After being on the trail recruiting earlier in the week, Sonny Dykes returned to Cal yesterday for the team football banquet and appears to be ready to get back to business.
Sonny Dykes is on campus, per multiple sources. He is expected to attend the annual scholar-athlete scholarship banquet tonight.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) December 3, 2015
At the moment, there has been confirmation of only one meeting with another program: Missouri, the original program that started the rumor trail. The Tigers have hired their defensive coordinator Barry Odom to be the main man, so that is no longer on the table as a potential bargaining chip.
Still, two programs appear to be looking closely at Dykes in Virginia and South Carolina. The Gamecocks appear to be zoning in on Will Muschamp and a host of really hot commodities, so I wouldn't expect Dykes to compete for that job seriously, but Virginia might be a bit more wide open if Sonny was serious.
Virginia is a bit more of a mystery, but there hasn't been any interview anyone is aware of at this point, and it's only known that Dykes contacted the Cavaliers, not that Virginia was mutually interested. There is this dude, although I have no real evidence to back this up.
Dykes to Virginia has legs and Cal isn't doing, well, anything, to keep him or prepare for his departure.— Dieter Kurtenbach (@dkurtenbach) December 4, 2015
With practice starting Friday in preparation for Cal's bowl game, it seems likely that Dykes will sign the contract offer that Cal has given him, or try and negotiate for a slightly better deal with the Bears with some other second program expressing interest. Which program that would be at this point remains a mystery.
The Cal athletic department seems very close to winning this free agency battle. It doesn't seem like Cal will have to negotiate through the roof with any other significant bidders present. For Dykes to return to Berkeley and not have a clear offer ready means that they don't even have to budge from their supposed modest original offer--they can stand pat if they chose and Dykes would probably feel obligated to accept the current offer.
Cal has offered him a contract extension, but a source at the school said the athletic department hasn't improved the offer and is waiting for a response from Dykes. "Nothing's changed on our end from the other day," the source said.
The only one who might have suffered a little bit during these proceedings is Dykes--either his agent has very loose lips, or someone in or close to the program is leaking information that does not reflect well on him. I doubt Sonny wanted any of this information to become public knowledge, because none of it is making him look particularly appealing. Whoever is responsible for the leaks isn't doing Dykes any favors.
So I'd expect Dykes to come to terms with Cal in the next few days or so. If that doesn't happen, expect his free agency to keep dragging on until all other programs have found their men. This dance could go on for a few more hours or a few more weeks, depending on what Sonny's end game is this winter.