Even though Dykes didn't play a role in his recruitment, Loyola cornerback Cameron Walker today became the first commit of the Sonny Dykes era with his commitment to Cal.
Walker visited Cal on October 5th for their blowout victory over UCLA and even though many Bear losses and official visits to Boise State and Wisconsin took place between then and now, Walker just couldn't shake the feeling that he had months ago and the certainty that Cal was the perfect place for him.
"Long story short, I just fell in love with Cal on my official visit there," said Walker. "I liked everything, from the team and facilities, to the city and fans."
Everything clicked for the Bears that day, as they blew out eventual Pac 12 South champion UCLA, 43-17.
Cal would go on to soundly defeat Washington State the following week to move to 3-4 before falling into a season-ending slump they'd never emerge from, bringing an end to the 11-year Tedford Era and bringing former Louisiana Tech head coach Sonny Dykes to Cal as head coach earlier this week.
Even though Walker hasn't had the chance to personally speak with Dykes yet, he's looking forward to the chance and is well-aware of his coaching prowess.
"I haven't talked to Coach Dykes yet but I've heard lot of good things about him," said Walker. "I know he's a very good coach and he has what it takes to turn the program around."
Even thought Dykes didn't formally play a role in Walker's commitment, a big assist goes to holdover defensive backs coach Ashley Ambrose and running backs coach Ron Gould, who will both be interviewing with Dykes to possibly resume their roles.
"They both played a big role in recruiting me and they were both really excited when I committed," said Walker. "I hope they stay on but even if they're not around in the end, I know Cal's the right place for me."
The 4 star Walker led the Cubs to a 6-4 record in 2012, accumulating 22 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries while missing several games with a broken collar bone.
Walker also had 65 carries for 405 yards and four touchdowns at running back and 11 receptions and a td at receiver as well on offense.
Walker had offers from all over the country, from Wisconsin, Michigan and Cincinatti to Stanford, Washington, Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State and many others before choosing the Bears.
Says ESPN of Walker: Walker is a productive playmaker and a bit of a sleeper. He's a well-rounded prospect as he can cover and also provide a physical element. He has a good blend of size, footwork and closing quickness. He has a leaner frame but has good height and length to match up with taller receivers and he has the upside for physical development. He has ballhawk instincts. He finds the ball quickly and closes fast without much wasted motion.
He's sharp out of breaks and drives hard on short perimeter passes and limits the run after the catch. He reads quarterbacks accurately and feels routes develop quickly. He has good anticipation skills and transitions quickly and fluidly out of pedal to break on the ball. He will open his hips and turn and run showing good speed and man-to-man skills as well. He gets his head around quickly and has good ball skills and effectively plays with his back to the quarterback.
To view Walker's senior highlights, use the embedded viewer below: