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Verbal commitments aren’t everything in the world of college football recruiting and Notre Dame just learned that lesson again. Four-star cornerback Elijah Hicks pledged to spend his college career in South Bend after an official visit in October but, this week, he reported to campus in Berkeley (per Scout) and enrolled at California.

This comes as something of a surprise given the fact that Hicks’ run with the Irish reportedly comes to an abrupt end, but it is a huge win for the Golden Bears. The program parted ways with head coach Sonny Dykes at an interesting time in early January and, for the moment, offensive coordinator Jake Spavital is the interim voice at the top of the food chain.

In Hicks, Cal is landing a four-star prospect according to Scout and he will be the 15th member of the recruiting class for Spavital and company. The 6-foot, 185-pound cornerback is seen as college-ready by a number of recruiting services. Given the disastrous nature of the Cal defense in 2016 (the group ranked 126th in the country in points allowed per game), any influx of talent on that side of the ball should be considered a tremendous positive.

It remains to be seen if Spavital will be the one coaching Hicks and the Golden Bears when the season opens, but this commitment places the program in better position overall.

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