Could the California Golden Bears get in the mix for a high prospect potential national title transfer? Scott Pagano will be transferring from Clemson.
The Tigers defensive tackle is going to be spending his final year of eligibility at a West Coast program, according to head coach Dabo Swinney.
“I met with Scott Pagano yesterday," Swinney said. "We had a good talk and he told me about his intentions to be a graduate transfer for his final year of eligibility. I told him to think about it overnight.
“We all wanted him to stay, but he said he had accomplished everything he wanted to do at Clemson. He came here to graduate and win a national championship and he achieved both within the last two months.
“He indicated to me that he wants to start his graduate degree and play his final year of college football, probably on the West Coast.
‘“I wish him nothing but the best. Scott Pagano has been a fully committed person to the program. He has always been committed to do the best he could in everything. We will miss him and he will always be one of my players and will be a part of our Clemson family.”
Cal offered Pagano out of high school along with most of the rest of the Pac-12. He was ranked as the 24th best defensive tackle in the class of 2013 and the second best prospect out of the state of Hawaii. Pagano clearly wants to be closer to home in his final year.
The Bears could offer him extended playing time off the bat as Cal tinkers with their defense. Cal has the ability to give Pagano unlimited playing time alongside James Looney and provide the Bears with one of the better interior defensive lines out there. Although Cal will likely be moving back to a 3-4 under Justin Wilcox, Pagano could be an absolute monster for the Bears.
One thing to watch here: Pagano was recruited by new Cal defensive line coach Jerry Azzinaro at Oregon coming out of high school, so there is a preexisting relationship there. Given that Oregon coaches Steve Greatwood and Azzinaro were big on the isles, this could be a relationship worth watching.