Foothill (Pleasanton, CA) tight end Ray Hudson grew up watching the Bears from his home just 15 miles from the Cal campus and this weekend, made the connection tighter as he verbally committed to join the program in 2013.
"After going out to Cal the last couple weekends, I started getting a lot more attention and calls," said Hudson. "It started to get overwhelming pretty quickly.
"I got an offer from San Diego State and was getting attention from a lot of other programs, too, so I decided to go out to Cal with my family this weekend and meet with Coach Tedford, Coach Genyk and Coach Michalczik and sit down and talk.
"I'd been thinking about getting offers from all these other programs, like Washington, USC and UCLA but then I kept coming back to thinking that the offers would be nice, but Cal's the place I really want to be so why go through all that?
"It's just a perfect fit all-around -the school, all the people around me -Jared Goff's a great quarterback and a great guy. I really look forward to playing with him.
"Cal's definitely the right choice for me. It's a Pac 12 school and it's a school I watched growing up. Now I get to play for them. How can you beat that? I'm really looking forward to it."
Hudson had plenty of opportunity to develop a comfort level with the program, having camped at Cal on consecutive weekends.
"Camp went really well for me," said Hudson. "I spent about four hours playing catch and running routes for Jared Goff and Coach Tedford. Coach Genyk was there, too.
"After the first weekend, they wanted to see how I blocked since they liked my receiving skills. They like me as an H-back since I've played wide receiver in high school. The second weekend was in pads."
Even though Hudson grew up following the Bears, his family, particularly his father, were also Stanford fans, with Hudson's father owning a franchise in Palo Alto.
Last week, Hudson jokingly mentioned that he might have to work on his father a little bit if he were to commit to Cal but when push came to shove, his father was squarely in his corner when it came to committing to the Bears.
"My dad's happy that I'll be going to a great college and playing with a great program," said Hudson. "Once he sat down with Coach Tedford and really talked him, he realized what a great coach and a great guy he is."
The 6-4/235 Hudson noted that with an increasingly talented roster, the addition of a pair of local star quarterbacks in Zach Kline and Marin Catholic senior Jared Goff, the Bears have strong potential to make a big step forward.
"There's a bright future at Cal," said Hudson. "I'm really looking forward to seeing what they do this year.
"They've had a couple great recruiting classes in a row. And they had Zach Kline come in and he's one of my good friends. It will be interesting to see how he does. He's going to be a star for them and I'm looking forward to being one of his targets down the line. There's definitely a comfort level there with me.
"I look around and see a lot of guys committing early and decommitting but once, I make a decision, that's it.
"I'm looking for a good education, a place I really fit in and a coaching staff that I can connect with and learn from.
"Cal's got a good overall group of guys in the program. Cal's definitely a good place for me."