If bloodlines are any indication, the newest Golden Bear commit -Catholic High School (Little Rock, AR) defensive tackle Luc Bequette should be a good one for Cal.
The son of former Olympic bronze medalist and world champion skater Debi Thomas and former Arkansas Razorback offensive lineman Chris Bequette, the 6-2/290 defensive tackle brings a unique combination of size and athleticism to the defensive tackle position, boasting an impressive 28 inch vertical for a 290 DT along with a 350 lb bench at just 17 years of age.
"I ran a 4.9 forty when I was at 265 but I'm a bit above that now," said Bequette. I've still got the 28 inch vertical, though. I did that this summer."
A further testimony to his athleticism, Bequette also plays baseball and wrestles -a skill that serves him well in the trenches.
"Wrestling's helped immensely," said Bequette. "It teaches you to battle one-on-one and there's nobody else to blame a loss on. It's all on you. It also helps with strength and conditioning and staying low on the field."†
Bequette became acquainted with Cal through his father Chris' connection to Bear defensive coordinator Art Kaufman as Chris suggested to Kaufman -an Arkansas native himself- that he might want to come check out his son or have him out to camp at Cal over the summer.
Kaufman made the trip to Arkansas and Bequette made the trip to Cal, impressed the staff and the rest is history, as the 3 star tackle pulled in an offer from the Bears after an impressive camp performance and committed a month later after considering his future plans.
"Coach Kaufman came out to my spring practice and liked what he saw so he invited me out to camp," said Bequette.
"He thought I was an offensive lineman but he really liked the way I moved on defense for my position so that's where he was interested in seeing me play.†
"At Cal camp, I worked on both sides at camp but he really liked me on D. †
"I came out to Cal for camp in late June. It's a really scenic place and I really like the coaches. They took me up to the club level and out on the deck and it was just unbelievable. You could see for miles."
Bequette was born in Little Rock but moved to Fountain Valley, CA at the age of four when his mother Debi -by then an orthopedic surgeon- took a job on the West Coast. Eventually Bequette moved with his father to Illinois, where he played his first three years of high school ball at St. Thomas More High School initially before transferring to Centennial Champaign as a junior before going back to their roots in Little Rock leading into his senior season.
The Razorback bloodlines run deep in the Bequette family with father Chris as well as his cousin Jay (currently with the New England Patriots), his uncle and grandfather all having starred at Arkansas.†
"I'm sure they want to see me at Arkansas but they're very supportive of me and want to see me succeed wherever I go," said Bequette.
Growing up the son of a Razorback will make you a celebrity around Little Rock but being the son of a world-famous Olympic medalist and world champion figure skater takes the celebrity status to a whole new level.
"It seemed like everywhere we'd go -on an elevator or anywhere- people would recognize my mom. It was kind of cool for me but a little awkward for her. It definitely made me feel special, though. It's cool having an Olympic athlete as your mom."
While dad Chris was a Razorback, mother Debi is a Stanford grad -an interesting twist in the family connection. Though the Bears and Cardinal are lifelong rivals, her son's commitment to Cal suits Debi just fine.
"My mom kind of joked about it a little bit with me but she's happy for me and proud of me."
A solid student with a 3.4, Cal's academic status was the clincher for Bequette, especially after learning the reception Cal grads get in the marketplace after graduating.†
To view Bequette's junior highlights, use the embedded link below: