Gavin Andrews, OT
Granite Bay Grizzlies
Granite Bay, CA
Outside of the football field, Gavin Andrews is a championship super heavyweight wrestler at 285lbs . This spring Gavin earned a spot on SacBee's All-Sierra Foothill League wrestling team . Unfortunately for Gavin, he lost at CIF Sacramento-San Joaquin Section Masters Final and did not make it to State or Nationals . This might be Gavin's last attempt to dominate at wrestling. The weight loss needed from football to wrestling has taken a toll on him .
The trade-off Gavin is making from wrestling to football may benefit us Cal fans. He is a physically imposing left-tackle whose strength & quick feet has the coaches riveted. NorCal may very well boast three All-American offensive linemen candidates this year w/ Arik Armstead, Freddie Tagaloa , and Gavin .
Joe Davidson, sports reporter for the Sacramento Bee, was generous with his time once again to answer CGB's questions about Gavin. Thank you Joe and make sure you follow him @ SacBee, Preps Plus, and Twitter for his excellent storytelling.
1. Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, what's your overall impression of Gavin?
Joe: Dominant lineman, powerful, skilled and still learning the game. His upside is terrific. He's a very likable young man, motivated to do well for his family and school. He has father figures in his prep coaches – football and wrestling – and always soaking up more information, knowledge. He craves to be good and great.
2. Coach Kenwick Thompson recently spoke at booster events regarding recruiting players that fit Cal's brand & character. What do you think about Gavin's fit as a person to Cal?
Joe: He'd be a perfect fit. In getting to know coaches over the years, I always ask – on and off the record – what a kid is like off the field. Is he a leader, classy, a good student, a problem, a clown? Gavin is admired greatly by his fellow students and the teachers. You can see the rapport, and hear the words of appreciation from all. He's very respectful, appreciative of what he has here – a chance to get a scholarship.
3. Any ideas what Gavin's interests are and what he would like to pursue academically?
Joe: From what he's told me, he'd like to teach and coach. The teacher/coach influence on him was tremendous, and he'd like to give back. Couldn't imagine too many disorderly classrooms with big "Mr. Andrews" towering above…
4. What are Gavin's strengths as a player on the football field? What's his biggest strength in your opinion?
Joe: He's very strong, mobile, athletic, and he has a nasty side to him. Loves to bully up foes. He has good feet and hand placement and he's eager to learn. His biggest strength is his size, strength and upside, plus he's very coachable, very likeable, very hungry to achieve.
[Gavin's junior highlights]
5. What do you think Gavin will need to improve upon to be successful at the next level? When do you expect Gavin to be ready to contribute?
Joe: He's the first to tell you he needs to trim down some 25 or so pounds. It took him awhile to trim down for wrestling – he had more lunch sessions of steamed broccoli and carrots than he'd care to remember. But it's a discipline thing and he can do it, and wants to. He'll also tell you that a redshirt season is never a bad thing, so I'd expect that, and then he'll be a contributor.
6. Any idea if Gavin has any initial impressions about Cal?
Joe: I haven't talked to him about that just yet.
7. I'm not too familiar w/ the Grizzlies. Sammie Stroughter, wideout from Oregon State, was an alum. Can you tell us more about the program and your outlook for Granite Bay this season?
Joe: Excellent, top-notch program under coach Ernie Cooper, the only head coach since the school opened some 16 years ago. From weight room discipline, to academics, to football success to scholarship athletes, it's absolutely a complete program. They have kids playing and impacting college programs across the country.
8. Has Gavin been involved in a signature play or a game that you can share w/ us?
Joe: Not one particular play but more of a season, such as this last one when he dominated people on the line of scrimmage and pushed them around and flattened them. Opposing coaches and players raved about him, hated facing him.
9. Does Gavin have good technique (does he keep his body between the defender and the quarterback, does he constantly engage and push him off, does he run downfield and crush opposing linebackers/defensive ends), or is he just a physical force that's hard to stop?
Joe: He has very sound technique to go with his strength and mobility and that makes him a top-flight prospect. He could emerge as the No. 1 prospect in school history, and they've had a lot of big-time talent.
10. How much do you think Gavin's wrestling methods influenced his style of play on the football field? Will Gavin only focus on football at the college level?
Joe: It will likely only be football in college as that is a brutal double otherwise. Wrestling has helped him in football immeasurably – balance, footwork, the idea of being solo out there in your craft.
11. What's the one thing people rarely talk about that makes Gavin unique? What's the one attribute that stands out the most after your interviews w/ him?
Joe: He's such a nice kid, so proud, yet not at all boastful or overly chatty. He's a brute in pads and a gentleman otherwise.