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Off a strong official visit weekend, the Bears landed one of their top targets at the running back position. Kaleb Johnson, from Hamilton HS in Ohio, announced his commitment to Cal after spending the weekend in Berkeley. Johnson becomes the second offensive player to commit, joining QB and fellow weekend visitor Justyn Martin in the 2022 class.

Johnson fills a massive need for the Bears, who didn’t get a running back in the 2021 class. He won RB MVP honors at the Rivals Camp Series in Indianapolis back in May, after showcasing his pass-catching ability out of the backfield. That ability is part of why Cal had Johnson as one of their top priorities at the running back position. At 6’1″ and 210 lbs, Johnson is a bigger back, but he’s explosive off his cuts and in shedding arm tackles.

Running backs coach Aristotle Thompson was the main recruiter for Johnson, helping Cal to get off a five-month stretch without a 2022 commit on the offensive side of the ball. Getting more pieces on offense to surround Johnson and Martin will be pivotal in the coming weeks to keep the class together.

Johnson chose Cal over other offers from Iowa State, Iowa, Michigan State, and Pittsburgh, and is the 34th ranked running back in the country, per Rivals.

By the Numbers


1. DT Damonic Williams, Mission Hills, CA, January 6th, 2021

2. QB Justyn Martin, Inglewood, CA, January 18th, 2021

3. DL Nate Burrell, Bellflower, CA, June 7th, 2021

4. DL Jaxson Moi, San Diego, CA, June 8th, 2021

5. OLB Nunie Tuitele, Aurora, CO, June 13th, 2021

6. OLB Curlee Thomas IV, Fort Worth, TX, June 18th, 2021

7. RB Kaleb Johnson, Hamilton, OH, June 20th, 2021

By Position

QB – 1

RB – 1

DL – 3

Edge – 2

By State

CA – 4

CO – 1

TX – 1

OH – 1