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Golden Nuggets: Aaron Cochran Praises Coach Dykes, Value of a Cal Degree

Cal's latest lineman is a big'un: 6'7", 340lb offensive tackle Aaron Cochran committed to join his brother Matt at Cal.

Jamie Sabau

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?