Cal received its biggest commitment of the year--literally--from the 6'7, 340lb offensive tackle Aaron Cochran. The value of a Berkeley degree played a big role in his decision.
An excellent student with a 3.6 gpa and a position in student leadership serving as student body vice president, the Cal degree in some ways transcends even comfort level and future gridiron prospects in influencing the 6-7/340 tackle's decision to be a Bear.
"For me, the Cal degree is everything," said Cochran. "I know the NFL may or may not be an option for me but that won't last forever. A Cal degree will. Football won't last forever but no one can take away my degree. The prestige of a University of California degree really made me want to go there. I feel that will set me up for the rest of my life, not just relying on football."
Some worried about his return from a knee injury as well as his weight gain during the recovery period. Aaron says he's now better than ever.
Cochran's senior season has been a successful one, particulary with the giant OT's ability to play without pain following successful meniscus surgery along with the weight loss that accompanied the procedure with the rehab workouts involved.
"It was really hard at the beginning," said Cochran. "It was really hard to get the surgery scheduled. "I missed all of my junior basketball season.
"I did lose some weight on the process, too. Before the surgery, I was around 385. I got down to 330 in the season.
"I'm a little heavier now but I feel like I'm totally a better athlete than I was before. I'm stronger and better with my technique.
"It's nice to not have to deal with the pain and be more agile now."
What tricks does Dykes have up his sleeve during the final couple weeks of recruiting season?
- Monday was a big day for recruiting as Aaron Cochran and Jack Austin committed to the Bears.
- Cal's recruiting rankings received a slight bump: 25th nationally, 4th in the Pac-12 according to Rivals and 28th nationally, 5th in the Pac-12 according to Scout. For reasons I dare not question (let us not look a gift horse in the mouth), Stanford's recruiting class is 11th in the conference.
- Jack Austin praised Coach Dykes' straightforwardness and honesty during last week's in-home visit.
- The stellar career of Tony Gonzalez likely came to an end on Sunday at the hand of the detestable Harbaugh.
- CalBears.com checks in with Bears in the NFL conference championship games. Unfortunately, none of the Bears will battle for the Super Bowl.
- The Bears maintained their position at the top of the Pac with a 70-65 win over no. 14 UCLA.
- During the post-game press conference Coach Gottlieb praised the quality of teams in the Pac-12 as well as her own team's focus.
- Gennifer Brandon's career weekend earned her Player of the Week honors from the Pac-12 and ESPN.
- The 14th-ranked men's team split its singles matches and lost its doubles match at Sunday's Sherwood Collegiate Cup.
- Meanwhile at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic Campbell Johnson won the singles title and won the doubles title with Christoffer Koenigsfeldt.
- Zsofi Susanyi won the singles title and teamed with Klara Fabikova to win the doubles title at the Cal Winter Invitational.
- The Bears won the All-UC tournament after defeating UCLA 29-7 on Sunday. Cal only gave up a single try in the four game tournament.