Once again, Cal linebacker coach Kenwick Thompson dipped deep into the heart of Texas for another recruit as Mansfield (Mansfield, TX) linebacker Chad Whitener joined the list of early season commits to the Bears.
The 6-1/235 linebacker was a dynamo on the field in 2011, amassing an amazing 195 tackles, four sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in his junior season.
Whitener followed up a strong soph season, where he totalled an impressive 96 tackles as an underclassman.
"Coach Thompson offered me on the 17th," said Whitener. "He visited here and then offered me later on the phone.
"He likes my physical style of play and thinks I'll fit in well at Cal.
"Me and my family have done a lot of research," said Whitener. "Cal plays a 3-4 style of defense I like and their academics are outstanding. Their facilities are top notch and they've renovated their stadium so things are looking great at Cal."
Staff stability is another attraction to the big Texan, with Cal head coach Jeff Tedford's 12-year tenure the longest in the Pac 12, not to mention Thompson's stay in Berkeley since 2006.
"Coach Thompson's my position coach and he's been there six years," said Whitener. "Overall, it just seems like the perfect place to be."
California may seem like a long way from Mansfield, Texas but the 3 star linebacker has definitely done his share of Pac 12 viewing.
"Where I'm from, it's mostly Big 12 and SEC country," aaid Whitener. "But I've been on youtube a lot and have watched a lot of highlights and games and I really like how Cal's defense moves and how fast they are."
An excellent student, with a 3.70 gpa, Whitener was especially attracted as much to Cal's academics as he was to their gridiron potential.
"It helps a lot, because as much as I love football, having that Cal degree is something that can get my career jump-started, especially with all their alumni and connections that my degree would offer," said Whitener.
Even though Whitener hasn't spent a lot of time in the Bay Area, he's more than familiar with California overall, having competed many times in BMX, though he no longer rides competively.
Whitener won't have to wait much longer to spend time in the Bay Area, though, as he and his family plan to make a long weekend of his trip to Cal's 1-day camp, staying in the area from June 1st to 4th.
"We're really looking forward to the trip out there and seeing more of what Cal has to offer," concluded Whitener.
To view Whitener's profile, including junior season highlights, click here