For the second time in a week, the Bears secured a big piece for their 2018 recruiting class with the commitment of 2018 Antioch High School linebacker/athlete Omari Harris.
The commitment of the 4 star 6-1/200 Harris follows a week after the Bears' first commitment of the 2018 class in Clovis West quarterback Adrian Martinez -one of the top dual threat quarterbacks in his class.
Harris has had several visits to Cal prior to visiting with much of his team for Cal's season finale victory over UCLA on Saturday but the most recent visit was the clincher for the local product.
"Going out to Cal, having so much family in the area, having family and friends to lean on when I need anything means a lot," said Harris. I can come home for Thanksgiving and won't have to worry about getting a plane ticket and all the expenses.
"I love the atmosphere at Cal games every time I'm there. It's amazing. The fans are great and so supportive and the student section is always great."
Harris has also visited several times with Cal's top defensive line target, De La Salle's junior DT Tuli Letiligasenoa. Harris described the big DT as almost like a brother, having grown up together so the Antioch star's commitment could only help the Bears in future recruiting efforts.
Harris has had an impressive season so far for the Panthers, who will face Monte Vista High School Saturday night at 7 pm at Dublin High School in the Division 1 championship game. Harris has compiled 90 tackles, one interception, a sack, a force fumble and a recovered fumble this season.
Beyond proximity and comfort level with the program, academics played a key role in Harris's decision to be a Bear.
"Academics played a huge role in my decision," said Harris. "Cal's the number one public university in the world and they have a top program for what I'd like to major in which is bioengineering. Looking into their programs, I realized this is the number one place I can go academically, too. Getting a degree from Cal would be amazing and the connections I'd build for a future career are great."
Even though Harris played primarily linebacker this season with star running back Najee Harris (no relation) getting most of the carries, the Oakland native is being recruited by Cal as an athlete, meaning he could end up on either side of the ball.
Does Harris have a preference?
"Actually, no," said Harris. "I want to continue to be able to play both sides of the ball. Where I'll play will be something I'll have to continue to talk to the coaches about.'
The Bears beat out Utah and Nebraska for Harris' services.