alexander isn't the only good player the Bears look to add for the 2001 campaign.

Terrell Williams is a 6-foot, 200- pound cornerback from Hoover High School in San Diego and recently committed to Cal.

Williams' size will help against some of the bigger receivers in the conference.

The Bears also received a commitment from Mike Wells, a 6-foot-1, 225-pound linebacker from Suhuaro High School in Suhuaro, Ariz.

Wells is rated the fifth-best linebacker in Arizona by Rivals.com.

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