Some might say

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FEBRUARY 02, 2012

These past two weeks have been a little too chaotic for my taste.

And while it was a crazy couple of weeks for the fans, think what a circus it must have been for the recruits. Imagine getting convinced by a coach that Berkeley is the place you want play your college football at, only to have him come back just weeks later telling you to disregard all those selling points.

And sure, a couple of guys couldn’t see past Tosh Lupoi’s shadiness and decided to take their talents elsewhere. They didn’t really want to come to Berkeley, and, honestly, Cal’s going to be better off without them.

But more decided to stay. Not even a boat filled with Jumbacos and seal pelts could lure them away from their dream school.

And these guys weren’t just a bunch of nobodies that no one else wanted. These were highly sought-after recruits who decided that the only place they wanted to be was Berkeley.

This class is going to become one of the strongest in Cal’s history. It’s full of guys who bleed blue and gold, who are going to kill themselves every single day in practice if it means helping out their team.

It doesn’t take 5-star recruits to make a program competitive on a national scale. Did anyone hear Boise State’s name get mentioned at all this recruiting season? No, but I guarantee we’ll be hearing all about the Broncos come September.

All it takes to win is a bunch of guys who are willing to commit their hearts and souls to their football program. It takes guys who want to play for their university, not for a defensive line coach. It takes guys like Alex Mack, Marvin Jones and Avery Sebastian — guys who will do anything for their team. And this class is filled to the brim with guys like that.

Stanford figured this whole philosophy out a while ago, and look where it’s taken that program. There’s no reason that Cal can’t and won’t follow the same trajectory.

Coaches can do all the recruiting they want, but the players are the guys who can really show a recruit that they should want to come to a program. Excitement is contagious, and when players love their school and love their team, the word gets around.

So would you rather have recruits talk to a guy who will eventually go on to play in the NFL but will announce his alma mater as Long Beach Poly? Or would you rather he talk to a guy who’s waited his whole life for an opportunity to come to Cal and wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world?

Cal football is on the rise, and fans and recruits alike are starting to take notice. The fact that people are upset with a top-25 recruiting class just confirms that.

The Bears are adding 17 players to their roster, all of whom have a shot to make an immediate impact and want nothing more than to help their new team out. Is it the most glamorous class ever? Probably not, but it might be the grittiest and most dedicated one we’ve ever had in Berkeley. They’ve been to hell and back, and when it might have been easier to just jump ship, they decided that Berkeley was where they needed to be.

And for that, there’s no reason to be anything other than excited.

Contact Connor Byrne at 


FEBRUARY 02, 2012