Cal Picks Up 18th Commitment for 2021 -- TE/OLB Keleki Latu

Jake Curtis

Cal picked up its 18th commitment for the class of 2021 when highly touted tight end/outside linebacker Keleki Latu of Carmichael, Calif., announced on social media on Thursday that he will cme to Cal.

The 6-foot-6, 205-pound Latu chose Cal over offers from USC, Oregon, Utah, Arizona State and Nebraska, and he is a candidate for Sports Ilustrated's 2020 high school All-America team. (See SI assessment of Latu below.)

Latu, who attends Jesuit High School, is rated the 70th-best prospect in the state of California by rivals.com, and 247Sports rates him as the nation's 59th-best tight end prospect. 

(See video highlights of Latu above.)

Though not technically a Bay Area recruit, Latu arrives from the Sacramento area, which is relatively close by. It adds to the theory that recruits are staying close to home  when choosing a college during the COVID-19 pandemic. . 

Cal has already picked up four 2021 commitments from the Bay Area, after signing just one Bay Area product the previous year. Latu is the thrid Sacramento-area prospect to commit to Cal for 2021, along with  Moses Oladejo and Kaleb Higgins.

Although Sports Illustrated lists his most likely college position as being outside linebacker, he is expected to play tight end at Cal. Bears tight end coach Marques Tuiasosopo was the primary recruiter for Latu.

Cal is picking up some highly rated tight end recruits, which indicates how important that position is in offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave's offense. Several tight ends are in Cal's 2020 recruiting class, and Jermaine Terry is a tight end who gave a vebal commitment to Cal for 2021.

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Prospect: Keleki Latu 

Status: SI All-American candidate
Vitals: 6-foot-6, 205 pounds
Position: Outside Linebacker
School: Carmichael (Calif.) Jesuit

Top Schools: Arizona State, Nebraska, USC, Oregon, Cal, Utah 

Projected Position: Outside Linebacker

Frame: Long and lean. Enormous frame with plenty of room for 40-50 plus pounds of weight, easy.

Athleticism: His long legs make for long steps, but he can still break down and redirect when he needs to. Quick off the ball from both 3-point and 2-point stance. Flips hip to weave between guard and tackle on oversets.

Instincts: Plays through the whistle. If he gets reached, he won’t stay reached. Even at 205 pounds, no issues playing between the tackles, but his home at the next level is out on the edge. Refuses to be blocked.

Polish: Latu is physical off the line of scrimmage, but needs a sterner punch. Excellent leverage. Discipline eyes; Reads his keys and not the play, which tells me he’s receptive to coaching.

Bottom Line: Keleki Latu is gifted in the art of trench warfare. He plays with fantastic leverage with quick hands and feet to compliment his ridiculous reach. He’s a fantastic overall athlete with a high ceiling as an edge defender.

Click here for 247Sports report on Latu's commitment.

Cal's other 17 commitments for 2021 include defensive end Derek Wilkins, defensive back Lu-Magia Hearns, outside linebacker Patrick Hisatake, defensive end Myles Williams, offensive tackle Ryan Lange, tight end Jermaine Terry, wide receiver J. Michael Sturdivant, outside linebacker Moses Oladejo, quarterback Kai Millner, wide receiver Mavin Anderson, offensive tackle Bastian Swinney, cornerback Kaleb Higgins, defensive end Akili Calhoun, safety Hunter Barth, offensive tackle Will Reed, offensive tackle Dylan Jemtegaard and safety Fatuvalu Iosefa.

Cover photo of Justin Wilcox by James Snook - USA TODAY Sports

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