The Bears stayed hot on the commitment front this week, reeling in a commitment from Murphy (Mobile, AL) High School safety Depriest "Trey" Turner today, bringing their 2015 class to 20 to-date.
The speedy and athletic Turner (6-1/180, 4.41 forty) was an early commit to Duke but felt that he needed to explore Cal as an option as well, taking an official visit to Berkeley December 12 before decommitting from the Blue Devils and eventually committing to Cal.
"Cal is just the perfect spot for me," said Turner. "And my parents just loved it there, too.
"I knew it was the right spot considering that my parents have never missed a football game of mine and for them to get so comfortable all the way across country, it meant something to me. It just felt like home to me.
"I already loved Cal. I just never got a chance to go out there and visit.
"I committed to Duke so early and I never had a chance to get out Cal till my official visit a couple weeks ago. That's when I really felt like Cal was going to be my home.
"I felt comfortable with the coaches, and the recruits that came out there with me, we're like brothers. It only took a couple days.
"It just felt like the perfect spot for me and I feel like I can contribute a lot to the football team. It's a great fit for me. I feel like I could potentially come in and play early.
The profiles of Turner's two finalists are very similar academically and to some extent, athletically.
"To me, Cal and Duke are very similar," said Turner, who sports a strong 3.9 gpa. "They're both great schools academically and they're both on the rise athletically.
"Everyone talks about Alabama and Auburn but to me, Cal and Duke are my Alabama and Auburn. I just felt more comfortable at Cal. Alabama and Auburn aren't me. I want to be different and do something different.
"I look at Cal as much more than just a football program. You can great a great education and degree there and I'm looking towards the future as far as that goes, not just football. You never know when you'll get an injury and football will end for you but at the end of the day, Cal was just the best opportunity for me to get a great degree and also have a good shot at early playing time."
The charismatic Turner was able to quickly bond with the large group of recruits that visited with him and started recruiting for Cal even before he made his commitment public.
"Every recruit on my visit, I made it known that we have a chance to change the program and take it to a new level," said Turner.
"They say I'm a vocal guy and a funny guy but I just try and make sure all the guys know how I feel about the opportunity we have at Cal.
"Most of the guys in this recruiting class have great personalities and that's so important. You've got to have good personalities on a football team to build relationships.
"I'm just trying to make sure all these guys know we have the chance to turn things around at Cal. This recruiting class is going to be big for Cal.
"We have the size and speed to make a big difference. With the offense being so great, if we can stop some teams, we have the chance to go all the way and I believe that wholeheartedly, I really do. I tell the other guys potentially going to Cal, if you make that decision, you have a chance to make history."
As for the recruits Turner's gotten to know the best?
"Ross (Bowers) and Chris (Williamson), those are my guys," said Turner. "I really like Daniel Imatorbhebhe, too. I know his heart's at Cal but I wish him well at Florida. Chris -We're going to get Chris. He knows, that, too. I talk to him every day.
"At the end of the day, I feel Cal's a great fit for a lot of top athletes. We have great recruits coming in and can change this program around."
Turner has spent much of his prep career as a running quarterback after playing safety early but he'll be on the defensive side of the ball at Cal.
"They say looking at my hips and seeing how I move, it should be an easy transition to safety," said Turner. "I'm training at safety right now to get ready. It's hard work and I have to put in more work than the next guy since I haven't played it in a while.
"If you look at my highlight tape on the first play, my running back fumbled the ball at the goal line and I ran the db down who picked it up and put a lick on him on the sidelines. That kind of started the whole safety position idea since teams saw my speed and physicality. I like to run you over or deliver a lick. I told them flat-out, I don't want to play quarterback. I want to play safety because I want to hit somebody. I want to make contact out there. Cal gave me the opportunity to do that.
"I'm training and trying to get better and get ready to play there. When I come, I'm coming to play. I'm not coming all the way from Alabama to California to sit on the bench. I'm trying to get on the field early and make plays."